After Doom 3 was released last year, debates about its value ran rampant throughout the gaming community. One thing that had become clear was that it was simply a game you either loved or hated to play. As you may have read in DailyGame’s review, we were on the love it side of the debate, so when the expansion showed up, we were quick to grab it and go.
If you’re reading this review, I’m betting you were on the “love it” side as well, which means there is a good chance you may want to pick up this expansion. Just remember: in the beginning, Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil is difficult to appreciate.
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The movie and “story” are there to be polite. They’re done with care and will pacify those who demand it, but as in any Doom game, the experience is short and shallow. After you get past that, you’ll find yourself playing Doom 3 again. The original game was anything but short, so as you start walking around shooting the same old monsters in the same old corridors, you may become disheartened. The first few levels have tiny hidden pits of death and spots of darkness where monsters will jump at you from behind, but all of the things you may have disliked about the original game seem to reside only in the first few hours of Resurrection of Evil.
This expansion makes much better use of Doom 3’s physics engine than the original game, with boxes, chairs and even chunks of wall fluttering and falling about. I wouldn’t rate it as highly as the Havoc engine used in other games, but it does run a close comparison.
Speaking of the physics engine, there’s another little game out there you may have heard of that does a fantastic job in that arena. Very similar to that game, Resurrection of Evil hands players a gravity gun early on. At first this feels like a cheap rip-off slapped on to say “Me too!” but after making your way deeper into the game, you’ll find it invaluable to your survival. And, as in Half-Life 2, you’ll find it a whole lot of fun.
Yet once again, the beginning takes some wrong turns. For example, you’re shown how the gravity gun can grab a fireball in the air and shoot it back at the monster, but the first time the game forces you to really use the gun, it’s like trying to shoot with a blindfold on. The first boss has balls of blue light shooting out from its sides that you need to grab with the gun to do any damage. The problem with this is that the blur effects of the gun make it almost impossible to see what you’re shooting at.
After that experience, I didn’t feel like using the gravity gun for anything, because I’d written it off as a useless copy cat. I was wrong. Once the new crawler demon shows up and starts throwing tiny blue fireballs, it’s loads of fun to grab the shots and bounce them back, which results in a one-shot kill. Progressing further, you’ll discover the gravity gun to be your best friend. Barrels, chairs and explosive canisters are begging to be grabbed and thrown at enemies, and playing catch with them brings a fresh new element to Doom 3 that’s engaging and fun.
Next on the “what’s new” list is an alien artifact that slows down time. This artifact carries three shots but can be “recharged” by consuming the souls of corpses and receives upgrades after defeating various bosses. Like the gravity gun, it feels initially like a gimmick, but it’s put to good use later. Each level you pass gets progressively better in design and more difficult, so the first time you decide to slow-down time to pass through a rough part, you’ll be very happy you did (even if it’s because the effect is just plain cool). Everything goes slowly but you and your gun, including all the sound effects and scenery, and as you go from monster to monster you get a nice up-close view of enemies that you might otherwise never get.
The double-barreled shotgun is also a nice addition, and the up-close one-shot kill both comes in handy for surprise monsters and sounds much more satisfying than the regular shotgun. The only catch is that it takes a while to reload, but if you’re missing your old single-barreled friend, that one is still available.
The various bosses in Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil are challenging without being too frustrating, and they usually have a trick or secret that, once you’ve figured it out, allows you to take them down. The levels between bosses also rarely make you do much button pushing or backtracking, but even when they do, the game usually locks doors and lights a way so you can avoid inadvertently finding yourself at the beginning of the level.
The multiplayer is much more enjoyable than the original Doom 3, with eight players and a Capture-the-Flag mode that’s well worth a good night’s fragging. The maps are well done, with small and expansive styles available for whatever you’re in the mood for. Still, although it’s more enjoyable than the original multiplayer, it’s still far from exemplary and feels a little out of balance whenever someone gets the rocket launcher.
In spite of that, I was impressed with the amount of work done to what might originally seem like a “simple” expansion. If you weren’t impressed with the original Doom 3, than this expansion isn’t going to get you to like the game any more. But, if you thought original was fun, you’re bound to enjoy Resurrection of Evil.
- Gameplay: 8
- It’s Doom 3 with a gravity gun and bullet time, and although it may seem gimmicky, they do a good job of making it a fun part of the game.
- Graphics: 9
- The new monsters and levels are very well done, and if anything can be expected from a Doom game, its excellent graphics.
- Sound: 9
- An area in which Doom 3 excelled, and it doesn’t disappoint in this expansion. The effect of slowing down time is particularly cool.
- Replay: 6
- Still far from exceptional, the multiplayer simply suffices.
- Overall: 8
- A little shaky at the start, but if you enjoyed Doom 3 and you stick it out, you’ll find a lot of entertainment to be had.
— Robert Dusseau