Doom 3 is the third computer game in the Doom series and was released in the USA on August 3, 2004. Despite major changes in gameplay and graphics, the game combines the typical Doom aspects of horror and action. As a result of the continued success of id Software's previous games, it became a highly anticipated game. The publisher Activision started the largest delivery in the history of Activision Germany on the date of publication. The PC version of Doom 3 and the Xbox version received a Metascore of 87 and 88 out of 100 points, respectively.
Doom 3 comprises 26 levels, which mainly take place in the gloomy indoor facilities of an extensive research base on Mars . The hell and the excavated ruins of an ancient Martian civilization will also be visited. At the beginning of the game, the player does not have any weapons and becomes familiar with the scenario through exploration and conversations with non-player characters . Shortly before the first encounters with demons, the player is given a handgun. In the course of the game, more, more powerful weapons are added. The player is often asked to use a flashlight, but then cannot keep his weapon ready to fire at the same time. Through the use of scripted attacks and other events (so-called script sequences ) the player should be frightened and frightened.
The key card search known from the predecessor Doom has been modified: Every person who has worked on the UAC basis has a PDA with various information. The player can transfer the data contained on it to his own PDA, including security codes and keys. In addition, there are written and spoken messages or videos on the PDAs, the viewing and listening of which contribute to the game atmosphere and the unfolding of the story, as, among other things, information about various facilities or weapons is given and a picture is provided via the e-mails and diary entries of a wide variety of people of the operations on the base.
In multiplayer mode, id stuck to the first Doom game from 1993 and only allowed four players per map . Since initially no Linux version and only a small number of players were allowed, there was criticism from the gaming community. It is also not possible to add bots (computer-simulated players) in multiplayer mode .
Doom 3 is set on Mars in 2145 . The Union Aerospace Corporation (UAC) has set up research laboratories here and is working on various projects, including the development of a teleportation technology. Here another dimension was discovered, which scientists soon refer to as hell . The Mars base goes into a state of emergency when demons infiltrate the facilities and kill people or turn them into zombies and grotesque demonic creatures. In the role of a newly stationed soldier, the player gets by largely alone and learns a lot during the course of the game about the research projects of the UAC, the hell dimension and also about an old Martian culture that also had to deal with the demons and for this purpose one mysterious magical weapon developed.
Development of the game began on June 1, 2000 and lasted four years. The game graphics were introduced in 2001. After a public presentation at the E3 game fair in 2002, the content shown was leaked and distributed on the Internet. It was an alpha version of the game that contained the three levels presented at the fair. These completely playable levels are not or only in segments in the final release version. On July 14, 2004 the game was completed by id Software.
The game was the first on the market that calculates light and shadow effects with per-pixel lighting for objects in a unified model in real time. Although an average character model in the Doom 3 engine (“ id Tech 4 ”) does not have a significantly higher number of polygons than in its predecessor, the Quake III engine , highly detailed models with up to a million were used for the normal maps of the characters Polygons used. This principle was also used for the surrounding textures.
The Doom 3 engine is considered to be completely newly developed within id Software and comes from, among others, John Carmack . All other id Software games since 1996 were still based on the code from the first Quake part. In Doom 3 the programming language was C ++ is used.
Technical innovations (compared to the Quake III engine):
- Use of normal maps for pixel-precise calculation of the incidence of light
- dynamic lighting effects / shadows
- realistic objects based on physical models
- Multi-channel sound
- higher polygon numbers
- higher resolution textures
- Integration of a flexible GUI system into the game world
- polygon-based collision query
The source code of the engine was published on November 22, 2011 under the GPL .
At the beginning of August 2006, Todd Hollenshead (managing director of id Software) announced that a successor to the Doom 3 engine was already being worked on.
The enemy AI
Most of the enemy attacks in Doom 3 are realized with the help of triggers : When the player enters a certain area, a trigger is released and the monsters come out of hiding places or teleport into the room to charge directly at the player. Only the more human-like opponents like the "Commandos" and "Z-Secs" use the surroundings for cover. In this way, numerous moments of shock are staged for the player.
Differences between PC and Xbox version
The Xbox version of Doom 3 contains some changes compared to the PC version. The levels were shortened on the console and some sound effects were omitted. The Xbox version contains around 15 hours of game time, the PC version around 23 hours.
Status in Germany
In Germany, the game was released on August 13, 2004 on three CDs in the unabridged original English version with a German manual. Doom 3 was the first first-person shooter from id Software to not be indexed in Germany: The game is approved for ages 18+ and was released for Linux , macOS , Windows and Xbox .
Doom 3 BFG Edition
On October 19, 2012, Bethesda Softworks released the Doom 3 BFG Edition , which includes a graphically revised new edition of Doom 3 and a multilingual soundtrack for the game. In addition to the original game, the expansion Resurrection of Evil and the new single player campaign The Lost Mission are included. Another addition are versions of the previous games Ultimate Doom and Doom 2: Hell on Earth , which have been slightly revised for compatibility with current systems. The BFG Edition was released on October 19th for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC, shortly afterwards also for Linux and BSD . A new feature of the BFG Edition is virtual reality support.
Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil
In contrast to the full version, it received no approval from the USK and was not even published because of the threat of indexing and thus potentially fewer sales in Germany.
The single player part takes place about two years after Doom 3 , back on Mars. It spans twelve new levels and contains eight new monsters. New weapons are the grabber , with which objects and enemy projectiles can be picked up and thrown, as well as the double-barreled shotgun known from Doom II.
The multiplayer part has been expanded: In contrast to Doom 3 , Resurrection of Evil can accommodate up to eight players in the eight new maps. Capture the Flag has been added as a new game mode . The multiplayer component was developed by Threewave software who have already developed for Quake Maps. But before that came the end for the game in the CPL . Due to insufficient Linux server support at the beginning, many players switched to Painkiller .
At the end of May 2005, the original US version of Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil was indexed by the federal inspection agency for media harmful to minors. This indexing was canceled prematurely in September 2019.
Matthew Costello , who wrote the backstory for Doom 3, published his novel "Doom 3: Burning Worlds" in 2008, where he incorporated some new elements into the plot based on the game. The novel covers only a small part of the game.
The second part "Doom 3: Maelstrom" was released in 2009 only in English and continued the story seamlessly. Some new characters were introduced and, in contrast to the game, the protagonist was no longer traveling alone.