While DOOM 3 has already been reviewed for the PC, this site lacks a review of the Xbox version. I plan on changing that.
To many, the name DOOM should be immediately recognizable. DOOM 1 was the game that revolutionized gaming. However, because of the technological limits of the day, DOOM 1 wasn?t the game Id wanted it to be. Enter DOOM 3. DOOM 3 is a complete revamp and retelling of the original DOOM, the way Id meant for it to be done. the PC version, while an impressive game, had many problems, namely the massive system specs needed to run it well and the lack of online co-op play. Enter the Xbox version.

Gameplay: 8/10

In this iteration of DOOM, Id poured all their focus into the single player campaign. The result is a gripping sci-fi horror experience that had me riveted..sorta.

The basic mechanics: This game can basically be divided into two halves: everything before and including Alpha Labs, and the rest of the game. You start off in a very Half-Lifeish intro, arriving on a shuttle flight to the UAC Mars facility. You start off in the hangar bay, wandering around getting familiar with the controls and whatnot. Finally, you get to the Marine command center and receive your first task. Now the game starts hinting at the storyline and what?s really going on. after a short excursion through some tech corridors, which introduces you to the flashlight and how dark this game really is, you get to your objective. Now all hell breaks loose, literally.

Oh, no! Those silly UAC scientist over at Delta Labs just screwed up their teleporting experiment big time! Now the forces of Hell are sweeping through the base. And now let the games begin.
Now, you?re probably wondering why I categorized this as Survival-horror instead of FPS. That?s because, in my opinion, it plays more like a Survival/horror game. Darkness prevails, the power grid for this facility is pretty spastic, always cutting the power out at the worst possible moments.

Luckily, you get a flashlight(with unlimited battery life, even!). But, unfortunately, your character, while a hardcore, bad-to-the-bone Leatherneck, is unable to hold this flashlight and a weapon at the same time, and isn?t resourceful enough to find some tape and tape it to his gun. Gameplay-wise, this is a double-edged sword. It adds a different dynamic to the game, making it all that much tenser because you?re given the decision to run around being able to see but not attack by holding the flashlight, or to have your gun out ready to attack but not being able to see three feet in front of your face. This is also what hurts the game, for awhile at least. The Xbox controller allows you to switch between your flashlight and last selected gun with the simple push of the White Button. While a little tricky at first, you?ll be able to pick it up pretty quickly. It took me about an hour to master it, but once you do it becomes natural.

Gameplay-wise, it?s fairly simple(a bit of a disappointment, really.). Run into room, monsters spawn, bang bang, hunt for ammo and health, repeat as needed. DOOM 3 suffers in the first few hours, as it?s simply a corridor crawl where you make your way down tech hallway after tech hallway, blasting the same few bad guys with the same 3 or so weapons. It gets dull.

However, about one-third of the way through the game, you exit the horribly boring Alpha Labs, and the game gets rolling. You have a wider selection of weapons, and you seem to meet a new and interesting bad guy every other room. The pace is picked up, as the lighting in this part of the facility seems a bit more reliable; it?s far brighter, but still has it?s share of shadows for stuff to hide in. There are eleven different weapons you get as you proceed, weak weapons such as the pistol and machine gun that don?t do much damage but you find plenty of ammo for, to more powerful weapons such as the Chain gun and the Rocket Launcher that do insane damage but have very little ammo available. The chainsaw makes an appearance halfway through the game, and it?s a fun novelty weapon. I wouldn?t recommend using it on some of the later enemies though. The infamous BFG-9000 is also toteable by you, and can be found about two-thirds through the game. But it can be found way in the beginning if you pay close attention to the messages you get in your PDA

Ah, yes. The PDA. Id replaced the simplistic red, blue and yellow keys with a Palm Pilot. Everybody in the facility has one, but some you have to hunt around for. They contain all sorts of useful material, from emails to audio logs to video files. But the most important feature of it is the security clearance it grants you. In several places you have to hunt for that one PDA that opens the door and allows you to proceed. The emails and audio logs are not to be missed as well, giving locker codes and conveying the story. It?s not always vital, but it can be interesting anyway if you like back stories.

