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Doom 3 Gets Reviews, Piracy Questions, Exultation 1319

Yeti Von Baseball writes "Now that Doom 3 has officially shipped to stores, Computer Gaming World just posted its Doom 3 review - they also posted about 100 or so new screens." Elsewhere, GameSpy has an in-progress weblog and first-look impressions on the "claustrophobic corridors" of the game, Telefragged posted one of the first reviews, praising "a grand slam of action, story, atmosphere, and pure terror", the BBC reports on how "potential sales could be hit by the extent of online piracy of the game", and Time Magazine has a feature on Doom 3 and id.
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Doom 3 Gets Reviews, Piracy Questions, Exultation

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  • Odd Ratings (Score:5, Informative)

    by cephyn ( 461066 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @08:00PM (#9873865) Homepage
    I'm curious to see what it gets. I noticed on that all the earliest magazine reviews gave it a 9.4 -- the site members were giving it about an 8.6. It did strike me as odd that the first 3 reviews were exactly the same rating...but I guess that's not impossible.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @08:02PM (#9873879)
    Jon is the legendary programmer of such classic PC games as Wolfenstein, Doom, Duke nukem 3d, Quake 1, 2, and 3, unreal, and the upcoming doom3. Jon has single handedly created the genre known as the first-person-shooter. He has also popularized the OpenGL 3d format over Microsoft's competing Direct3d format, as well as caused public interest in 3d cards when he first released accelerated quake for the s3 virge chipset. Jon carmack has redefined gaming on PC's.

    Now stop for a moment and think, What would have happened if Albert Einstein had worked creating amazing pinball games instead of creating the theory of relativity? Humanity would suffer! Jon carmack is unfortunately doing JUST THIS, using his gifts at computer coding to create games instead of furthering the knowledge of humanity. Carmack could have been working for NASA or the US military, but instead he simply sits around coding violent computer games.

    Is this a waste of a special and rare talent? Sadly, the answer is yes.

    Unfortunately, it doesn't stop there. Not only is Jon carmack not contributing to society, he is causing it's downfall. What was the main reason for the mass murder of dozens of people in columbine? Doom. It's always the same story: Troubled youth plays doom or quake, he arms himself to the teeth, he kills his classmates. This has happened hundreds of times in the US alone. Carmack is not only wasting his talents and intelligence; he is single-handedly causing the deaths of many young men and women. How does he sleep at night?

    Carmack is a classic example of a very talented and intelligent human being that is bent on total world destruction. Incredibly, he has made millions of dollars getting people hooked on psychotic games where they compete on the internet to see who can dismember the most people. I believe there is something morally wrong when millions of people have computerized murder fantasies, and we have Jon Carmack to thank. Carmack has used his superior intellect to create mayhem in society. Many people play games such as quake so much that their minds are permanently warped. A cousin of mine has been in therapy for 6 months after he lost a 'death match' and became catatonic.

    It is unfortunate that most people do not realize how much this man has damaged all the things we have worked hard for in America. Jon has wasted his intelligence, caused the deaths of innocent children, and warped this country forever. To top it off, he got rich in the process and is revered by millions of computer users worldwide. Perhaps one day the US government will see the light and confine Jon Carmack somewhere with no computers so he can no longer use his intelligence to wreak havoc on society.
  • by FuzzzyLogik ( 592766 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @08:02PM (#9873887) Homepage
    And it's good :) doesn't run so hot on my setup though..
    amd athlon xp 2400+
    512mb ddr 400
    7200rpm hard drive
    nvidia geforce 4 ti 4400 (128mb)

    it doesn't detect my surround sound setup (sb live! with klipsch pro media 4.1's)
    it runs at medium detail @ 640x480 and gets pretty choppy in places...
    my only complaint so far is that it's so dark that even the flashlight doesn't even really let you see much (i'm trying not to turn my brightness up but it seems i may have to so i don't keep running into guard rails and such)...
    overall though.. i think the intro was a bit long.. i wanna kill stuff.. and kill it i shall... after the 15-20 minute introduction :-/ great for the story.. bad for my trigger finger
    • by Nailer ( 69468 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @08:10PM (#9873972)

      my only complaint so far is that it's so dark that even the flashlight doesn't even really let you see much (i'm trying not to turn my brightness up but it seems i may have to so i don't keep running into guard rails and such)...

      People used to say the same thing about Quake 1. However, if you got rid of all ambient light and played, you could see everything you were supposed to and without the washed out-ness that comes from upping your gamma too far.
      • by Quizo69 ( 659678 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @12:41AM (#9875839) Homepage
        Turning up gamma and brightness settings on your computer won't help, and nor are they meant to. You see, as I have discovered, id has deliberately made this game so that the above won't work. Why? Because that would destroy the best part of the fear factor that makes this game so great.

