Doom 3 Review

Discussion in 'Games' started by kuyu, Aug 4, 2004.

  1. kuyu macrumors 6502a

    kuyu

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Location:
    Louisville
    #1
    I'm about 2 hours into this game, and here are my first impressions. One, it's pretty and all, but the real story is how ABSOLUTELY SCARY this game is. The sound is phenomenal. Also, you can have your gun or your light out, not both at once.

    The levels are amazingly detailed. No two hallways look totally alike. And the lighting.... You have to see the game in action to appreciate dynamic lighting like this. The screens don't do it justice.

    As far as being playable on systems: My gaming pc has an athlon 64-bit @ 2Ghz, 1 GB crucial pc3200, and an ATI radeon X800 Pro w/ 256 GDDR3. This game brings my rig to a crawl at ultra settings. I can play at 1024 with ultra settings w/ a decent fps number (~30). At 800 w/ ultra I get more like ~45. With AA turned on, the fps rates drop considerably.

    So it looks cool, is fun to play, sounds great, and you'll need a G5 cluster with 80 gigs of RAM and 10 nvidia 6800's to see all Doom 3 can do. Not really, but if you're not sure if you can run it at high detail, you can't. I give it a 9.5/10!!! Great work id!! :)
     
  2. BornAgainMac macrumors 603

    BornAgainMac

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Location:
    Florida Resident
    #2
    Is this game available for Macs? I didn't see it available on the online Apple store. I'll review it when I can buy it.
     
  3. P-Worm macrumors 68020

    P-Worm

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #3
    Nope, not yet unfortunately. id has stated that the Mac and Linux versions will be 'done when they are done' which I think is a very good standard. Like Blizzard, they don't follow a deadline. The game is done when it is flawless.

    So just be happy that when it does come to Mac, it will be the best Doom 3 a Mac gamer could have ever hoped for.

    P-Worm
     
  4. Converted2Truth macrumors 6502a

    Converted2Truth

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2004
    Location:
    Hell@HighAltitude
    #4
    Doom3 rocks

    This game is unbelievable. I've never seen anything like this. It is a masterpiece. I too have played about 2hrs into the game, and then i had to put it down. Last night i hardly slept... not nightmares, but restlessness...

    I've got a P4 3.0e HT w/ a gig of crucial pc3200 and a radeon 9800 pro. I run the game on normal settings at 1024x768. It's beautiful, and very playable. Not to mention the scariest experience I've had since I was a youngster forced to watch Aliens (directed by James Cameron) in the dark w/my older brother. This game will make anyone jump. After a while, it gets worste. Even the sound that some doors make when they open... you totally expect the sound, yet after awhile, even that put me on edge.

    And freakin A, when you walk into that room with fleshy intestines crawling from the ceiling and a pentagram on the ground w/candles all around?! And then when you go in to get what you need, you hear the devil himself laugh as demons are teleported to destroy you from all sides! it's a good thing i went to the bathroom before i played that pard.

    No, it's not out on the mac yet. Not to burst anyones bubble of hope, but i doubt that this game will run well on a Mac. I've read ALOT about how well this game scales and how it plays on different hardware. All day yesterday i was monitoring system resources while playing. This game hogs about 75% of the first half of my P4 3.0e HT, and about 25% of the other. Now i don't know much about hyperthreading, but from my observations, the game's video settings scale parallel to CPU speed. If one drops, the other does too. That's why you won't find a review for a 1.5 pentium w/x800

    John Carmac is somewhat irritated and opposed to multiple processors/GPU's, because they require much more sophisticated programming techniques. Not to mention that there has never been a game that actually has been multithreaded... Sure, some games have a separate thread for the sound, but come on! whoopie. From an interview that i read, id will focus on PC games in the immediate future because all the consoles are going toward multiple cpu/gpu arcitecture. That's just too much of a hastle for a programmer like John Carmac. And if it's too much of a bother to him, then i am sure others will feel the same way.

    So, just to put my opinion togather... I don't think a 1.8 or a 2.0 is going to run doom3 at the second highest graphical setting @ 1600x1200, even with an nvidia 6800 ultra. Why? because the CPU is a bottleneck. And since you need 512mb of vram to run at the highest setting, NOBODY is going to have the ultimate doom3 experience until there's a card that has enough memory. but i doubt it's long before an nvidia/ati card maker will release a 'doom3' specialized card w/512mb gddr3. Anyways, I know the G5 is RISC and is generally faster and stuff. I just hope the G5 hardware will be enough for this game. I'd much rather play it on my G5... it's gonna have a better video card, etc... I just couldn't wait.

