Well here it is, in the early morning hours of August 3. I’ve had DOOM 3 for about five hours now. I went to GameStop and took a number – only the first 20 preordered people got their game tonight. I stood around and watched everyone talk about the game, getting more nervous about my ability to play it or not. And someone in that room needed to shower very much badly.

I took it home and nerviously went through the three-disc installation. Then I fired it up. First thing I did was have it detect for me – 640×480, Low Quality, all effects on. Then I fired up the game. It plays a video, then a second video – but then pans out to show that the video is playing on a monitor, rendered in the engine. Kickass! the game runs, and it runs well!

Damndest thing though – it runs better in cutscenes than the game itself. Oh well – it still runs much better than I could have hoped for on a lowly GeForce 3 Ti/200. Actually, it runs much better than the GF3 deserves. And I’m amazed at how much detail I can still see. I figured I’d be happy if it ran as well as the Xbox footage I’ve been seeing – my experience blows the Xbox out of the water.

Multiplayer’s interesting. Right now, there’s no dedicated server out there and, as of this moment, not many people with the game, so there’s at best a smattering of servers. And I don’t know how this is going to factor in, but with ~4 people per game (I forget whether that’s a hard limit or just the default), it’s kinda tricky to find an open server. I can tell you this much – the server browser needs some serious work. It doesn’t sort or filter correctly and many times will tell you a server isn’t full when it is.

One amusing thing I’ve not experienced in a while – this is the first id game, I believe, to feature reloading. Consequently, it’s not uncommon for two players to run out of ammo and sit there reloading just trying to get more shots off. It’s like the comic relief scene in an action movie.

The other interesting thing which I’m sure will be gone tommorow is that since there’s no dedicated server and no one out there wanting to run a dedicated server with their copy, games just suddenly end since the person running the game decided to stop playing.

The amount of polish on the game is outstanding. The menu GUI is slick – I remember being unimpressed by the “oval” motif of Quake III: Arena but this one impressed me. The atmopshere is cool – I found myself stopping to watch the UAC videos on the monitors. And playing Super Turkey Puncher Pro.

I was impressed by the game, impressed by the graphics and engine, impressed by the multiplayer, and thinking the game is well worth the $55 I paid for it. For those of you looking to save, go to Circuit City where it can be had for $45 I’m told.

Anywho, I must stop playing since I must head to bed and get some sleep. The best thing about my system and DOOM 3 is that it can only get better from here, and now I’m really looking forward to QuakeCon.