        In layman's terms, what they have done is set black 0,0,0 as absolute darkenss, and then set anything in shadow to that same colour. So unless something is actually lit up by a proper light source, YOU WON'T SEE IT even if you bump your brightness etc to max. That's the beauty of using a real lighting engine instead of fake lighting as every other game before it has done. Now you NEED to use the flashlight to get around. Yes, it freaks you out when a creature jumps out at you and you need to fumble for your shotgun etc. But that's the point! It's a fear factor game. Enjoy it for what it is, don't try to game the system (which you can't do anyway).
    • by gedanken ( 24390 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @08:11PM (#9873973)
      Doom3 does not use creative's app to determine if you are capable of using surround sound. Be sure to look in the windows audio settings found in the control panel and be sure that that is set to the speaker setup that you have.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @08:11PM (#9873979)
      Not to mention none of the guns have a flashlight attached to them. I mean in this entire complex they don't have ANY duct tape?
    • by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @08:25PM (#9874123)
      HardOCP had a hardware guide for Doom3. []According to your specs, it should run fine but you have to run it at low settings and low resolution unless you have a top of the line card like an ATI Radeon 9800 or a NVidia FX5900 Ultra.
    • by bogie ( 31020 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @08:30PM (#9874168) Journal
      Same here although I have a somewhat lesser system

      XP1900, GF 4 4200 64MB(this hurts), 512MB(could use 768 or a Gig for Doom 3)

      Anyway on your rig that seems to be par for the course although I've seen some people say that 800x600 at medium is playable with that spec. You honestly probably won't see that big a hit playing a notch higher resolution wise. On my system once I'm in a room its not too bad but running through doorways causes a huge bit a chop and when any big action scene starts it chops a little as well. After playing with this setup for so long its really is surprising that I'm playing at 640x480 low. I think the last time I played a fps at such a low resolution was like 5 years ago. :)

      One thing you can try is setting setting image_cacheMegs "32" to "96" or higher in the file DoomConfig.cfg. Some people are reporting that is helping smooth things out. YMMV

      btw anyone who says this game sucks or isn't scary hasn't played at night in a dark room with headphones on. Awesome sound effects.
    • by Jack Zombie ( 637548 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @09:31PM (#9874637)
      my only complaint so far is that it's so dark that even the flashlight doesn't even really let you see much

      I had the same problem, tried setting brightness to max in options, but the game was still much too dark to enjoy. Here is the real solution:
      The game has 0-2 gamma levels, level 1 is standard. Open the Console (CTRL+ALT+~) and type in r_gamma 1.5. Now the game is bright enough to play!
  • by MooseByte ( 751829 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @08:03PM (#9873900)

    I'm going to buy Doom3 from id directly at the id Store []. When there's a game I really get a lot out of (or plan to in this case), I try to buy directly from the developer to give them as big a cut of the pie as I can. They get full SRP instead of what's left from the middle man.

    My way of thanking companies that still create good titles.

  • by Alban ( 86010 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @08:04PM (#9873910)
    I've always been curious as to how you can rate the technology down to a single percent. Same goes for all the other parts of the game (interface 92%, Grpahics 95%).

    Most sites have (wisely) abandonned such an approach and rather go with a 1-5 scale or A,B,C,D,E ratings (with +/-).

    I mean come on...
  • by Alphanos ( 596595 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @08:04PM (#9873913)

    ... they also posted about 100 or so new screens.

    Come on, linking to 100 screenshots of Doom III in a slashdot blurb? That's just cruel.

  • Release dates (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RonnyJ ( 651856 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @08:07PM (#9873934)
    One problem that contributes to piracy is release dates. In the UK, Doom 3 will be released on the 13th, and, being such a long awaited game, it's inevitable that people here will download it, rather than waiting for over a week longer than those living in the US.
  • by bravehamster ( 44836 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @08:07PM (#9873938) Homepage Journal
    I've got 4 computers at my disposal of various capabilities, and this is how Doom3 has run on them:

    XP 2600
    Ati Rad 9800 Pro
    2 x WD Raptor striped raid
    1GB PC3200 Corsair

    Can run smooth on High settings at 800x600, AA disabled. Game looks fantastic


    XP 2000
    Geforce FX 5200
    80GB 2mb buffer maxtor
    512MB PC2700 Generic

    Barely runs at 640x480. Framerates are in the 10-20 range. Would not recommend purchasing if you have similar specs. Upgrading the CPU or video card would have the largest impact.


    P4 2.4Ghz B
    ATI Radeon 9500
    512MB PC2100
    2 x 80GB Maxtor Striped RAID

    Runs smooth on Medium settings at 640x480, or Low at 800x600. Definitely playable.


    Haven't tried the 4th yet, but I don't hold much hope. It's an XP 1600 w/ GF4 Ti4200.

  • Low Price? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Xebikr ( 591462 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @08:11PM (#9873978)
    From the BBC article:
    "Despite the relatively low price of PC games, many gamers are still choosing to resort to piracy rather than pay for legitimate boxed copies," said Matt Pierce, publisher of the computer games magazine, PC Gamer.

    Relatively low price? Relative to what? A movie? A CD? A car? Amazon [] has it for 54.99. That is anywhere from 25% to 50% of the cost of a brand new console, depending on the platform (and yes, I know it is a PC game). I'm really curious as to what world he is living in that could justify that price as "relatively low".
    • Look again (Score:5, Insightful)

      by adiposity ( 684943 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @08:58PM (#9874388)
      "Brand new console" is something of a misnomer here. Do you mean the 4-year-old console that was $300 when it came out (PS2) or the 3-year-old console that was also $300 (Xbox)?

      Let's not forget that these consoles were sold *below* cost with the intention of making money on the games.

      I'm not saying $55 isn't a lot for a video game, but comparing it to the price of 4-year-old consoles that were sold at a loss doesn't prove anything. What you should compare it to is console titles, because console titles are supposed to make up the loss on the consoles. OTOH, PC titles have no need to make up said loss, so why are they getting just as high as the console titles?

      UT2004 was a nice exception, costing me only $25.

