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”.
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.