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Doom III Xbox Event

By James Stevenson     February 23, 2005


DOOM III
© Xbox
Last week in San Francisco, Activision and id showed off a near-complete version of DOOM III for the Xbox. Looking phenomenal and supporting two-player co-op play over LAN and Xbox Live, DOOM III could be a smash hit for Xbox gamers looking for the newest great shooter since their last adventure with the Master Chief in HALO 2.

The game is actually nearly identical to the PC game which was released last fall. The main difference is that some of the game is more broken up and it seemed that during our playtime some of the cheaper spawn points in the game had disappeared. Perhaps the best way of describing it is that while still scary as hell, the game may be slightly more action oriented.

In all reality though, many people may find the Xbox version to be quite a bit different than playing it on the PC. With support for progressive scan, owners of big HDTVs along with a nice surround sound system may get something they never got out of the PC version. In addition to that, the PC version took a hefty piece of hardware to run, this guy runs on the Xbox. It has to look worse, right?

Not so fast. The game actually looks really good and just about everything made the port successfully minus the high-res textures and some effects. All in all the game looks really good and is probably as good or better than previous Xbox FPS graphics champ, CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK. The visuals look great and the game plays pretty well with the Xbox controller as well.

The biggest addition to the game is the excellent co-operative play. There was some re-tooling of enemy behavior for the mode, and some of the game isn't included (mainly the atmospheric not-so-action-packed areas are left out). Needless to say though, fighting your way through Mars and Hell with a buddy over Xbox Live is going to be a lot of fun. Do note there is no split-screen co-op, the Xbox just can't handle putting the Doom III engine on screen twice.

But for when you're tired of kicking the crap out of bad guys and want to turn out attention to each other, the game also supports four-player support for death match. Obviously more would have been better, but it's still something and it is there.

For some of you, that'll be cool, but what about those folks who don't game over the network, there is still another alternative. This lies in the classic DOOM games that are included and support four-player co-operative. This will take you right back to the good old days of DOOM, running and gunning the whole way.

While it was hard to get a feel for the sound of the game in the noisy room we were playing in, we were assured the game would sound great over a 5.1 surround sound system with an optical cable. It is recommended to have a change of pants if you play this way though.

DOOM III is shaping up nicely for the Xbox and should be great for those who haven't gotten their chance to check out id's game yet.

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