When Doom 3 was released for PC's last year, many people were skeptical of how the game would make it over to the Xbox, let alone if it ever would. ID software surprised everyone by releasing a fairly decent first person shooter for the Xbox earlier this year and in the same year they've released Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil, which is a minor upgrade to Doom 3. The game doesn't require the Xbox version of Doom 3, so those who never picked up Doom 3 early this year can still play the game. Did we really need another Doom 3 title this year? or has evil successfully been resurrected?
The storyline helps to set up the story at the beginning of a game, and after this the story takes a backseat to the action. Two years have passed since the wrath of hell was first unleashed at the UAC research facility. Even though most people were killed after this incident, the UAC has decided to return to Mars to investigate an unusual signal beacon that is emitting from Mars. Players take control of the person who volunteers to go investigate the beacon. Whilst investigating the beacon an ancient artefact of extreme power is discovered, and this artefact is the key to unlocking the gates of hell. It is up to you, one sole marine to find a way to destroy the artefact and find a way to survive. There are no accolades for the story, but it suffices in setting up why we're stuck alone on Mars again.
Whilst the game itself is fairly similar to its predecessor, there have been a few changes to the formula that change the gameplay a little. In ROE you can use the artefact you found to your advantage. When you find other dead human bodies around the facility you can use the artefact to draw power from them. Once you draw enough power you can manipulate reality and slow time down a little. The "bullet time" effect has been exploited a lot in recent times, but developers are learning not to over exagerate its use, and once again the power is not over utilised. The power actually becomes handy, rather than repetitive. The use of the weapon is restricted to certain rooms that have a large amount of bodies in them, so it is often easy to tell when a large battle is about to happen by how many bodies are in the room.
There have been a few new additions to the weapons in ROE. The double barreled shotgun is the coolest addition to the game and it completely blows enemies away. There is also a grabber weapon, the grabber weapon is able to pick up environmental objects such as barrels. After picking up the objects you can throw them at other enemies, but it just isn't as fun as shooting them with a shotgun or other weapon. The grabber also doesn't appear to be as fast as using weapons so the chances you'll utilise the grabber often are rare.
One of the more common complaints about Doom 3 was about the lack of multiplayer options. ROE actually removes the co-op play which was found in the predecessor. We're not sure why this feature was removed as it was a great multiplayer option in Doom 3. As well as this there is only support for up to four players in the deathmatch arenas, we would have liked to have seen more players able to play in the matches, because four seems a little low. Due to the low amount of players the game does run fine on Xbox Live, which is an advantage. Basically the game has been downgraded multiplayer wise, which is sure to anger a few people.
Activision and ID Software have also included a retro bonus for fans of the previous titles (and anyone playing this game is most likely to be one). Ultimate Doom, Doom II and the Doom II Master Levels have all been ported to the Xbox in their full pixelated glory. Those who purchased Doom III had an opportunity to play Doom I and Doom II, but the Doom II Master Levels are new and exclusive to ROE. The games have been ported very faithfully, and whilst they aren't going to have you entertained for too long, they are still an appreciated inclusion that will be fun to come back to for a bit of retro fun. Those who haven't played any of the previous titles also have an opportunity to see what the fuss is about.
Gameplay wise the game hasn't changed that much from its predecessor. The enemy artificial intelligence hasn't really evolved, which is a little disappointing as the enemies are fairly dumb overall, there is no real intelligence in their actions. The environments become a little repetitive after a while, which means the game will feel a little familiar, if you've played Doom 3 then the environments will feel even more familiar as they haven't evolved too much. The gameplay overall is very simplistic, but it is unfair to expect anything too deep from a Doom title.
Graphically the game looks just as phenomenal as Doom 3 did six months ago. The effects and monsters are all highly detailed and this makes ROE one of the best looking games of this current generation. We only encountered a real little bit of barely noticable slowdown at certain points where the action began to heat up; but overall the game runs really smooth.
The audio in the game remains very atmospheric at all times. There is barely much sound in the game at all, but the weapons sound good and sometimes the silence is better than an overload of noise.
The main game is long enough to last a significant amount of time. However, once the campaign is finished it is unlikely that you'll return to play through it again. The main appeal lies with the multiplayer mode, or the classic Doom inclusions, but even they can only last a certain amount of time before they become repetitive.
Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil builds upon the foundations laid by Doom 3. There are still a few problems with the game, such as basic multiplayer options and not much difference from the previous titles. Fans of the previous game will lap this title up as the campaign mode begins a lot quicker and is an adventure on par with Doom 3's. The inclusion of the classic Doom titles is a great bonus, and thankfully all of them have been ported well. The game doesn't do anything different, but at a budget price you cannot go past Doom if you want to resurrect some evil.
XBOX: Doom 3