Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Doom³

Go To
Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.
The Devil is real. I know... I built his cage.
Johnathan Ishii, moments before his death.

Doom 3 (stylized as Doom³) is a 2004 First-Person Shooter in the Doom franchise, developed by id Software and released 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 than 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 director of research Dr. Malcolm Betruger, who promises that "amazing things will happen". By the time you find the missing 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 two 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), whereas Doom 3 required a fan-made mod for the PC version that to allow a weapon-mounted flashlight. Resurrection of Evil also had an all-new mini-campaign called The Lost Mission (consisting mostly of cut content), plus The 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. Another standalone re-release of the BFG Edition, simply titled Doom 3, was released in 2019 along with the updated ports of Doom and Doom II for the 8th generation of consoles and PC.


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.

In January 2021, an unofficial port made the game fully playable in VR on the Oculus Quest 2. For licensing reasons, the port requires the user to sideload assets from the PC version. The VR port is based on an earlier unofficial port that moved the game into the Quest's native Android operating system.

Doom 3 contains examples of:

  • 419 Scam: If you took the PDA from Larry Kaczynski, one of his messages contains a 419 scam written by a certain "John Okonkwo" (included in this link here).
  • Achievement System: Implemented into the BFG Edition, which features 50 achievements on the Xbox 360 version, 65 achievements on the PC version, and 66 trophies on the PlayStation 3 version. These achievements range from "clear Doom 3 under X difficulty" to "find a particular item in the game" to "killing players in a specific way in multiplayer".
  • Action Survivor: While the classic Doomguy was portrayed as an unstoppable murder machine, this incarnation is simply trying to get out alive.
  • 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 behaves like an expy of Donald Gennaro.
  • Airborne Mook: Lost Souls and Cacodemons.
  • A.K.A.-47: The machine gun is a modified FN P90, with an Aliens-style digital readout for remaining ammo.
  • 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.
  • Another Side, Another Story: You spend the earlier half of the main game trying to meet up with Bravo Team, only for them to be massacred in an ambush, and the one survivor you meet is quickly killed by a Wraith. The Lost Mission reveals that there's another survivor, and you play as him in his own campaign that takes place concurrently with the latter half of the main game. And, as if that wasn't enough, an IOS game named Doom Resurrection (which came before The Lost Mission) features a different Bravo team survivor as the main protagonist, meaning that out of the whole squad two people managed to get out alive.
  • 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.
  • The Artifact: The loading screens feature gameplay tips, including a few for the multiplayer mode, which are still present in the BFG Edition and subsequent rereleases despite multiplayer being removed from those versions.
  • 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.
  • Ate His Gun: One audio log recounts a UAC private doing this with a plasma gun. According to the narrator, his entire head was vaporized.
  • 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.
  • Bag of Spilling: You lose all your weapons twice in the original campaign: first when Bertruger turns on the portal and you get Dragged Off to Hell (somewhat justified, as he may have deliberately teleported you without your gear) and later when you escape from Hell (less justified, as all your weapons other than the Soulcube seemingly disappear for no reason when you go through the portal back to Mars). This in turn means you need to find your BFG a total of three times throughout the game.
  • 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 albeit exhausted and perhaps even traumatized, but innumerable lives were lost beforehand to the point that the marine is implied to be the Sole Survivor; even if you spared him, Swann bleeds out from his grievous injuries. The Lost Mission retroactively implies there to be more survivors off-screen, but a handful at best. Also, Betruger got away and became the leader of Hell itself as the Maledict, setting up a Sequel Hook for Resurrection of Evil to conclude.
  • Blackout Basement: The entire game is dark, but some areas are even more so.
    • The Coolant Control Junction area of the Alpha Labs 2 level is completely dark, thanks to EMP surges as explained by a scientist (who's carrying a lantern himself), and escorting him to the exit is an option to avoid having to juggle your own light.
    • The Hell level is really dark, and to make it worse, you lose all weapons at the start and don't get a flashlight until you return to Mars City. It's not as bad in the BFG Edition, where the armor-mounted light works as usual, and in Resurrection of Evil, where there's no inventory loss.
  • Body Horror:
    • Happens to Sergeant Kelly, who gets fused into a tank, and Dr. Betruger, who gets partially consumed by a demonic dragon.