The Atmosphere: Terror. Plain and simple. This is a horror experience not for the weak of stomach or faint of heart. The darkness is looming in this game, you never know what it can hide. Early on, it?s mostly shock tactics when monsters or zombies crawl outta a hole and scare the bejeebus out of you. While it does get lame and cheesy after awhile, I admit I still jump when a zombie crawls out from under something. However, later on in the game it gets far more psychological: disembodied voices, messages such as ?suffer?; and ?die?; written in blood all over the wall, and a particularly scary scene where images of enemies will flicker in and out as you make your way down a particularly bloody hallway. It?s both shocking and psychological at the same time. The shock value wears off, the psychological stuff is what keeps you frightened.

Controls: 9/10

Intuitive and responsive, anyone whose played a first person game with an Xbox game pad will feel right at home. a huge improvement, in my opinion, over the keyboard/mouse of the PC version. Learning Curve: around thirty minutes to an hour. Slightly longer than I would have liked, so I docked a point for that.

Graphics: 10/10

It would be an understatement if I said I was impressed. Somehow, Id took a game that barely ran on my fairly new(newer than the game) computer, with its 3.8 ghz and state-of-the-art Radeon card and made it work on a 733 mhz processor in a 3-year-old machine. And made it work well. The graphics remain intact, some would argue they?re even improved. Shadows are cast in real-time, a la Splinter Cell. unfortunately, you can?t use the shadows to hide because, while you can?t see in the dark, your enemies can. And well, too. Bump-mapping and everything else texture-related is incredible. All the monsters are fluidly animated, with each one possessing its own distinctive characteristics. From the incredibly fast, Alien-like Imps to the lumbering Hell Knights to the insect-like Cherubs, no two types of enemies are animated alike. The gun models are excellent, as they should be in a first-person game, each with its own unique and interesting aspects.

Stability: 10/10

The game runs smooth as silk. Only when a lot of stuff is happening on the screen(As in, you just unleashed a BFG blast against about twenty demons and everything in the area is blowing up at the same time) will the game slow down, but any slowdown lasts for maybe three seconds and hardly takes away from the game. Think Halo-stability.(For those who don?t know, that?s good.)

Artificial intelligence: 5/10

I was kinda disappointed with the AI. While Id could definitely program so great AI baddies, these guys seem like they ride the short yellow bus to school. Or wherever it is they go. Almost every enemy?s attack routine involves either a kamikaze-charge or staying back and bombarding you with rockets. The former soldiers(Z-Secs), are the only enemies that use the same weapons you do, and even use rudimentary tactics, firing at you from cover and moving low and fast. Granted, each enemy that charges you has its own unique style. Imps will simply run at you, but not always on the floor. The Wraiths have a unique ability to teleport all around the room. Trites will swarm you and, being spiders, will sometimes lower themselves via webs, sometimes even right on top of you. Cherubs dart around above your head and can be difficult to track. The few bosses you fight in this game are pretty intelligent, and each one offers a noticeably different challenge.

Sound: 10/10

Shut the doors and crank up the Dolby system. Surround sound?s the best way to go. All of the monsters make their own distinct noise, from the roar of the Hell Knight to the cries of the Cherubs to the radio crackle of the ZSecs. The ambient noises are varied and interesting. Almost everything is accompanied by a sound, from lights flickering to doors opening to enemies spawning. Because of the dark nature of the game, you may start to rely on your ears more than your eyes, especially if you play with a surround sound. Unfortunately, aside from ambient mood music and an incredibly bad main menu song, there is no soundtrack whatsoever.

