We’re Doom3d

According to GameSpot’s Doom 3 Xbox review:

Extremely impressive from a technical standpoint yet behind the times from a first-person-shooter design standpoint: This is the dichotomy that is Doom 3, the long-awaited sequel from well-known Texas-based developer id Software.

Why does a technically impressive but outdated shooter deserve 8.6 exactly? This isn’t aimed just at GameSpot since the high scores have been fairly unanimous, but they’re known for being pretty strict and time has shown just how average Doom 3 was. Sites are always telling us that five on their scale means a game is average but unless they’ve made some radical changes Doom 3 on the Xbox will be just that. In fact it will be an average PC game with inferior graphics and controls. OK, if I reviewed it I’d rate it slightly above average (three stars on my scale), but I still don’t know how it can get 8.6 and higher on the same console that gave us Halo.

From what I understand, the Xbox version is essentially the same, but with Xbox Live, co-op, and some tweaks to criticisms of the PC game such as the excessive use of the colour black. This might give it a couple of points above the other version, but when you take what is essentially a massive tech demo and force it to run at a lower resolution and taking an FPS and forcing it to run with a controller (first-person shooters designed for a controller work fine, but others aren’t) you’re taking two of the games’ fundamentals away from it. Some relativelly minor additions are really outweighed by things like that.

I suppose I’m going to have to try it out to see if there are any improvements that I haven’t heard of, but as it stands all this is doing is giving ammunition to the pretentious pricks who insist that it’s because console games have lower standards and that an average PC game is considered good on a console.

Doctor Who

If you’ve got access to the BBC it’s been difficult to miss the return of Doctor Who after his extended hiatus from our screens. The leak of the first episode did nothing but raise the profile and create a positive buzz and so far, having seen the two televised episodes, I really enjoy it. It’s not particularly clever, the effects aren’t anything special, and it doesn’t have the production values of the Star Wars’ or Star Treks of the world, but it’s big, brash, and unashamedly entertaining. There’s something timeless (no pun intended) about things like the TARDIS and the Daleks, and Christopher Eccleston makes a great Doctor – he’s both funny and charismatic, and he can carry off the serious moments too. It’s unfortunate that he doesn’t want to stay on for a second series.

They really need to try the same trick of putting it on the backburner for a while with Star Trek. Poor writing and growing antipathy from the audience is killing that show, but I guarantee that if they shelve it for fifteen years and then make a great fanfare about its return it will be big again. Maybe not as huge as it was at its peak, but an improvement on the viewing figures that look to have killed it. Doctor Who’s reception shows that it worked for them and it definitely worked for Star Wars.

It’s good to see the BBC coming out with something as entertaining as the new Who. With all the pressure to become more of a pure public service broadcaster while also having the opposite pressure to stay modern and relevant, I’m glad that they can still show that they have a sense of fun.

Buy Chaos Theory

Don’t ask questions, just do it.

This game is fucking brilliant. I finally got it yesterday and almost six hours later put the controller down. If it hadn’t been for the fact that I was halfway through the story mode and didn’t want to finish it in one day I probably would have kept playing. I can’t remember the last time I was having so much fun with a game. I loved the previous games in the series but this is even a big improvement on them.

I haven’t even started on the multiplayer and co-op modes…