Sunday, August 27, 2006

Classic Doom 3 Review

Classic Doom 3 is a mod for Doom 3 that recreates the first Episode of The Ultimate Doom, Knee Deep in the Dead. The mod makers wanted to show what a straight up remake of one of the most influential games of all time would be like, and that they could get similar action gameplay out of the Doom 3 Engine instead of the survival horror FPS that was Doom 3.

Many gamer's were gravely disappointed with Doom 3 and felt it didn't live up to a proper remake. It had a different style of gameplay, was very dark, repetative, and linear. While The Ultimate Doom was also repetative and linear, it was fast-paced and a blast of fun, mindless action. It is this very feel that the mod makers recreate with their Classic Doom 3 mod.

If you've ever played and enjoyed The Ultimate Doom, than Classic Doom 3 is going to be a very, very fun mod for you. The entire first Episode is all there with all the secrets, most of the monster placements, and the fast-paced gameplay you loved from yester-year. This is a detailed, piece-for-piece remake of the shareware title that revitalized PC gaming and started gaming off to where we are now.

The mod's monsters were mostly left in the same placements they were in the original and they predominantly behave the same; which means they're easy and fun to kill, but there's a lot of them. The enemy character models were all left as they were in Doom 3, and a Spectre model was added, but the monsters have had their hit points adjusted to reflect that of the classic game.

The mod team also re-did most of the weapon models from Doom 3 to look like the classic versions, and while cool to see, I think they should have left the new models from Doom 3 in instead simply because they look a whole lot better. However keeping with the classic gameplay, you don't need to reload your guns on this trip.

I also wish they would have added in some extra inventory items. While Soul Spheres and Combat (Mega) Armour are present, Hazard Suits and Light Amp Googles are not. Of course, being a detailed remake, there's a lot of slime in the levels, and often times you need to cross these pools (especially for secret areas), and the slime _hurts_. While it doesn't eat away at your armour, I did find the lack of Hazard Suits to be annoying.

Another notable item missing is the Light Amp Googles. The Flashlight of Doom 3 has been removed completely, and with no light to boost the game's darker areas, certain sections truely are dark; darker than Doom 3 was which I found annoying. I have the mod's brightness cranked up to full and I still had some problems. If they couldn't have created the Light Amp Googles, I would have loved to have seen the Flashlight but as a pick-up with a limited battery. You'd still need to drop it to use your weapon like in Doom 3, but at least there would have been some extra light to see by.

The mod makers also didn't have an Invisibility power up, so they replaced that with the Berserker and usuaully spawned in a variety of Zombies for you to punch up. While certainly fun to smack stuff around, I admit it would have been cool to once again be able to cloak yourself.

The above though are all minor gripes compared to the fun that this mod brings and the memories that come back, and these memories are perfectly represented by the mod's music. The cheesy midi music from The Ultimate Doom is engrained in most every gamer's mind, and what a treat it is to hear all those old tunes brought back to life in the mod's updated, heavier score. In honest truth, the music rocks and is such a treat to listen to, the recordist deserves praise of his own. And of course, it's great fun blasting Imps with the Shotgun and using the Chainsaw to cut up some Pinky Demons to the classic tracks.

It was also a nice touch for the mod team to throw in some intro and extro cinematics, even though they are super cheesy.

Classic Doom 3 is a great, short mod and well worth anyone's time to play through at least once. It shows how a game made in 1993 can look with a new engine today, and is a more accurate remake than Doom 3 is itself. The shear accuracy of this remake is a great testament to the mod makers, and anyone who does have Doom 3 owes it to themselves to check this free download out.

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