Video Game / Doom 3

The Devil is real. I know... I built his cage.

Doom 3 is a 2004 First-Person Shooter, for both the PC and Xbox. Despite its name, it's not a sequel to the original Doom games, as much as a reboot. It has a darker tone then the rest of the series, with aspects of Survival Horror.

Just like in the original game, you're a nameless, silent, badass Space Marine, who has just been assigned to the Union Aerospace Corporation's base on Mars. Upon arriving and reporting to your sergeant, you are given your first task: find a scientist who has gone missing in the old communications facility. At first glance, the place and assignment seem as dull as dirt, but as you speak to other marines and workers during your search, the creepier things start to seem. Many employees seem frightened and paranoid, and then there's the fact that the whole reason you were assigned here in the first place was to replace another Marine who died during an operation. You also overhear some rather suspicious conversations held by a high-ranking UAC lawyer and his lackey, and shadiest of all, the creepy and mysterious scientist Dr. Malcolm Betruger, who promises that "amazing things will happen here soon". By the time you find the scientist, things are already creepy enough. But then Hell literally breaks loose, and you find yourself as one of the few people left alive in a base rapidly being overrun with grotesque monsters, reanimated and murderous former humans, and otherwordly, demonic imagery. It's up to you find and stop the source of the invasion, locate and aid any fellow survivors, and fight to stay alive.

An expansion pack called Resurrection of Evil was released in 2005, and takes place 2 years after the original story. In 2012, id Software released the BFG Edition, which includes a remastered and slightly retooled version of the original Doom 3 game (with an armor-mounted flashlight replacing the original's controversial flashlight system, and more ammo), Resurrection of Evil, an all-new mini-campaign called The Lost Mission (consisting mostly of cut content), and Ultimate Doom and Doom II, as well as the No Rest for the Living expansion that was developed for Doom II's Xbox Live Arcade release, making for a very packed Doom experience.

The game was adapted into two novels by Matthew J Costello.

In 2008, id Software began work on Doom 4 to follow on from this game; the result came out in 2016 and is, once again a reboot.

Doom 3 contains examples of:

