An example of how little things do matter

User Rating: 8.6 | Doom 3 PC
The first comment I'd like to make here is that the guys at GameSpot continue to impress me, most of the time, by the scores that they give to games, and the reviews that they make. These guys are really doing a great job in pushing the gaming industry forward, without succumbing to pure money matters, or at the very least, doing the extra effort of balancing the indispensable money matters with the ethics of reviewing and the responsibilities of a team like them in the development of this industry. I'm saying this because I was expecting each and every gaming website and magazine out there to get in line for the rave and hype behind Doom 3, and give it highly inflated scores. And I was expecting that GameSpot's team would feel obliged to give Doom 3 a minimum of 9, just to push it to an Editor's Choice category. However, they sure enough surprised and eventually impressed me very much with a score of 8.5. Doom 3 is an evident proof from the gaming world that "little things do matter" in life. And this is why I gave Doom 3 a classification of "Almost, but not quite". It annoys me that Doom 3 just needed a few small changes and improvements here and there to *easily* make it to the golden, almost one-in-a-lifetime seat of "Classic". Back in the early and mid 90s, it was *much* easier to develop a game that would be called a Classic in the gaming industry. Today...I feel that this is just beyond difficult, nibbling on the line of impossible. And the irony is that Doom 3 was nibbling on the line of Classic. What a shame and loss! You simply have to notice that the best games of 2004, and the best games generally today, mostly take 5 years to develop. Whereas some of the best movies can very well be finished in a couple of years. And even though Doom 3 and Half Life 2 took so many years to develop, eventually none of them could earn the title of Classic, but maybe World of Warcraft did...maybe. Sorry to diverge just a little from the specific subject of Doom 3 in my review, but it is just that Doom 3 is really such a controversial game. It is plain weird! It's like I WANT to like it, but I can't, not with its overall image and impression. It's like it *really* impresses me, but it also makes me wonder, "Then what's wrong?!" GRAPHICS: Doom 3 showcases absoltely breathtaking in-game graphics, as of the expectations of today's gamer in 2004. idSoftware went so far with graphics in Doom 3 that you do not even think twice when you are asked which game had the best graphics in 2004. This aspect of the game is simply revolutionary, even when compared to Half Life 2 itself. Of course, you must have a high-end system and preferably a GeForce 6800 gfx card to know what I'm talking about. SOUND: The sound in Doom 3 is good, but not good enough. Good voice acting, given that there is very little room here for highly emotional acting anyway. Acceptable and relevant, but very forgettable music. Very good sound effects, but again, not impressive enough when compared to the current potential of sound effects in games, properly showcased in a game like MGS3: Snake Eater. GAMEPLAY: Downright annoying! Ok, that's farfetched, but that was just a quick emotional comment. It is annoying simply because it could've been *so* much better for God's sake. I mean, Why idSoftware? Why John Carmack? Why, why? I can either use a flashlight or a weapon?? What, I have to be using the flashlight to see anything that NEEDS to be seen, then when I see a monster, I yell out, "Hey! Will you please step out in the light, where I can see you, and give me a second so I can change the flashlight with a weapon and shoot you to death? Thank you, sir."?? Why? There aren't weapons with embedded powerful flashlights and even laser technology in year 2145? And after all the suspicious events, voices heard, and the death of several workers in the Mars research facility, a marine is sent to investigate in these dark areas without infrared or even better 2145-technology for seeing in the dark? It's not like all this just doesn't make sense from a storytelling perspective, but it happens to also be annoying in gameplay and make the game harder but not with better enemy AI or something else relevant, but with unfair and illogical handicaps imposed upon you as a player. So anyway, you just have to download a mod for embedding a flashlight on your weapons. However, that mod won't solve the other annoying aspect of enemies spawning almost everywhere and too often behind you, which becomes tasteless, repetitive, and abuses the immersive aspect of the game and totally neutralizes the surprise element. Finally, there are miscellaneous small things that just don't feel right, or simply make you feel something is wrong, even though you just can't put it in words. STORY: It is worth mentioning as a separate element because it is one of the things that totally humiliates this game. Again, this game could've easily made it into a Classic if it had a great story, with lots of emotional elements. Instead of a "Been There, Done That" story. And personally, I think that many of us have really had it with "demons", "hell", and the habra cadabra in games today; maybe even the same applies to the "alien" trend. The gaming industry is in dire need for a change from these storytelling trends that have become repetitive. It's as if there's a world conspiracy to shove demons, Hell, magic, and the satanic cult down our throats, or to make us all hopelessly superstitious. VALUE: I believe the most evident reason of replayability in the game is Graphics. You may probably like to play it all over again, but after a year, when you've bought a much better graphics card and a more powerful system, just to see how better the game may look, and enjoy a smoother experience. So most of the game's value is in the "stare-at-this" element. Most other aspects of the game fall short in replayability and value. My tilt? Well, my tilt was a "Reviewer's Tilt" score of 8, and a bitter feeling of "Things could've been much better, idSoftware/John Carmack." I hope this review properly explains the overall 8.6 score, and the summary of "little things do matter".