    • Re:Low Price? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by mosch ( 204 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @02:43AM (#9876389) Homepage
      It's cheaper than:
      • a dozen roses
      • four hours of legally purchased music
      • dinner for one at Morton's
      • 2% ownership of a RealDoll
      • a leatherman
      • two tanks of gas
      • a copy of the complete far side
      • the lord of the rings trilogy on dvd
      • three cans of baby formula
      • one bad beat playing 5/10 texas holdem
      • tickets to the Celine Dion show in Vegas
      • a bartab for two at a trendy bar
      • a nail gun
      • a round of golf
      • a PC that is capable of running doom 3
      The world he is living in is called the real world. Maybe someday you'll escape your mom's basement and join us.
  • by steveha ( 103154 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @08:18PM (#9874052) Homepage
    One of my favorite things in the original Doom games was getting monsters to fight each other. And id clearly designed some levels to encourage this.

    If you could get a monster to shoot at you, and the shot hit a second monster, the second monster would get angry and turn towards the first and start attacking it. The the first would turn towards the second and attack, and they would ignore you and just beat on each other until one was dead. (This only worked for different types of monsters; if a grunt shot another grunt, they wouldn't fight. In fact, I don't believe that same-type monsters could even damage each other at all.)

    The new game, with its insane system requirements, will only have a handful of monsters at a time (about three, if I understood the Telefragged review correctly). Still, it would be cool if you could sometimes get them to start fighting each other.

    • by RichM ( 754883 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @09:06PM (#9874447) Homepage
      The new game, with its insane system requirements, will only have a handful of monsters at a time (about three, if I understood the Telefragged review correctly).
      I've played the game for around ten hours now and I can tell you that you'll see in excess of twenty "monsters" on screen occasionally.
    • by RatBastard ( 949 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @09:10PM (#9874477) Homepage
      Actually, it works like this:
      Species that shoot bullets can injure, and get into fighst with, any monster in the game.

      Species that use missile attacks can only injure, and therefore get in fights with, members of other species.

      That is to say that a Grunt can get into a fight with any other monster, including another grunt. While an Imp can only get into fights with any monster that is NOT an Imp.

      There are four exceptions to this:

      1. If a monster hits another with it's physical attack it will start a fight, regardless of species. This rarely happens with monsters of the same species, but I've seen it happen.
      2. Barons of Hell and Hell Knights are imune to each other's missiles.
      3. Monsters that use special attacks, like the Archvile, can injure and get intii fights with other members of their own species.
      4. Pain Elementals can injure each other, but because their weapons are Lost Souls, the injured monster gets into a fight with the lost soul, not the Pain Elemnetal. Yeah, I'm a DOOM geek.
  • Very disappointed (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ninti ( 610358 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @08:24PM (#9874116)
    This is not meant to be a troll, but I am bitterly disappointed in this game. I admit I am not that far in, but so far I see nothing revolutionary about it. It seems just a rehash of the same old types of industrial mazes and randomly placed monsters that I have seen countless times before.

    And the game does two very annoying things; they like to surprise you with monsters appearing out of nowhere, which has always bugged me, and they like to just turn out all the lights so you can't see anything and just start throwing monsters at you. How is firing blindly in the dark while some monster that can somehow see perfectly is whittling down your health with a machine-gun fun? Yes it is scary, but not in a good way.

    Please someone tell me it gets better, because right now I am unsure if I am ever going to bother to play any more and instead go load up one of the more interesting recent FPS games like Farcry or Call Of Duty.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @09:47PM (#9874753)
      I'm sorry, it doesn't get any better. In fact, it's very horrible all the way through.

      Now if you'll just post contact information, I'll happily take this terrible game off your hands for .. say .. $10? Your hands deserve better.

      I mean, it's a *really* crappy game.

  • Tweak Settings (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jorell_Kovin ( 310159 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @08:25PM (#9874125)
    For those of you finding the game too dark try these settings:

    1)In game bring down the console (ctrl alt ~)
    2)r_gamma 1.3 - The default is 1, try a range from 1.2-1.4, some have said to go as high as 1.8 but that is way too bright and takes away from the atmosphere imho.
    3)r_brightness 1.5 - Again the default is 1, try a range up 1.8 to what looks best for you.
    4) Turn off AA, turn on vsync on.

    To boost performance try this!

    In your DOOM 3 directory, find "DoomConfig.cfg" (x:\Program Files\Doom 3\base). Open DoomConfig.cfg in Notepad.
    Find the line:
    seta image_cacheMegs "XX"
    Where XX is try increasing this value in according to how much ram you have. I have 1 GB of ram, and set it to 256, HUGE boost in framerate, game runs a lot smoother now. Try these values: 32, 96, 128, 256.
  • Whuzzaahh!! (Score:5, Informative)

    by cOdEgUru ( 181536 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @08:25PM (#9874128) Homepage Journal
    Waited, shuffled my feet today morning, hoping my wife wouldnt notice, waiting till 9:30 to leave home so that I could pick up the game at 10:00 from the nearest store.

    Store opened at 10:00, saw a bunch of people waiting for it to open, thought they all would be in line for the game. Felt like an old geek after realizing I was the only one to pick the game up. Felt real old waiting at the counter to pay for it.

    Read reviews/previews/salivate over old screenshots all day. Didnt feel a bit guilty at getting paid for nothing.

    Reached home, ignored wife completely, popped CD's in, installed, breathless now.

    Fired it up on my not so humble box, encountering game freezes during cut screens/ loading textures etc.

    Trying to pick up my jaw from the floor ever since.

