Doom3: Still The Most Frightening Game
Everyone is talking about Skyrim! So let's talk about Doom3.
Back in the day (2004) the big debate was whether you were a Half Life 2 or Doom3 player. Well I was a Doom3 player, initially at least. Half Life introduced this notice of "Activation by Steam". That shit was enough to put me off the game until an offline pirated version was available. I still won't buy a game that has any of that Steam rubbish built in. Steam... more like a steaming pile of shit! I often dust Half-Half 2 though, and you'll see many mentions of it here in posts.
So yeah, Doom3 anyway. A lot of people didn't like it. They thought it wasn't much fun. And it wasn't much fun, it was scary as fuck! Frightening as going to the bathroom and ending up filling the toilet bowel full of blood! So ironically, while I love the game, I've never actually finished it. Far too stressful. I started playing again recently and had to give up. That shit had my heart rate up to Jason Statham in Crank levels.
I have diagnosed why the game is so effective. Yes, it's claustrophobic and full of "cheap scares" with demons popping out of nowhere, but it's the sound that really gets to me. Playing the game without sound isn't actually too bad. If I put on headphones though, that's an entirely different story. I'm spraying bullets into random dark corners like a coked up Gerry Ryan on PCP.
I think it's also the look of the game. All those surfaces, glistening like wet leather, set against the blackest shadows we had ever seen in a game at the time. That was nightmare stuff right there. Sure, it wasn't hyper-realistic looking, not as much as Half Life 2, but half Life 2 had no soul. I eventually got around to playing that sometime later, and while it certainly was fun, it just felt really empty. Thinking back to it, I get no vibes, no emotive reflections, nothing. The much touted "Ravenholm" level was a pile of piss. As scary as waking up with an erection (admittedly, that's probably more scary if you're a woman).
Half Life did have those infected head crab zombie things though, now they were scary. They had me running like it was Doom3 whenever I heard them. And again, it was the sound within the game that proved to be most effective.
I realise that most people will scoff at this post, but I make no claims about being a macho gamer. I like getting wrapped up in things, and Doom3 just happened to work it's jizz on me. I think the game still looks great too. Obviously, it's technically dated at this stage, but that idTech4 engine allowed for some truly horrific biomechanic environments, as seen in other games that used the engine, like Prey and Quake4.
Finally, that's me playing Doom3 in the video, if you hadn't gathered. I wanted to test out the video recording feature included in the game. The output was a little cumbersome to get into a video format. First you had to record your gameplay, then play it back, and the game would save screen shots which you could sew into a video stream manually. It did record the audio, which was nice, but it had timing issues, so I had to manually move things around. You will notice some of these sound issues if you watch it. Rendered at 720i resolution, 4x antialiasing, if I remember correctly.
Posted at 15:01