Review: Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil

Table of Contents

Quick Info

Gore & Brutality Magic Sex Civility Religious Objections
3 4 0 1 3
Additional Notes

Summary of major issues
There's a lot of gore in this expansion, but not quite as much as the main game. Demons and Hellish imagery is also commonplace, which is typical for the Doom franchise.

The biggest issue is a new item called the Artifact. While this is a weapon that the player uses to thwart Hell's invasion, but it was originally created by demons and used human souls as its fuel source.

Screenshots

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The aptly named Heart of Hell

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Time to play catch

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Dealing with a Brusier

General Information

Genre:First Person Shooter ESRB Rating:M - Mature (18+)
License:Commercial My Rating:Mature Audiences only (18+)
Played on:Thaddeus
Available from: Gamer's Gate, Humble Store, Steam
Save System:Like Doom 3, this game saves your progress between each chapter and you also have the option of manually saving whenever you want.

To pause the game, press ESC to bring up the game's menu.

Important: viewing your inventory does not pause the game.

Game Overview

Normally, I'd list commentary about a game's DLC in the review for that specific game. However, Resurrection of Evil, aka RoE, is listed separately on your Steam library, as if it was another game entirely. This may be due to how it was marketed: consoles received it as a stand-alone game, while it was sold as an expansion pack for the PC version of Doom 3. I'm just going to treat it as if it was a small sequel to Doom 3, as it feels more like a sequel than additional content for the base game.

The new story begins shortly after the events of Doom 3. Despite the terrible events that resulted from their first excavation project, UAC has continued to explore the ruins on Mars. This time they find another artifact, and once someone picks it up, things go south immediately. It's soon revealed that Dr. Betruger, the evil scientist who betrayed humanity in the main story, has lived on as a demon called the Maledict. Having sensed that the artifact was activated, Betruger sends his demonic hoards back to the Mars base so that Hell may reclaim what rightfully belongs to it.

As you would expect from a game in this franchise, what follows is an adventure where the marine must battle his way through a great many demons, visit Hell itself, and save the day by defeating the demonic mastermind behind the invasion. This time there's a slight twist, as the artifact itself is a powerful weapon that the forces of Hell created for their own ends. Now that the marine has it, he can use the infernal powers it bestows against Hell itself.

Gameplay-wise, there have been a number of small improvements. Many of these tweaks came about from harsh criticism of the original game, which has earned a reputation as the metaphorical black eye on the franchise. The lighting has been improved, though you'll still need to switch to the flashlight at points. Monsters are also much less likely to ambush the player this time around, as players often complained about the overuse of surprise attacks in Doom 3.

In addition to those changes, RoE brings with it several new weapons and demons for you to battle. In particular, Doom 2's much-loved double barrel shotgun makes a return, though I personally question this incarnation's effectiveness. It doesn't provide enough firepower to compensate for the time it takes to load another round. More useful is the new Grabber Gun, which allows you to fling a demon's fireballs right back at them. If the redirected attack lands, it usually kills the target in one hit.

These new additions and changes give players another reason to explore the Mars base, so if you liked Doom 3's design enough for another go, RoE lets you scratch that itch. However, this expansion can be considered too little too late, as Doom 3 never really gained a following like the original two games. The fact that Doom 3 received a remastered re-release as Doom 3: BFG Edition also doesn't help matters much.

Pros

New toys and new demons to try them on
The Half Life games introduced us to the Gravity Gun; a fun little gadget that lets players use the game's physics engine to defeat the many dangerous aliens that threaten Earth in the Half Life universe. Likewise, Resurrection of Evil gives us the Grabber Gun, which is basically Doom's version of the Gravity Gun. Unlike the weapon from Half Life, this version can also grab most projectile attacks, allowing you to send them back at whatever demon threw them at you.

And you're going to get a lot of practice doing this -- several new monsters appear in RoE specifically to give the Grabber Gun a workout. For example, the Vulgar is an upgraded Imp; it moves faster, throws plasma balls instead of fire balls, and is a much greater threat if you're trying to use typical weapons. However, Vulgars are instantly defeated if they are hit by their own attack. Hell Knights, Barons of Hell, and Mancubi also appear more often in RoE, presumably because their attacks can also be redirected and they're quite resistant to the rest of your arsenal.


Nods to the good entries in the series
Doom 3 made some major changes to the appearance of the monsters players have been shooting at for nearly 25 years, and Resurrection of Evil features a few cases where these changes were dialed back. The return of the double-barrel shotgun is one such example, and the removal of the Lost Soul enemy is another. Lost Souls are a common type of monster in the first two Doom games, and Doom 3 made some drastic changes to their appearance and behavior. The change was apparently not a popular one, as RoE brings the original design back as a "new" monster called a Forgotten One. Unfortunately for it, the Grabber Gun defeats them in one shot.


Puzzles? In a Doom game?
The artifact, also known as the Heart of Hell or the Bloodstone, is a powerful device that can temporarily grant the user with marvelous powers. These include invulnerability, super speed (called "Hell Time"), and inhuman strength. This becomes quite important, as there are deadly traps you'll need to navigate just to progress in the game. Crushing walls, flying bolts of energy that instantly kills anything it touches; that sort of thing.


Cons

Visual bug can be a pain
One of the problems that has cropped up with running RoE on newer machines is that the visual effect used for the artifact and the Grabber Gun doesn't display correctly. It's displayed upside-down, which makes aiming the Grabber or navigating the game's world while using Hell powers almost impossible. This can be fixed by disabling antialiasing in the graphics settings, but you're in for a bad time if you forgot or didn't know to tweak that option before playing.


Concerns and Issues

There are issues with the artifact
Obviously, using something created by demons is going to lead to conflicts with Christian beliefs. The primary issue is that this depicts something demonic as something good (or at least useful for good ends). There really isn't any way to mitigate this problem, and the fact that the Heart of Hell is powered by human souls doesn't help matters. At least you don't kill anyone to obtain their soul -- you just collect them from the bodies you run across during the game.


Bloody, demonic imagery
Par for the course when it comes to games in this franchise, though RoE does manage to put its own spin on things. The Maledict is one example, as it's a large demonic dragon that has Dr. Betruger's head where the monster's tongue should be. Also, towards the end of the story, Delta Labs itself gets partially pulled into Hell, resulting in blood and skeletons blinking in and out of existence every few seconds.


And everything Doom 3 had going for it
Since this is an expansion, almost every issue from the original game applies here. The reason I say "almost" is because two issues have been partially fixed. There is now noticeably less swearing, as the character from Doom 3 with the foulest mouth died during the main story and thus doesn't appear in this part of the game. The other improvement is that due to gameplay changes, some of the more frustrating parts have been revamped, keeping the player from getting quite as irritated by interruptions or bad luck.