    Game rocks..its dark, deliciously creepy, I have a weak heart and I dont think I will play at night (also slightly considerate towards neighbours).

    After two hours of getting creeped out, eaten alive, ass kicked, munched on. pulled down the ever so trusty in-game commandline, typed in the words:

    spawn monster_boss_cyberdemon

    Holy mother of God! Is that...omg!!...

  • by Jherico ( 39763 ) <> on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @08:27PM (#9874146) Homepage
    Disclaimer: I didn't play the full game in normal mode. I couldn't bear it. After an hour I turned on all weapons. Another hour and I turned on god mode. Later I just turned on noclip and wandered through the game. I imagine some people are going to fault me for not playing the real game experience. My point is that I'm faulting Id for making me not want to. If a game can't hold my attention enough for me not to do this then its not a good game. If I hadn't been able to do this I wouldn't have bothered finishing. Half-Life, Far Cry, Splinter Cell, GTA, these are all games that made gameplay interesting enough that I didn't feel like "Enough already, take me to the end".

    If what you want in a game is basically Doom with shiny surfaces, then you're fine. If you want something new, or even something with a refreshing twist, then aside from the rendering engine you're basically out of luck.

    The game is well produced. The voice acting is good. The facial animation is decent. The textures are all very detailed, but you know, the 'fun' bottleneck is no longer in the graphics. Its in the gameplay.

    So the big news is the latest rendering engine from Id, the people who brought us the first widely released FPS. Well, I'm sorry to say that from what I've seen the rendering engine is about on par with the Source (Half Life 2), Crytek (Far Cry) and Unreal 3 (upcoming America's Army and Unreal releases) engines. There are probably purists out there that will say I'm insane for this and that Doom 3 does X that none of those others do, or do as well. Well, if I don't notice it when I'm playing it doesn't really matter does it? The most impressive things I saw were the distortions glass caused in anything beyond the glass, and the 'heat distortion' you could see in items that were extremely hot. The glass distortion was interesting for about 5 seconds the first time I saw it, and then distracting the rest of the time. The heat haze was interesting in one level, and almost completely obscured with smoke effects the rest of the time. Yes, the lighting was very nice, but since its mostly used to create vast areas of darkness to 'freak you out', I began to hate the lighting.

    Gameplay was tedious. If you're a huge fan of haunted houses, maybe this will appeal. If you're not, this is just going to drive home why you typically don't see haunted houses year round. It seems like every corridor is filled with false panels. It also seems like hell's minions have absolutely nothing better to do than to go wait behind one of those panels, wait for you to walk past and then pop out behind you. This kind of mechanism should be used at most once or twice in a game. Here it shows up every 5 minutes or so.

    Level design is repetitive. Carmack talks about how many levels use up to half a gig of textures. Yet the game comes on 3 CDs. Well the easy explanation for this is that the game has about 4 levels. It has the mars base level repeated ad naseum, the underground caverns level (seen for about 2 levels), Hell (seen in one level and basically the end game) and mars base being overrun by hell (1 level) which really isn't original at all but uses a mixture of textures and design from previous levels. All in all, there are maybe 2 really 'Wow' moments when you're looking around you. This isn't bad, except that the rest of the time, for me anyway, it wasn't so much a lack of 'Wow' but a 'Oh god not this again' feeling.

    Sound is well used in the game, but then its only used to try to freak you out.

    Overall this is the problem. THe game wants to freak you out. And not just a couple of really good scares, but rather it wants you constantly edgy and terrefied. This isn't really what I want in a game, or at least not what I want the entire game to be about. Think about the most suspenseful movie you've ever watched. Now think about the most suspensful 5 minutes of that movie. Now watch that 5 minutes over and over again. Either you're going to get bored or you're going to need

    • by eddy ( 18759 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @09:14PM (#9874505) Homepage Journal

      I'd mod you up if I hadn't wanted to post.

      The ID crew should load up Thief 3 and play "The Cradle". "The Cradle" is scary but interesting. Instead of a never ending stream of monsters, you have a limited amount, and they're not actually all out to get you per default. You can engage, or you can sneak past. One option more than in Doom 3 (as far as I can tell)

      "The Cradle" is scary because you'll imagine the worst possible thing happening all the time, and even though the worst possible thing that you imagine doesn't happen, the game use sound, visual and story-telling to keep you on your toes throughout.

      In Doom 3, the worst possible thing pretty much happens every turn. If there's a ledge with an item on it, the ledge will fall as you walk on it. If you're backing into a dark corner, there will be a zombie waiting for you This is a much less rewarding experience overall.

      Take the place where you find the first shotgun. ID's design: Put a piece of ammo/armor on the floor off the given path. Player jumps over rail the grab item, floor falls out, player ends up in dark room with three/four zombies attacking.

      I would probably have designed it thus for a first try: .. player jumps over rail to grab item, floor falls out revealing dark room, player+floor ends up falling on zombie, killing it (can use humor here). Lessons learned: 1) Be careful where you walk. 2) Dangerous creatures are lurking for you in the darkness. 3) They can be killed by dropping heavy things in their heads.

      Both approaches would teach the player that exploration is rewarded and that it can be dangerous, one just isn't so obvious about it.

      Doom 3 just made me realize how good a game Thief really is. Way underrated.

      At least in Thief the lighting made sense most of the time.

