Xbox System Link

Xbox Shootout: Doom 3 vs. Halo 2

Matthew D. Sarrel

Xbox is by no means a new gaming platform, but with the recent releases of Halo 2 and now Doom 3, it really appears to be coming into its own. The question is: Do you need both of these games? They are similar in some ways. Perhaps it's a matter of taste. Here, we compare the two first-person shooter games directly and then offer a full review of each genre-leading game.

First of all, Doom 3 is much darker than Halo 2. The hideous enemies and gruesome combat in Doom 3 also set it apart. But both games have well-thought-out controls and combat systems, as well as very high-quality graphics and audio. Doom 3 has Halo 2 beat as far as the fear factor is concerned, and fear keeps you on your toes and in the game. Both games have healthy (or unhealthy) doses of close combat, but Doom's up-close, frenetic combat certainly makes it more of an adrenaline-rush, in-your-face experience.

In multiplayer game play, Halo 2 leaves more room for finesse and strategy, while Doom 3 is all about brute force. A sniper rifle would be far too subtle a weapon for the Doom demons. Each game offers Xbox Live and system link (network) support, but only Halo 2 supports split-screen multiplayer action.

One advantage of Halo 2 is that it has vehicles that you can commandeer and then use in combat. The Limited Collector's Edition of Doom 3 has its own added bonus: It includes Doom 2 (one of the greatest PC games of all time).

Ultimately, you won't go wrong buying either game. If you want horror and gore, go with Doom 3, and if you want to save the universe, go with Halo 2. For the most rounded gaming experience, however, go with Halo; it offers more varied game play and support for split-screen multiplayer action.

Continue reading our Doom 3 for Xbox and Halo 2 reviews.

Copyright © 2005 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Originally appearing in PC Magazine.

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