    • The first encounter with a Lost Soul sees it burst out of the head of a female character. Many players mistook what was happening for that character's head and spinal column detaching from her body to attack you, which if anything is more horrifying.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Headshots deal 2X more damage than body shots. Some of the zombies, though, make the issue moot by being headless.
  • Boss Arena Idiocy: The Cyberdemon can only be harmed by the Soul Cube. The Soul Cube can only be "charged" for its attacks by killing enemies, so if you fought the Cyberdemon one-on-one, he'd be unstoppable. Luckily, he has weak minions constantly attack you, enabling you to charge up your Soul Cube again and again.note 
  • Broad Strokes: Official descriptions for the spin-off Doom RPG imply this game is a prequel to the original Doom games, and that Doomguy in Doom and Doom II, and the Marine in Doom 3 are both the same character. However, Doom 3 takes place in 2145, while the original Doom took place in 2022, one-hundred-twenty-three years apart. The Marine also looks considerably different from Doomguy, and many of the visuals and storytelling elements don't mesh between games.
  • Canon Discontinuity: Notably, DOOM Eternal excluded this game in its massive Canon Welding of the Doom franchise (which included the first two games, Doom 64, and the 2016 game). Yes, the Soulcube is in the reboots as an easter egg, but it's never directly explained or powered.
  • Chain Letter: You can find one by checking the emails from some of the PDAs 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.
  • Continue Your Mission, Dammit!: At various points, Kelly will tell you to continue and pick up the pace (even while you're in the middle of combat). There may be a situation update in the announcement, or it could sometimes be general squaking (e.g. after the airlock in Communications Transfer).
  • Cosmic Horror Story: Being the Darker and Edgier deconstruction of Doom, Doom 3 shows that the franchise is this when it gets played straight. It even borrows some themes out of H.P. Lovecraft's stories. Themes such as that man, in their age of great scientific advancements and expension out in the cosmic space, discovers things that mankind would be better off not finding; in this case the truth and the portal of Hell itself - a knowledge that the mere exposure off quickly causes madness and insanity to skyrocket in UAC's research base on Mars, and Man's insignificance before outworldly, eldritch forces that could easily wipe Mankind out if it so desires. Even the demons are more eldritch than in the original series and even if the Doomguy is badass like in the original series, his war against the demons is less of an One-Man Army's awesome Curb-Stomp Battle against the legions of Hell and more of a lonely survivor desperately trying to survive the incomprehensible monsters that he actually has little chance to win against. And even than, his victory is a bittersweet one, being the only survivor and whose victory only delayed the inevitable, as the demons returns in Resurrection of Evil; once again because Man couldn't let their scientific curiosity go and found an Artifact of Doom that summoned them back again to remind mankind of their own insignificance against them...
  • Covers Always Lie: The artwork for The Lost Mission, which was later reused for the 2019 re-release of Doom 3 and Steam Library UI artwork for Doom 3: BFG Edition. It shows an armored space marine that looks nothing like the one featured in the game proper, dual-wielding guns (which you can't do in the game), while a towering, stocky demon that never existed in the game itself is behind him. The demon is probably supposed to be the Guardian of Hell, which is the Final Boss of The Lost Mission, but it looks more like a blend of that and a Mancubus.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Downplayed by the UAC. The Mars Base has lots of heavy security, such as sentry bots and minigun turrets. If that wasn't enough, many employees have stored heavy firepower, up to and including chainguns and rocket launchers, in storage cabinets. Even though they couldn't have been expecting a demonic invasion, the extra security makes you think otherwise.
  • 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. On the PC version of BFG Edition at least, players can remap their controls.
  • 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.
  • Data Pad: The standard-issue PDAs of UAC personnel. Their design is more or less like a modern-day tablet, but thicker and with a slight curve at the bottom separating the screen from what looks like an analog pad; there's also a port at the top to insert video disks. They serve the role of mobile work stations, e-mail and video playback platforms, audio recorders and electronic keys with specific clearances. They can also download the data from other PDAs, including clearance status, and indeed in most Lock and Key Puzzle sections, your task is to find the PDA of one of the people with clearance to the area you need to go to (which is always helpfully listed in the interactive panel beside the Locked Door when you try to unlock it).