    And it's good to see Nvidia take the trophy home. This game runs best on the 6800 Ultra.

    Oh, back on topic... I give the game a 9.5. Not a ten because a 4 person mulitplay is kinda lame.
     
  5. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #5
    the reason is crawls at ultra high is because ID recommends a 512mb video card, which we know isn't out yet.

    my bad, didnt notice converted2truth already said that in his post.

    iJon
     
  6. Converted2Truth macrumors 6502a

    Converted2Truth

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    #6
    I stated that in my post.

     
  7. ZildjianKX macrumors 68000

    ZildjianKX

    Joined:
    May 18, 2003
    #7
    The only difference in Ultra is the textures are uncompressed, right? From what I've heard, there is no visual difference in the game... maybe it takes less stress from the processor with uncompressed textures though...

    On a side note... I was planning on building an Athlon 3500+ with a GeForce GT... basically wishing to run doom 3 at the highest settings (without uncompressed textures) at 1280x1024... do you think having only 512 MB of DDR 3200 RAM would matter at all? Most games I've played (including Far Cry) don't seem to care if you have any more RAM than 512. And yes, I would be stealing the 512 MB of DDR RAM out of my G5 tower...
     
  8. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    #8
    kuyu, you need to turn the detail down to "high" on your machine.l "ultra" isn't really that much better, visually...in fact you won't be able to tell a difference without taking screenshots and comparing them directly in photoshop.

    Just set it to "high quality" and you'll be able to run at least 1280x1024 with your machine...very comfortably...you'll be bouncing off of the 60fps cap pretty regularly, and rarely if ever dip below 30fps...

    still waiting until i get home to play this...anxious to see what my 9600 can do. Optimistically hoping for medium at 1024, but probably will have to go with 8x6
     
  9. Converted2Truth macrumors 6502a

    Converted2Truth

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2004
    Location:
    Hell@HighAltitude
    #9
    Doom runs pretty much the same with 512mb as it does at any higher interval. It doesn't care. But you aren't going to be able to play the game at ANY resolution in ULTRA. That requires a video card with 512mb vram. Run the game at 1600x1200 with settings on high... or any resolution on high.

    One thing i found impressive was how well the 6800 GT preformed compared to the 6800 Ultra. Wish they'd release the GT for mac. I'd rather not drop 600 bucks... damn marketing...

    That machine you say ur building will be cool.
     
  10. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    #10
    zildjian,

    i would recommend 1GB just be be safe. It's probably worth it in the long run because that machine is going to be looking for more RAM anyway...that's the weak link in the chain from what you posted. go with 1GB or at least 768mb...
     
  11. Converted2Truth macrumors 6502a

    Converted2Truth

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2004
    Location:
    Hell@HighAltitude
    #11
    My 9800 runs at that res on medium. It's great fun, but at times you can tell it's working harder than it ever has before... lol

    Good luck. Your 9600 has 128mb ram right?
     
  12. ZildjianKX macrumors 68000

    ZildjianKX

    Joined:
    May 18, 2003
    #12
    I don't plan on using the PC for much other than gaming... so this time around I think I'm going to build a small form factor shuttle that uses the AMD 939 pin processors... but it won't be out until Sept and it still uses AGP... which I guess isn't a big deal since the AGP bus hasn't been fully utilized yet and PCIe cards don't run any faster.

    I guess I'll stick with 512 MB of RAM at first, and if I feel the need I'll blow the $200 on two 512 MB crucial DIMMs and but the other 512 MB back in the G5. Thanks for the advice everyone.
     
  13. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    #13
    sure does. Sapphire 9600 Pro 128 running memory at 320mhz and core at i think 470mhz...

    it overclocked quite nicely out of the box with the built-in cooling...
     
  14. vasaz macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2004
    Location:
    MN
    #14
  15. applekid macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2003
    #15
    First, Carmack, not Carmac. :)

    Second, Quake 3 had SMP support through a console command. Some of the Quake 3 Engine-based games had SMP support out of the box or accepted the console command. Giants had SMP support, for more than sound.

    Doom 3 having SMP support? Still quite possible. I don't know if the current PC version has it, but I wouldn't be surprised to see SMP support with a few patches or at least on the Mac version, if it isn't already available.

