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November 26, 2004



Hmmm...I liked Doom 3 a LOT at first, and then it got very wearisome. Oh, look - there's a pile of armor shards in front of a wall panel. Will that wall panel slide down and reveal an imp? Of course it will. Is there a zombie in that dark corner? Of course there is.

Plus, the levels all looked the same, except for hell, which was a nice change - but it was only one level long! In the end, I think Doom 3 is one of those rare games that would have been much better if it had been shorter; when you're a one-trick pony you need to do your trick and then get off the stage before people get tired of it.

Personally, I think the Ravenholm level in Half-Life 2 made me more genuinely scared than I EVER was while playing Doom 3.


I also wasn't very scared in Doom 3, there just didn't seem to be much tension.
In comparing D3 and HL2, D3 has the better engine, but HL2 is far better as a game. The gameplay in D3 felt very 1995, whereas HL2 felt very much like they had been putting 5 years of work into a game.


Its nice to hear someone appreciate Doom 3, I liked it a lot as well and the people whinging about monster closets are dime a dozen.

Its also interesting that someone else (Badman) liked it when it came to the hell levels, personally, I enjoy believable environments (like mildly overrun martian bases) but when it comes to some uber-level set in Hell or Cyberspace, it just sucks the immersion out of it for me.

Bryan McNett

Here is an excerpt from the "Unreal FAQ" at http://www.planetunreal.com/faq/

"New multiplayer elements enhance that side of the experience as well. An example of this is the Darkmatch. In one level you use flashlights in a completely dark level. This enhances the strategy so perhaps you could turn off your flashlight and shoot at an enemy while he is having a hard time hitting you."

So, circa 1996, "flashlight technology" was already a major mode in a blockbuster FPS game.

Eric Lulie

Tangent: it will be interesting to see if the Doom 3 engine turns out to be more portable than the Source engine used in HL2. I haven't seen HL2, but I am playing Bloodlines which uses the Source engine.

My take: if Bloodlines is any indication of the quality of the Source engine, I won't be picking up HL2. While I am enjoying Bloodlines immensely as a game, the engine seems to be having problems: slow load times, some definite animation snafus, interesting character renderings. And that's only the first couple of missions...

Does anyone if the Doom 3 engine is going to be used by any future games? Is ID even going to license it?


"Does anyone if the Doom 3 engine is going to be used by any future games? Is ID even going to license it?"

The Doom 3 engine is being used by Raven Software to create Quake 4. There are also plans to use it for another Castle Wolfenstein game. I don't know of any other licenses.

Sören Höglund

Raven is using the Doom 3 engine for Quake IV, iirc. As for Source, aside from the facial animations, they don't really make that much use of it in Vampire. (Those do add a whole lot to the character interaction though, and are justification enough for picking it, imo.) Especially the physics are left in the cold. HL2 is significantly more polished, and better looking too.

Personally, Doom 3 left me cold. Aside from some bits at the beginning, I never felt any tension thanks to the atrocious level design. It's hard to get scared when you've settled into a routine after the first half hour of combat. And the constant darkness was numbing. Let's see some contrasts people. Make the player wander around in a cozy well-lit area for a while, *then* send him into a pitch black pit filled with snarling demons. Also, there's point in ripping off the logs from System Shock if you've no content for them. Glorified keyhunts that drag down the pace is all they ended up being. Humph.


Yeah, I have to say that Doom 3 was both disappointing and annoying. I actually think the game is indicative of how poorly id has taken to heart the innovations of Half-Life and System Shock, and pretty much any gameplay innovations in FPSes since Doom. Continuous space? Sure, but it's incoherent as, well, hell.

Secondly, there ARE cutscenes. Short as they are, they nevertheless kick you out of the immersion. I don't even know why they used them, as they don't add anything.

Third, the story sucks. While I was initially taken by the production values given to the story, the first 2/3rds of the game, it turns out, are little more than you playing a hopeless game of catch up to a couple guys. I began to feel angry when I heard the Sergeant say, "Pick up the pace, Marine!" (or thereabouts) for the sixth or seventh time.

And fourth, the two or three types of cheap "Gotcha!" tricks get old, fast. It doesn't help that they use them for the entirety of, I dunno, a 15-20 hour game.

Aside from showing us how excellent the atmospherics can be, Doom 3 doesn't do crap for the genre.


I played the Doom 3 demo and was very unimpressed, yes the engine is extremely powerful, but it was so dark I had a hard time appreciating how good it looked. Not to mention the fact that it only ran so-so on my computer. I also couldn't stand corpses evaporating.

HL2 on the other hand runs almost flawlessly, and I find myself appreciating the graphics much more than Doom 3's. No, the engine isn't as good, but it's light enough to actually see, and the level design is leaps and bounds ahead of Doom 3. I'm a tester by trade and a graphics programmer by hobby, so if I can't appreciate Doom 3's graphics that's a bad sign. I think you could take the same engine with different level designers and make something truly awesome, but Doom 3 didn't do it for me. It didn't help that the shadows cast by the lighting often didn't look quite right on my computer (probably the fault of my three year old 3d card) I might have been able to appreciate it a lot more if I had the latest and greatest system.