Multiplayer: 0/10

for death match. The multiplayer seems to have been thrown in as an afterthought; you only get four sub par maps and gameplay is incredibly unbalanced. When someone gets a chain gun or rocket launcher, chances are they?ll win that round.
BUT, the biggest thing the Xbox is toting is the ability for online or system link co-op. This is far and away the best feature of the game, allowing you and a buddy to team up an blast your way through the single-player campaign. Id took away the PDA system and the boss fights, making it a more run-and-gun experience than single player, but it seems they cranked the difficulty up a bit to even the karma. The online community is excellent, with very few jerks(Unlike a certain sequel to the greatest FPS on the Xbox...). It?s also good to know that I?m not the only one who yells whenever a monster crawls out of nowhere :) Easily gets a 10/10

Appropriateness: 3/10

This is where it hits the wall going 6o miles an hour and is knocked out cold.

Violence: 0/10. Bloody. Gruesome. Sometimes even vomit-inducing. Definitely stay away if you don?t like that kinda stuff.

Profanity: 7/10. Surprisingly clean(although that may be because of the lack of people at the facility capable of talking...). In the beginning, when the demons first attack, you can hear the cries of Marines under attack. They won?t exactly sugar-coat it. The worst I heard was the S-bomb once and maybe twice. Nothing worse than a pg-13 movie. Although, there is a part where a guy about to get eaten by a demon screams out ?Oh, no! Oh Jesus Christ no!?;. or something like that. Only happens once though, so it?s not like Splinter Cell?s (?Christ, Fisher!?).

Sexuality: 10/10. Clean as a whistle. Only one female character in the game, and she?s fully clothed. It should be noted that there is a magazine somewhere in the first part that has a not-so-decently clothed woman on it. However, it?s so small and low-quality that it took me awhile to realize it was actually a person, much less a woman. Plus, they?re never in real plain view so chances are you won?t find it unless you?re one of those people who feel like they have to look at everything. Even then you?ll have trouble.

Occultic images/moral content. 0/10. As can be expected given the subject matter, it receives a big fat zero in this area. Baphomets are everywhere, although until you get to the Hell Levels you rarely find one that actually stays on screen. Each enemy spawning is accompanied by a glowing baphomet that stays for a second or two. As I stated before, one of the levels takes place in Hell. There you find all the stuff you?d expect to find in hell, baphomets, upside down crosses, people nailed to said crosses, etc. etc. Every once in awhile you?ll hear a phrase in Latin that might be Satanic in nature. I don?t speak Latin so I?m not sure, but, incase you can understand Latin, it?s worth noting. Some people might be offended by the demons, but I should stress that the whole point of the game is to get rid of them, not help them in any way. In no way is Satan glorified, it\'\'s always clear that the demons are evil. You?re practically on God?s side(I?ve seen arguments saying the guy you play might even be someone along the lines of Gabriel Van Helsing, an angel sent by God as a guardian of this world. But that?s merely speculation). It?s a pretty clear good v. evil storyline and it\'\'s even clearer that you?re the good. Also, a ?weapon?; you find later in the game, called the Soul Cube, steals the soul of a demon you kill and uses the energy to kill more demons.

Fear factor: 0/10(or 10/10 if you portray it in a positive light, as I do). I?ll say it right up front: if you don?t like being scared, stay away. The entire game is terrifying and many people I know(including me) suffered nightmares from this.


This is a technological masterpiece that suffers from a b-movie storyline, repetitive gameplay in the first part, and some pretty disturbing content. Abysmal multiplayer doesn?t help either. This game definitely deserves its M rating. Don?t give it to anyone under the age of 16. And even then make sure your 16-year-old is mature enough to handle it. If you like survival/horror and enjoy a good scare, I would definitely rent it at least. If you have Xbox LIVE, even better

Final tally:

Gameplay: 8/10
Controls: 9/10
Graphics 10/10
Stability: 10/10
Sound: 10/10
A.I.: 5/10
Multiplayer: 0/10
Co-op: 10/10
Appropriateness: 3/10

Overall: 6/10 65%


Please consider supporting our efforts.  Since we're a 501 C3 Non-Profit organization, your donations are tax deductible.