Review: Doom 3: BFG Edition is a hell of a good time
Doom 3 has been shaking up audiences for well over six years now, doing quite well for id Software since its release on Xbox and PC. But since that time, we've heard very little movement on the franchise, even though Doom 4 is in the works…and set to release, well, someday. To please fans in the meantime, Bethesda and id have teamed up again to bring Doom 3 back to the forefront in a new special BFG Edition, packing a huge amount of extras and a fairly good high-definition treatment. Though not every aspect of the gameplay is as fundamental as what you'd find in more current shooters, this is still well worth a look.
The game takes place in 2142, when the Union Aerospace Corporation (UAC for short) is running the basics through its research facility on Mars. As a space marine sent in to check up on things, you're on the hunt for some missing scientists, wondering what's up. But in the midst of your investigation, a strange demonic force overtakes the place, and you're soon scurrying for every weapon you can get your hands on, just for the sake of surviving. Yep, classic Doom.
Though the gameplay seems ancient in spots (the jumping is still a little floaty in places and you don't have the power of a melee attack), id Software did a commendable job making it work in BFG Edition. You'll hunt down every weapon you can get your hands on, check every nook and cranny for monsters that could pop out of the woodwork, and thank the team for including the benefit of a temporary flashlight, so you're not completely wandering around in the dark when the growling kicks in.
Where id really did most of their work is in the visuals. Doom 3: BFG Edition boasts a stunning high-definition transfer that offers the best of both worlds – a cool 3D effect for those with the TV's to support it, and a silky smooth 60 frames per second frame rate for everyone else. The monsters look incredibly vicious to this very day, and watching them jump towards you is truly frightening. The levels themselves can be a bit monotonous, and sometimes you can fall into a trap with an open floor grate (OUCH!), but overall, this is a good transfer of a classic game. It definitely holds up to today's contemporary standards – even though you can't skip the cut scenes before each stage.
The audio hasn't changed much, but Doom 3 packs a decent amount of dialogue, along with ambient effects that will send chills down your spine and the occasional blood-pumping music. Not much needed to change here.
Along with the full Doom 3 game, BFG Edition also packs a few extras. The original Doom and Doom 2 are included, and well represented considering that the games are even older than 99 percent of shooters these days. Resurrection of Evil is also thrown in, along with a new Lost Mission story angle, one that all fans will definitely want to check out. Multiplayer is available, and though not as in-depth or well-tracked as, say, Call of Duty, it's still well worth a try. Oh, and we mentioned this was a bargain deal at $40, right?
While Doom 3: BFG Edition won't make us forget that we still want Doom 4 now more than ever, it's a great little package for those who want to relive the glory days of shooters, while soaking in the contemporary visual and online touches that we've come to see in today's products. For $40, this is one hell of a deal.
[Reviewed on PlayStation 3]