Run the Steam Version of Doom 3 in Widescreen

One of the great things about playing PC games that are a few years old is the fact that you can usually crank the graphics up to the max and still get a silky-smooth framerate. When you couple this to the fact that I’m a sucker for video game package deals on Steam, you can see how I end up playing a lot of older PC games.

Screenshot of Doom 3 zombie in 1080p resolution.
Doom 3 running at 1080p HD resolution

One of my latest purchases was the QUAKECON pack that included a smorgasbord of games from id Software and Bethesda Softworks for pennies on the dollar. I hadn’t played Doom 3 since 2005 or 2006, so I figured I’d give it another go. Back in the day (am I really calling 2005 “back in the day”?) my GeForce4 Ti 4600 couldn’t really handle the brand-spanking-new “id Tech 4” engine that Doom 3 used, so I went out and bought a mid-range GeForce 6600 GT that did the trick very nicely. At the time I was rocking a 19″ CRT from Dell, which was an awesome monitor at 1280 x 1024 resolution. I had a great gaming experience at the time, but even with the newer video card I couldn’t run the game on “Ultra” settings without serious drops in frame rate.
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Left4Dead 2 Demo Thoughts

I had a chance to play through the Left4Dead 2 demo last night, and I can say that I am even more excited for the new game to come out in November! The demo showed off some of Left4Dead 2’s new additions to the special infected, weapons, and other items. It also showed an evolution of the level design that I’m really happy with.

Survivors

Left4Dead has a memorable cast of survivors. After hours of playing online with my friends, I feel like I know the survivors pretty well. Thousands of lines of dialogue, mostly one-off comments, really add to their depth. With Left4Dead 2, the survivors are developed the same way. I’m looking forward to listening to the dialogue throughout the game. Even the few lines I heard in the demo help to flesh out the characters. So far each survivor has come across just as strong as those from the original game.

The survivors of Left4Dead 2
The survivors of Left4Dead 2

Weapons

Left4Dead 2 has some new weapons, and the original weapons that are returning have been tweaked from the original game. The pistol does not feel as accurate as it did in Left4Dead, but it looks heftier and produces a satisfying gunshot sound when used. Headshots with the pistol are an instant kill, and it can take limbs off with a well-placed bullet.

The pump shotgun is back as well. It acts like it has a full choke, but it is still accurate well past what I would realistically expect. Still, it is very satisfying to use. One surprise from the demo is that the shotgun will not always take down an infected with just one shot unless it takes off a limb or the head. In Left4Dead, the shotgun was an almost guaranteed kill with a body shot. In Left4Dead 2 that is not necessarily the case unless you shoot an infected in the back. The shotgun also feels slower to reload, similar to the way it reloads when it is completely empty in the first game.

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