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Doom 3
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fechols



Joined: 24 Jul 2004
Posts: 8
Location: Lake Dallas, TX

PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2004 10:11 pm    Post subject: Doom 3 Reply with quote

Well I finally got my copy of this game (it's a jungle out there!) and have played for several hours. There's one thing that can be said with certainty at this point: this is the best game I have ever played. And I've been playing games since 1988, so that's saying quite a bit. Smile The levels, monsters, weapons, story, and general "feel" of the game are all rock-solid. The games by Id Software and Miyamoto and company (Nintendo) have a trademark tangibleness to them that makes the environment truly seem "real," in that all aspects of the game work together seamlessly.

It must be said that some people who have only played the game an hour or so are complaining loudly online, saying it seems like a tech demo. Well, duh! That's the WHOLE POINT! Of course it's a tech demo for the first couple of hours: they want you to just walk around and gape at the awesome graphics before you're being hunted by so many demons that you don't really have time to stand and gawk at every cool thing you see.

It's kind of like Half-Life, in that when you first start playing you say "'wow, this is really cool!" and the further you get into the game, the more exclamation points you add to the end of that statement. Smile The game is as visceral as they come (but you already knew that) and some weapons even require you to get very close to your adversaries, before they have much effect. This forces you to play the game in an in-your-face style that's fast and brutal. This isn't hide and seek; you need to stomp up close and not pull the trigger until you see the red of their glowing, demonic eyes.

An interesting part of the game mechanic is that you can only use your flashlight or your gun, not both at the same time. This forces you, once again, to get up close and comfy with your worst nightmares. A handy trick is to use the right mouse button for the flashlight, this allows you to raise and lower it very easily.

One "tweak" I would recommend is to press CTRL-ALT-~ (that last key is the one just below the ESC key on your keyboard) and type "r_gamma 1.5" at the console. On some monitors, the game is so dark that it's hard to see anything even in the "well lit" areas, and this tweak actually makes the game look a LOT better and allows you to truly appreciate the graphics. Another issue is that you don't see "muzzle flashes" from your guns unless the graphics are set on "high quality" mode. It's much harder to play without this extra light, as often you're totally in the dark. You also don't get dynamic lights for projectiles in the game, which are another nice source of light sometimes. To enable these lights at "low" or "medium" graphics, open the console and type: "g_muzzleFlash 1" and "g_projectileLights 1"

To sum, this game is absolutely fantastic. Brilliant. I could offer a whole string of superlatives, but instead I'll offer a quote from Mr. Carmack himself: "I had a good set of expectations for how the game would turn out based on the technologies that it was built on, and it wound up being just plain better than that." Indeed.
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brianhook
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Joined: 12 Dec 2003
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Location: seattle, wa

PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2004 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.quartertothree.com/inhouse/columns/86/
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misterorange_



Joined: 01 May 2004
Posts: 62
Location: Oak Ridge, TN

PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2004 4:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Doom 3 Reply with quote

fechols wrote:
One "tweak" I would recommend is to press CTRL-ALT-~ (that last key is the one just below the ESC key on your keyboard) and type "r_gamma 1.5" at the console. On some monitors, the game is so dark that it's hard to see anything even in the "well lit" areas, and this tweak actually makes the game look a LOT better and allows you to truly appreciate the graphics. Another issue is that you don't see "muzzle flashes" from your guns unless the graphics are set on "high quality" mode. It's much harder to play without this extra light, as often you're totally in the dark. You also don't get dynamic lights for projectiles in the game, which are another nice source of light sometimes. To enable these lights at "low" or "medium" graphics, open the console and type: "g_muzzleFlash 1" and "g_projectileLights 1"


Ugh. The whole point of it being so dark is that the game creates its atmosphere around hard-to-see places. You want it to be as dark as night and you want the game to challenge you as result. The dark is scary. The dark can make sound a character in its own right (though the lack of a soundtrack in Doom 3 is annoying).

