Doom 3 rocks to a high spec

Doom3 imageMy copy of Doom 3 arrived from Amazon yesterday and it was well worth the wait. Not a game for everyone, though. It’s 18-rated (M in the US) and maker iD Software describes it as “Doom 3 is a terrifying sci-fi horror game experience. It is not recommended for the cowardly or the faint of heart.” A bit of a challenge!

One immediate fact – you need a pretty high-spec PC on which to run it in a way that enables you to enjoy the best experience. Smooth gameplay, rich graphics, great sound, all that. The minimum video memory requirement is 64Mb, but that just doesn’t cut it. You need at least 128Mb of video RAM and a hardware-accelerated video card such as an ATI Radeon 9600 or better or an nVidia GForce 4/Ti or better if you want to get the best out of the game’s superb graphics power. And, of course, a powerful PC, at least Pentium 4 2.0Ghz with 512Mb RAM (1Gb is better).

While I’d love to have the highest-spec PC on the market, I haven’t won the lottery yet. My Toshiba Satellite P4 1.8Ghz laptop with an nVidia GForce 4 chip has ‘only’ 64Mb video RAM – and the hardware isn’t accelerated – so not the best platform for Doom 3, even though it has 1Gb RAM. I wouldn’t even think about installling it on my office ThinkPad T30 which has a measly 16Mb of video RAM, hardly enough for running a fancy PowerPoint presentation. My wife’s Sony Vaio desktop P4 2.0Ghz has a Radeon 9700 Pro card with 128Mb of video RAM and that works fine (she let me install the game on it!), although I have reduced some of the game’s video quality settings.

Only 40 minutes with Doom 3 so far, but it looks awesome. Reminds me somewhat of Half-Life, at least the beginning sequences. It’s definitely similar in storyline to the original Doom (I still have that) which came out in 1993, but with knobs on. I will play it for a while, get to know it and post more comment here at some point.

Doom 3 website. has a good review. Also, the September issue of PC Gamer magazine, on the newsstands now, has a detailed review.