With Doom 3’s precise ship date in hand, now is the time to lavish affection on our machines - or the machines of others, when your console gaming friends suddenly remember that they own a computer. They’ll slum down here with us for the major releases, sure - but they secretly wish they were jumping on mushrooms, or one of the other surreal fantasies they indulge in.
id Software, who made their reputation releasing the first levels of their games as an advertisement for the rest, won’t be dropping a demo of any kind until after the retail release. The multiplayer tests for Quakes II and III served a technical purpose, that’s true, but being able to see what id’s mad wizard was capable of at each iteration was always thrilling - and just as we’d always been able to, we could taste and see (as it were) the complex fruit they had produced. Not this time apparently, which is unfortunate, because it’s more needed than ever.
I say it’s more important because I have a feeling that this game is going to beat the shit out of people’s computers. That’s always been the case, to a certain extent, where PC gaming is involved - you wanted MMX for Unreal (Pentium 233), desperately needed glQuake (3dfx), this game has sounds (Soundblaster, AdLib, MIDI), etcetera. The arms race metaphor is apt. But now that nVidia and ATI have divvied up the PC into two gaming platforms, branding individual games, or in the case of Valve coming right out and saying that the competitor’s product performs miserably in Half-Life 2, it fills me with trepidation to think about upgrading without a dependable performance target on my machine to bench against. I don’t mean the Recommended System, which you could not in good conscience recommend to anyone. Some kind of pre-release code, anything would help.
We haven’t had polite things to say regarding their upside-down devil heads, or their other monsters, salvaged as they were from discarded junior high peechees. That said, I’ve never considered a reality where I did not obtain the game the moment it was released at retail. Isn’t that something. I’m opposed to it on virtually every level, and it’s still got that hook in my mouth, in my gums - hauling me to some unidentified retail outlet.