  • Death by Transceiver: Mars City Underground, the first level with combat, has the player character listening to people fight, panic and die over his radio every ten seconds after the hell invasion begins. There is even a console video depicting a marine having his neck snapped by a zombie before cutting to static, and a marine being possessed on another screen.
  • Deconstruction: The game goes to lengths to show just how terrifying it would be being a lone marine, trapped on Mars, with monsters teleporting in from Hell (literally).
  • Destructible Projectiles: How can you evade the homing missiles of the Revenant without diving for cover? Throw up a flak wall with the Plasma Gun. If it's a straight line between you and the attacking Revenant, then the missiles will get showered in plasma bolts and blow up right in its face. This is how you deal with Sabaoth's BFG blasts as well. In fact, all projectiles can be shot out of the air, with the Cacodemon's energy ball being particularly easy to hit due to its large size. That said, it's generally easier to just dodge the fireballs launched by Imps, Hell Knights, and Mancubi.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • In the first level, if you go into the bathroom and look at the mirror, you can see that the player's model is exactly how he appears in cutscenes, wearing only fatigues. In every other level, the model shows him wearing the security vest.
    • It is possible to obtain normally unobtainable PDAs from certain NPCs by killing them, like some of the workers in "Mars City Underground". These PDAs contain information like any normal obtainable PDA.
    • NPCs in unreachable areas are called "Joe", a default name given to NPCs in the id Tech 4 SDK, though there are some exceptions:
      • In "Mars City Underground", if you noclip into the security booth and look at the security guard, it will read "T. Brooks".
      • In "Delta Labs Sector 3", if you noclip to where Bertruger is and aim at him, it will read "Dr. Bertruger".
  • Demonic Possession: Dr. Malcolm Betruger, who is strongly implied to have been possessed or is in some way controlled by the demons after he voyaged into hell. The novels also indicate he was an ordinary scientist who was subject to More Than Mind Control. Resurrection of Evil shows that the demons turned Betruger into a powerful demon in exchange for his aid.
  • 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. BFG Edition changed this so the HUD ammo counter always shows regardless.
    • The Quest 2 port has an option to disable the HUD entirely. Health, armor, and ammo are displayed via a wristwatch on the Mariner's left wrist.
  • Elite Mooks: Revenants. They appear in several levels and are significantly more dangerous than Imps thanks to their heat-seeking missiles.
  • Elite Zombie:
    • Fat zombies can absorb slightly more damage than basic zombies.
    • Flaming zombies, also known as "Bernie", shamble faster than basic zombies, but not as fast as fast zombies.
    • Fast zombies shamble almost at a jog. Only one is ever found in the base game.
    • Chainsaw zombies, which are Exactly What It Says on the Tin. They're quick and pretty tough for zombies, and if you let them in close their chainsaws can put a real dent in your health pool.
    • Commandos, the least zombie-like of all former humans, are essentially demons, able to run and jump and provoke the player; they're also tough enough to eat a direct hit from a rocket and survive. Two versions exist, one with a Combat Tentacle for his right arm and a nastier one with two normal arms and a chaingun.
  • 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.
  • Enemy Summoner: Archviles are reworked to do this, given that monster corpses fade away after a short time.
  • Escort Mission: At one point, you have to escort a scientist through a maze of machinery. Fortunately, he's smart enough to hang back when an enemy attacks, and his lantern provides some much-needed light. Unfortunately, he gets killed by an imp at the end of the maze.
  • Everything Fades: Dead demons and gibbed bodies 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. 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. There are mods that undo this behavior and allows corpses to remain, and disallows gibbing of human bodies of any kind.
  • Evil Is Not Well-Lit: The Hell level is dark enough to count as a Blackout Basement, and in the original edition, you have no flashlight while you're there.
  • Evolutionary Retcon: Practically every memorable demon in the series was completely redesigned for Doom 3. Most of these redesigns made the demons appear much scarier and more formidable opponents for the player. The original imp, for example, was a large, brown creature with spikes on its shoulders that would slowly advance towards the player while hurling fireballs at them. The new imp is a slimmer grey creature with no spikes and ten eyes on its head that is capable of climbing walls and has incredible jumping ability that allows it to clear the distance across an entire room in a single leap and generally attacks with a much more aggressive style.