Don't do these hacks. You're taking away some of the best parts of the game. They were defaulted off, and are forced to be turned on in the .cfg file instead of a Config screen switch, for a reason.
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fechols



Joined: 24 Jul 2004
Posts: 8
Location: Lake Dallas, TX

PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2004 4:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Doom 3 Reply with quote

misterorange_ wrote:
Don't do these hacks. You're taking away some of the best parts of the game. They were defaulted off, and are forced to be turned on in the .cfg file instead of a Config screen switch, for a reason.


It's not like it adds more light to the game. It just makes whatever is already on the screen easier to see. But if something is in complete shadow, changing the gamma won't affect that at all, it will still be invisible. What's the point of having an awesome graphics engine if you can't see anything? Amazing how much power it takes to draw all that darkness... Wink
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fechols



Joined: 24 Jul 2004
Posts: 8
Location: Lake Dallas, TX

PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2004 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

brianhook wrote:
http://www.quartertothree.com/inhouse/columns/86/

Uh-huh. And every single one of those other games they mention (Painkiller, Far Cry, etc.) DIDN'T copy Doom? Give me a break. Everyone else rips off the original, then when id software goes back and remakes the game everyone says "but it's old school!" Well, it's Doom. Saying these game mechanics are over-used in Doom 3 is like saying Homer's Odyssey is cliche.
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RichardKnight



Joined: 07 Jun 2004
Posts: 9
Location: Calgary

PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2004 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fechols wrote:
Uh-huh. And every single one of those other games they mention (Painkiller, Far Cry, etc.) DIDN'T copy Doom? Give me a break. Everyone else rips off the original, then when id software goes back and remakes the game everyone says "but it's old school!" Well, it's Doom. Saying these game mechanics are over-used in Doom 3 is like saying Homer's Odyssey is cliche.


On the contrary, that review was right on the money from my perspective. Doom3 isn't really 'Doom' - that niche is being held by Painkiller and Serious Sam. Instead, Doom3 is a FPS with "Resident Evil" style darkness gameplay. The story has enough problems to keep me uninterested, and after awhile it really does just feel like a long line of "Monster Closets".

The point is not whether those other games didn't copy Doom, but rather that we're buying a sequel, not a remake. The expectations for FPS titles have grown considerably since the First Doom was released, and this just doesn't meet them.

Thanks for the link to that article, Brian, and for whatever it's worth, I posted a similarily themed (if completely different in presentation) bit on FPS titles in general as well as Doom 3 here.
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Mondain



Joined: 12 Dec 2003
Posts: 396

PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2004 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Love the game. My only gripe is that the flashlight key (which, if you hit it again, toggles between flashlight and last weapon) doesnt toggle after you experience a cutscene or load a level. It kinda sucks to see a cutscene of a cool monster being introduced only to be stuck wielding a flashlight as you run around in terror wondering where the hell your gun is..
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Gus_Smedstad



Joined: 17 Dec 2003
Posts: 590
Location: Boston area, MA

PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2004 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

brianhook wrote:
http://www.quartertothree.com/inhouse/columns/86/

That was kind of amusing, but nowhere near as amusing as Chick probably thinks it is. I got bored with the buying-Doom 3-at-midnight story pretty quickly. That said, it's actually a bit more effective than a typical highly critical, analytical review like I would write. He points out that you can be a Doom 3 fanboy and still be ultimately disappointed by the unimaginative gameplay.

It's not really suprising to me in the least. I don't anyone has had any illusions about Id's strengths and weaknesses for years. What would have been surprising would have been if Doom 3 were as involving as Half Life 1.

I'm guessing that you can't really comment, Brian, given your relationship with Carmack.

- Gus
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brianhook
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2004 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gus_Smedstad wrote:
I'm guessing that you can't really comment, Brian, given your relationship with Carmack.


