Little hasn't been said about Doom 3's visuals. The engine has been the talk of Internet forums for the last few years and it is easy to see why. While clearly not reaching levels of a modern CGI movie, Doom 3 has set the benchmark for PC titles. Darkness and light are exploited well; mainly in terms of scaring the player, even if it can't be used to invoke stealth (although for some this may come as good news). Physics and rag doll effects are present and correct; exploding barrels may not quite reflect real world barrel behaviour, but who doesn't like them? The bump mapping effects make the whole work look splendid, even if you don't get to see any real variety in the locations - the Martian surface, the human base and Hell itself all look wonderfully convincing and atmospheric, with whirls of dust and sulphur almost chokingly real. While a top-end system isn't required to play the game, the visuals play a big part in the gaming experience. Lighting in particular isn't as effective when the game is played on ageing hardware.
'While clearly not reaching levels of a modern CGI movie, Doom 3 has set the benchmark for PC titles'
The multiplayer, while not bad, is a pretty simple experience. Stock 4-player modes such as deathmatch and team deathmatch are supported but prove to be as pedestrian as fans may expect, given the current climate of online shooters. Some interesting aspects include maps which allow the player to manipulate the light to their advantage, but there really is little else of note in this department, which is as much as id promised. Doom 3 was designed as a single player experience, but with the right maps multiplayer could be fun.
The fact of the matter is that there are going to be many people disappointed with this game. Anyone expecting a game that will reinvent the genre will have missed the point of the game. Sure, it doesn't advance the first person shooter genre at all, but that doesn't really matter when the games basic mechanics are as excellently executed as this. If id had taken a similar approach to how other developers are telling stories in their games we may have had a more cinematic game, but would that have really been Doom? The game is testament to John Carmack's skill as a hands-on developer, and provides a gaming experience not found very often in today's games. Simplicity can sometimes be a good thing.