  • Exploding Barrels: Two kinds: the yellow "flammable" barrels simmer for a couple of seconds before exploding (though they will explode automatically if caught in the splash of another explosive), while the orange "highly volatile" barrels are less lenient and will explode immediately upon taking enough damage.
  • Feelies: Reprints of the Xbox 360 version of BFG Edition with a Xbox One compatible label includes a fold-out poster of the original Doom cover art.
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell: Hell is this, mixed with pulsating flesh and rivers of blood.
  • First Day from Hell: Literally-the marine has just started his first day on duty at the Mars base when the demonic invasion hits.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Averted. Enemies can hurt each other, although there seems to be a lack of infighting this time around. Notably, if you get between an ally Sentry Bot and its target, the Sentry Bot's machine gun can hurt you too.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: Most newer (as of around 2009) systems at best ran the game on degraded quality, or, at worse, flat-out refuse running the original game and its expansion out of the box, forcing either only playing the BFG Edition or tweak the settings.
  • Game Mod: Being a Doom game, the modding community took to it almost immediately after release and a following continues to this day, if not nearly as large as the originals.
    • Mere days after release, fan Glen Murphy released a mod called "Duct Tape", fixing the oft-criticized "no duct tape on mars" problem by allowing you to use a flashlight and wield a gun at the same time. Ironically, this mod was a much more modest change than the armor-mounted flashlight which id themselves would add in the BFG Edition, since only the shotgun and machine gun have added lights in "Duct Tape" and both have a much narrower beam than the standalone item, while the BFG Edition allows for use of the regular flashlight at all times.
    • One of the most well-known total conversions, The Dark Mod, uses the game's engine to modernize Thief: The Dark Project (until the mod became a standalone fangame).
    • Doom 3 Redux improves on the game's visuals, restores some cut features from original game, remasters the game's audio logs, and adds lots of modern tweaks thanks to a custom build of Sikkmod that allows for more advanced options while maintaining the original Doom 3 gameplay. Sadly it's only available for the base game and not Resurrection of Evil.
    • Killatomate's Realistic Weapons mod tweaks how weapons handle in the original Doom 3 and Resurrection of Evil and making them feel, well, realistic. For example, the pistol becomes semi-automatic with proper recoil and spread between shots, the shotguns have been rebalanced spread and damage output with readjusted reloading, and the chaingun now has a retuned recoil, spread, velocity, and reloading animation. The sound effects also have been replaced with sounds from real-life guns for many of the weapons of the game.
    • Perfected Doom 3, on top of graphical improvements and a shoulder-mounted flashlight, adds new alternate fire modes for the weapons (the pistol and super shotgun can be dual-wielded, machine gun's ammo display doubles as a scope, plasma gun fires a stream of damaging gel, etc), allows you to carry medkits and berserk packs in your invetory, and allows you to summon a monster called the Soul Knight to fight alongside you.
    • Overthinked Doom 3 emphasizes the Survival Horror aspects more. The weapons feel more powerful, but the amount of ammo you can carry has been reduced, and the machine gun and plasma gun have both had their ammo capacity reduced to 30 rounds. Enemies are also smarter and tougher, which makes combat a much more tactical affair.
    • The UltimateHD mod for the BFG Edition, which not only improves some of the game's visuals and effects, it also readjusts some gameplay elements, gives enemies new AI behaviors (e.g. Imps will leap away from the player's line of sight), and retools the game's weapons and how they handle.
    • Classic Doom for Doom 3 does pretty what it says on the tin, which is recreate the first episode of Ultimate Doom, Knee-Deep in The Dead, in Doom 3's engine. Also What Could Have Been, as Episodes 2 and 3 were planned, but scrapped during development. On the plus side, it has some awesome remixes of the first episode's soundtrack.
    • The VR mod for the BFG Edition, as the name implies, allows you to play the game with a PCVR headset.
    • The previously mentioned Quest 2 mod by Team Beef allows the game to run on a completely different VR platform, the standalone Oculus Quest 2.
  • Gatling Good: The chaingun makes a return, and unlike the relatively anemic version in the classic games, it's a rapid-fire powerhouse on par with the Plasma Gun in damage, but relatively inaccurate and with scarce ammo for the first half of the game. Chaingunners also make a comeback.