  • by TyrranzzX ( 617713 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @08:29PM (#9874157) Journal
    It's basically a glorified version of half-life and relies far too heavily on good looks, shadows to give the monsters a fighting chance, and a storyline )which, gasp, leads you through hallway after hallway...) to deliver anything. Frankly, between the subtle heartbeats (and I mean, you've got to listen for them to even notice them, they only appear leading upto things), backround noise, and other utter bullshit they threw in from psychology research to set a "scene", I turned it off, deleted the iso's and threw out the disks. Whenever I get afraid, I overpower it with hate and this has progressed to such a point that when I get an adrenaline rush from fear, I immediatly bypass the "OMG something's here, EEK, shoot it!" to terminator mode; acquire target, take in strategic positioning, calculate chance of survival, and then attack/flee. This is what happens to all FPS players given enough time playing.

    After about 6 hours of playing I was ready to smash something good as my blood at that point was pure adrenaline; needless to say, I was really REALLY agitated. Thank god I didn't pay out the ass for those 6 shitty hours of playtime, hence the reason I pirate before I buy. This game is not for your seasoned FPS player but more for the average guy who doesn't spend a lot of time playing games who likes to get freaked out at stuff and then shoot it.

    Movie-like mental state changing special effects do NOT belong in videogames; whereas a movie is 2 or 3 hours, a game is 40 or 50, and if you ask any psychiatrist, it isn't healthy to give someone that much of a dose, especially if they're going to play it 500 or 1000 hours. You turn into me.

    Frankly, I really was hoping they'd be able to throw in some decent gameplay and actually add something to the FPS market besides an engine that can deliver pretty graphics and a mix n' match version of doom and then mask that with pretty graphics and mind altering "scene" setting sounds. I'll hope that they'll salvage the multiplayer so modders can do their thing and make some really kickass mods. It'd be really kewl to see natural selection on this engine, or when HL2 comes out on that one, since it'd compliment it so nicely. Then again, I won't have to deal with steam if I'm on doom3.
  • by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @08:35PM (#9874215)
    Dear boss,

    With the release of Doom3 today, I am taking two weeks of vacation effective immediately. I will not be reachable by direct email, cell phone or smoke signals. Should you feel the need to contact me, please leave a message and I will respond when I stop playing the game because I started hallucinating.

    It make take me a while to respond as I expect my fingers to have fallen off by that point. Also, I will most likely be unintelligeable so be prepared not to understand a word I say. After two weeks, please alert all my co-workers to my return. They will need to prepare for my two weeks of body odor as well as purchase very dark sunglasses. I expect I will be very pale by then, perhaps blindingly pale.


    Your local Space Marine.

  • by IanBevan ( 213109 ) * on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @08:36PM (#9874226) Homepage
    Well, I got it yesterday morning. I installed it first on my work machine; 2.8Ghz P4, 1GB RAM, Radeon 9200 video card. It was like almost unplayable at 640x480.

    Even worse, on my Hitachi 17" LCD screen, it was so dark I could not see what I was doing - literally. There's no gamma correction (only brightness), and the gamma correction that you can use from the ATI control panel seems to be over-ridden by Doom 3. Also, the ATI keys you can in theory use to change gamma in-game (I tried alt-f1, alt-f2), were also ignored.

    So I took the game home to my gaming rig. P4, 2.8Ghz, 1GB RAM, Radeon 9700, 19" CRT, Hercules GameTheater XP surround sound. It reproducibly crashed only 2 minutes into the game. My ATI drivers were about 6 weeks old which I hoped would be late enough - but they weren't. Updated the drivers and I was away, no problems.

    The game was perfectly playable at 800x600, including 2x anti-aliasing. The gamma was also not a problem (it just had the right balance, I didn't need to adjust anything). But the surround sound was broken; I heard only very, very feint noises from the rear speakers (perhaps 1/10th volume of front speakers?) and even then it seemed to be almost an echo of the front speakers, rather than positional audio. Very disappointed.

    And the game play ? Well, the previous paragraphs are fact, this one is just my take. Honestly, I felt like I was playing the original half life, with a twist of System Shock. The 'plot' is just like half life, so is the atmosphere. It just not, well, as much *fun* as I was hoping :-( Sure, graphically it is superb. And it *is* well done, don't get me wrong. It's just that it's all been done before, just not with the same graphics.

    Overall, I'd give it an 8 out of 10. 10 for gfx, but marked down for originality. I should add the caveat that I've only played about 2 1/2 hours of the game - but frankly I would rather be playing Far Cry.

  • So, (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MoOsEb0y ( 2177 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @08:38PM (#9874242)
    How long till a Linux binary appears?

    I tried running it under WineX (Cedega) and it just went into an infinite loop loading. I tried installing win2k on a partition to run it, and the installer BSoD'ed. Too afraid to try it on my laptop.
  • by hadesan ( 664029 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @08:58PM (#9874393)
    Bought the game this morning. Installed without a hitch... Played for a while...

    The game gets stale rather quickly. The monsters appearing out of nowhere are annoying. Poof! There's a monster. BANG! Poof! Another monster. BANG BANG! BTW, how many dead zombies can fit in a maintenance closet anyways... Although, the chubby bastards with the rocket launchers for arms were pretty cool.

    Outside of the lackluster gameplay, the graphics are F***ing awesome. The detail and lighting effects on everything are incredible (P4 2.4Ghz, 1GB RAM, ATI 9800 XT at 1280x1024 with AA). Everything looked on par with the Final Fantasy film graphics. Heat sources ripple the air and explosions ripple the air with concussions. The light from your plasma gun turns objects in front of it blue, etc... Interactivity with the environment is okay as well (objects can be shoved and positioned)

    The AI is fairly decent with the gun toting SOBs using cover and ducking when you fire at them (at least on the VETERAN setting)

    The $50+ I paid for it - not worth it - $30 maybe... I feel sorry for all those teens who plunk down their hard earned funds and realize the mistake too late...

