Metascore
87

Generally favorable reviews - based on 83 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 77 out of 83
  2. Negative: 0 out of 83
  1. It’s the atmosphere created by the outstanding people at id that makes Doom 3 standout from the crowd. The lights flicker on and off, enemies hide in the dark and wait for you, and you truly feel alone most of the time you’re playing the game, which is surprising considering there are other characters that you work with.
  2. 100
    It feels much more like a mystery than a run’n’gun kind of game that people have become accustomed to after years of playing id games, and that is not a bad thing. This game has a real story and it’s a really great one to boot.
  3. DOOM 3 joins the tiny handful of games we've seen this year that really are all they're cracked up to be. It's got fun, excitement, good looks—everything people look for both in a potential mate and in a video game.
  4. I can't recall another video game that made me this physically uncomfortable and this psychologically troubled.
  5. It's the execution that makes this game so damn good. The stellar visuals, amazing audio, and incredible attention to detail draw you into another world.
  6. Doom 3 has its flaws, but remains a graphical, audio and visual tour de force.
  7. It’s a masterpiece of in-your-face action, a good plot, trend-setting graphics and audio that’ll have you screaming for hours. [5 1/2 "drips"]
  8. The ability to make me jump when enemies fly out at me, or even better to make me jump when a light breaks or a beam falls forcing me to start firing at nothing, this is a huge achievement. This game will easily join the ranks of "System Shock 2" and "Undying" as one of the scariest FPS titles ever made.
  9. Doom 3 ignores all of the "rare" and "true find" tags and fills any void you might have had for having the piss scared out of you.
  10. Awe-inspiring graphics, cutting edge 3D sound, fantastic artwork and level design, stunning character models and animations, sexy sfx, admirable AI, intuitive interface and top notch story and voice acting. A good fleshy single-player FPS experience – the best in years, if not ever.
  11. The environments in Doom 3 are exceptional. The lighting and lack thereof is so well composed that, given the appropriate system, you will bleed into that reality. It does not look like a game.
  12. Doom 3 is excellent. It isn’t revolutionary, but it does bring a simple and exciting gaming experience with near-flawless precision.
  13. It is fast-paced, claustrophobic and genuinely scary.
  14. I’ve never seen a game like this before, where the graphics, sounds, and surroundings actually make the game creepy.
  15. Doom 3 is a masterpiece of the art form - staying true to the frantic legacy of the Doom series, while ambitiously reaching new heights and bashing down the doors of the next generation of PC shooter. The bar is raised. Let's see someone else climb over it. [Sept 2004, p.34]
  16. Much of the immersion in Doom 3 is due to the incredible engine, and the amazing artwork... An excellent game, but it’s a bit of a shame that you can finish it in two days, after waiting for four years.
  17. Even up against recent heavyweights like "Painkiller" and "Far Cry", Doom 3’s visuals are a notch above. Using pretty much every graphical technique available like normal mapping, self-shadowing, per-pixel lighting and others that my frail brain cannot understand, the Doom 3 engine is sight to behold.
  18. Occasionally though a title comes around that contains a graphic engine and audio design so revolutionary it shakes you from the ground up and refuses to let go until every last drop of the story is told. Play Doom.
  19. The graphics are amazing (mind you, even on a mediocre system), the sound is amazing (if you don’t have a 5.1 system yet, consider it), and the game is downright scary.
  20. But if you manage to look beneath the skin of this frightener you'll find sub par artificial intelligence, a laughable plot, and the same play mechanics found in the now very dated original.
  21. 93
    There are some great firefights where the odds are so heavily stacked against you that victory, when it comes, is an emotional event.
  22. 93
    The kind of replayablity any developer only dreams of.
  23. DOOM 3 smashes through all the hype and delivers a grand slam of action, story, atmosphere, and pure terror.
  24. While the gameplay is very simple, with most controls being basic movement and firing, this game was designed to give the player plenty of action and scares … not be a tactical shooter.
  25. For the seasoned FPS gamers, Doom3 is a little empty beyond the eye candy, because on top of the predictable storyline, the gameplay basically consists of running around shooting baddies, completing generic objectives in the process, and rarely strays far from this, but is that really a bad thing? This is, after all, Doom.