    Oh yeah, I'd like to ask when you all received your copies of Doom 3? My friend got his copy Monday. He couldn't play online because he's still on dial-up. :D
     
  16. TDM21 macrumors 6502a

    TDM21

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    #16
    I know this is kind of a dumb question, but: What is the worst computer someone has tried to run Doom3 on.

    I have a pc and I know it is not an all out gaming rig, but I really want to play Doom3 and if it is not going to run on my computer then there is no point in shelling out $55 for the game

    Here are the specs for on my computer (I built it 18 months ago on a budget):

    FIC At31 motherboard
    AMD Athalon XP 1800+
    768MB pc2100 ram
    Sapphire Radeon 8500Le 64MB
    30gig harddrive Quantum Fireball
    Windows XP Pro

    I know my computer meets the minimum requirements, but that doesn't mean it will be playable. It could be like UT2004 demo on my PB (15FPS)
     
  17. ZildjianKX macrumors 68000

    ZildjianKX

    Joined:
    May 18, 2003
    #17
    You system should be able to play it... according to HardOCP, it's very enjoyable even at the recommended system requirements.
     
  18. kuyu thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kuyu

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Location:
    Louisville
    #18

    Thanks, I've turned the gfx down to "HIGH", and set the res to 1280. OMFG this game looks incredible. I've gotten to Alpha Level 4, and it keeps getting scarier. Those little spider things are creepy. I haven't had a good nights sleep in two days because of this game. Great job id!!!
     
  19. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    #19
    I'm not so blown out of the water.

    My radeon 9600 pro 128 handles it pretty well...800x600 at "high" or 1024x768 at "medium" are about the same speed, and for my money, i think the 1024 "medium" is better looking...as long as you don't look too hard.

    Here's my initial review of the game.

    atmosphere: 9
    I must say that i was a bit freaked out at times, especially when i kept shooting things and they didn't die. I like the idea that you can't use the flashlight and shoot, but it makes for a frustrating experience of trying to see monsters that seem to see you VERY well in pitch black darkness. The mood of the game is very dark and metallic and aggressive. I felt like i was playing an updated, less story-driven version of Deus Ex with better bad guys.

    sound: 9
    Most of my appreciation for this game probably comes from the excellent sound effects. Guns and monsters and objects just sound "right" in a way that isn't easy to describe. If the graphics were a little better (see next section) it would feel more like a movie. The soundtrack is a little too Death Metal for my tastes, but it suits the game just fine. The constant radio chatter over the first two levels or so was cool at first and then just a bit annoying.

    graphics: 7
    Everyone talks about how amazing these graphics are. I guess I'm spoiled or was over-expectant...The use of lighting IS cool, yes. When I am in "high" quality mode, though, and i go up to let's say a wall, and there is a logo for a company or some such thing, if i get too close, it looks totally fake like some game from 1998...it isn't a matter of texture compression...it's a matter of texture size. They kept talking about cinema-quality graphics blah blah blah...well, a movie doesn't let you see a full-screen view of a magazine that has a 20x40 pixel texture as the cover image. I wasn't blown away. Another thing that bothered me is the lack of soft shadows...i just expected them to be there, but they weren't. all shadows have rock-hard edges that I've never seen on a real-world shadow in my life. I know it takes a lot of processing power and blah blah blah, but they managed to impliment hazy heat effects using pixel shaders, i'm confident that they could get some fuzzy-edged shadows in there, at least on the geometry...another gripe: the player casts no shadow. Lights cast a shadow ON the player, but if you're standing with your back to a light source and you look at the ground...nothing. Just like you weren't there.
    If you're starting from the POV of having an "immersive" experience, and you break that immersion, then well, it is on some level a failure. Doom 3 looks good, yes. Better than any game before it? probably. but it's an evolutionary change, not a revolutionary one. The lights in most places were much brighter than they could be for the levels to be as dark as they were. Ambient light is almost non-existant, despite tons of light sources...I know they were looking for a "scary" or "suspenseful" experience, and they certainly created it, but not through "real" lighting...just through exaggeration and frustration. If there is a 500 watt flood light shining on a metal wall in an otherwise dark room, i should be standing in a pretty bright room. Instead, I'm standing in a very dark room with one very bright spot. Suspenseful? yes. convincing? nope. Another gripe: similar to the lack of soft shadows is the lack of soft lighting...there are hard lines where the lights effects start and stop...If the entire game takes place in a sub-zero humidity-free environment, then maybe I can believe this...but it isn't. Next gripe: the "you've been shot/hit/injured" decal that covers the entire screen when you take damage is WAY overdone. It's the brightest thing in the game. If you get shot in the toe, you're blind for more than half a second, but you hit a zombie soldier in the face twice and he doesn't break stride, nor does he miss you with his pistol, even if you're across the room and you have an arm sticking out from behind a crate in the darkest, blackest corner of the room. The enemies clearly play with "shadows" turned off in the advanced settings. The game's graphics are pretty elaborate, but not perfect by any means. Doom1 and 2 didn't have a chance of looking real...Doom 3 is so much closer that its shortcomings are made all the more clear. There are too many bald men in this game. You can see clearly where one triangle stops and another starts...everyone has little "points" all over them, and then these perfectly-rendered lighting effects on normal maps. The lip-sync is way way off compared to, say HL2's technology.

