Doom 3 is Fantastic

I’ve been both a game developer and a game player for a long time now, and like the rest of the world, I’ve been looking forward to the release of Doom 3. It went on sale today in the United States, and I picked up my copy at Best Buy.

I’ve needed a new computer for about six months now, and I had decided to make my purchase contingent on one of two triggers: either the release of Doom 3 or Half-Life 2…whichever came first. Well, although I’ve looked and looked, I can’t find that sweet machine that marries all of the technologies I’m ready to invest in. Specifically, I think it’s worth waiting another couple of weeks for PCI Express, but none of the manufacturers have the PCI Express video cards in stock, so I’m forced to wait. In the meantime, I decided to install Doom 3 on my current computer, an older P4 1.8GHz Dell Dimension 8100 with 512MB of memory and a NVIDIA GeForce 3 AGP 4x graphics card. I didn’t expect much, but I’ve found the game to be surprisingly playable. I’m only running at 800 x 600 at the lower quality settings, but it still looks and plays extremely well. There’s hope for those of you who don’t have cutting-edge machines.

Regarding the game, it is very dark. The flashlight that you carry will become your friend (although switching it back and forth with your weapon can get old). If you’re used to fighting an army of monsters, Doom 3 will be a change of pace. It’s very rare that you ever have more than a couple monsters attacking at the same time. Creatures like to jump out of the shadows or drop from the ceiling. It’s a very moody environment, and the production quality of the graphics, textures, voice acting, and machinery do a great job of bringing you into the story. Expect to be surprised more than a few times (even though you’re expecting it). I’ve really enjoyed watching the little promotional videos that show on the monitors throughout the base on Mars. It just goes to show you the attention to detail that id Software has put into this game.

I’ve only played for about four or five hours, but so far, I’d say that it was definitely worth the purchase, and I’m happy to be able to play it on my existing hardware. If you’re a fan of first-person shooters, this is a title you should check out.


Comments (8)

  1. I just got my new Dell 8400 yesterday, PCI Express, 2G RAM, ATI video card. Should be interesting to see how it compares to my old P3/933

  2. Kulin says:

    This is great news…i have a geforce4-class card and i guess your post means this game will be a little more than just playable :-). I was hoping against hope that I wouldn’t have to shell out (pun not intended) upwards of half a G for a new card and now it sounds like i won’t have to after all.

  3. Jeff Parker says:

    Mike, I really recomend an Alienware system. If you don’t mind the size that is. Those Cases are big, but then again it is a full size Tower.

    Also the new Area 51 Extremes are PCIE ready willing and waiting to go and comes with the Vidio Card Recomended for Doom3

    Their shipping is always a problem, they just do not seem to be able to produce them fast enough. They took a long time to ship from time I order till time I got it, and both my Nephews got one and they had same problems in shipping. But that was the only problem with the system.

    Anyway I got mine almost a year and a half ago and I remember a guy got a new dell comparable 2 gigs less ram and less HD space, I was also Hyper Threaded and he wasn’t, but I knew I should be able to out benchmark him. He shut down everything but the absolutely essential windows services. I had MSDE SQL Server sitting there, not doing anything but was still alive, and IIS, and instant messengers and basically normal operations running. I slaughtered him on benchmarks so bad he was so pissed at his new system.

    I do not recomend getting an ATI card, i believe we discussed that before but after finally one driver update half my 3d apps wouldn’t open I went out and bought a Gforce and never had a problem since. Graphics were better and cleaner and clearer and haven’t woke up in the morning after my windows open gl screensaver cause the ati.drv to go into an infinite loop again. But that was my mistake when ordering trying to save $10 on a machine with 4 gigs ram and half a terrabyte HD.

  4. Jeff Parker says:

    Oh forgot to mention they are building them with the PCIE cards already the one in the link above comes with

    NVIDIA® GeForce™ 6800 GT PCI Express 256MB DDR3 w/Digital and S-Video Out

  5. Barry says:

    And I thought I was the only one waiting for PCI-Express 🙂

  6. Josh says:

    Yeah sure, get an alienware system if you want to spend 3000 for a system you can put together yourself for 1500. The only thing you wouldn’t get would be those huge ass cases.

    Alienware is expensive because of the custom cases, keyboards and mice. But they’re just not feasable. Especially for one game, not that I don’t love Doom 3. I just mean that it’s not a reason to go spend way more than you have to.

    If you want good specs for a machine go visit and get yourself the system they recommend for playing doom 3. I guarantee you it won’t cost you what an Alienware system would.

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