Posted: 15/07/2010 in 360 Controls, Gaming

Well, I have effectively just had the proverbial shite scared out of me!

Quality is very important to me.  It’s one of the reasons I love my job so very much.  “No nonsense” correctness and efficiency is not just important if you want a lengthy career in the film industry, it is essential!  Hence, I have a rigourous QC process which I run through with all my personal configurations and support files also (as it’s good to keep the mind sharp and good habits ingrained).  One of my criteria for determining whether a control scheme has been successfully implemented, is at least one uninterrupted hour of play of the title in question, without needing to switch to Xpadder to reconfigure or tweak anything.  Thus, following my protocol, I have waited and waited for the conditions to be just right for me to properly test my latest DOOM 3 config.

I eventually got my chance tonight as both the wife and sprog are away for the evening, leaving me to await “The Work Call” all by my lonesome.  Lights turned off all throughout the house, I lit up my joint as I fired up DOOM 3 on my machine and prepared to put my control scheme to the test.  On a quick side note, there is a particular school of thought which believes that the smoking of marijuana makes everything better and, to a certain extent, that line of thinking is quite correct.  Not so when it comes to DOOM however!! Trust me on this my cohorts of cyber-gaming and fellow stoners alike, easy on the throttle when it comes to getting baked before a session of “Doom in the Dark”.  Not five minutes had passed before I found myself totally immersed in the experience and ready to wet myself just as soon as the inevitable (impossible) boney hand reached from BEHIND me to grab at my shoulder.  The eery soundtrack and ambient noises literally had me glancing over my shoulder into the blackness of my lounge and my eyes played some pretty fucking nasty tricks on me as I busied myself crouching behind barrels and boxes, nervously checking left and then right into the oppressive darkness on-screen and not being sure whether to have my trusty flashlight out or to just illuminate everything in the gore-tinted blast from my shotgun!

I must say that I am most pleased with the final results of my control setup.  I dumbed down the right analog stick quite a bit in order to make menu navigation a touch easier and a side-effect of this is a kind of sluggish turning which delivers a sense of urgency not unlike that of Resident Evil.  Of course, you can assist any turn with a complimentary sidestep for quickness (circle strafing anyone?) and I found the amount of deadzone on the right stick only added to the panic when confronted with a room full of howling, fire spitting demons.  Now, I’ve said it before and I have no problem going down in history as stating categorically that I think the FPS genre is no place for gamepads.  Much as I love console controllers (and my 360’s in particular), I find them to be no substitute for a trusty mouse/keyboard combo when the highest possible degree of accuracy is required.  However, it seemed to make sense to release a reworked control scheme for DOOM 3 as I am covering the first two installments in other posts and, truth be told, I figured it  might be a good candidate for a gamepad friendly control scheme as it really isn’t a tactical shooter by any means and has the same “arcadey” feel of the first two DOOM titles.  Having said that, I feel compelled to point out that I am aware that almost all console shooters have some kind of aiming assist on by default.  I chose to test this configuration “sans assists” as even though I am a fan of the Xbox (and arcadey things in general), I am still a bit of a purist when it comes to the gaming platform I first came to love.  I leave it to you, the discerning public and console FPS enthusiasts, to report back to me on how you find these controls and whether or not you enable aiming assistance via DOOM 3’s native menus.  My findings, after many hours of testing, are as follows.

I felt that getting headshots was tricky, but not impossible (which is just as it should be IMHO).  Circle strafing is a doddle thanks to the dual analog and weapon selection works well on the D-Pad (as is the way these days).  Vibration feedback on the trigger is ALWAYS a kick, but the tweak I am most proud of is the crouching on left analog click.  DOOM 3 only allows for a simple “hold and release” binding which (to me) is unacceptable, but once again Xpadder came through as it allowed me to put a toggle modifier on the mapping and now all is well.  The trade off is that it is impossible to jump directly from a crouched position, which means thinking ahead a little.  Again, this is not necessarily a bad thing (at least it means no stinking bunny-hopping!).  Ultimately, if you are a hardened FPS fanatic you will probably want to stick with the standard PC setup but if you’re in the mood to just chill on the couch, propped up on one arm so you can relax while you blow the heads of zombie-demons, then by all means, plug in your 360 controller and give my scheme a run.

All things considered, a great hour of gaming was had and I am not ashamed to admit that I found myself shaken, but not disturbed after my session.  Just as when I was a child, after playing hours and hours of DOOM in isolated darkness, I was most grateful when the lights came back up and I found myself back in the relative safety of my armchair.

I have included in this post, a link to a compressed file containing an image with the Xpadder configuration mapped to the controller, the config files needed to recreate this setup for Xpadder (both controller and profile) and the configuration file needed by DOOM 3 to run in a widescreen, 1680×1050 mode.  I came across this resource whilst researching this post and implemented the solutions (r_mode -1 and custom r_mode resolutions) into the config file so that it is ready for use.  Simply copy the DoomConfig.cfg file into the “\base” folder of your DOOM 3 installation.

The control layout for DOOM 3 as mapped to a 360 gamepad

Some tasty links for y’all.

Compressed Config Bundle –

DOOM 3 Tweak Guide –

As always, take it easy and keep it sleazy!



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