  26. Doom 3 is more of an experience than a game. I was reminded of those haunted mansions or “dark rides” they have at theme parks.
  27. This is the ultimate in claustrophobic corridor blasters, and no matter what cynical hacks might say about the flashlight system, take no notice because it’s one of the most unique and cunning ideas we’ve seen in years – plus, it bloody well works!
  28. As an FPS game, somewhat inferior, but as an interactive experience, simply unmatched.
  29. The most enthralling and disturbing atmosphere seen or heard on the PC so far this year. [Oct 2004, p.84]
  30. Multiplayer deathmatch modes work just as you’d imagine them, although I can’t be but a bit disappointed. Unlike a game like "UT 2004", Doom 3 only comes with the option for four-player deathmatches, and there is no Co-Op mode like there will be in the upcoming Xbox version.
  31. The thrill of Doom III is simply that id has not only created something genuinely stand-out impressive on a technical level, but has gone on to create a beautifully unpretentious game that feels at home with itself in that it's not trying to be something it isn't. [Single-Player review only]
  32. Right out of the box (no patch needed) the game ran smooth, looked awesome and kept me both terrified and unable to walk away. The pacing is perfect and the production value unmatched.
  33. Here is a game that doesn't try to be anything groundbreaking and it was never hyped as such; it's just a beautiful looking shooter that provides the same addictive, gung-ho game that made the original so much fun to play.
  34. Doom3 really takes the original game and expands upon it exponentially. Even though visually the game is obviously much improved, it still feels like Doom.
  35. The game play itself lacked more versatility and bona fide innovation to deserve the moniker of "Groundbreaking". Either way, my dear reader, if you're a shooter fan, you'd be a fool not to buy this one.
  36. Initially disappointing, but once you get how it's using the darkness it's very hard not to love Doom 3. Great-looking, scary and a delight to play - id have delivered again.
  37. Even if you get bored with the somewhat repetitive single-player after a few hours, that time will be one of the most intense, visceral gaming experiences you'll probably ever have. [Oct 2004, p.142]
  38. The cliché of key collecting to open doors has been replaced by the completely and utterly new convention of PDA collecting to open doors.
  39. 90
    It's simultaneously innovative and derivative, and it's a game, I suspect, that gamers will either love or hate, with little space in between.
  40. A great looking game with some of the best gameplay elements I’ve ever seen. However, over the scope of the game it gets a little thin and repetitive.
  41. 90
    Most of the levels will give you the heebie-jeebies. Even if you didn't have to worry about ambushes by Imps and commando zombies, the dark environments should be enough to creep you out. The game is pure science fiction, but the structures and equipment seem plausible.
  42. The game has such an immersive, dark style that it stands out as one of the scariest games ever made. The action is intense and gripping.
  43. As a single player game played in short burts and with an eye towards old school run and gun style dynamics, we there's precious little that can touch Doom 3.
  44. Gorgeous and horrifying , but also dumb and repetitive.
  45. A gorgeous sci-fi shoot-em-up featuring the most stunning production values yet seen in any game, its pacing and ambience are enough to overlook its linearity and lack of variety and originality in its gameplay.
  46. A fest for the eyes and ears, Doom 3 is a crowning achievement in allowing a player live through a sci-fi horror experience. You’ll be in awe and frightened by what you see and hear.
  47. Rejecting pressure from pseudo-sophisticated snobs who want to graft on artificial complexities that have been so trendy in recent computer action titles, Doom 3 is a far cry from the pattern of the latest shooters, and to me, that’s a real blessing.
  48. So perfectly constructed, so deliciously immersive and downright elegant, that demands for more seem crass. It might not be the very best shooter out there, but it's the more visually stunning and successfully atmospheric than any game we've had the pleasure to play.
  49. Honestly, the plot isn't bad, it just feels irrelevant, and because of that, shallow. There's only so much sophistication that can be added to a tale in which the forces of Hell emerge beneath a Martian base.
  50. So tense that it doesn't fit the typical definition of fun: it's actually a very stressful experience. But the gameplay is so compelling you will be forced to keep scaring yourself senseless until you make it to the final scene.
