Somebody on slashdot writes of Half-Life 2:
Doom 3 tried to generate atmosphere through the lack of light and the monster placement that was obviously designed to scare you. After a while it degenerated into one big black scare job to me, and wasn’t very interesting as a result.
On the other hand, I felt that HL2 did an awesome job of generating atmosphere, without the darkness. That last part was especially interesting to notice. When was the last time you were scared in a computer game while in broad daylight? Or in a peaceful zone? And to continue onto gameplay, when was the last time you had an idea of killing an enemy in the middle of a firefight, and that creative idea that would’ve been impossible in older games simply worked? Yes, I’m talking about the physics engine, and I haven’t seen gameplay this varied since wielding a cursed blanket in NetHack.
I’m willing to sacrifice bump mapping everywhere for the ability to throw bladed flying machines at enemies.