    Far Cry was much more interesting and better in game play value. Hopefully, the modders will make up some excellent improvements to the game and everyone can enjoy it even more. Hopefully, multiplayer will be better...

    Where's my Beavertooth Chainsaw? (Wonder how many hits this site got before the official release)

  • by bedouin ( 248624 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @09:05PM (#9874444)
    Doom 3 looks cool, but I probably won't play it for a couple years.

    Not just because the Mac version hasn't been released, but because my system works fine for 99% of the tasks I need it to, and probably will continue to for some time. I've upgraded the graphics card already (when UT2003 was released), and I'll probably add dual 1.3ghz G4s at some point. Even then, Doom will probably still perform poorly.

    And it's really not a Mac thing. If I were a PC user I'd be responding the same way. It seems to me there has to be a market out there for games that perform well on mid-range computers. There is probably a market for computer gamers who aren't interested in shelling out hundreds of dollars every year -- for one game. Technical limitations shouldn't, and really don't stop one from producing a fun game. This is one of the reasons I enjoy playing emus far more than the latest releases; all the 3D crap gets out of hand sometimes.

    A company needs to emerge, or a company like ID should seriously think of creating one kick-ass game targeted at low/mid-range systems; something people with 3 year old systems want just as bad as those with the latest and greatest. I think it's possible.

    Older hardware still has a lot of life in it. I remember Sierra games released in the early 90s could still run on PCJrs released in the early 80s. A good game doesn't mean forcing people to splurge on expensive hardware. What I'm talking about here is a game just as well-developed and thought out as Doom 3, but targeted to run on older and newer hardware.

    I don't think it's crazy. If anything it would generate more customers, especially if marketed correctly. There's people who enjoy the FPS genre, but aren't interested in the teenage upgrade cycle. Consoles are an answer to a certain extent, but FPS have rarely been executed correctly on them.
  • by mdouglas ( 139166 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @09:36PM (#9874677) Homepage
    1. i can't really tell if the graphics are any good or not because I CAN'T SEE SHIT!

    2. i seem to recall playing this game four years ago when it was called 'system shock 2'
  • My own little review (Score:4, Informative)

    by Killswitch1968 ( 735908 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @09:52PM (#9874799)
    I've clocked in about 10 h of play so far, all on single player, so that's what I'll focus on.

    The game has a half-life story: Bunch of monsters spawning because of wacko-scientific experiments. Whatever. The guns are all standard, pistol, shotgun, machine gun, grenade, rocket launcher, and of course BFG and plasma rifle; also nothing new.
    Gameplay largely involves walking around identical looking factory/metal corridors. The lighting is always always dark. This is particularly frustrating since our hero is incapable of wielding both a flashlight and a weapon. Yes, that's right. The flashlight is technically a weapon, and you can't hold 2 weapons at the same time. That means you often find yourself shooting in the dark hoping you hit stuff. Highly annoying.
    There is very little to figure out, all the maps are linear with no more than one-way to go. The 'secrets' in the game usually involve either looking behind a shelf for some ammo, or entering a code you found for some safe.
    Because the engine is so taxing, there are very few monsters at any given time. Usually 2, at most 5. There are few open areas.

    If you haven't gotten the idea, it's basically a very pretty, but utterly dull shoot 'em up. There is no secondary fire, and the weapons are unimaginative. The storyline is virtually nonexistant. After 10 levels, I still know next to nothing, except ****SPOILER*** there is some 'evil' scientist running around, and there's my marine captain trying to help us contact Earth. *** END SPOILER***.

    Finding new monsters is undoubtable the 'coolest' thing, since they are so well made. But that is about the only thing that makes me come crawling back. I'd wait a bit before you consider picking this up.
  • by Cryptnotic ( 154382 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @10:04PM (#9874886)
    Until game manufacturers make buying the game a higher quality experience than pirating it, piracy is going to continue to be a "problem". To illustrate my point, let's compare my experience buying the game with that of my friend who downloaded it.

    Here's my experience: I bought the game just after midnight last night. I waited in line for about 25 minutes to pay $54.99 for the game. I missed getting the free T-shirt because too many other people showed up before me and they ran out. I go home and start to install the game from the CD's. Disc 1 has a serious problem and keeps failing reading at about 98% of the way through. Eventually after trying 2 different CD-ROM drives and cleaning the brand-new disc several times, I am able to get it to read and continue the install. Now, after the game is installed, I try to run it. It won't let me start without disc 1 in the drive. Okay, I get out disc 1 again and put it in the drive. Now it tells me it won't run because I have CD emulation software running. Okay, I disable daemon tools. Still, Doom 3 refuses to load. At this point, I give up and download the NoCD patch. After that, everything works fine.

    Compare this experience to that of my friend. My friend just clicked the download link on a Bittorrent site and waited a few hours. After that, he loads each .iso image in sequence using Daemon Tools to install each disc (at much faster speeds than loading from a CD). He has no problems reading some cheaply produced CD. He just installs the no CD patch from the beginning, rather than trying to work around iD's ineffective copy protection. He's up and running with the game before I've had a chance to buy it.

    Obviously, I'm being the good moral person by purchasing the game. However, the fact remains that my experience is notably worse than that of my friend who just pirated it. I guess the game developers don't care.

