I have to agree with what most people have said here.
The one thing in Doom 3's favor was the fact that there was a lot of suspense-building, but it did get terribly repetitive. The whole allure of the game was fighting enemies straight from Hell in dimly lit areas all by yourself on some godforsaken (heh - quite literally) Mars base which consisted primarily of very tight spaces where short of a side-step here and a side-step there, you couldn't do much defensively. It's obvious the whole reason you had to choose between a flashlight or a weapon...it was to add to the overall ambience...to have to switch between being the curious and paranoid guy trying to make it out alive and the diehard marine making a last stand against the darkness, because in the end, you were essentially both. And so while people joke about duct tape, I think most of us are willing to admit we understand the reason why and admit that it did add a certain something to the game, even if we don't agree with the practicality of it.
Honestly, the hardest part of the game for me was after you'd been playing in the middle of the night for a few hours, then a door opens suddenly without warning and a scientist steps out...it was a challenge not pulling the trigger.
But beyond just the whole scary atmosphere of the carefully scripted game, there's unfortunately not a lot of substance to Doom 3 which is why I think a lot of people shoot it down. When you play through the whole game and think back on all the enemies you fought, the list probably falls short of ten different kinds of badguys...and considering the fact that - with the exception of bosses - they mostly have similar attacks...well, it leaves a lot to be desired from that standpoint alone. The game drags on using the same formula all the time - a consistent use of dark rooms, dark sounds of the damned, something in the darkness trying to kill you, and you trying to balance weapon use based on how much ammo you have, how big the threat is, and how much health you have left. The game itself always felt a little tight to me...almost felt like the walls were always closing in, but maybe that was supposed to add to the overall feeling of the game.
I think Doom 3 makes for a good horror game specifically...it falls short of being a mass-killing-spree game in my mind (you only get a few enemies attacking you at once), has a been-there/done-that feel from the first Doom games (while the original storyline of Doom did originally captivate me back when, it's unfortunately old news...and their method of recycling it didn't really bring anything more meaningful, worthwhile, or noteworthy to the table, in my mind) so the story doesn't feel original or fascinating, and as a shooter, I think it kind of comes up short. In truth, the weapon that always made the most sense for me to use in every case (except against a couple enemies and the bosses) was the shotgun...the fact that you can't see your enemy and the rooms are so tight makes it pointless to use something that recoils fast and does damage over time, in my mind...so shotgun it was...for probably 90% of the game for me. And it was the only thing I was fairly confident I'd never run out of ammo on...whereas the BFG power cells were few and far between, it seemed.
Two games released the same year had Doom 3 beat by far for different reasons - Far Cry and Half-Life 2. Far Cry had a cliche storyline and didn't really bring a whole lot to the table in that department...but it was a pretty decent shooter and the graphics were stunning, which is why it got the high praise it did. The whole island paradise made it seem like a visual vacation...except for all the bullets, explosions, mutated monkeys, and blood and guts, of course.
Half-Life 2 would have to win the trophy for me, though...while its installation was perhaps third on the list of least enjoyable experiences on this Earth (behind dying and giving birth), it seems to have everything...it has a more in-depth plot (ok - this could probably be argued, and truthfully I haven't played it all the way through yet)...at the VERY least at least at the beginning, everything that's happening is only subtlely hinted at. It gives the sense of being thrown into the middle of it...it just felt like you were a bit more actively involved in the story - that your character mattered. In Doom 3, you were the guy who's just trying to save his neck who happens to survive in the end, but it's not a character that anybody cares about or that cares for anyone necessarily except his own hide...in Far Cry, there isn't much story like I said, so you don't really feel a connection to the character there either, though you do for the cute chick you're always trying to rescue who is likely put in the game simply for that very reason. Half-Life 2 just does a better job pulling you in initially, I think...and from there, they move things up one notch after another...from having other characters that are on your side who interact with you a lot more than the characters in Far Cry and Doom 3 to numerous kinds of enemies who aren't scripted to morph in like in Doom 3, but might just suddenly spring up out of the ground when you least expect it....there's vehicles (which Far Cry also has, by the way), better weaponry (hey, if you had a choice between smacking hellspawned demons on the head with a flashlight or clubbing to death interdimensional aliens with a crowbar, which would you choose?!)...and the graphics are unfortunately much more impressive than Doom 3's, in my mind. One thing I noted was towards the beginning of Half-Life 2 when you're making your way through an apartment complex, and there are doors that you can open and close that have contoured glass that you can look through that distort the image you're looking at through it....I don't know...just little things like that that have no bearing on the storyline or the gameplay whatsoever, but that they nevertheless took time to add for you to stop and go, "oooo...isn't that pretty?" To me, it adds something.
Doom 3 didn't really have that...it was more rugged...everything that was there had a purpose - whether it was for you to accidentally fall into, too tight for you to go around, or existed only for the purpose of a badguy springing at you from it...the rest of the time, you were looking around wondering when it was going to happen again. There never seemed to be anything extra...everything existed to be linear and functional, and even if they had more, the ambience of the game didn't often leave you sitting in a dark room with nothing but your flashlight walking around looking for the pretty graphics.
So all in all, I just think the ranking should be Half-Life 2 followed by Far Cry and then Doom 3. I can't rate the expansion of Doom 3, but being as disappointed with the original game as I was and hearing the things I have, I think I'll pass.
For mass-spree killing, listen to others' advice and get Serious Sam...CRAZY game if you want to fight TOO many badguys at once in beautiful landscapes with a weak storyline. It excels at what it is, makes fun of itself, and is a blast to play...at least until your mind starts to get overwhelmed with the never-ending massive-scale battles.
Doom 3 was a chore...it was a game I wanted to get through just to say that I did, then I wanted to victoriously delete it from my hard drive and never look back again, and so I did. I personally just couldn't find a whole lot to love about a character nobody cared about whose only incentive was survival crawling through tight spaces on a dead base with serious power problems being attacked by no more than ten different creatures from the abyss, all in the hopes of getting through and fighting the main badguy only because he was there and the character couldn't figure out a better way to spend his time while waiting to be rescued (afterall, you don't really even "win" once you kill off the main badguy, do you?).
After playing games like what I've mentioned here as well as other titles like Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, I'd choose rather to have a more open game to play regularly, rather than one where I feel trapped and boxed in...it just doesn't have good chi about it...then again, it is a game against the forces of Hell, so I guess that makes sense...
All three are good enough that none should be put down, so I hope nobody feels that my little contribution here didn't do that...but I just think if you objectively look at all three of these games, you'll find Doom 3 on the bottom of the heap unless you love horror movies more than anything else in the world. Again, though, perhaps that's merely a matter of opinion...
- FireFalcon ~};^