  51. 89
    I didn't ever think that I'd let gameplay take such a backseat role to presentation when forming an opinion about a game though... DOOM 3 is an entertaining experience as long as you don't go in with any ideas that this is going to revolutionize first-person shooters. It's a pretty basic game when it comes down to it.
  52. The weapons are pretty unimaginative (all the imagination was in "Doom 1" – this is just a continuation) and are often useless (ever try using a rocket launcher in a small room? Well, there are about a billion small rooms in Doom 3). The BFG is fun as always, of course.
  53. Fans that wanted nothing more than a remake of the old titles, with updated graphics and the same horror atmosphere will not be disappointed. But by comparison, Doom 3 doesn’t bring anything new to the table, and in some respects it feels obsolete compared the FPS that were released in these last years.
  54. 88
    Scary as hell in parts with a lot of intense action with robust narrative with a perfect mix of storyline to action.
  55. One fantastic thing about Doom 3 is that the game gets better the more you play it, and the further you get, the better the weapons, the bigger the monsters, the more diverse the environments, and the greater the thrills.
  56. 88
    The uncomplicated nature of the gaming experience is an advantage in this scary and furiously paced environment. This is an absolutely essential purchase and, despite our minor issues with the story and the intelligence of your enemies, you have to play it to believe it.
  57. Enemies are by far not the smartest to grace a game and will often run towards you while you shower them in a hail of bullets.
  58. Quite possibly the best-looking game ever, thanks to the brand-new 3D graphics engine used to generate its convincingly lifelike, densely atmospheric, and surprisingly expansive environments. At the same time, when you look past the spectacular appearance, you'll find a conventional, derivative shooter.
  59. A headlamp! A headlamp! My kingdom for a headlamp! Other than being way too dark, Doom 3 is a fun old school romp set in an immersive environment with cutting edge graphics.
  60. Doom III is 4 hours of intensity that tests the structural integrity of your mouse against your grip. That's followed by another four hours of wondering if that's all there is to the game. The last 8 hours are irritation that, unfortunately, that is all there is to the game.
  61. It might surprise you to learn that, like most first person shooters from the last century, Doom 3 is essentially a linear corridor crawl.
  62. An essential title. The best graphics ever seen, incredible sound and some superb horror FPS gaming all add up to one hell of an experience.
  63. While the visuals are second to none, the game ultimately doesn't bring anything new or notable to the first-person shooter formula.
  64. 84
    The level design makes it impossible to create any interesting variety in gameplay... The AI in Doom 3 creates a whole new level of stupid.
  65. It’s hard to describe exactly what makes the game feel so intuitive, but when you combine the smooth control with the great scripting and chilling atmosphere, you get a fun, unique, visceral experience.
  66. Hardcore DOOM fans will enjoy the fact that DOOM 3 is just like their baby, only with a facelift and some fancy new gameplay features, but everyone else might want to tread with caution as DOOM 3’s initial scares and wows over the graphics give way to predictable, uninspired gameplay all too quickly.
  67. There is a bare minimum of interactable items, namely, computer screens and boxes you can push for absolutely no reason. While the computer screens are neat in the way they're used, it's just not enough.
  68. Enemies and weapons are well balanced, progression through the Mars base is even and steady, and the locations are varied enough to keep things interesting. [Oct 2004, p.100]
  69. In simple terms, there just isn’t enough in the game that manages to firmly grab you and take you on a gameplay experience that warrant a higher score.
  70. The game is definitely not perfect, but with production values this high and a scare / immersion factor that goes through the roof, even after the 50,000th imp leaps out of a closet to claw at your face, Doom 3 is a game that any player would be stupid not to own in his collection.
  71. Without a doubt, Doom 3 is the most visually appealing and best sounding PC game to date, but it doesn't bring anything new to the "3-D shooter" genre in terms of the game play, which is basically 1993's Doom all over again.
  72. Doom 3 is basically a "Best of Doom" with incredible, state-of-the-art graphics... Regardless of whether you like this game or are disappointed that it's too much like the original, I think we can all agree that this is the best, and most definitive version of Doom.
  73. 80
    While the visual depiction of the demons is easily Doom 3's strong point, the A.I. driving them is perhaps its weakest -- and the one thing that keeps the game from becoming a true masterpiece. In short, these guys are dumb.