  • 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. That 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.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: By the end of the game, you'll be carrying a handgun, a shotgun, a machine gun, a chaingun, a bunch of grenades, a plasma rifle, a rocket launcher, a chainsaw, a PDA, a flashlight, a BFG whose barrel alone is bigger than a microwave oven, not to mention all the attendant ammunition, which can include fifty or so rockets and several BFG fuel cells the size of your head. If you change weapons while standing in front of a mirror, Doomguy will simply pull the new weapon out of his pants pocket while the previous weapon simply vanishes into thin air.
  • 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.
  • Jerkass: Sgt. Kelly.
    • In fact, many of the workers you come across in the beginning are like this, telling you to go away if you try to talk to them.
  • 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.
  • King Mook: Hell Knights.
  • Laughably Evil: Believe it or not, the demons are this in an Easter egg. In an easily-overlooked data terminal near the end of the game, you can download an e-mail where 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.
  • 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 or tentacles or minced meat. If you shoot them, they sound like you're hitting steel; whether it's intentional or not, nobody knows. Sergeant Kelly mentions them over the radio before you first see them.
  • Modern Stasis / Schizo Tech: 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... and 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 big Mag-Lite style handheld flashlightsnote  (armor-mounted with horrible battery life 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.
    • You'll occasionally come across what appear to be iPods in docking stations.
    • 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. It could be stretched as them being made bulky to prevent damagenote , while the UAC would've had their IT department lock them down to a business-use feature set.
  • 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.
  • Mission Control: Sergeant Kelly serves this role.
    • Doctor Mc Neil fills this role in Resurrection of Evil.
    • Lost Mission has Doctor Richard Meyer in this role.
  • 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 Debut Cutscene: Many of the demons get this, with the exception of a handful. Weirdly, Wraiths get a special introduction cutscene after you've already encountered some with no fanfare.
  • 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 in Mars City, and shut down the array to keep the invasion isolated to Mars. Either choicenote  results in the same end. The only difference is whether Betruger remarks on your naïveté or laments you not sending the call before doing it himself.
  • 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 and demons is the cover art of the original Doom, except Doomguy is carrying the Soul Cube rather than a submachine gun.
    • The mini-boss fight against the first two Hell Knights at the end of Delta Labs is a throwback to the fight against the "bruiser brothers" Barons of Hell that served as the bosses of the first episode of the original Doom.
  • 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.
  • No Cutscene Inventory Inertia: Despite carrying an armory's worth of weapons on his persona, Doomguy is never shown carrying anything other than the shotgun or machine gun in cutscenes.
  • No Sidepaths, No Exploration, No Freedom: Downplayed. Compared to the abstract layouts of the classic games, the Doom 3 levels are pretty linear, but they still have plenty of secrets, and sidepaths, especially with the optional vaults and P.D.A's
  • 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.
  • Oddball in the Series: Already a major departure from the classic games in its own time, later sequels would serve as throwbacks to the originals' style, making 3 and its many digressions stand out all the more.
    • The overall tone is far more grim, serious and frightening. Where other Doom games have never shied away from snarky quips, dark comedy and goofy over-the-top violence, 3 plays the scenario primarily for horror, with a heavy emphasis on pitch-black environments, scary sequences, and a plot that's taken dead seriously.
    • Many of the returning monsters have been heavily redesigned, most notably the Cacodemon, Lost Soul and Pinky, which are practically unrecognizable. The only redesign that stuck in future installments was the Hell Knight, presumably because its original design was merely a Palette Swap of the Baron of Hell. Of the handful of new enemies introduced in 3, only the Zombie would return in Doom 2016.
    • The guns, like in real life, have finite clips that need to be reloaded; in all other games, the player can fire continuously until they're completely out of ammo.
    • There is no automap feature of any kind, forcing players to navigate the levels on their own.
    • Many items are kept in locked cabinets that require codes to open, which the player usually must find by reading or listening to the various Apocalyptic Logs they pick up. While future games retained pickups that add readable story elements, they're purely an optional bonus, with no gameplay component to them.
    • The levels do not end with a statistics screen showing the total amount of enemies killed and items collected. Although there are still plenty of secret areas containing useful items, the player has to find them all on their own, with no way of knowing if they missed anything.
  • Only Six Faces: There are only 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.
  • Painfully Slow Projectile: BFG projectiles are so slow by this game that you can shoot them out of the air before they hit you. This is even how you're supposed to deal with Sabaoth.
