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Publisher: Aspyr Media    Genre: Action
Min OS X: 10.6    CPU: G4 @ 1500 MHz    RAM: 512 MB    Hard Disk: 2200 MB    Graphics: 64 MB VRAM

March 28, 2005 | Jonathan Lowrie

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Aural Stimulation and Visual Extravagance
If it were not for the superb graphics and sound effects, DOOM 3 would be an average game. Once you get the feel for the game and learn your way around it's rather predictable, and the enemy intelligence is rather zombie-like. The gameplay is fairly linear, and rarely do any choices you make impact how the game flows. I found that strategy is less important than having ammo and better weapons. The main consideration in deciding which weapon to use at any given moment will be how much ammunition you have remaining, and to its credit, DOOM 3 forces you to be pretty conservative with your ammo -- you'll often feel the need to make every shot count. Which brings me to my rant about FPS games in general. Why is it that in (insert game environment) there are shotgun shells, chainsaws, plasmaguns, first aid kits, etc. just lying about?

All of these deficiencies can be overlooked just to experience the graphics and sounds. While 5.1 surround sound is standard on a PC, the Mac version does not yet support this due to minimal available hardware support on the platform. But it still sounds fantastic, and looks even better. Even at low quality settings, the game is leaps and bounds better looking than much of the competition, so if you do not get the performance you need at high quality, you can tone down the graphics and still have a visually stunning title.

The Bottom Line
It is difficult to sum up DOOM 3 into a simple rating. As a work of art and a technology showcase, DOOM 3 is top-notch A+ material. The Aspyr port is solid and looks great. DOOM 3 does things better than any other game of its genre (ambience, graphics, sound), but at the end of the day, the actual gameplay is kinda weak. It's the same old weapons, same mission to get from place A to place B and the zombies act, well, like zombies, but not in a good way. As a result of the predictable level design and enemies coupled with the simple-but-effective weapons arsenal, DOOM 3 does not turn out to be particularly challenging, at least at the normal difficulty setting. However, it's a great reason to upgrade your Macintosh, and looks infinitely better than anything else out there. If you are a fan of the original Doom franchise, then you will feel right at home and love this one as well. DOOM 3 has awesome graphics even at the lower settings, it's scary as hell, and feels rather like playing in an interactive movie. At its weakest, it's a series of dark shadowy corridors, you usually die because you got killed by sheer numbers arrayed against you, and the multiplayer feels unpolished and does not relate to the story in any sense whatsoever.

I myself have a thing for blasting zombies into little pieces, so I will always sign up for that mission. I am really looking forward to the next generation of titles based on the Doom 3 engine. Even the gameplay flaws can't really detract from the stunning visual experience that makes DOOM 3 just plain great.

Publisher: Aspyr Media
Developer: id Software
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