Doom 3 is fear visually incarnated, with light crushing corridors, stripped spacing, and a facility creaking and moaning as it feels the strain of hellish unknowns attacking. Perpetually silent, Doom 3's protagonist can only deliver a look of resentment towards his foes — he is a battle hardened, deadpan Marine with no purpose other than to kill.
Despite a shift in technology that bridges the time from the early first-person designs to now, Doom 3 is remarkably adept at being an arcade shooting gallery. Twisting, almost impossibly conceived corridors are the hallmark of Union Aerospace Corporation. UAC's safety record is shaky, their methods fierce, and their profits a priority. On the surface, Doom 3 exists to kill, but underneath is a sharp-edged call for regulation over business. Panicked PDA messages--the PDA is a sure sign this was made in the early '00s--urge safety precautions that will never come. It is a shame so many of these elements are locked to collectibles.
That slap at corporate America (Mars?) makes Doom 3 work, safety the last priority no matter the location. Often same-looking corridors break into open space that only instill additional scares, whether it's from warping in demonic entities or ill-fitted machines that exist only as a workers compensation nightmare. Everything kills this Marine, so it's no wonder bodies are strewn about or parts line the walls. You have to wonder how many of those happened pre-attack, before the merciless undead. UAC is more concerned with high levels of functionality, an element made clear from level design.
Mars is desolate and contained even on the exterior. Doom 3 is so sure of its success within metallic death traps that it doesn't stray far from that wheelhouse. Not only are there pathfinding issues (doubly so if you're hard of hearing; mission objectives are spoken sans subtitles), the materials offered up repeat. Locations are needlessly lacking markers, and that's a shame since the design of Mars itself is superior. Dunes blow Martian sands, winds whip, and depleting oxygen doubles the panic once the airlock is sealed. Each trek to the following door is harrowing, and maybe that's the reason these harsh raw planet surface sections are an exception.
Even with the switch to fully rendered polygonal models, Doom has lost none of its punch. What tweaks this slightly remodeled BFG Edition include, mostly lighting shifts, won't affect gaming's grandest shotgun. Each blast is the equivalent of a direct uppercut to the jaw by mismatched weight classes, punishing to the point that the devil's spawn are lifted off their feet. The disintegration once they hit the ground may be technical in necessity, but it's superior devastation effect is appreciated.