  • Regenerating Health: Inverted in Nightmare difficulty, where your health constantly decreases by five points every five seconds until it hits 25.
  • Resources Management Gameplay: In the original Doom 3, you're unlikely to completely run out of ammo, but ammo pickups are small enough that you can't rely on a single weapon (not even the basic machinegun) throughout the game and will need to switch up between the various guns based on your current ammo supply for each. The only gun you're given an excess of ammo for is the shotgun, which is only effective at point-blank range. This is averted in the BFG Edition, which roughly doubles the amount of ammo you get.
  • 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.
  • Sequel Hook: After the invasion from Hell is stopped, the UAC reinforcements can't seem to find Betruger anywhere in the facility. Cue the reveal that he's not only in Hell and seemingly in charge of the demons now, but he's become a talking head within a massive dragon's mouth and fully embraced his demonic gifts as he prepares for the next invasion. Cue Resurrection of Evil.
  • Sequel Number Snarl: Subverted as this game was a reboot (and later kicked out of continuity entirely), but this game is technically the 4th installment after Doom 64 (5th if you count Final Doom as a standalone game).
  • Sequence Breaking: Memorizing some of the security codes can do anything from unlocking powerful weapons early to circumventing an entire PDA hunt.
  • Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: It doesn't happen as often as this game's predecessors, but it's possible to get enemies accidentally hit each other which will cause them to in-fight one another. There's an achievement in BFG Edition for pulling this off.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: While the shotgun from the classic games had decent accuracy and range, here it has a spread of 22 degrees, meaning you have to literally shove the barrel in the enemy's face for it to have any effect.
  • 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.
    • Although it's a magazine-fed, semi-auto handgun rather than a revolver like other series to reference it, the basic pistol in the game is clearly influenced by the blaster from Blade Runner.
    • Several parts of the architecture and atmosphere, most evidently the sections involving monorail rides to certain locations where one can observe the environment and background events, are clearly made in tribute to the original Half-Life.
  • The Smurfette Principle: There is one female employee that you meet in the entire game, and she dies as quickly as she's introduced.
  • 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.
  • Teleporter Accident: A PDA audio log details how an electrical short led to a lab chimpanzee being split in half. Literally. Her torso ended up on the destination marker, and her lower half stayed behind.
  • Unique Enemy:
    • In the second level you encounter a "morgue zombie" in the infirmary. It can jog almost as fast as you can when not sprinting, 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, the slightly "fast shambling" type, or the average speed "Bernie".
    • Only four riot shield Z-Secs appear in the base game, all of them in the same level. They do not appear in the original Xbox version.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: If you decide to activate the EFR system in Alpha Labs 4 as opposed to extending the service bridge, what follows is an extensive platforming section through well-lit environments, with very few fights inbetween.
  • Updated Re-release: The BFG Edition features remastered versions of Doom 3, the Resurrection of Evil expansion pack, and a new set of levels cut from the original game in the form of The Lost Mission, all with improved lighting and rendering, support for 3D TV displays, native ultrawide support (the original game needed a fan-made patch for ultrawide resolutions), a new (though optional) checkpoint system, re-tooled gameplay elements (e.g. less enemies to battle, shoulder-mounted flashlight, more plentiful ammo), and achievement/trophy support. This also bundles the HD ports of The Ultimate Doom and Doom II: Hell on Earth, which also gives PC players the ability to play the previously console-exclusive No Rest for the Living episode for Doom II.
  • 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. 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 as the scientist realizes what is about to happen to himnote ; spare him, though, and you'll get access to a room with still-rare-at-that-point Chaingun ammunition and a PDA essential to get the BFG much later on.
  • Video Game Demake: Ultimate Super Doom 3, which brings the weapons and monsters from Doom 3 into the classic Doom games.
  • Villain-Beating Artifact: The original version requires that the player use the Soul Cube to take care of the Cyberdemon. This was changed both in later patches of single-player mode and in co-op mode.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The ending cutscene, as well as the opening cutscene of Resurrection of Evil, establish that the Marine was the one and only survivor of the invasion, which leads one to wonder what happened to the small handful of other survivors that you find throughout the game, most of whom who were still alive and well at the time you left their company.