    controls: 9
    basically perfect.

    gameplay: 7
    Computer gaming companies could have created a game this "immersive" 10 years ago by just lowering the max brightness about 80% and saying "have at it...isn't it scaaaary? It's a little bit scary, but only because you can't see anything. It's also kinda scary when you have to shoot a monster several times to get any kind of response out of it. The monsters are very good. The demon sound effects are convincing while maintaining a connection with the old Doom 1/2 sounds...very nice. Even on the easiest setting, the monsters are a bit tough...at least a challenge for most people. Especially at any setting above Recruit. Ammo is not plentiful, in general, and you can't just spray bullets around, which is appreciated if you have any tactical sophistication. The "traps" and random "find a key and flip a switch" linearity of the game is something of a let-down. This was perfectly fine in old-school doom games, but when you KNOW every time a scripted even has been triggered because you walk through a door and a person says something over the radio and the lights turn off for no reason, well, guess what's next? yup. a monster will come out of nowhere, even though you just passed that place. They were in a secret compartment behind a wall that you couldn't "open" until the lights went off...right...like i said. convincing in quasi-3D pink-and-green barely VGA-land, but not so much in 2004. I got tired of stepping on a box and having the floor lower, the lights go off and flicker, and three full-grown men turned-zombie appearing from a room that I was just in and can confirm was totally empty. The demons are coming from Hell, i understand that. They come through some portal. The zombified civilians and marines do NOT come from the Hell gate, they come straight from the facility, and so they cannot possibly spontaneously appear from nothing just because i crossed a pre-determined threshold...
    I spent a lot of time building up stress, rushing through corridors and killing wave after wave of ultra-strong marines with perfect aims and night vision (apparently), and I'm awarded with a short cut scene that tries to give a reprieve, but doesn't, from the constant twitchy, peer into the shadows that are overly dark nature of the game. I'm left with a sinking suspicion that Doom 3 wouldn't look so hot if it were somehow miraculously DAYTIME at the mars facility. Doom 1 and 2 had plenty of daylight. Doom 3 avoided it like the plague. At least so far. I don't expect this game to take more than 15-20 hours to complete, tops. If you're thinking "oh, i'll probably take my time and it will last longer" then you're in for a disappointment...the game is quite painfully linear. In most cases there is only one way to get somewhere (how else can they make sure you hit all the scripting points?) and the most likely "adventure area", (outside the facility) is effectively removed from play by requiring you to supply your own oxygen (60 seconds on the surface and you die)...running around out on mars could be a lot of fun...you can get a suit with grav assist and super-armor and all this technology, but you can't get some oxygen, too? boooo!

    In short, D3 is pointing out better than any game yet what happens when we get closer to reality and further from having to use our imaginations: we're more picky about what we see. Every little inconsistency is glaring to me, because there isn't enough artistry involved...instead of creating a fantasy world, this game tries to make you believe it is real. That apparently isn't possible yet, and so any attempt that fails will only make you go "but...that isn't how that should look"

    we all expect mario to be fake, so we're ok with it. This game tried to be something it couldn't be: realistic. It will get great reviews and so on and so forth, because it is a bit fun...but i was distracted by all the things they are doing to try and make it look real..more accurately, i was distracted by all the things that didn't look real at all...if you get that close,you need to go ahead and finish it up. If this game is all about the frag fest, then reality shouldn't matter one bit...why try and create that? If it were important to the gameplay, then that would be one thing...but it really isn't.If the lighting were more stylized, it's limitations wouldn't be so "glaring" (pun intended).

