Have You Played… Doom 3 Resurrection Of Evil?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

In 2005, Doom wasn’t cool – perhaps for the first time ever. Though criticisms of it are invariably exaggerated, Doom 3 had not been the game the world was waiting for, and was left standing in the tall, more ambitious shadow of Half-Life 2.

Expansion pack Resurrection of Evil was an odd riposte, to say the least.

Granted, there’s only so much an expansion pack can be reasonably expected to do, and in any case ROE went further than it probably had to. Clearly green-eyed for HL2’s gravity gun, ROE stapled its own gimmicks onto Doom 3’s divisively slow combat. One was a few magic powers, most notably temporary FEAR-style slow-mo, and the other was, well, a gravity gun.

Despite protestations that the feature had been thought up before Half-Life 2 was released, it was one of those situations where escaping mockery was impossible – but the really trouble was that it just failed to live up to what Valve had done.

Doom kept on losing its cool.

There wasn’t that much wrong with Resurrection of Evil, but the bleak irony of its title is that it compounded the sense that a once-iconic series was sliding into irrelevance. Fortunately, just last year evil really was resurrected, in Bethesda’s Doom. And that one’s gimmick, in the form of building momentum via melee kills, really sang. It was fine, but D3 ROE felt like something of a death knell. Thank goodness it wasn’t.

From this site

32 Comments

  1. Cyrus says:

    They re-introduced the Double Barrel Shotgun with the expansion, other than that there was not anything spectacular in it.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    I actually enjoyed Doom 3 when I played it. I mean sure it wasn’t great, but the spooky-ish atmosphere and the gunplay and all, I had fun.

    I never got why people cried and moaned about the darkness. The lighting was important, it was to create the tone of the whole game.

    Sure, it didn’t play like Doom 1 or Doom 2, but… you know, Doom 4 is more Serious Sam than it is the first two Dooms.

    • dashausdiefrau says:

      It was a good game, but 2004 was a great year for the FPS genre, and Doom 3 was only average when compared to others.
      My reasons:
      1. Far Cry, HL2 and Doom 3 was released around the same time. To my experience Doom 3 had the highest requirements and it was the ugliest of the 3 because of the plastic look and the lack of ambient light/radiosity. The lack of ambient light/radiosity was especially annoying with shadows, that were simply too dark.
      2. That gun vs flashlight mechanic was really cheap
      3. The very tight corridor shooting really limited the tactical options. Also some very bad encounter design, like predictable spawning patterns of enemies.

        • April March says:

          Ah, only Robert Yang can write an excellent article about gaming culture that is nominally about lightining or textures.

        • erikpurne says:

          I logged in for the first time in years just to thank you for that link. What a great read.

      • Flopdong says:

        I’m one of the few who liked Doom 3, but I have to agree that 2004 was a stellar year and it came up short next to the competition.
        I think Painkiller deserves to be included with Far Cry and HL2 in the list of greats. Hordes of demonic enemies, awesomely creative weapons, and inventive level design made it the game that Doom 3 arguably should have been.

        • dashausdiefrau says:

          And Painkiller!! Yes, what a great game. And Chronicles of Riddick was also released in the same year, which had great shadows and fun gameplay too.

          • DudeshootMankill says:

            My childhood greats really. Even Doom3. Throw in some Unreal Tournament too.

        • sjjs says:

          Doom 3 was OK (certainly better than people make it out to be), but a case of “too little, too late”.

          I’ve followed it since the GeForce 3 promo at Macworld in 2001 and played the leaked E3 alpha – even in that clearly rudimentary state it was fucking awesome. But by the time “it was done”, it didn’t feel nearly as fresh or even jaw-dropping as it would have just a year or so earlier.

          The expansion pack… meh all around.
          (OK, I liked the Bruiser design a lot.)

      • uzernaem says:

        Doom 3 was the prettier of those three. Say what you want about hard shadows but in motion they looked awesome with some spectacular lights to boot. But’s it is not the only eye candy Doom 3 had to offer. It’s biggest asset was the level of detail in environments. Everything was so organic and detailed. At the same time, Half-Life 2 was all about boxy rooms. If anything, HL2 environments were on the same level that we expected from the 2001-2002 idTech 3 games, like Return to Castle Wolfenstein, with some occasional bump maps here and there. The only truly revolutionary thing about Half-Life 2 was the facial animation, that many modern games still fail to exceed. Even the 2005 FEAR, which was considered a technical masterpiece, relied on same boxy environments. Other shooters with Doom 3 level of detail appeared only well into the 7th console generation.