  • Who Forgot the Lights?: The game is rather infamous for being very dark, mainly to show off the game engine's ability to render complete pitch-black darkness. In universe, it's explained by a combination of the UAC cutting corners on lighting and teleporter experiments wreaking havoc with the power grid.
  • 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:

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: About two-thirds into the fifth Erebus level, players must make their way through a series of waste tunnels containing toxic waste which requires the player to equip a special helmet to proceed through the tunnels and pick up tanks to keep the power on the helmet running. The helmet mechanic was completely removed in BFG Edition, however.
  • 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.
  • Catch and Return: The Grabber other use is being able to pick up enemies' projectiles (e.g. an Imp's fireball) and fire it back at them, which is demonstrated early on by a fatally wounded marine before dying and passing on it to you. Killing enemies in this fashion may save some ammo.
  • Curse Cut Short: At the beginning, one of the radio transmissions gets this:
    "We got a cluster— [static] over there!"
  • 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.
  • The Hero Dies: Possibly. See Earn Your Happy Ending above.
  • The Internet Is for Porn: A worker named James Owens in the Phobos labs was having problems with his computer running poorly and e-mailed a technician to find out what was wrong with it. He gets a reply from the technician who found on about Owens browsing through porn sites and may have attracted a virus from there.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The Engineer Marine is this in 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.
  • Mission-Pack Sequel: Well, the original PC release is just a mission-pack, but the Xbox version was released as a standalone game, making it this.
  • 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. Oops. To be fair to the Engineer, however, Hell and the Maledict/Betruger in charge were already prepping the invasion to seize the Artifact to begin with and merely capitalized on the opened-portals opportunity with glee. As it turns out, the Artifact ended up in the perfect hands for slaying the hordes and finishing the fight, so him breaking everything ends up being the only reason why he can win.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: The Engineer Marine gets 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: The shotgun and Super Shotgun. Though still short ranged, the Super Shotgun is actually a bit more accurate than the regular shotgun since there's a larger central grouping of shot.
  • Shout-Out: One of the PDAs you can find belonged to Nathan Reynolds.

Doom 3: The Lost Mission contains examples of:

  • Art Shift: The one speaking role character you encounter, Dr. Meyers, is motion-captured and far smoother in animation than anything in the main two campaigns that used hand-animated keyframes by comparison.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: The double-barreled shotgun in this campaign is found inside a glass case in the office of a UAC scientist, who says in his PDA emails that it was just a gift from his brother for him to put on display, and he has no idea if it actually works. Conveniently, once the player retrieves it, it functions perfectly and fits the shells that they already have.
  • Construction Catcalls: A found PDA that belonged to a female UAC scientist includes an audio long in which she complains about the nearby construction workers' unprofessional and inappropriate behavior, which includes sexually harassing her and the other women.
  • Cut-and-Paste Environments: Many areas of the mission pack are simply made up of rooms from vanilla Doom 3 copy and pasted together. Justified as these were levels cut from Doom 3 with some of sections being rebuilt or repurposed for the final game.
  • Cutting Corners: One of the PDAs you can find in the under-construction Exis Labs belonged to a contractor hired to install the facility's windows, who brags in his audio log about finding a brand of glass that was much cheaper and easier to access than the brand he was initially asked to use, thus ensuring that he and his crew could earn their completion pay as soon as possible. He complains that the building's architect tried to stop him, claiming that the windows would now be too weak and prone to leakage, but he went ahead with the plan anyway, and declares that he is so confident in the windows' sturdiness that he will fire a rocket launcher at them to prove beyond a doubt that they'll never break. Sure enough, the very next room the player enters is a disheveled half-built room with no air supply, with two of the windows having been conspicuously blown out.
  • Downer Beginning: The Lost Mission starts where Bravo Team was ambushed by demons from the main campaign, followed by a marine's lifeless body being dragged through a blood-soaked duct.
  • 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.
  • Mythology Gag: One section of the penultimate level in Hell is set in a twisted cathedral with an ornamental bust of a horned demon hanging from one of the walls, which spawns Forgotten Ones directly from its mouth. Although the demon only bears a light resemblance to Doom II's Icon of Sin, its releasing monsters from its mouth is no doubt a reference to it.
  • Unbroken First-Person Perspective: Unlike the base game and Resurrection of Evil, the Lost Mission never leaves the player character's perspective after the opening cutscene.