Overall, it took around 4 years to get D3 out. To me this was the most anticipated game for all this years. It got postponed several times, but to be fair ID Software never said anything but "whenever it's ready". Although they've been criticized for delays. Anyway, August, 03, 2004 the game came out. And to me it was all I have hoped for and more. It was well worth of those 800$ I've spent for the upgrades of my rig, to play D3 as it is supposed to be played :)
In my opinion for today it is the best FPS out there. And no questions asked, the engine is the best. There are arguments about how well it will handle large, outdoor areas, as in FarCry, but that's pretty much unknown until someone makes such game, for now whatever it does with textures, lights, bump maps, and in short rendering everything the game needs, it is superb. As is the engine will be able to use all the resources of current top of the line video cards, and most likely next generation cards as well. Anyway, details about the engine, various benchmarks and tons of other info is readily available on the net, so if you're interested, you can always look all that up.
Gameplay- Now about the game. Well, besides excellent graphics(despite of being dark) it is very immersive. To me, D3 is the scariest game I've ever played. Excellent sound only adds to the experience. So, to get the full experience play alone, in the dark and turn that sound up. You won't be disappointed ;) Since this is still Doom, the story is the same. You're the silent, nameless marine battling the hordes of demons to save the earth and mankind with it. Although, this time there more details to it. And it was actually interesting reading PDAs and listening to logs to find out what happened and how it all came to that point. That's my IMHO :) Lots of people out there complain about the story line, but I donno what do they expected from Doom, after all we all knew what it was gonna be about. Given the game plot outline, there's not too many characters to communicate with, you're constantly surrounded with dead bodies, zombies, which you have to turn into dead bodies, otherwise they will do that to you, demons, which don't speak English anyway... So, I don't quiet see how would that "story development" happen. Halo was a different story, there were people around, including super AI Cortana in your helmet, another AI Guilty Spark, so you could get info and talk to someone. In Doom 3 there's not much of a choice. This is Doom, not Final Fantasy or Sim City Ok? In short gameplay is 10 on my scale.
Weapons- The old favorite, double barrel shotgun is gone, but we do have 8 shot, pump action shotgun that is just as effective. Another favorite, plasma gun is there too. Shoots somewhat slower compared to previous games, but still plenty powerful. And this time you can use it as counter measure for Revenant's rockets and incoming BFG projectiles. So, as you see BFG-9000 is there too. And you get to see its demo video as well ;) BTW you better watch it, will be handy. Chain gun is also there, and it has become a lot more powerful, as it should be, though the spin-up time has increased considerably. Rocket launcher is also present, cooler than ever, and sometimes simply irreplaceable, unless U R packing BFG already. Machinegun is there, but I don't really like it. For the stats, you have a pistol too. For fun, I was shooting spiders with it. If you're a good shot, on Veteran level takes 2 shots per spydie. Oh, and Soul Cube. That's something new. Cool weapon, some mix of hi tech/mystical powers. But works damn well :)
IMHO- In the end I think Doom 3 is the best game on the market today, and there are not too many challengers on the horizon. HL2? May be. Another good news is that ID will license the engine, so hopefully we'll have other good games with this superb graphics. Honestly, I don't think D3 deserves some of the critics it receives. Too dark? Look, those demons from hell just took over Martian base, and they don't really need electricity, why would they bother repairing it anyway? Besides, it only adds to the gameplay. Sure, sometimes you wish you didn't have to switch between a flashlight and a gun, but hey, after all it's a game and this shouldn't be a challenge after an hour or so of playing it. Gamespy made interesting comment about D3 critics:
If the hundreds of critics out there had designed Doom3 the experience might look a little something like this:
First, the lights would never flicker and they would fill every inch of every map with light thus preventing the maps from being "too dark" and having to use your flashlight all the time.
If the lights did go out, which might happen when demons from hell manage to take over your base, you'd be well equiped with night vision goggles, weapons with lights affixed (thanks Gamespot for those two suggestions), a light emiting helmet, and other modern accessories that would make combat more realistic. After all, this game is all about realism....right???
Next, gamers would be submitted to 8 hours of dialogue in an effort to make a more compelling story line. This would include dialogue between zombies, between two dead guys lying on the floor, maybe you'd even meet a friendly imp who just wanted someone to talk to. That way, you'd have less "old-school" FPS action, and more story development.
In an effort to turn up the challenge factor a notch our friendly critics would have you dying every 20 steps because the greater the challenge, the greater the fun...or something like that. hmm...Nightmare level just isn't challenging enough?
The sound of the weapons would be magnified 50X because if your eardrums aren't shattered the sound just isn't dramatic enough. A pistol SHOULD sound like a hand cannon.
As Gamespot suggests, the game needs some music. I mean, what space marine doesn't take a mission to Mars without his holographic music player?? Who needs to hear the footsteps of mosters about when you could be chilling to some hip-hop. And, of course, you wouldn't be a good critic without suggesting this while at the same time complaining that the game's not realistic.
Oh, and don't forget to up the intesity. Apparently causing a gamer's heart rate to jump to 100 bpm just isn't enough. A solid FPS should cause one to go into cardiac arrest. Now, just add these few suggested ideas and we've got ourselves a game of the year. Any other bright ideas?