        • dashausdiefrau says:

          It was built on similar principles as idTech3, but HL2 offered much more. It had similar open spaces as RtCW for example, but it added lots of interactivity with the environment. There were far more objects with physics in HL2 than in most games of that era. One particularly memorable moment for me was that bridge early in the game that could be exploded and dozens of pieces were flying away.

          Textures were better imho in HL2 than in Doom 3, character models too, actually that game had the best character models I saw until that point. And in HL2 metal looked a bit similar to metal unlike in Doom 3 where it looked plastic. And though there were lots of boxy objects, most of those objects also had physics. And let’s not forget that very cool water shader in HL2.

          • uzernaem says:

            About that bridge – you are confusing vanilla 2004 HL2 with 2007 HL2 Episode 2, which had improved graphics. Anyway, that bridge wasn’t real physics, it was just animation, inverse kinematics to be precise. And Doom 3 metal looked like nice actually, recent mods like sikkmod has that plastic look but vanilla Doom 3 metal looks like the real thing. Moreso than Half-Life 2 stuff was a simple texture with barely any specular. HL2 metal sounds more realitic though, bullet shots, physics impacts and stuff. This is where HL2 feels more realistic.

      • Unclepauly says:

        Those were the three games that got me into PC gaming. 1st card was a 6600gt and Doom3 purred at 60fps most of the time. I personally thought it was graphically mindblowing for the time. Well, all 3 games were in their own way. Anyways I enjoyed all three games immensely and still play them once in a while. While Doom3 wasn’t a good Doom game I thought it was a good horror show.

  3. gabrielonuris says:

    I always thought that Doom 3 was the real king of that year. Half-Life 2 looked and played like Half-Life 1.5 to me. Absolutely nothing special.

    On the other hand, Doom 3 was the best System Shock-alike game since… well, System Shock 2.

    • dr.denton says:

      This. Frankly, I was, and still am, offended by how people didn’t see past the fact that Doom 3 was a different game from D1 and 2.

      The UI was incredible, with your crosshair turning into a mouse cursor on ingame screens. Back then I thought “If only someone would do a System Shock with this” (they tried, but EA stopped them).

      Far Cry was obviously the trend setter and HL2 was … whatever that thing was, but D3’s coherent design and atmosphere stuck with me.

    • Hoot says:

      Half-Life 2 was spectacular. It was well ahead of it’s time in terms of character animation and scope and to call it “nothing special” is wilfully contrarian.

      Doom 3 was also a great game. But it was more akin to a survival horror than an old skool FPS. This is the key difference. I enjoyed Doom 3 precisely because it WAS different. I mean, I’ve also loved every minute of Nu-DOOM as well, but I still have fond memories of Doom 3.

      “The devil is real…I built his cage.”

    • MikoSquiz says:

      Absolutely. Doom 3 was a solid if unspectacular shooter. Half-Life 2 was a load of showy pseudo-cinematic setpieces and gimmicks with the occasional bit of vaguely clunky and unsatisfying shooting jammed in there for appearance’s sake.

    • Halk says:

      I completely agree. Doom 3 was the FPS reduced to its core and then polished to perfection. I am not even a classic FPS fan, but THIS I could enjoy.

      I also don’t know anyone who disliked it. The only place where I repeatedly see Doom 3 criticised is inside the RPS bubble (and, in RPS’s trademark style, the people inside that bubble talk about their opinions as if they are universally accepted truths).

      My only criticism about Doom 3 is that it was too long (one could have easily cut out about four levels somewhere in the middle).

      The slo-mo gimmick in RoE was fun in its purest form.

      • wengart says:

        RPS happens to be the only site I visit that occasionally talks about Doom 3. Perhaps on more Doom fan oriented sites you will see more folks discussing it positively, but the general eh feeling present here is what I recall from the games post release discussion. This was especially true of my Doom loving friends who bought it immediately. They started off excited and petered out to a kinda of “eh, its alright” feeling.

        Doom 3 rose to great heights immediately after release, but then sank quickly into a sort of obscurity.