    If a kid makes a cow drawing, and it's purple and totally wrong in every way, but it says "cow" above it, you fill in the blanks. If that same kid renders a beautiful 3 dimensional cow that's almost exactly perfect, but the eyeballs are blank white circles and the tail is a stiff hollow tube that sticks up awkwardly, then you'll only see the problems...Doom 1 was that purple cow. Doom 3 is the almost-perfect 3D cow...
     
  20. Digidesign macrumors 6502

    Joined:
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  21. airmac macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    #21
    oh please..

    Everywherwe I heard words like freakin awesome, intense, scary as hell, an absolute blast... For me the game is just boring. Is it just me? 5, 6 years has passed from Unreal 1 and that's it?! Who cares how beautiful the game is, just take a look what happend to Unreal 2. A total disaster. Farcry, Maxpayne, Rune and if you want a scary one: Alien vs Predator1 have far better gamplay and THAT'S THE KEY. I mean, what is so special about Doom3?? It took them 4 years! Sound? Or is it all about graphics and details now?? What about a little imagionation for the rest of us who like to explore a little more. Playing it for about 20 hours is there any outdoors scenes?? Honestly, I don't think it was worth $55. But oh well. It is fun and the gfx are pretty good. Lucky me I didn't have to pay for it.

    sry, I had to...
     
  22. FriarCrazy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2004
    Location:
    Ames, IA/Eden Prairie, MN
    #22
    Ok, this game freaked the HELL outta me. It is AWESOME. The graphics are absolutely amazing, the normal maps are just gorgeous. My only qualm with the graphics is that the textures are suprisingly low resolution. This is because each texture actually has four maps applied to it, and as such, enormous amounts of Vram get used for this game. If high res textures were used, all modern systems now (even the BEST cards) would be ground to a halt.

    When you are playing the game, you don't notice the textures because you want to crap your pants with fear.

    I can't wait till I get my PC back up and running so that I can buy doom3. I guess this is one instance where my PB will have to sit out for a few rounds. :eek:
     
  23. TheGimp macrumors 6502

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    Jun 14, 2004
    Location:
    anywhere, usa
    #23
     
  24. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    #24
    hehe.

    i was just talking.

    but you want to know what games get a higher-than-7 rating from me?

    let's see....SimCity4 gets a 9 in the graphics department. If they had made the full-level zoom pixel-perfect, I would give it a 10.

    King's Quest 5 get's a 9 or 10 on the graphics scale...If you look at it today, it may be low-resolution, but you can tell that the entire thing was painted as a cohesive whole. If Sierra were around today and there was a demand for old-school adventure games, they would have given us 32 bit 1280x1024 works of art on every single screen.

    The original Unreal gets a 9 in the graphics department. They did things I couldn't believe. The lighting effects weren't nearly as sophisticated, but when you turn the corner in a tunnel and one of those big giant rocket-arm guys is coming around the corner and the music starts slowly thumping and accellerating in intensity, you start to freak out a bit. It's not close enough to real to really make you complain that it's so close to real, but it is immersive and believable for what it is.

    GTA Vice City gets a 9 for graphics, at least. It's stylized enough that you don't care if the characters don't look real...of course they aren't real.

    Mario 3 is a graphical 10 for certain.

    FFX-2 is a 10, maybe a nine.

    Games on console have an advantage: blurriness...
     
  25. ExoticFish macrumors 6502a

    ExoticFish

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2002
    Location:
    The inner depths of madness, aka Kent, OH
    #25
    i think Doom 3 is just great. you can really tell they spent a lot of time and care on it. the multiplayer is buggy as hell and i have not been able to play, i'm having a problem that a few people are having where every server says it's full. :confused: but the single player is just awesome. there are times when the game gets boring for a moment, but then you realize that they did that on purpose so you'll drop your guard as some huge thing comes out of no where and tries to eat you. the level design for this game is probably the best i have ever seen, nothing looks the same and it constantly looks more beat up and evil as you progress... very nice. the sounds are amazing and i'd love to play this game in surround sound, it has to be even scarier.

    the fact that they don't have co-op and are supposedly putting it into the XBox version pisses me off beyond anything. if it comes out for XBox they better release a patch for the PC version to fix that.

    i see the same texture "problems" as everyone else(how they are low rez), but i'd be interested in seeing how they look at ultra graphics setting. anyone know if they are crisp then?

    so anyway, i love this game and one tip... read your e-mail
     

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