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.