I haven't seen or played the game, I'm primarily fascinated with everyone else's reactions to it and the psychology of it all. It's clear that the design is lacking, but a lot of people defend this because of the technology. Fundamental game design rules are broken (e.g. the PDA) but the fans just blow it off as 'Whatever man, that's just nit picking".
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Gus_Smedstad



Joined: 17 Dec 2003
Posts: 590
Location: Boston area, MA

PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2004 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

brianhook wrote:
Fundamental game design rules are broken (e.g. the PDA) but the fans just blow it off as 'Whatever man, that's just nit picking".

I haven't seen a detailed review, so I don't know what the PDA issue is. It is interesting how some people turn games - and movies for that matter - into religious issues instead of acknowledging the flaws.

Perhaps this gets back to the "viscreal" reaction we were discussing before. For some people, the emotional reaction to playing Doom again and the pretty graphics overwhelm everything else.

- Gus
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brianhook
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2004 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gus_Smedstad wrote:
Perhaps this gets back to the "viscreal" reaction we were discussing before. For some people, the emotional reaction to playing Doom again and the pretty graphics overwhelm everything else.


That is precisely what's going on. The game design itself is clearly inferior to, say, Call of Duty or NOLF 2. Every description of gameplay seems to state that it's mindless running through endless corridors as monster spawn behind you, but that's okay, because it looks great!! It's like putting up with a really bitchy supermodel or something, it's worth it just to show your friends.

The PDA issue is that you need certain key codes to progress and, get this, you have to write them down. The last time I saw that was Metal Gear Solid around 1997. And if you forget the code, you have to listen to an audio log all over again. There are a lot of little things like that people are seriously griping about. rtrickey is sorely pissed off at the same, I want him to post a review here =)
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Mondain



Joined: 12 Dec 2003
Posts: 396

PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2004 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I may not be that far through the game (Aplha 3), but there is only 1 instance where any code was given through the PDA and that was for a simple storage locker that had health in it. Other than that, the PDA is a much better game device than picking up dozens of keycards or having every door just open for you.

As for mindless running around tunnels.. what else is a Mars installation supposed to look like under the surface? How bright are corridors supposed to be when the power has been shut off? It's like arguing "this game takes place in an office building but I dont know why there's so much office furniture and cubicles everywhere I go".

It gives a better feeling of "trapped in a Mars installation that is now dark with zombies" than it does of "hacking my way through zombies that happens to take place in a Mars installation".

id isnt known for striking game design, they're an engine company. While this may not be the worlds best game design its still the best id has ever churned out. Just enjoy the game for what it is. And yes, it's damn pretty.
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brianhook
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2004 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mondain wrote:
id isnt known for striking game design, they're an engine company. While this may not be the worlds best game design its still the best id has ever churned out. Just enjoy the game for what it is. And yes, it's damn pretty.


Gus, in case you're wondering, the above is what I was talking about. =)
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Gus_Smedstad



Joined: 17 Dec 2003
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Location: Boston area, MA

PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2004 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

brianhook wrote:

The PDA issue is that you need certain key codes to progress and, get this, you have to write them down.

Oh. My. God. That is incredibly awful. I remember thinking that it was unforgivably stupid that you had to do this with gate keys in Heroes 2, and that was 1996.

- Gus
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Gus_Smedstad



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2004 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mondain wrote:
As for mindless running around tunnels.. what else is a Mars installation supposed to look like under the surface? How bright are corridors supposed to be when the power has been shut off? It's like arguing "this game takes place in an office building but I dont know why there's so much office furniture and cubicles everywhere I go".

I know this is probably about as much use as trying to convince a devout Muslim that there is no Allah, but you're looking at the problem backward. When making a game, your first concern is to make it fun and interesting. If your setting requires mindless running around tunnels, and that turns out not to be fun, change the setting.

Not that this is sufficient excuse in this case. Even if you subtract all the surface segments in Half Life 1, the level design of the underground portions is still outstanding.

- Gus
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