  • I cannot tell a lie. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by UncleRage ( 515550 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @10:18PM (#9874976)
    I downloaded this beast Saturday night and have played about 4 hours into it.

    I'm not one to run around screaming "This game roxors!", and I do understand what many of the complaints here are about. No, there really isn't anything groundbreaking going on (graphics and sound excluded). However, having scarred my lungs from chainsmoking through the original Doom back in the 90's I think id has done a damn good job at recreating Doom for the modern PC.

    If you had asked me to justify my usenet leeching Saturday night, I would have responded that I would buy a copy as soon as the linux binaries were released and I knew that it would run acceptably on my box. Truth be told, I'll be picking the box up tomorrow, filing the CD's away for safe keeping, reinstalling my downloaded copy with a legit serial and re-applying the patch.

    Why? Because id made a kick ass game and I'll support it.

    Something I think that the BBC (and so many in the market) are not considering is this... yes, there's going to be more than the usual amount of piracy going on with D3. Simply speaking, there are a lot of people who just are not sure if their hardware can take it... I wasn't. Now that I am (and that I know linux binaries are on the way), I'll happily throw down my change for the legal copy.

    All of that being said... I was damn pleased to see [H]ard|OCP was playing it (mostly) straight. My AMD XP 2500+, 768 Mb, PNY Gefrorce 5600 Ultra, with XP Pro runs this just fine at 800x600 with medium detail. In a few places, I've turned it up to 1024x768 with fully glory effects and just stood still to examine the screen. Usually, if I do this I'm damned disappointed when I go back to playable settings... this time, I wasn't.

    Anyway... longwided and sounding a bit like a fanboy, I know. But I just wanted to add my two cents in. Heavy piracy won't surprise me. Neither will users buying the game after they've tested it out, either.

    The big reasons for going legit will be Coop mode. Whether it's a really well done user created mod, or an id add-on... that'll be the biggest reason for many to drop their burned CD's and pickup a serial.

  • Meanwhile (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ucblockhead ( 63650 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @11:26PM (#9875376) Homepage Journal
    I'm playing Max Payne. I got it for $9.99 from Target last week.

    In about four years, I figure I'll pick up Doom 3 for a similar price, assuming that it doesn't suck.

    Why on Earth people are in such a hurry I have no idea. The game isn't going to vanish if you don't buy it the first day, and it's not like it's the only good game in existence.

  • Doom 3 bashing? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rDx666 ( 801783 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @11:53PM (#9875537)
    Give id credit for their work, guys. From every moment I'm in the game I see the considerable amount of work put into every square meter of the level. I got the game today, and I can say that this is the most complete, engrossing, and well-executed FPS I have ever played. Its lack of innovation, instead of making me dislike the game (new wheels don't have to be invented to make a great game!) makes me want to strangle all other FPSes to at least get them to the level of Doom 3. Judging from the more negative reviews of the game, the main cause of the feelings is more overly high expectations than anything else--did you really expect (Doom 3 > FPS > shooting at lots of AI bots) to return true? I didn't. But, in my opinion, iD has taken a very tired, though tried and true, formula and made it so the formula wasn't so easy to see. Repetitive play? When the individual elements that are being repetitive are greater than the sum of their parts, it gives you a high--a reason to go on to the next room, a reason to press the quick load key. It's like repeatedly doing very well in Counterstrike and proving time and time again to the rival clan memebr who thinks he owns you that he is t3h nub. Far Cry had a similar level of repetitiveness, but it didn't feel creative, it didn't give me the sense of chaos and unending mayhem that Doom 3 does. You scream repetition, but I gladly agree with you. Just not with "Doom 3 sucking."

    A game can be hugely innovative, executing the most ambitious of design docs--but all of this falls flat without sufficient Little Things That Add Up (TM). It makes me feel as if people are bashing Doom 3 because when they are playing, they aren't really "playing" it--they spend so much time looking for the big picture (Doom 3 is just another FPS) that they miss those little things.

    • by rd_syringe ( 793064 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @02:48AM (#9876415) Journal
      I'm sorry, I really, really tried hard to enjoy it. It's not that I need big bright graphics to tide me over. I loved the hell out of Deus Ex back in the day.

      I thought Doom 3 was the greatest game ever for the first 20-30 minutes. Checking out the news channel and viewing UAC's promo vids was sheer heaven. After hell took over and all the lights went out, suddenly I picked up the formula. After a while, I was guessing every corner something would be in. Sure enough. It got to the point where for every new room I entered, I would run in to hit the trigger than backgrack and just wait for whatever it was to appear so I could kill it and move on. I didn't feel like I had any real room to fight the monsters, and it was too dark for me to get any good shots, so that's how it mostly was for me. Run in, run out, wait for baddies to come to me so I could pick them off.

      It just got stale. Believe me, I wanted to enjoy it as much as you clearly want me to. I'm not bashing id's efforts or the engine itself (even if it is way too dark). I can appreciate id's hard work while still criticizing the final product's shortcomings.

      20 hours of black, silver, and red? No thanks!
  • by Spankophile ( 78098 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @01:05AM (#9875960) Homepage

    How many times do I have to see:

    "10 out of 10!! I can't wait to play it!!!"

    WTF? That's not really a review is it.....
  • by SlugLord ( 130081 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @01:32AM (#9876075)
    "Despite the relatively low price of PC games, many gamers are still choosing to resort to piracy rather than pay for legitimate boxed copies," said Matt Pierce, publisher of the computer games magazine, PC Gamer.

