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Retrospective: Doom 3

Meet the Golden Joystick's BFG - Big Freakin' Game...

Top tip - if you're a nameless space marine, avoid all job offers on Mars. Judging from Doom 3, it's a bad career move. Not convinced? When a mumbling psychopath greets you, a guard thrusts a gun into your hand, and just when you really NEED that coffee, what now? A portal to Hell consumes your world... typical. Doom 3: the definition of a terrible first day.

While most would flip a V and do a runner, Doom 3 proceeded to forge your path directly forward, no matter what/who lurked ahead. With just a flashlight for company, every shadow packed a hell beast-shaped surprise, just waiting to munch your face. But no worries - when it comes to bloodshed, Doom 3 certainly banged for its buck.

Developed by id Software, Doom 3 was on the backburner for a decade, but when it released, holy mother of... Graphics whores everywhere squirmed over the crisp textures and incredible DX9 lighting. The id Tech 4 engine impressed, but it wasn't just the sexy looks that made Doom 3 purr like a zombie-fied kitty. Multiplayer, DLC (remember the HL2 Gravity Gun rip-off - the Grabber?) and bosses galore secured it a golden critical reception.

Unlike its 2D sibs, Doom 3 at least attempted to flesh out a story. PDA's litter your path, offering neat audio backstory and besting BioShock's own spin on the mechanic by yonks. But they also held the codes to precious ammo. Cue the generic scientist ranting about his personal ordeal. 5 minutes later, he'll suddenly blurt "Oh yeah, I changed the ammo storage to ****". Buddy, nobody cares about your plight. WE WANT GUNS.

And guns it had. From the shotgun-rain to the literal pew-pew-ing of a plasma rifle, Doom 3 did not skive on hot lead. While ammo can be scarce, when you have a shell or two, BOOM - exploding skulls, yay! Back then, no one cared about quick-scopes or ADS, sigh... the golden era of pure firepower (thank god for Serious Sam) So while Doom 3 offered gamers wet-pants gameplay, it also reminded us of the action-packed bullet storms that made Doom 1 and 2 the legends of shoot 'em up.

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So while the game now scooped the 2004 Golden Joysticks for both PC and Ultimate GOTY awards - it's far from over, Marine. Doom 3: BFG edition is coming. It's the HD-sprinkled evolution of Doom 3, bolstered with extra content. Sure, by today's Crysis-infused standards, the graphics will resemble a crack-copy of some 1950s import film. Still, when you blow the ever-loving guff out of a zombie-dog with robot legs, who's admiring the lit sparks of gunpowder bouncing from their metallic sheen? Once the HD version releases, a fair few we'll bet...

The GamesMaster Golden Joystick Awards (www.goldenjoystick.com / www.facebook.com/goldenjoysticks) are sponsored by our friends at HMV, who not only sell all the games you'll ever need - but all the consoles and peripherals too. Get voting to be in with a chance of scooping all of this...

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UK entries only. Good luck!

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