It seems like just eight months ago that Doom 3 was finally released to a rabid PC community slavering with anticipation. Wait, it was just eight months ago. Nevertheless, id Software has collaborated with longtime partner Nerve Software to bring us Doom 3's first expansion pack, Resurrection of Evil. The new add-on doesn't muck with the horror-movie presentation and run-and-gun gameplay laid down by the original, though it adds enough new weapons and enemies to make the expansion feel like a solid companion to the original. If Doom 3 left you wanting more, you'll find what you're looking for in Resurrection of Evil.
Something has once again gone very wrong on Mars...and you're the only marine who can fix it.
Resurrection of Evil picks up about two years after the hellish catastrophe of the original game. The Union Aerospace Corporation, in its infinite drive for profits, has established a new base to continue the study of an ancient Martian civilization uncovered by the original science team. During an exploratory mission, your character--a different marine than the one you played in Doom 3--unwisely picks up an evil artifact that just happens to open another portal to hell, which leads to the deaths of almost everyone on the base, as well as unleashes a new wave of demons, led by the demonic Dr. Betruger (who wants his toy back). With the help of Dr. Elizabeth McNeil, who acts as this game's Sarge, you'll have to blast your way through hordes of enemies as you attempt to reach hell to seal the artifact there, hopefully ending the threat of invasion forever.
Since this is an expansion pack, Resurrection of Evil plays almost exactly like the original Doom 3. The game is extremely dark, requiring you to use your trusty flashlight to explore its many nooks and crannies to detect enemy threats, many of which lurk unseen in the darkness. The flow of the action is similar to that of Doom 3, so you'll enter a new area, clear it of enemies, and look for a key item or security upgrade that will let you meet your objective and move on to the next area. There's not as much storyline here as in the original, which means you won't spend as much time poring over old e-mails and audio logs for clues. Furthermore, the cutscenes are sparse and widely separated. So despite its similarities to Doom 3, Resurrection of Evil feels even more like the sort of straightforward action game that the original Doom was.
Upon its release, Doom 3 boasted what was probably the most amazing graphics engine ever seen, yet most of the game was set in identical-looking industrial corridors. Resurrection of Evil attempts to rectify this shortcoming by placing you in a wider variety of environments. The first few levels are set in an archeological dig site similar to the one glimpsed at the very end of Doom 3, which adds some nice variety to the action. You'll spend the bulk of the game inside the base, though most of the levels are varied enough that the scenery never gets too old. Finally, it's back to hell again at the end of the game, though the designers don't get too crazy with either the waves of enemies or the final encounter there. On the whole, the action is solid throughout.
The new weapons, enemies, and hell powers add some needed variety to the basic Doom 3 action.
Much of the entertainment value in Resurrection of Evil comes from the incremental improvements made to your arsenal. You'll find the good old double-barreled shotgun a few hours into the game, which can only hold two shells at once but will put a massive hole in anything you manage to hit with it. Then there's the grabber, a physics weapon not unlike Half-Life 2's gravity gun. The grabber is more combat-focused, though, since you won't use it to solve any serious puzzles. You can use the grabber to snag enemy projectiles and fling them back, and you can make weapons out of a lot of environmental objects, too (as you'd expect, exploding barrels work nicely for this).