    Forgive me for being a cynic, but I don't see 60 bucks as "relatively low price". Give me the game for 20 bucks (like counterstrike) and I'll go out and pay money. Try to sell it for 60 (especially a single player game) and I won't buy it. Either I just won't get it at all, or I'll just download or copy a friend's CD or (heavens no) I'll wait until he's done with it and play it afterwards. I can only assume that constitutes fair use of a single-computer licence, but I wouldn't be suprised if it were forbidden by the EULA.

  • Radeon problems (Score:4, Informative)

    by WormholeFiend ( 674934 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @01:46AM (#9876129)
    I haven't seen much complaints in here so far, but it seems like a lot of people with Radeons (me included) complain about intermittent graphic lockups and freezes...

    I started having those problems after the first few objectives, starting in Alpha Labs.

    After trying all the obvious solutions (updating drivers for various hardware, trying the different sound settings in dxdiag, etc.), I found that turning AGP completely off makes the game stop freezing.

    Hope this helps any of you, because I was just about to throw the Doom3 CDs out the window when I found the solution.
  • I'm proud of it. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by John Carmack ( 101025 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @03:56AM (#9876672)
    I am extremely proud of Doom 3. I think it is the best game we have ever made, and it exceeded all of my expectations. That is a rather trite phrase, but it is literally true -- I had a good set of expectations for how the game would turn out based on the technologies that it was built on, and it wound up being just plain better than that.

    We think a lot of people will like it.

    I don't follow gaming message boards, because, at its best, entertainment is going to be a subjective thing that can't win for everyone, while at worst, a particular game just becomes a random symbol for petty tribal behavior. This slashdot story is about as close as I want to go...

    Amidst all the various Doom ports and expansions, we are starting up on our next game. It will have a new rendering engine, which will be keeping me busy for a while, but the only other thing we are saying for now is that it won't be a sequel to any of our previous work. We have a really solid team that did a lot of maturing through Doom's development, so I have high hopes that it won't be another four year odyssey.

    John Carmack
  • by RogueyWon ( 735973 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @04:07AM (#9876707) Journal
    It's been a slow couple of years for the PC games industry, and for the fps genre in particular. Until the release of Farcry earlier this year, there had been little in the way of technological progress since iD released Quake 3. Since then, we've seen countless games using Quake 3's engine, but little in the way of genuine innovation. 2004 promises to change this; there have been three really promising titles this year, namely Farcry, Doom III and Half-Life 2.

    The middle of these three titles in terms of release date, Doom III has perhaps the most impressive pedigree. iD software created the first modern fps with Doom, over 10 years ago. Since then, their Quake series, while often felt to be lacking in terms of gameplay, has given us the technical milestones that have marked the progression of the genre. Doom 3 has been in development for four years and from the very beginning of its development, we've been told to expect something groundbreaking.

    Some retailers jumped the gun slightly on iD's release date. This meant I had a chance to play the game early and was coming to the end of it just as most players were getting started. I'm writing this review on the basis of a single playthrough on the "normal" difficulty setting and I've not yet really touched on the multiplayer, so I won't be factoring that in.

    iD have made it clear from the beginning that we'd be needing an absolutely monster PC to play this game well. I don't really have one. The system used for the purpose of this review was:

    Pentium 4 2.0ghz Northwood
    512 mb RDRAM
    Geforce 4 Ti4200
    Sound Blaster AWE 32.

    Not exactly obsolete, but hardly cutting edge.

    So, with the preliminaries out of the way, how does the game shape up?

    Pretty well, all things considered. On loading up, I'm confronted with the normal array of options. I customise my controls to my liking and then decide on some graphics settings. I'm a sucker for detail and will generally put up with a bit of framerate loss in return for an extra touch of "wow factor". First of all, I try the "ultra" detail settings in 1024x768 resolution. It takes me 30 seconds to find this is completely unplayable. No real surprise there. So I change the detail level down to "high", which, annoyingly, requires me to quit and restart the game. To my surprise, things now run fairly well. Although I experiment a bit further, I end up playing through the game with these settings. By and large, it's pretty good, although a couple of the bigger areas do cause fairly severe slowdown,

    The opening sections of the game are very much reminiscent of Half-Life. You wander through the colony while people go about their lives and work around you. Expect to spend several minutes more than is strictly necessary here, just gawping at the level of detail. The visuals really are like nothing we've seen before. Farcry's outdoor sections were stunning, but the effect broke down indoors. Here, the indoor areas look almost photorealistic at times. There's a solid, gritty feeling to everything and it all fits together very well.

    You're given a few "go to point A then point B" objectives and then, predictably, all hell quite literally breaks loose. It's hard to get over in a review just how terrifying it is when everything goes wrong. My reaction as the people around me started deforming into hideous monsters was verging on outright panic. I stayed in a pretty much constant state of fear for about the next 5 hours of the game, with occasional resurgences right through to the end.

    Once the shooting starts, the nature of the game stays pretty much constant. You get an objective, usually to go to a location or find a way of opening a door, over your communicator. Accomplishing the objective involves moving through a sequence of rooms and corridors, dealing with any enemies you come across with extreme prejudice. As I've already said, this is extremely scary at first. Everywhere is very dark (more on this later) and the enemies really are quite unpleasant. Expect

"If you lived today as if it were your last, you'd buy up a box of rockets and fire them all off, wouldn't you?" -- Garrison Keillor