PS - The MO is busy, too. I've heisted this entire entry from Lileks only because I'm not sure there is going to be a permalink when he reinstitutes the Bleat. MO assures me that Lileks is spot on....
The following is copied from and presumably copyrighted by James Lileks, who is wonderful and someone I really really really would not want to piss off because I like his writing very much.
April 13 update: All work, no play, etc: I was sent a sign. In the middle of today"s huge print & edit session the doorbell rang. The dog barked. UPS. A box from Amazon, with all the movies I intend to watch after the book's done - and Doom 3. I'd promised myself I would play it when the book was done. Well . . .no. Stick to the goals.
But. By the end of the night I'd finished printing everything I could print. Sure, I could work on the last few pages, but I'd been going since the early AM, and the day"s work had included two columns for my day jobs. Surely it wouldn"t hurt to see what the game was like.
I know I've mentioned this before, ad nauseum, but one of the moments in gaming I'll never forget was in '94, when the first Doom came out. Second level. The warehouse. Flickering lights. Monsters panting in the darkness. If you played the game, you know what I mean. Compared to modern games it"s practically a Muybridge strip, but at the time it was pretty cool, and genuinely unnerving.
Well. This is worse. And by worse I mean better. It"s the same old story, those careless scientists opening up portals to Hell again. Will they ever learn? What"s the point? Do they think they can get monopolize the tourist traffic? It"s just like Half-Life, inasmuch as you spent the first part of the game walking deep down into the complex, then something goes Horribly Wrong, and you have to fight your way out. Been there fragged that. What sets it apart are the graphics, the claustrophobic design, the darkness, the audio. Pretty harrowing, if you"re in the mood to be harrowed.
And I was. I turned all the lights off. I put on the headphones. I was down in a dark corridor, hearing the screams of the Marines on the communications systems, the bangs on the wall, the groan of bending metal; I had my shotgun. I stepped towards the stairs, looking up at the shadows swinging on the wall, expecting to see some hellspawn feasting on the entrails of a scientist, when the door opened and out came the zombies. I fell back, crouched, pressed into a recess, waiting, waiting, waiting...
All the while, unbeknownst to me, Gnat had entered my room. She came up behind me and grabbed my headphones and ripped them off my head, and ladies and gentlemen: I jumped 20 feet and cried out the Name of Our Savior with such force that plaster wafted from the beams above.
So is Doom 3 scary?
Why yes. Yes, it is.
(PS: looks great on a stock Mac dual-processor G5. Decent frame rate with minor lag before you enter a new room; levels load reasonably fast. Audio is impressive, but you'll get a headache from the shotgun. Creature design is mortifying. It's taken many cues from "Aliens," which is a good thing. In that oh-my-god-no bad thing sort of way.)