Doom 3: All Hell Breaks Loose

id Software's Todd Hollenshead on the reason there's no DVD version, the multiplayer architecture, the Xbox ship date; and the conclusions from PC Gamer US' exclusive review of the game.

Following his confirmation that "It's done" yesterday evening, various quotes from id Software CEO Todd Hollenshead have surfaced shedding some light on the question of Doom 3's DVD distribution, the multiplayer server architecture, and the state of the Xbox version in development at Vicarious Visions, and excited gamers with access to subscriber copies of the US PC Gamer have flooded forums with news of that magazine's exclusive review and score.

Speaking in CNN/Money's regular Game Over column this week, Hollenshead reflected on the issue of DVD distribution, which has become more and more prevalent in recent months, particularly amongst developers of large, multi-disc FPS titles like Far Cry and Unreal Tournament 2004. However, in spite of this, Doom will apparently ship exclusively on CD. "There's just not a compelling reason [to do a DVD version]," Hollenshead told CNN/Money. "For us the cost of the goods and the cost of the replication and having to make two masters just isn't worth it," he added. Expect the game to ship on three or four CDs.

Hollenshead also commented on the state of the Xbox version of the game, which was demonstrated at E3 this year (and a video of which you can still download from Eurofiles), although he wouldn't be drawn on a release date. Which is not entirely surprising for id, mind you. "We can't say, at this point, that it's going to come out this year," he told CNN/Money. "There are a couple of big pieces of work that still have to be done."

In slightly more positive news, Hollenshead was able to confirm to UKGamer.com that, "Multiplayer is client-server," laying to rest suggestions that Doom's four-player deathmatch mode might be peer-to-peer; in other words, that it would rely on individual players connecting together or hosting things locally rather than connecting to dedicated servers hosted by regular server operators on the net. As yet though, there's no word on if and when a dedicated server package might appear on the net ahead of the game's release on August 5th in the States.

Meanwhile, eager fans have scanned, copied and generally spread the word from the latest US PC Gamer magazine that Doom 3 is apparently worth 94%. Having read the review ourselves prior to its removal from a number of forums, we can tell you that the magazine's reviewer claims it took 23 hours to complete, and that it's phenomenal in every respect. There are no other reviews around to compare, sadly, but it still gave us a pang of excitement, even if we're a little wary of these sorts of exclusives. It said, in no uncertain terms, that Doom as a single-player game is as good as more or less anything id has ever made, and that lead designer Tim Willits "gets inside your head like a psychologist," or words to that effect.

So then, just to reiterate: Doom 3 is due out in the US on August 5th, although some retailers could conceivably stock it from midnight on August 3rd, and the UK "will probably get it first, on or about August 6th," with everywhere else "probably" on Friday, August 13th with only a couple of exceptions. You can read more from Todd Hollenshead's .plan update here.

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