  • Adaptation Expansion: The novelizations either benefited or suffered from this depending on your personal taste. They include a lot more information about the UAC, character backstories, and the state of Earth, but almost the entire first book can be skipped and not miss any parts of the game.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Elliot Swann in the novelizations. Game!Swann is a hardass who willingly walks into the face of death, while book!Swann plays like an expy of Donald Gennaro.
  • Ancient Astronauts: Earth had been colonized by ancient Martians — who seems to be humanoid creatures with the same size and width as Humans — who teleported there to escape a demonic invasion. Some scientists ask themselves if the Martians are ancestors of Mankind.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: If your health is lower than 10 and you go into the next level, the game will bump your health up to 25 percent to give you a fair chance.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Artifact in Resurrection of Evil.
  • Artificial Brilliance: The enemy's combat AI is very simple, but their path-finding AI is actually remarkably well-done; if you use an elevator or ladder to escape from a charging enemy, they can actually circle around the entire map to make their way to your new location. This is only noticeable if you go out of your way to toy with the AI, however.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The laser sight that replaces the crosshair in Doom 3: BFG Edition if you're playing in 3D mode. It's a lazy, cheap hack that does not actually point at where your weapon actually fires, and also sways with your gun for further confusion. This is most noticeable in the first few levels, where you'll find it extremely difficult to get pistol headshots on zombies, or kill imps with one shotgun blast. Once you start getting automatic weapons it becomes tolerable, as you can just blast your way through the rest of the game without worrying too much about precise aim thanks to the increased ammo availability of the BFG edition.
  • Badass Boast:
    Swann: This is the last time. I'm tired of running damage control every time he makes a mess.
    Campbell: Right. You're the control, and if that fails, I'm the damage.
  • Big Bad: Dr. Malcolm Betruger, a Mad Scientist and Evil Sorcerer who turns out to be in league with Hell, and wants to bring that Hell to Earth.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The unnamed marine succeeds in sealing off Hell and survives, and is found by the subsequent reinforcements, but innumerable lives were lost beforehand.
  • Blackout Basement: Some of the areas.
  • Body Horror: Happens to Sergeant Kelly, who gets fused into a tank, and Dr. Betruger, who gets partially consumed by a demonic dragon.
  • Chain Letter: You can find one by checking the emails from some of the PD As you find. The Littlest Cancer Patient is dying in six months, and for each time the message is forwarded, the UAC will donate 3 credits per name to her treatment and recovery plan. According to the date stamps in the e-mails, the letter was sent out the day hell broke loose, so the UAC won't be making a large donation any time soon.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Doom 3: BFG Edition maps sprinting to the left thumbstick button like most contemporary shooters. But while those shooters only require you to tap the button once, in this game you have to hold it down to sustain the sprint. This can also be confusing for those that have played the original Xbox version where the sprint button is mapped to the left trigger.
  • Darker and Edgier: Definitely darker (har har), but it includes a storyline and several PDAs one can find to expand on how Hellish (har har) UAC became. It also introduces a lot more Survival Horror elements and contains jump scares, and makes combat a bit slower.
  • Death by Transceiver: The introduction level has the player character listening to people die over his radio every ten seconds after the hell invasion begins. There is even a console video depicting a scientist having his neck snapped by a zombie before cutting to static.
  • Destructible Projectiles: How can you evade the homing missiles of the Revenant? Throw up a flak wall of plasma from the rapid-fire plasma rifle. If it's a straight line between you and the attacking Revenant, then the rev also gets showered in plasma bolts.
  • Diegetic Interface: When the player is wielding a machinegun, plasma gun, chaingun, or BFG-9000, the ammo counter disappears from the HUD and is replaced by a number displayed on the weapon itself.
  • Embedded Precursor: The Limited Collector's Edition of Doom 3 and Resurrection of Evil on the original Xbox includes the original Doom and Doom II. The latter also includes the Master Levels of Doom II. The BFG Edition also includes the first two Doom games.
  • Everything Fades: In the first two Doom games the bodies of enemies stick around forever. In Doom 3, demons disappear in a fizzly animation. This was probably to lighten the load on the game's engine and RAM usage by cutting down on rendered objects. Some mods do undo this and the bodies of humans and zombies generally remain, unless damaged to the point they disintegrate. After being surprised one time too many by what you thought was just a corpse rising up and attacking you, you may just find yourself in the habit of destroying every corpse you come across.
  • Exploding Barrels: Has a variant on these with the yellow toxic barrels. Once you shoot them, they simmer for a couple seconds before exploding (though they will explode automatically if caught in the splash of another explosive).
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell: Hell is this, mixed with pulsating flesh and rivers of blood.
  • Game Mod: Aside from stuff like the Duct Tape Mod, there are a Total Conversion or two. One of the most well known, The Dark Mod, uses the game's engine to modernize Thief: The Dark Project (well, it used to, until the mod became a standalone fangame).
  • Hell on Earth: Dr. Betruger's ultimate plan is to bring the demons to earth.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Unlike the Marine in the classic games, both the Marine in 3 and the Engineer in Resurrection of Evil go bare-headed. Which makes it a little jarring whenever you go out on the surface of Mars; you're told that your suit should have enough oxygen to get you by, which makes no sense as you're never seen putting on a helmet or even a mask. Averted by the Marine in The Lost Mission; he's never shown in cutscenes, but the game's artwork depicts him wearing a helmet.
  • Hyperspace Is a Scary Place: Teleporting will result in you seeing a terrifying blood-tunnel filled with screams.
  • Infinite Flashlight: The only upside of the torch is that it'll never run out of juice.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels
    • Recruit: damage taken reduced to 60%, less enemies;
    • Marine: normal damage taken, normal enemy rate;
    • Veteran: damage taken increased to 170%; slightly higher enemy rate;
    • Nightmare: damage taken increased to three hundred percent, more enemies, and your health constantly decreases to 25 points no matter what. Know that shiny Soul Cube you got at the start of the game? You will need it.
  • Jump Scare: Happens often - in particular, Imps love to crouch down behind doors and around corners, just waiting for you to come by so they can lunge at you.
  • Laughably Evil: The demons are, in an easter egg, this, believe it or not. In a hidden PDA, the demons try to instruct their fellows in how to invade:
    "Virgin blood is best."
    "Goat blood must be no older than 3 days."
    "Entrails must be removed and apportioned either before death, or no later than 30 min."
    "Candles must be sorted by tallest in back to shortest in front - never the other way around!"
    "Most important - pentagrams must be drawn from the center to the outside and left to right."
  • Life Drain: When the Soul Cube's flung, it kills the demon and transfers all of its remaining life energy to you. Goes well with the lack of medkits late in the game.
  • Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: The Limited Collector's Edition on the Xbox includes the two previous games. It also added a second secret level to the first episode in Ultimate Doom and another secret level in Doom II. It also includes a slideshow of concept art, an episode of G4's Icons on id Software, and interviews with the developers.
