Games today are pretty complicated beasts. The first person genre has been overtaken by a not unwelcome mix of diverse offerings:the narrative of Half Life, the squad-based anti-terrorism thrills of Rainbow Six, the customisation and RPG elements of games like Deus Ex, the myriad of online-based games ranging from Quake 3 to Battlefield 1942 and an invasion of smart enemies, be they merciless alien invaders (Halo) or island-dwelling mercenaries (Far Cry). Doom 3 is going back to basics; all-out, balls to the wall blasting with just a little bit of fear in the mix. Doom 3 lacks a lot of what so called 'modern' games have, but don't be fooled, simple doesn't have to equal out-dated.
'They move, you shoot them, simple as that'
Doom 3 is as traditional as id Software games come - for a start, it's devoid of any real enemy intelligence. Despite claims to the contrary, there's little to no evidence of intelligence in Doom 3 (in more ways than one, but more about that later). Enemies will dodge slow-moving fire at times and, occasionally, take cover behind a crate, but 9 times out of 10 they will simply charge you down, striking out with melee attacks and making no real effort to remain in one piece, or try to out-smart you. They aren't there to baffle you with their intelligence. They move, you shoot them, simple as that. This is an un-dead army not a tactical S.W.A.T team. Traditional in the sense that it features big, brawny bosses; they've got big guns, big health bars and in return the player has to slay them with even bigger weapons. Traditional in the sense that it features ages-old guns that get bigger and noisier the further into the game you get; health and armour pickups; special abilities and standard level progression.
The game's opening lifts undeniably from Half Life; a sombre prelude to the coming accident, which the player is ready for, but, as might be expected, no one else is - and is genuinely engaging, pulling the player deep into the setting of the game and encompassing them in a thick layer of atmosphere. Scientists and security mill around the wonderfully industrial Mars City base which appears alive with activity. Indeed, when things kick off the tension and atmosphere are multiplied by a factor of one hundred, as hell is unleashed and incessant, panicked radio chatter fills your ears from your fellow marines (who, incidentally, seem incapable of defending themselves in the same way you can, with your lowly pistol).