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Doom 3 BFG Edition
Doom 3 BFG Edition

PC | PlayStation 3 | Xbox 360
Genre: First Person Shooter Players: 1 to 0
Developer: id Software
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Release Date:
18th October 2012
Doom 3 BFG Edition Review
Review By @ 03:52pm 30/10/12
A lot has changed in the last eight years. This is my main thought as Doom 3 goes about its stolid motions. Not just for first-person shooters, but all genres, each new technology bleeding across development cycles to lift the immersive potential of videogames. We take it for granted a lot of the time, and this makes it difficult to look back at a previous generation’s efforts without a curled lip and complete lack of patience. I am pretty much a fan of any shooter, but I can’t remember Doom 3 being this boring.

It is a plodding, emotionless vacuum of a game, presented with depressing rigidity to corridor design, straight cut lighting and constantly spawning demons. There is no illusion, despite the game so clearly wanting to be something of a psychological taunt. Enemies will always spawn from those dark corners. If you come to a crossroads of sorts, you can guarantee a waiting ambush. This predictable delivery contains absolutely no horror nuance. We are savvier these days, cognisant of the fact that there exist no emergent possibilities for Doom 3’s monster encounters because they are tied directly to trigger points on the map. Consequently, enemies have no personality whatsoever and become a chore to defeat. The only semblance of artificial intelligence displayed here is the odd combat roll. Other than that, they simply come at you like Pacman ghosts.

Granted, this is the expected Doom experience. The first two games were about the learned reactions that came from replaying levels multiple times and anticipating encounters. Doom 3 hurts itself in this respect with its staunch homogeneity. The tight, claustrophobic corridors comprised of metallic walls, thick conduits and low-res electronic panels never change, presenting an experience more akin to being a maze rat than a badass space marine out to kick demon butt. The only times things feel expansive are during brief forays into Mars’ atmosphere, but these are so pressured by your lack of oxygen that they don’t feel exploratory. Similarly, every large room that you enter becomes immediately marked as a boss encounter, thus dampening any hope of variety.

It constantly feels like the game is trolling you. When you gain some decent weapons, you’ll feel somewhat more prepared. However, early enemies that can also fire weapons raise some questions. Why can they shoot their shotguns so quickly when you are forced to wait several seconds between blasts? Why do their shots cause your view to buck all over the place when they show no reaction whatsoever to being shot? The lack of any impact on enemies’ bodies as you shoot is keenly felt throughout the entire campaign and although you keep telling yourself that this is an older game, it doesn’t help – you’ve experience amazing reactionary programming from so many subsequent titles that there is just no going back.

And the audio logs, my God they are so boring. Scattered throughout the game are locked cabinets that require codes to unlock. The way that you get these is to find abandoned PDAs from workers at the facility and listen to their banal monologues in the hope of hearing a code. If you miss it the first time, or aren’t near the exact cabinet, then look forward to sitting through work reports and dry observations of life on Mars. The UAC must have a “hire boring scientists” policy.

The game itself may not hold up too well, but as a package this BFG edition is not too bad. You get the remastered versions of Doom, Doom II (who doesn’t already have these?) and Doom 3 (with new checkpoint saving), as well as Resurrection of Evil and an extra single-player expansion The Lost Mission, which is basically an eight level, balls-out highlight of all that Doom 3 has to offer. Frame-rates are generally smooth, with a small amount of screen tearing. While the graphics and lighting can only be described as strange, they do still hold up quite well as long as you don’t go in for a close look at textures. The ability to bring up your flashlight at the same time as a weapon is here in an official capacity, rather than as the famous ‘duct tape’ mod. It’s a logical inclusion but hardly makes the game any better as a result.

If you’re a Doom-a-holic, you’ll already own the previous games and expansions but will likely be keen on this in order to blast through and gain achievements/trophies. While the gameplay and design does seem surprisingly archaic for a recent-ish game, there is enjoyment to be had in the mindless domination of brain-dead demonic hordes. We have been spoilt in subsequent years, which isn’t Doom 3’s fault. The unfortunate truth remains that it is more of a chore to revisit than a joy.
What we liked
  • Smooth frame rate and updated graphics
  • Value for money collection
  • The Lost Mission gets straight to the action
What we didn't like
  • Unreactive, unintelligent enemies
  • Predictable scares and encounters
  • Boring PDA scripts
  • Gets the oppressive design right, but never changes
We gave it:
Latest Comments
Posted 12:36pm 31/10/12
This is a lazy review. Play it with the correct intention. Full 5.1 surround. Lights off. In 3D.
Posted 12:52pm 31/10/12
you guys just got told.
Posted 01:37pm 31/10/12
I'd like to try The Lost Mission.
Posted 01:37pm 31/10/12
Is it true that dynamic shadows have been taken out of the game for this edition?
Posted 05:03pm 31/10/12
This is a lazy review. Play it with the correct intention. Full 5.1 surround. Lights off. In 3D.

Nah, I agree with the review - Doom 3 was great in it's day but the BFG edition is a bit of a let down. The monster closet gameplay seems even more irritating than it was in the original.
The flashlight thing touted was released as a mod within days of the original release so that's nothing really new there. The checkpoint system and the lost missions are nice, but existing mods are broken, PDAs are a snore and yes, they've taken out the dynamic lighting.

I'd recommend digging out the old Doom 3 disc if you're really keen, this remaster isn't quite up to snuff.
Posted 05:10pm 31/10/12
Nah, I agree with the review .

Whether the conclusion is the same or not, his methodology is correct. I don't think you should dispute that the intent of the re-release was to literally just give fans a bit more. Not worth money mind you. Should have been a free update as thanks.
Posted 06:29pm 31/10/12
Doom 3 game play was dated when it originally came out, never mind today.
Posted 07:32pm 31/10/12
yeah i was not a fan either.. i just wanted to finsh the game and get it over with.. cheated my way though it so i could get there faster.
Posted 12:14am 01/11/12
I'll stick with me original doom 3 + expansion i got during steam xmas sale for dirt cheap. F*** all those complainers who need more light, bunch of noobs. I happily play with standard contrast/brightness and just the flashlight. Never understood what people complained about.
Posted 12:22am 01/11/12
I'll stick with me original doom 3 + expansion i got during steam xmas sale for dirt cheap. F*** all those complainers who need more light, bunch of noobs. I happily play with standard contrast/brightness and just the flashlight. Never understood what people complained about.

uncalibrated monitors vs properly calibrated ones vs good ones vs crap ones. Everyone's gonna have a different brightness level.
Posted 12:26am 01/11/12
Just change it then. Still dont see the issue.

IMO its just a bunch of girls who dont wanna play a scary game without a light to see where they shoot.
Posted 01:20am 01/11/12
Doom 3 definitely got boring through the middle, but one of the things I actually liked about it was the no flashlight on guns thing.

Having to walk around looking in all the pitch black corners with just a flashlight armed felt much more horror-y, and having to put the flashlight away and look for the glowing eyes or silhouettes when you found a monster was an additional and interesting challenge.

And as I say in every Doom 3 thread, Hell was just awesome.

Not interested in the BFG Edition at all though.
Posted 09:01am 01/11/12
The only thing I didn't like about Doom3 was the lack in change of scenery for 95% of the game, the Hell level was easily the best part. The BFG edition will no doubt be like $5 in one of the upcoming steam sales so I might just grab it when it's cheap.

last edited by tspec at 09:01:42 01/Nov/12
Posted 12:27pm 01/11/12
Yeah, im with you kos, the switching of light/weapon added to the game IMO.
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