  • MacGuffin: The Artifact in Resurrection of Evil.
  • Mad Scientist: Dr. Malcolm Betruger, to literally diabolic levels.
  • Meaningful Name: The name of Dr. Betruger means something along the lines of "scammer" in German. They probably intended it to be more like "traitor", but that would be "Verräter."
  • Meat Moss: Some areas are covered with, for lack of a better word, flesh masses that look like turds. If you shoot them, they sound like steel.
  • Medieval Stasis / Schizo Tech: A very strange example. It's 2145, humanity has an established base on Mars, has mastered plasma technology, and is foraying into the science behind atomic structure (the MFS Compactor comes to mind) and teleportation... yet:
    • The most commonly found storage medium is a square-foot disk with capacity for only a few minutes of video and/or audio.
    • Security forces lack any kind of enhanced vision, being forced to rely on hand-held flashlightsnote  (armor-mounted in BFG Edition) with very bad quality reflectors full of artifacts and dark spots.
    • All projectile-based weapons seem to use black powder given just how much smoke they produce per shot. The grenade smokes out so much, it seems to have a burning fuse despite the apparent electronic activation.
    • All UAC workers must use a standard issue PDA that is clunkier and less versatile than most of the cheapest tablets you could find as far back as 2012 in reality.
  • Minimalistic Cover Art: While the standard cover as seen above depicts a Hell Knight, the Limited Edition for the Xbox release came in a steelbook that simply depicted the game's logo against a grey background with a satanic image, some scratches, and nothing else. The cover art for the BFG Edition is even simpler, with the logo against a nearly black background resembling a wall.
  • Monster Closet: Demons have a bad habit of popping out of them. Gets ridiculous when they're literally hiding in the walls; you'll walk past a section of wall, hear a door that you couldn't see pop open, then get smacked in the back of the head with a fireball.
  • Mook Maker: The Archviles, not limited by the number of corpses. Mostly because of Everything Fades.
  • Morton's Fork: Combined with But Thou Must! when at the planetary communications array. For half the game, your entire goal (according to Sergeant Kelly - who may or may not be acting honestly) has been to send a distress call to Earth. When you arrive, you are presented with two options; obey your orders and send the distress call or obey Swann (who technically outranks everyone) and shut down the array to keep the invasion isolated to Mars. Either choice results in the same end - if you obey Sergeant Kelly, then the distress call is sent but you're later told that this just means the demons have a free ride to Earth. Cancel the message and Swann congratulates you for seeing the bigger picture...only to be interrupted by Betruger, who overrides your control and sends the message anyway (begging the question as to why you were even necessary in the first place).
  • Mythology Gag:
    • When the player teleports to Hell late in the game, they lose all of their weapons and ammo and need to scavenge replacements. Said replacements just happen to be the Doom 3 equivalents of the original lineupnote .
    • The ancient tablets depicting the battle between the Martians the demons is the cover art of the original Doom, except Doomguy is carrying the Soul Cube rather than a submachinegun.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Dr. Betruger bears a striking resemblance (both physically and in voice) to Sir Anthony Hopkins. In particular, to Hopkins playing Hannibal Lecter...
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The first part of Delta Labs 1 has no combat at all, instead involving monsters passing by and appearing and disappearing just outside your view.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Betruger is essentially selling out the entirety of humanity to a gruesome end for a taste of power, from what can be gathered from his motivation.
  • Obviously Evil: Come on, just take one look at Doctor Malcolm Betruger.
  • Only Six Faces: Only has a handful of faces for the various human NPCs, which are re-used frequently. This is most noticeable in the opening Scenic Tour Level, where you can find two guys with the exact same head standing in the same room.
  • One-Winged Angel: By the end of Doom 3, Betruger is transformed into a demonic dragon. In Resurrection of Evil, he puts up a hell of a fight with his new powers.
  • Regenerating Health: Inverted in Nightmare difficulty, where your health constantly decreases by five points every five seconds until it hits 25.
  • Ridiculous Future Sequelisation: A PDA message says "The new Quake-43 game blows my mind."
  • Scenery Gorn: Considering that the game combines then-stunning graphics with horrific and grotesque imagery, set in dark and run-down research facilities and the bowels of Hell itself, this is a given.
  • Scenic Tour Level: Unlike most examples, they give you a gun and even allow you to murder your co-workers even before things go to hell.
  • Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You: Or rather, a Hell Knight is about to devour you on the game's standard cover.
  • Sequence Breaking: Memorizing some of the security codes can do anything from unlocking powerful weapons early to circumventing an entire PDA hunt.
  • Shout-Out: The logo for the "Super Turbo Turkey Puncher 3" arcade machine is a nod to the logo for Street Fighter Alpha 3 and the game's developer, "Nabcon", is likewise to Street Fighter developer Capcom. The button layout on the arcade cabinet is also an allusion to Street Fighter, albeit with two extra buttons to the right of the six colored buttons.
  • The Stoic: The marine. Never shows any form of emotion on his face, even fear, just frowns when new sorts of monsters appear. The only time he shows fear is when he meets the Cyberdemon.
  • Stupid Evil: Dr. Malcolm Betruger, who apparently has no actual motive for attempting to transform Earth into Hell and its people into screaming demon-fodder. It is implied, however, that he has been possessed or is in some way controlled by the demons. The novels indicate he was an ordinary scientist who was subject to More Than Mind Control; alternatively The Lost Mission campaign indicates he always had an obsession with the occult and was offered ultimate power by the demons in exchange for Earth. Resurrection of Evil shows that the demons turned Betruger into a powerful demon in exchange for his aid, so that was probably part of his motivation.
  • Teleporter Accident A PDA Audio entry details a lab monkey being split in half. Literally. The upper half went there and the lower half stayed behind.
  • Unique Enemy: In the second level you encounter a "fast zombie" in the infirmary. It can run almost as fast as you can, and would have made a pretty challenging enemy if encountered in large numbers. The one you see in the infirmary is the only one in the entire game, with all other zombies being the standard "slow shambling" type.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: All of the survivors you meet can be straight up murdered either for giggles or to charge the nightmare mode item; you can even do this before the demonic invasion begins. In fact, this is actually a smart thing to do, as many of the civilians in the intro sequence become zombies. One of the cruelest is activating a machine that will strip or melt the flesh off a scientist's bones, complete with a few seconds of horror and terror as the scientist realizes what is about to happen to him. In the BFG Edition, this one gets you an achievement.
  • Villain-Beating Artifact: The original version requires that the player use the Soul Cube to take care of the final boss Cyberdemon. This was changed both in later patches of single-player mode and in co-op mode.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Sergeant Kelly seems to think that the invasion needs to be treated like any other enemy force, and commands Doomguy to send a transmission for reinforcements. Too bad that that is exactly what Dr. Betruger wants, so as to use those ships to have the demons invade Earth. It ultimately doesn't matter because he would have sent the transmission anyway if you hadn't.

Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil contains examples of:

  • The Berserker: What the Artifact turns the Marine into with the appropriately named "Berserk" upgrade garnered from defeating the Berserk Hunter.
  • Bullet Time: After defeating the first boss of the game, the Helltime Hunter, the Artifact absorbs its ability and allows the Engineer Marine to enter bullet (hell) time.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: A common interpretation of the vague ending of Resurrection of Evil. By the climax, every single person besides the Engineer Marine and Dr. McNeil is dead. McNeil orders the marine to shut down all the core systems in Phobos Labs, including the life support system, to power up the old teleporter so he can reach the old Delta Labs and eventually Hell itself to return the artifact and stop the invasion. After battling his way through the demons, the Engineer Marine reaches Betruger/Maledict and is mortally wounded in the battle, but manages to destroy him with the artifact using his last ounce of strength. As the screen fades to white, McNeil's voice can be heard saying "Marine, welcome home", implying that the two are in a better place for their sacrifice.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The Engineer Marine is this is spades once he has the fully upgraded Artifact. So fast that everything else is in bullet time, can punch hard enough to kill a Hell Knight in 1 hit, and is completely immune to any form of damage.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The Engineer Marine's first action upon seeing the Artifact is to just walk up and grab it. This causes the Artifact to instantly vaporize his entire team, reopen portals to Hell, and start another invasion attempt.
  • Nigh Invulnerable: The Engineer Marine becomes this through the Artifact once it absorbs the power of the Invulnerability Hunter.
  • Sawed-Off Shotgun: The Super Shotgun you find in Sergeant Kelly's office has a noticeably short barrel for what is supposed to be a hunting shotgun.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: Subverted by the Super Shotgun. Though still short ranged, it's actually a bit more accurate than the regular shotgun since there's a larger central grouping of shot.

The Lost Mission contains examples of:

  • Cut-and-Paste Environments: Many areas of the mission pack are simply made up of rooms from vanilla Doom 3 copy and pasted together.
  • Hero of Another Story: Dr. Meyers and the Bravo Marine manage to destroy a long-range teleporter before the Doom 3 marine even completes his mission.