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Tycho / on Wed, Aug 11 2004 at 4:30 am

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The Other Side

Doom 3 is dark, etc.  Also, an imp develops a unique method for dominating humanity and two zombies have a dialogue about respect.

Catching up with MacHall, I saw Ian’s recent post regarding Doom 3 that should provide a counterpoint to the largely positive reviews now available - you won’t need to look hard to find them, indeed, you can simply look at the content from this site a couple days ago.  For my part, Doom 3 calls to mind Resident Evil: Director’s Cut for the Cube, which managed to create a new experience that invested my (by now) amplified memories of the original with something genuine. 

There’s really no argument to be made regarding how dark the game is - this is a factual statement.  And, just as in Doom, the game will often punish you for grabbing health or armor by spawning enemies.  Those are both real things, but the value you can associate with each of them varies - for whatever reason, they didn’t manage to wreck it for me.  I cried out on more than one occasion, and eventually came to appreciate those surround sound headphones.  I actually enjoyed checking the corners with the flashlight.  I enjoyed activating a person’s audio log in my PDA, and then letting its cautionary tale run while I explored the facility.  Everybody who was going to buy it probably owns it now, so the phase where I try to convince you is over.  You know for yourself whether or not using a flashlight constitutes an onerous burden.           

The thing that doesn’t quite rise to the level is the multiplayer, which just isn’t very ambitious.  They’ve been preparing us for that though, going on multiple years, so while we can be disappointed by the situation we can’t really claim any surprise.  The UI is rife with odd inconsistencies, for example it seems to think we have thirty LAN games currently running on our three computer network.  It hasn’t been very stable for whatever reason on Gabe’s machine, but in the moments before the full system lock we typically enjoy ourselves a good deal - it’s the sort of thing we might have experienced during the Quake 2 LAN games we used to initiate with great regularity.  Honestly, the multiplayer portion of this game is only the dias upon which genuine multiplayer experiences will be created by mod authors, and I never really thought otherwise.  Having already completed and enjoyed the single player portion, any enjoyment I’m able to squeeze out of the game in multi fits squarely into the Icing category.     

Something else to note - if Doom didn’t turn your crank, or perhaps did not turn it one complete rotation, it’s starting to sound like you won’t have long to wait for Half-Life 2.  Valve just announced that on the 17th of this month, the Half-Life 2 “Pre-load” will begin, consisting of art and audio assets that won’t change before release.  I wish that I’d just said it a day earlier, because then I would have the universal affection of my peers - but I’d heard that review sites are already being contacted by PR about getting a copy over Steam for their articles soon.   

(CW)TB out.

some crazy bastard wants to hit me

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