Doom 3 is okay but HL2 blew it out of the water. That game really DOES raise the bar for the FPS genre. I can't believe the physics in that game(they're especially noticable once you get the gravity gun).


Maybe I'm just an old cynic, but I thought the whole 'stuck in the dark thing' was more about keeping frame rates high than scaring the player. After all, the darker the room, the less to render!


well, we'll see what Raven have in store for us.

Doom 3 is more to a tech demo/show anyway.

as for physics in HL2, ain't it due to Havok engine?


"After all, the darker the room, the less to render!"

Wellll, not exactly. The renderer still has to draw textured polys for all 640*480 pixels (or whatever) in the scene, even if it ends up coloring all of them black.

If anything, it's a labor saver. Nosing around with the flashlight in some of the near-unlit areas of the game, I found a number of sloppily aligned textures and rather rudimentary geometry. Low light means you can do more with less detail, technically.

Regarding the actual game: everything Walter said.


HL2 uses a 'modified' version of the havok engine. I think a lot of the most impressive stuff came from the modifying. The havok engine is cool on it's own but I didn't think it could do a lot of the stuff I've seen so far in HL2. They took a good thing and made it better.


Known possible Doom3 licencees (based on a local game mag's article and other info):

- Raven / Quake4
- Raven / unannounced project
- Splash damage / Wolfenstein game
- Nerve / coop multiplayer project with new IP
- Human Head / unannounced project (they've been hiring D3 engine level designers)

Expecting announcements at E3... it's gonna be the biggest show ever, with nextgen consoles and lots of new projects unveiling :)


It is nice to see someone not just slamming D3 straight off. I enjoyed what I played of it, but ended up not really getting very far. It just didn't hold me enough.
That said, the engine is remarkable and I look forward to seeng what will be done with it. I mean, some of the great games of the last couple of years used the Q3 engine to excellent ends (Call of Duty being a great example - it was late in the run of Q3 engine titles, but it still looked good and worked brilliantly). I certainly think the D3 engine is going to be better for licensed games, and the Source engine will continue, as with HL, to be the better for modding.

HL2 I do think is the better game, and I will get round to finishing it for sure. While it has some fantastic tension, and can make me jump a fair bit, it doesn't fill me with fear to the extent D3 does. D3 I wanted to just stop playing from fear. This coming from someone who loved, but was singularly unscared by films like Ringu.

Vampire... I probably won't finish it, but I have put a fair bit of time into it. It has some lovely touches. The haunted hotel was a beautiful peice of gameplay, as well as design. I was fairly scared throughout all of that, save for reminding myself 'I'm a vampire, what do I have to be scared of!?'.
It would be nice if it wasn't as riddled with bugs and rough edges, but well... What can you do?
I don't think it was the best use of the engine. The facial animation stuff, yes, but the rest of it feels a bit clunky. It doesn't feel quite as smooth as a good first person shooter, and certainly not as smooth as HL2.


Dudes i think hl 2 kicks doom 3s ass, but the engine they made for doom 3 makes source engine crawl up a vent and die. Considering id is only about 20 people which is less than some mod teams and valva had about 80 people work on hl2 doom 3 is a marble. Have you seen how the textures from hl2 look in d3 engine. Its amazing what a big change it makes.
Check this out when someone imported hl2 textures into d3 with the intent to show that everything that source can do d3 can do the same or better. So anyway check it out


Big mean proper-English-speaking Nazi

Mr. Butmunch: Not to engage in class warfare or anything, but this is a game developer's weblog, not a Half-Life 2 forum. Speaking in gamer-forum slang in here is a little like if you were to march into Hideo Kojima's house yelling "DUUUUUDE!" and tracking mud on your boots.


The only thing that's really scary in these comments is one guy saying he won't play Half Life 2 because Bloodlines suffers from poor production values.

That's like saying you'll never drive another sedan because your Camry doesn't have a drink holder.

They're two different games. Half Life 2 is just about as good as it gets. Doom 3 ain't as terrible as everyone rants on about (I'm guilty myself), but it doesn't have near the hold, production values, or simple quality that Half Life 2 contains.


Sometimes (when I feel good and I want to be respectful with D3) I think one of the problems with Doom 3 is the hype. The final product didn't deserve so much hype. If it was called Fear in Mars from novel developer team Fearlight Productions (as an example, a dumb one I must recognize) it would be called the sleeper hit of the year, probably.
I know what I have just said is quite obvious but true at same time. The bigger the hype, the bigger the rants if the hype is not completely satisfied.
And I find there's no need to mention HL2 everytime there's a talk about Doom 3. Let's have some compassion for ID. Once they were as applauded as Valve nowadays.

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Jamie's Bragging Rights

  • Spider-Man 2
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