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Enhancing gameplay with weapons (Doom 3)

I’ve always liked Doom 3. Being denied my next-gen entertainment over Easter – although I was going to play Castlevania: Symphony of the Night from ten years ago – I set my sights on completing the game on the original Xbox. I’m on the very last stages of the game and was pleasantly surprised by both the entire Hell section and especially the mysterious Soul Cube.

The Soul Cube is not complicated. It kills anything but a boss with one shot, it revitalises you and it talks to you in a whispery demonvoice. However, you can only use it once, after which it needs recharging. The cube is recharged by killing any five demons. This gives the game’s monotonous pace a nice twist as you start to count every threat, taking enemies in fives and always thinking when you’ll use the cube the next time.

This is absolutely vital to the game, too, as by this point you’ve seen it all and are beginning to wonder when it will end. You’re packing the highest calibre weaponry and know how to take down every kind of demon. The Soul Cube transforms you from the hunted to the hunter, without saying it outright. Impressive design!

As far as Doom weapons go, the Doom 3 take on the BFG is goddamn boring though. Slow, shy projectiles with no audio oomph to give them weight. The gun also looks boring, but the loading animation is so nice that it makes you want to waste ammunition.

Update on April 15 2007: I managed to complete Doom 3. A fine ending. In conclusion, it has to be said that the original Doom is still the better game. (Sequels notwithstanding, though.)

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