Doom 3 Xbox
I recently had the privilege of attending Activision's pre-E3 Editor's Day in Santa Monica. In addition to the canned presentations, everyone was given a chance to sit down, in groups, with the developers themselves. Of all the titles Activision showed off, we've chosen the three most interesting to our readers.
Doom 3 - Xbox
Doom 3 on the Xbox is being developed by Vicarious Visions. Vicarious Visions is perhaps best known for their GameBoy Color and GameBoy Advance titles, but they've also developed Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy for the Xbox and had a hand in a few, lesser-known PC games like Terminus.
The first thing that became abundantly clear at the conference is that Vicarious Visions was clearly the company to develop Doom 3 on Xbox. Between their experience squeezing every last ounce of processor power on the handhelds, and their time spent porting the Quake III-based Jedi Academy to the Xbox, Vicarious Visions has developed the right skills to make Doom 3 happen on a console.
When the demo played, it was absolutely impossible to believe that this same hardware had difficulty running Halo at the same speed as Doom 3 was running. On top of that, the quality loss between Xbox and PC versions of the game is negligible at best. I'd made it a point to watch the Doom 3 videos before the conference and I could not spot any obvious differences between the two platforms other than resolution.
For all intents and purposes, Doom 3 on Xbox is Doom 3 on PC, at 480p resolution, and balanced for the console controller of course. The lighting and shadows remain per-pixel real-time, bump mapping is all over the place, and id's physics engine is still at work with the game, while retaining a target 30fps framerate.
There are content changes between the two, mostly involving some level re-design to fit Doom 3 into the Xbox's small 64MB footprint, but these changes weren't drastic according to the developers.
The multiplayer will be identical as PC, with 4 players in deathmatch or team deathmatch, but there will of course be no PC-Xbox interconnectivity. The save system remains undetermined and neither id nor VV wanted to speculate on what the options were, never mind what the final decision would be.
Of course, the big draw of the Xbox version will be co-op mode. At the conference a question was asked if multiplayer would be split-screen and the answer was no, but we're not certain if this also applies to co-op mode.