The team at id Software knows how to make a shooter. Say what you want about Rage, that game put others in the genre to shame when it came to the mechanics of shooting. From the point of pulling the trigger to the impact of the bullet, they just seem to know how to make it feel perfect. That has never been more evident than when you throw in a nearly decade-old game, and the actual shooting feels better than 90% of titles on the market. It is always good when my memories of a game match up when going back to play it almost a decade later.
Doom 3 BFG Edition is basically the celebration of 20 years of the Doom franchise. It contains all three games, with an HD-ified version of the final chapter. It also includes the expansion Resurrection of Evil, and even a never-before-seen set of levels, making it the definitive version of the game. You also get the original versions of Doom 1 and 2 for nostalgia purposes. It is disheartening that we somehow didn’t get a copy of Final Doom included in the package, but having the other two included is a nice touch.
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Of course, the main attraction here is Doom 3. Still considered by some as a pioneer in its time, and for me one of the last great experiences on the original Xbox. Jumping back in felt like putting on an old pair of comfortable shoes. Everything just felt right. Seeing the game now really showcases how incredible the technology was at the time. Id Software are always at the forefront of graphics technology, and Doom 3 still looks good today, albeit a little blocky at times. The biggest attraction though is the rock solid 60 fps the game runs at. You cannot appreciate how smooth the engine is until you see it running at this speed.
If you are one of the people that have never played Doom 3 before, you are in for a treat. This is a first-person shooter, with horror elements abound. While the story has been cookie-cutter from the get-go, the Doom series has done a good job of creating its world. It takes place on Mars, a portal to hell is opened and demons are there for the killing. What Doom 3 introduced was the sheer terror and horror of being stranded on a base on Mars with a bunch of demons from hell. It accomplishes this with cheap jump-scares and constant darkness. Even knowing what is coming, I still found myself jumping at several instances in the campaign.
The main single player game runs about 10-12 hours depending on difficulty. Then you have Resurrection of Evil and the new Lost Levels totaling up over 20 hours of Doom goodness, and that doesn’t include the two original games packed in. In addition, Doom 3 also brings multiplayer with it, though it is definitely on the classic side of things. It is only four-player deathmatches, harking back to the original games. It is also worth noting that the co-op found in the Xbox version is not here, which is disappointing.
Nostalgia plays a large role in my enjoyment of Doom 3, but that isn’t to say the game is without issues. One of the biggest arguing points of the original game is the flashlight. Yes it is amazing to think that a game about demons from Hell’s focal point would be a battery-powered illumination device, but it is. Originally the game forced you to choose between shining the flashlight and using your gun; as you can imagine it was tense. Later mods allowed you to use both at the same time, which is where the BFG Edition stands. You can tap the left trigger and shine a light on the situation.
Sure it removes the tension of only being able to use one, but it doesn’t alter it entirely. There is still plenty of horror to be found. Imps jumping at you from behind doors and pinky demons smashing through walls really get the blood flowing. Another small gripe is that the included Doom 1 and 2 only work if the Doom 3 BFG disc is not installed on the hard drive. Why this is, I do not know. It wouldn’t be such a huge issue, but considering how much better the game runs when it is installed, it’s an odd occurrence.
Doom 3 BFG Edition is an outstanding package for the price tag. If you have never played the original Doom 3, it is a must for fans of the genre. I have been anticipating the announcement of Doom 4 for a long time, as I grew up playing the original series on my PC and simply love it. If you have played the game, this is by far the best version outside of modding it on PC with those crazy texture packs. Anyway you slice it, I really think this is a solid collection for the price, and anyone who loves the series should definitely check it out. Doom is solidified in my brain as one of the greats in gaming history, and this package shows you why.
Review copy of game provided by publisher. Primary play on Xbox 360.