Shoot Club: The Doom 3 review
TomChick - Columns - Comments - 08/05/04

By Tom Chick

My friend Trevor is sitting at the keyboard. His fingers are poised over the keys.

"So, do I start with the plot or should I just launch into graphics? And should I give my score for each area first? Like this?"

He types 'GRAPHICS 9/10'.

"This isn't Adrenaline Vault. You don't have to do it that way."

"Oh. So I just start with the story, maybe give a little bit of the history behind the game?"

"This isn't Gamespot either. Just write what you want to say. Did you like it?"

He pauses, his fingers over the keys. He takes a deep breath which turns into a sort of sigh. Then he pulls back his hands to rest them in his lap. He stares at the notes sitting off to the side.

"That's the problem. It's not that easy."

He leans back in the chair.

Three days ago, Trevor never would have expected it was going to be this hard. We drove to Best Buy at 6pm, ready to stand in line until midnight, which is when they were selling the first copies. We went inside, expecting banners or something, maybe a big guy in a Doom marine outfit with a plastic BFG. Instead, it was just business as usual. Kids hogging the console systems, couples browsing through the DVDs, blue shirted employees trying to look busy so no one would bother them.

"Where's the line?" Trevor asked an employee whose name tag read 'Monica'.

"The registers are right over there," Monica said. She was carrying a stack of DVDs.

"No, no, the line for Doom 3."

"Is that that game? I don't think it comes out until tomorrow."

"Wait, wait, I thought you guys were selling it at midnight."

"We close at nine," Monica said with as much of a shrug as she could manage with a few dozen copies of 13 Going On 30 in her arms.

"No, that's impossible," he protested. "You guys are putting Doom 3 on sale at midnight. You're giving out prizes to the first hundred people in line. You are."

"I don't know about any of that," she said.

"Well, I'm here to get in line."

"Look, I get off work in an hour, so I don't know anything about that. Go ask that guy." She nodded her head down another aisle where two employees were laughing to each other about something.

"Which guy? There are two of them."

"The one with glasses. That's Kevin. He knows about all that stuff."

"Where's the line for Doom 3?" Trevor asked Kevin. Kevin glanced at his watch.

"Already?" he said. "Man, you're early."

"There's no one else here?" Trevor asked.

"Not yet," he said apologetically. "Not that I know of."

"Awesome! So we're the first ones?"

"Yeah, I guess so. If you want to start a line out front, go hang out by the door."

"Totally awesome. Thanks, dude. Oh, hey, what prizes do we get?"

"I think it's just a T-shirt."

"A Doom 3 shirt? That's awesome."

"Are you going to be this excited about Half-Life 2?" I asked him as we headed for the door.

"Fuck Half-Life 2."

We stood by the front door. Just the two of us. We must have looked like we were on a smoke break, minus the cigarettes. Trevor surveyed people coming in from the parking lot. Every now and then, he'd say something like 'I bet that guy's going to get in line' or 'Here comes one'. But no one else got in line.

"Hey, dude, over here," he said, waving his arms to a guy in a Sci Fi Channel T-shirt. The guy looked around to see who Trevor was talking to. "Yeah, you. It's over here. This is the line for Doom 3. We're first, so you're right behind us."

"I'm just here to get a printer cartridge."

"Oh, okay. But if you want, they're selling Doom 3 at 12:01am. You're behind us if you're going to get in line."

Thirty minutes later, Trevor decided we needed to make a Starbucks run. "One of us needs to hold our place in line. Do you want to go, or should I?" The Starbucks was right at the corner. I could see it from where we stood.

"I'll go. What do you want?"

When I came back, there were two more people with Trevor.

"Hey, the line is behind us," Trevor told me with mock indignation. "No cutting!"

"Here's your java chip frappucino."

"Heh, I was just kidding. He's with me," Trevor told the other people, "and I was saving his place."

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