  4. mont3core says:

    Doom 3 is awesome, it’s still one of my favorite games, but I never finished RoE.

    Personally I was more disappointed by HL2 than D3. Following in the footsteps of HL1 is something that valve still has no idea how to do, whereas the modern Doom games are all fantastic iterations. The gravity gun wasn’t really novel to either game (throwing things, wow) but HL2 totally relied on it to make the game fun. I could play D3 with just the pistol and still have an amazing experience, but without the gravity gun I would be pretty bored in HL2.

  5. Premium User Badge

    N'Al says:

    I have – as I have all Doom 3 related missions from the BFG Edition.

    Can’t remember a single damn thing from RoE, though. Unmemorable.

  6. Sakkura says:

    Doom 3 BFG is pretty good in VR, there are some very impressive mods enabling it.

    I haven’t gotten to the ROE stuff though.

  7. Det. Bullock says:

    I did and gave up at the boss that required the use of the sucky version of the Half-Life 2 Gravity Gun.

  8. Kasjer says:

    Well, barely. I’ve only gave D3 a try after it was ported to new engine and released as BFG Edition on PS3. And I had a blast! Slower paced gameplay is perfect match for a controller (however, as D4 proved, faster one is still great fit) and game was pretty fun after opening levels. Kind of like proto-Dead Space for me. However, the expansion… I’ve expected more of the same D3 fun, instead I’ve got boring gadgets and annoying puzzles. I have not finished it and never plan to. This is the worst id software’s game expansion in my book.

  9. CartonofMilk says:

    To me Far Cry was the shooter of 2004. And let’s not forget Escape from Butcher bay ALSO came out that year. Though it could be argued it’s not a FPS since there’s not much guns to fire… in any case, it looked better and was more fun than doom.

    But i did play Doom and ROE and i enjoyed both well enough. But there were ok games while waiting for great ones. Considering what Doom had once been, yeah, it was disappointing.

    • Flopdong says:

      I agree that I wasn’t super impressed by Doom 3 at first, then someone showed me how it should really be played, and it became one of the most intense games I have ever played.
      If you play on the highest difficulty and disable the HUD, the survival horror elements suddenly become more engaging and the combat more personal.
      Without a HUD, you generally don’t know how much health you have, other than educated guesses based on the grunt sounds you make when taking damage. Not having a crosshair adds an element of uncertainty to shooting. Is it worth letting that Imp get within striking distance in order to get that easy headshot? You may not be fighting 20 enemies at once, but the flipside is that fighting just one imp can a memorable and threatening encounter.

  10. ResonanceCascade says:

    Doom 3 really comes into its own as a roomscale VR game. That might save its legacy if VR eventually catches on in a bigger way.

  11. Monggerel says:

    My friends at the time thought Doom 3 was scary. I thought the choice between torch and gun was mind-bendingly idiotic.

    I was right and they were wrong.

  12. HigoChumbo says:

    Don’t think I played the expansion, but I actually really enjoyed Doom 3 back in the day.

    Back then, the graphics looked amazing, with a superb lighting, and it was a really, really atmospheric game, in terms of design, sound, etc (and that flash light…). At times it felt more like an horror game than an Id shooter, but being different is not necessarily bad.

    I remember standing still for several minutes on the doorstep of a dark room fearing to go inside just because I could hear a zombie crawling inside…

    That magic kind of disappeared as I gradually noticed I was more powerful than I initially thought and could just rambo through the rest of the game in a more old-school way, but still.

    Some thing I also remember fondly is the attention to immersive details that game had. It might sound stupid but I don’t recall enjoying opening doors or using elevators in any other game as I did in Doom 3, where every touch panel would have a crisp, interactive interface and your crosshair would actually turn into a mouse pointer when you pointed at them to use them.

    link to visualwalkthroughs.com

  13. haldolium says:

    RoE was rather boring, reminds me a bit of the F.E.A.R. add-ons.

    But I loved Doom 3. Tight, straight forward shooting experience with an outstanding atmosphere and a tremendous amount of polishing in every aspect.

  14. Spongbo says:

    ROE was the salve that Doom 3’s staid monster closeting needed. It was more frenetic, more open, and less like a one-trick pony. I enjoyed the gravity gun!