Addicted to novelty since 2001

Doom 3 is Really Scary

I, uh, downloaded an “evaluation copy” of Doom 3. I’m not a huge fan of straight first-person shooters, so I wanted to try it before I buy it. I’m glad I did.

It’s an amazing-looking game, and its visual and sound design ooze atmosphere. There’s an amazing amount of incidental animation–pistons churn, steam bursts from pipes, things drip and pool–which adds a lot to the eerieness and verisimilitude. As you might expect, the story is straightforward. Essentially, it’s “the shit has hit the fan on a Mars base, and you need to kill a lot of gross mutants”.

That said, I gave up on the game after a week or two. Why? Because it’s too scary. The game is stuffed with jump-out-and-attack-you scares. Plus, it doesn’t help that your character occasionally hallucinates. Playing the game put me at an extremely high tension level. As Smug Canadian puts it, “it gets tiring because being scared clammy cold for hours on end wears me out”.

If you don’t believe me, check out this hilarious video (WMV, 7 MB) (via Boing Boing), which shows a couple of kids screaming their heads off while playing the game.

A quick side note, paraphrasing something I read on Slashdot: in the game, you can hold a weapon or your flashlight, but not both. This is an enormous Martian base, and there’s not a single role of duct tape to be found? Given the frequency with which the lights go out, the first thing I’d do is tape my flashlight to my big frickin’ chaingun.

27 Responses to “Doom 3 is Really Scary”

  1. heather

    i can only play it for about half an hour at a time before i start to get too tense. *twitch*

  2. Kyle

    Schweet! I just received and installed my…uh… evaluation copy yesterday. I’ve not played it yet, but now I’m really looking forward to it. I haven’t played a game that made me jump since Half-Life with a Monster Sound card and headphones on. I only wish Creative would make a card that does decent positional sound!

  3. Chris

    I bought the game AFTER I’d finished the “evaluation copy”. I got it for ~$30, which is worth it for a good game in my opinion. I don’t mind for paying things that are very well done, and since I’m going into the game industry, it’s kind of a moral obligation ;)

    The game IS pretty frickin’ scary – an hour at a time was all I could handle. I’d always play it at night, in the dark, with my surround sound setup, and it was pretty harsh. Managed to beat it, though it took a while.

    There ARE mods that enable you to have the flashlight on at all times, but I think they’re kinda pointless. The whole point of the game is atmosphere, so having everything in full light defeats the purpose.

    I’m considering doing some mod programming for it, if I get a system upgrade. Great game.

    max Reply:

    if half life made you jump then this game which i am sure you have played by now must have dragged your skeleton out of your skin. at least it happens to me every time i play it. it really messes with your head! the suddenness of the game along with the ambiance and ambiguity of direction of attack makes the skin roll!

  4. Darren

    Jeremy: Chris makes a good point, though. I don’t want the flashlight on the whole game, as it hasn’t been designed with that in mind.

  5. Jeff

    Yes, Half-Life. Best and scariest game I ever played. Someday, perhaps when after I retire in 30 some years, they will release HL2.

  6. Jeremy C. Wright

    Darren, there’s a toggle for the newest version of the mod to have the flashlight on or off. Ultimately the point of the mod community is that it allows you to play the game the way you will most enjoy it, which is the point, isn’t it?

    Btw, HL2’s release date: September 30. Only 2 weeks after Fable’s. Only 2 months before Halo 2. … No idea how I’m going to get any work done!

  7. daryl

    oh my god, you guys are all awful video game pirates and i’m turning you all in!

    dent Reply:

    screw u dont

  8. Craig Sunderland

    I tried a friend’s copy first. ;)

    I won’t be purchasing this game. Why? Simply this: game engine = amazing, game play = repetitive, unoriginal and, eventually, boring.

  9. Arcterex

    The whole duct tape thing is starting to piss me off a bit. Obviously in real life you’d do that, but in real life you’d also probably jump on the first shuttle off of the planet or scream and go into a coma the first time you saw something evil and scary. But it was done for effect because it’s a game.

    If you could flood the whole light with room why not do that as well, maybe use r_gamma and set it as high as you can go…

    It was done for effect, so that the game would affect the player and scare them, because that was the whole point of the game. The fact you can only either a) see or b) fight enhances the effect of the game and makes it very freaky, which is great.

    Personally I bought it as soon as it was available, a day or so after I tried the evaluation version. I haven’t gone in that far, but am enjoying the hell out of being scared, and have started playing with the lights on :) I’m also pretty interested in what mods will come out for it, which is another bonus of owning it, which I don’t do to a lot of games.

    Back to rant about the flashlight design, think of it like playing a game with the walkthrough printed out beside you, or playing with the cheat codes…. it really takes the mystery and fun out of the game. I for one am a happy owner :)

  10. bree

    A friend of mine solved the problem by using the flashlight to bludgeon to death the baddies that popped out in dark areas.

    The “either flashlight or weapon” issue seems to be a common complaint.

  11. heboy

    Doom 3 scared the hell out of I wish their was a priest nearby. Anyway i’m still playing it!

  12. Clint

    I thought it was just me being a big wuss. But it turns out DOOM3 really is scary. :p

  13. DoomR

    LOL!! doom 3 was scary as hell… i also dpwnloaded an evaluation copy ;p

    heres an example of a coversation while plaaying doom 3..

    #1 :Get that medkit





    #6 game goes off

  14. Stonefield

    Yeah, I found this blog after doing a search “Doom 3 – is it TOO scary?”

    Glad to see other’s feel how I do. I really want to play this game but it’s just not fun anymore when your too busy poopin your pants ( I’m 40 btw, heh ) The game looks amazing so I’m thinkin, I’ll wait till I have a ladyfriend over, have some wine, and after some humpty, we can sit and play Doom 3 together. If I scream and she doesn’t, the relationship is over.

    I’m such a wuss……lol

    Peace from Canada.

  15. Dave old r u? im not scared of doom3 i downloaded it yesterday and i played it at NIGHT! =O try doing that till i cant wait for another video of u/or yur friends sreaming the hell off XD

  16. Dave

    its not scary trust me, X]…really XD like dude it looks like u were fake screaming a little bit ima play doom3 now :P DO THIS WHO EVER IS SCARED OF DOOM3 IF U THINK IM CRAZY maybe i am ::try not going to bed,wake up at night and play DOOM3 i did till morning =3 X] TRY IT…NOW! lol

  17. Scott

    Dave, you need to understand that not everyone may have the nerves of steel to shoot pixelly monsters like you do.
    WHAT? IMAGINE THAT? People have different opinions. You condescending twat.

    Side note, take some English lessons. Your spelling, grammar, and ability to form basic sentences is horrid.

  18. david bandel

    If you play this game alone at night, you will shit your pants. I don’t care what you say. That’s a fact.

    Play it during the day or with other people around and it’s nothing. But being stuck on a martian base overrun by demonic evilness wouldn’t exactly be scary if daylight was flooding through every porthole and your friends were there would it?

    Atmospherically this is one of the best games of all time.

    Just finished a 30 minute play session.

    I suggest you play it at night, in the dark, alone for two reasons:

    1. tell me it doesn’t scare you then
    2. it’s the true way to get the full experience

  19. Garrett

    That video was so fake…. But the game is really good. And scary! :)

  20. dent

    U ppl are all gay, the game isnt scary at all i was laughing cuz it was fun but not scary, i meeled my way in aobut 99 percent of the game, lol failures

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