Last week, feeling that I was climbing out of my money-pit at last, I ordered "Doom 3" in order to treat myself. Money-wise that was a mistake but I'm still having lots of fun with it.
MadKevin told me that the game was derisively referred to as "The Monster-In-A-Closet Game," as in, "I wonder what's behind this door? ARRGH, SOMETHING HORRIBLE!" And he's certainly right...you don't get a feeling that the monsters are in any way intelligent. They just pop out at you when you step into certain areas, like bloody, gruesome jack-in-the-boxes.
But what MadKevin perhaps doesn't appreciate is that bloody, gruesome jack-in-the-boxes can be REALLY DAMN SCARY, especially when coupled by a fully-immersive environment. That's why we go into carnival fun-houses after all. The added bonus is that when a creepy thing jumps out at you in "Doom 3" you can shoot it in the head and watch its brain fly out.
"Doom 3" is ALL about the environment, right down to the far-off screams and the scraps of paper in the corners. It uses all the horror movie cliches because, when done effectively, they actually WORK. When I hear something moaning deep inside a maze of busted machinery, and when I have to relinquish my gun in order to pierce the shadows with my vulnerable flashlight, I get spooked something awful.
My favourite part of the game so far? The severed arm in the toilet. When game designers demonstrate that they have no class I REALLY start to worry.