As a direct expansion packâ€”usually only seen on the PC formatâ€”Resurrection of Evil veers away somewhat from the slow gathering of player tension already created by idâ€™s Doom 3. Indeed, the action is considerably more immediate, as the player assumes the role of a Marine combat engineer that arrives on Mars some two years following the cataclysmic events of Doom 3. With a team of investigative scientists and a squad of fellow Marines in tow the player embarks on a quest to uncover the truth behind a mysterious beacon emanating from within Mars and discover more concerning the ancient civilization that once dwelled there. However, any preconceived notions relating to steady set-up, simmering tension, and an eventual unleashing of blood-thirsty demons is quickly abandoned as virtually everyone else in your party is abruptly slaughtered and the odds look decidedly stacked against you in terms of survival. Then again, as an expansionâ€”or continuationâ€”to an already established storyline, a more instant delivery of action was probably a wise decision.
Following the generally accepted rules of first-person shooters, and regardless of the fact that youâ€™re supposed to be a well-equipped and well-prepared member of the military, your arsenal of weaponry is initially restricted to the bog-standard pistol. However, itâ€™s not long before the fairly ineffectual semi-automatic pistol is replaced, and you find yourself on first name terms with the UACâ€™s latest toy, the Ionized Plasma Levitator or â€˜The Grabberâ€™, a weapon that aptly â€˜grabsâ€™ enemies and objects using gravitational power and then â€˜projectsâ€™ them violently into whatever you choose. Unlike most game weapons that involve the use of gravitational force, the grabber actually serves as a revenge device against all those pesky fire attacks so often suffered during the original Doom 3. In Resurrection of Evil the grabber operates wonderfully at stopping incoming attacks and turning them against the unsuspecting enemy. More importantly, the grabber proves to be repeatedly invaluable as it generally inflicts more substantial damage than regular projectile weaponry, which means you can conserve ammo while doling out some extreme punishment. Priceless.
Expanding beyond the pistol and Grabber, players can also utilize various abandoned UAC tools and weapons remaining from the battles that transpired during Doom 3, and they can also thoroughly enjoy the inclusion of perhaps Doomâ€™s most celebrated weapon: the double barrel shotgun. Though slower to reload than the pump-action model, the double barrel shotgun delivers a massive punch when used up close and can dispatch pretty much anything foolish enough to enter its blast range. Then thereâ€™s The Artifact, an odd find uncovered on the red planet, and the very reason why your team came to Mars. UAC archaeologists believe it to be tied in some way to 3 demons that pursue it relentlessly, and itâ€™s your job to unlock the secrets hidden within it while itâ€™s in your possession, secrets that can enable its bearer to perform extraordinary things.
Gameplay remains largely unchanged from Doom 3â€™s terrifying close quarter â€˜theyâ€™re behind youâ€™ encounters, and unlike most FPS games, the player will feel a discomforting need to creep from corner to corner and room to room while their ears strain against the prickly atmosphere for those telltale screams of arriving demonic killers. Activision and id have seen fit to include more open and appealing areas of conflict to stagger the rampant corridor-bound assault on your disposition, but more of the same is pretty much what Resurrection of Evil provides. And, while its thrills and shocks are both weighty and plentiful, and the engulfing atmosphere always threatens to overwhelm your composure, Resurrection of Evil is still likely to alienate the more action-oriented gamer who prefers their thrills without the bowel-loosening consequences. This is a slightly more accessible Doom, but itâ€™s still a long way from the almost cartoon action of Halo and the gritty historic re-creation of Medal of Honor or Call of Duty. You have been warned.
Aesthetically, Resurrection of Evil portrays a similar visual standard to that first experienced in Doom 3. The graphics are immediately lush, detailed and slick, though a heavily shadowed depth of field is prominent, which hides seething and nasty beasties looking to prey upon your nerves with trademark id shock tactics. The level of repetitive and cloying claustrophobia associated with Doom 3 may have been alleviated somewhat in Resurrection of Evil with the introduction of more open areas, but when the walls start tightening, so does your sense of anticipationâ€”it all perhaps becomes a little too expected. Music and sound effects all feel fairly similar to Doom 3â€™s established and eerie ambience, and only serve to turn the screw of discomfort that little more as you creep inexorably toward the next flurry of frantic gunfire.
As a player bonusâ€”which is fast becoming the norm these daysâ€”Activision has been kind enough to bundle in Ultimate Doom, Doom II, and Doom II Master Levels, which collectively exist as a little extra polish to an already decent package. Those with enduring memories of the earlier reaches of the Doom series will likely find hours of fun-filled reminiscing with the extra games. And all of them are open for multiplayer in terms of cooperative play and Deathmatch for up to four players. Although cooperative mode is strangely not available for Resurrection of Evilâ€™s central campaign, thereâ€™s always Xbox Live to appease modern-day longings for multiplayer mayhem and, as with the original Xbox release of Doom 3, the expansion doesnâ€™t fail to deliver the goods. Players can sign-in to Live and enjoy Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Tournament, and Last Man Standing (these can also be enjoyed as multiplayer options without Live), as well as download extra game-related content directly to their Xbox.
Ultimately, Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil arrives as a thoroughly satisfactory and faithful expansion and an entertaining addition to the ever-popular and enduring franchise. Moreover, the Xbox Live multiplayer facet and bonus inclusion of early classic Doom iterations means that Resurrection of Evil has plenty to offer in every department for the discerning and loyal fan base. Just remember to keep the lights onâ€¦and invest in rubber underpants.