  74. If you're expecting jittery "Unreal Tournament"–style multiplayer action here, you'll be sorely disappointed...The real fun is in a story that leads you so deep into hell, with rich graphics and engulfing sound, you can practically smell the sulfur.
  75. 80
    It's a visceral experience that too often falls back on tired shooter clichés. But occasionally, it does rise above the mediocrity to deliver a truly compelling experience. That, coupled with the best graphics available.
  76. Certain classic enemies have also been upgraded, such as the imps, which now stare players down with glaring eyes before pouncing on them.
  77. Great on looks, but low on gameplay. Players generally have little motivation to go through the single player campaign more than once, but the first experience is certainly a great one. However, the multiplayer is very disappointing.
  78. It's impossible for your heart not to race as you sweat out the fright of its peerless audio design, chattering voices and muffled sobs endlessly scraping at your senses. [Oct 2004, p.98]
  79. A confused game, veering from System Shock-style psychological horror to classic Doom mass slaughter via Resident Evil-esque jumpy frights... It’s not until your arsenal is about half full that this begins to feel like the new Doom game you wanted it to be. [Oct 2004, p.100]
  80. And even though its skeletal story and often repetitive game play keep it from being a truly great game, Doom 3's haunted-house formula can still terrorize and exhilarate the player.
  81. And if it's only disappointing because it's exactly as expected, with no surprises, there's little question that it's expertly produced. [Nov 2004, p.78]
  82. I can only strongly recommend this to a particular group of people. Fans of horror, fans of relentless shooters, and those who have a fantastic PC. The rest of the crowd will leave underwhelmed.
  83. Possibly the least original shooter released this year. The enemy AI is standard but effective, the guns are big and beefy and it's basically a case of running around and pulling the trigger.
User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 692 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 49 out of 262
  1. D.Q.
    Aug 7, 2004
    10
    I amped up my machine for this game and it's worth it. I was blown away by the graphics, it's like actually being in there and that's 10x scarier than anything. When a game with this kind of evil pulls you right into it, it's definitely unsettling to say the least. I've been really limiting myself on when and how I play it. I only do a level per night and I go as slow as humanly possible to let my nerves get the full load of adrenaline and terror that each corner, closed door and hidden place where evil lurks provides. I was surprised with the story, it's like being dropped right in there, I wasn't ready to be so immersed in this kind of world. Full Review »
  2. Aug 30, 2011
    4
    This game was just plain not fun. The first hour of gameplay can get pretty tense, and was flat-out awesome. After the demo levels are over though, you start to realize "Wait a second, have I just seen everything this game has to offer?" It's only once that sinking feeling sets in your stomach that you realize you wasted your money. This game has gorgeous graphics (especially for the time), horrendously underwhelming guns (they sound like toys, seriously), insanely frustrating enemies (whoever designed the screen to shake like a paint-mixer every time you're hit needs to be fired. Like communism, it's an interesting idea that just plain doesn't pan out), and let's not forget the ol' Monster-In-The-Closet trick. If there's ammo or armor on the floor, there's seriously a 95% chance a monster will jump out of the wall to attack. It's so ridiculously predictable that you start to plan out which wall you think they will come out of when you pick up the stuff. This game had a lot of potential to be scary, but playing it annoyed me so much that I was beyond scaring. I did complete it though, against my better judgement. Full Review »
  3. RodrigoG.
    Sep 7, 2008
    2
    When it comes to show off the power of the id Tech 4 engine, Doom 3 is a triumph. However, it is supposed to be a game, not a tech demo. And as a game, it is terrible. Enemies often spawn in manners that leave the player without a chance of reaction, unless he knows beforehand where they will appear; getting hit is too disorienting, although the enemies do not seem to get disoriented by the player's fire at all; the weapons take too long to reload, and the enemies take too much fire to die; the whole game is too bleak, repetitive, and frustrating to be enjoyable. One can even wonder if it was developed in the same mindset as the infamous "Takeshi's Challenge" - a game intended, not to amuse, but to frustrate and infuriate. That would make sense, the plot is about a journey into hell after all. Artistic, in a sense, I suppose. Fun? No. Full Review »