Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil Impressions

Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil (Xbox) finally hit shelves here last night and I picked up a copy. I've only gotten to play through the first level and a bit of the second, but my overall impressions are very positive.

Firstly, I think the character models are of higher texture quality than they were in Doom 3. The marines and most notably your character, a Marine Combat Engineer, look crisp with finer details and seem to feature less pixelation as was present in Doom 3.

The sound mix is true to Doom 3 as well. The title music is the same, and the in-game "music" is the beautiful ambient mix. The Doom 3 series truly has one of the best FPS sounds tracks period. Voice acting has been alright, not as good as Doom 3 but not aweful either. Good to hear Jennifer Hale (Bastilla from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic) lend her talents once more.

The game starts off well enough with a quick recap of the tragic events of Doom 3, and how the UAC is sending an expedition to Mars roughly two years later to investigate a strange beacon detected one of the old dig sites, Site 1. This operation is headed by Dr. Elizabeth McNeil (Jennifer Hale), who was mentioned a lot in Doom 3, and there's apparently double the human security force as was present in the original.

One thing that's not made clear, at least as far as I've played, is if the UAC has re-occupied the original Mars facility, built a new one, or brought "quick-set-up" buildings. Regardless, your character, along with his team, finds the cause of this strange beacon in Site 1, a strange Artifact, and once he removes it, the gateway to Hell is re-opened and everyone starts dying... again.

Thus far the story's been average, but the execution and actual gameplay have been true Doom 3 all the way. I've already fought two of the new enemies, Forgotten Ones (weaker versions of Lost Souls meant to annoy you) and Vulgars (Uber-Imps), as well as picked up 2 of the new weapons.

The Artifact is the first new weapon you get, though I actually haven't tried it yet (never needed to thus far, not even sure if it works) and the second is the Grabber, essentially Half-Life 2's Gravity Gun. The Grabber is an amazing weapon. Not only can you move crates, items, and barels around, but you can also grab enemy fireballs and toss it right back at them; one hit instant kill. You can also grab Forgotten Ones as they streak in to hit you and then toss them aside as if they're nothing. I look forward to seeing if this works on those annoying Cherubs as shown in the game's trailer.

Another interesting aspect of Resurrection of Evil is that since you're marine is a Combat Engineer instead of a standard grunt from the original, he's actually smart enough to attach his Flashlight to his Pistol. Now, the white button brings up your Pistol and the Pistol is no longer mapable to the D-Pad.

I have yet to encounter the Double Barelled Shotgun, however I'm very much looking forward to making stuff go boom now. I figure it'll really help against whatever damn Commandos are still around.

Resurrection of Evil also comes with The Ultimate Doom, Doom II, and The Master Levels for Doom II. While the first two also came with the Doom 3: Limited Collector's Edition, The Master Levels for Doom II are new to the Xbox, and they're the only authorized classic Doom product that I never played back in yester-year.

I played through the first level last night and really enjoyed it. It's my first new classic Doom experience in roughly a decade, and it was great fun to go through a new, well designed map and kick the snot out of Zombies and Demons old school style.

Once I finish Resurrection of Evil I'll post up a full and proper review.

Also note I would have posted screenshots, but Blogger feels like being %&$*@#^% retarded right now and won't let me. Stupid free service.

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