Doom 3 brings I.D. software right back in their element with very little innovation since John Romero left and stunning graphics. Doom 3 could have easily been called Doom 2, 3d since it is essentially the same game, with the same monsters and many of the same weapons. At first, this is awesome because the first 1/3rd of the game is a trip down memory lane. Yet for some reason they still included a lot of the things about Doom 2 that made it insanely annoying like the running around searching for the key to open the door, which is still the most common puzzle.
The major “new” factor is that the whole game is quite dark and you have an flashlight (which looks incredible). When you pull it out a realistic dome of light appears in front of you, eluminating your way. But it must be switched back to your weapon before you can fire. The game certainly made me jump a few times and the atmosphere created this element is quite novel.
The visuals are incredible, although far too much hype was made about the curved environment that they were talking up years and years ago. There are curves, it does look absolutely incredible, but nothing about the environments is that much different from Half-Life 2. You are basically indoors the whole game and while they use visual tricks and allow you to enter some quite large areas this is an indoors game and you often feel that. On this point however, I.D. has yet again raised the bar and Half-Life 2 will need to meet that standard.
Speaking of Half-Life, so much of this game has been ripped from it its just not funny. The moving trains are back, as is the whole concept of fighting marines, and a massive host of visual and game elements. Parts of this game do feel directly copied and that is a shame.
The engine raises some interesting possibilities for mods. There are screens that can be interacted with that effect the environment, and I can see this was a feature mods were crying out for. It depends which games become popular and then the modders will follow.
In a nutshell, if you like shooting monsters, and have a monster computer and want to see it in glorious beautiful beautiful detail, get this. Otherwise give it a miss.