by Chris Barylick
June 13th, 2006
First off, credit must be given. Despite needing one of the meatier Macs to run it, Doom 3 stands alone. The title sets a mood like no other, makes excellent use of environment and works to tell a fairly compelling story of something gone wrong. Of course, the end result is the forces hell coming to visit a lone scientific outpost on a remote Mars colony with only a few space Marines to fight the horror, but those are the breaks.
While this doesn't break new ground, the game retains the high level of quality delivered by its antecedents: It's taut, suspenseful, thrilling and one of the best first-person shooters available for any platform.
Mod files allow you to simultaneously combine the flashlight with any weapon in Doom 3.
Even if this is the popular consensus, there are always improvements to be made in the eyes of the gaming and mod communities. Publicly released modifications, which can be easily installed into the Doom 3 program, provide a vast array of changes to the overall game. The Doom 3 Mod Collection, a group of independently created mod programs available for download from Macologist.org (users must first register an account with Macologist.org before being allowed to download files.), takes the current game and addresses the player base's wish list on its own.
First and foremost, there's duct tape. In the future, space Marines have been denied this most wondrous material, which proudly holds the universe together. A small mod file, properly installed, offers the player the option of equipping the flashlight and any weapon simultaneously, the weapon casting the necessary light to make out exactly what's shuffling towards you. While this may not be the purist's way of beating the game, it removes the frequent keyboard switching necessary to spot an enemy, target it and fire. Other modifications include more realistic sounds, better textures, new weapons, new weapons (including your own grenade-toting sentry bot) and more realistic bullet wounds to add to the feel of the game.
Free mod files add new effects to familiar weapons.
Where mod file installation can become a little scary (I'd rather let an installer package handle this via a nice, polished graphical user interface - this almost completely removes me from any potential blame), the Doom 3 Mod Collection's installation can be done with a little folder digging. After the 357 megabyte file has been downloaded, decompress it to reveal a folder called "D3Mods". Open the folder and open each folder within, decompressing the files as needed. Once done, you'll need to open the "Doom 3" folder on your hard drive. For each mod, create a folder in the Doom 3 folder, give it any name you choose, then drop the .pk4 file from the mod into that folder (the mods also include installation and setup instructions if there are any questions).
Once this is finished, launch Doom 3 and click "Mods" on the main menu screen. Select the mod you want to load, click "Load" and play the game as you normally would, but this time with the mod of your choice. True, this may not be as loyal to the original version as it could be, but these programs offer some nice extras and help round out the game's environment, stepping ahead of the programmers to add much-demanded new elements to the title. Unfortunately, only one mod can be loaded at any given time. While I'd love to combine the files that sub in more realistic weapon sounds to the ones that offer a constant flashlight beam, there are certain restrictions that must be adhered to.
The Doom 3 Mod Collection is available for free download while Doom 3 retails for US$37.99 from Amazon. The game requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later, a 1.5 GHz G4, G5 or Intel processor, 512 megabytes of RAM, 2.0 gigabytes of hard drive space, a graphics card with 64 megabytes of VRAM (GeForce FX5200/Radeon 9600 or better) and a DVD-ROM drive to run. The game's updater file, which patches the title to make it a Universal Binary and provides assorted fixes can be found here thanks to MacGameFiles.com.
That wraps it up for this week. As always, if you see anything new, cool or useful in the Mac universe,.
Chris Barylick covers games for The Mac Observer, and has written for Inside Mac Games, MacGamer, UPI, the Washington Post, and other publications.
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