Doom 3: BFG Edition Review
Doom 3 has never been that good. Sorry. We’re not the types to jump into the past and scream in the faces of reviewers of yesterday “YOU WERE WRONG,” but, well, they were.
Because playing through Doom 3, its expansion pack Resurrection Of Evil and the new eight-level Lost Mission mode, it’s clear to see this has always been a game bereft of much in the way of ideas.
In short: it’s dull. You waddle through a dark corridor, something jumps out at you so you shoot it with a gun that sounds like its barrel is muffled with cotton wool. Sometimes you use a computer.
There are no puzzles, there are no mazes to work out, there is so very little of interest, there is so much bathed in pure simplicity. Now the simplicity angle is one we’re fans of a lot of the time, but Doom 3 – in all its three incarnations – doesn’t back up its simplicity with satisfying mechanics, unrelenting enemies or even much of a challenge.
Just to reiterate for those not listening: it’s dull. It’s not bad, it’s just mediocre. The HD treatment doesn’t do much, but then the game hadn’t exactly aged badly to begin with – it doesn’t look amazing, but the atmosphere is solid and the game world believable.
Doom 3 was the Crysis of its day; you needed a hefty rig to play it.
Combat settles into a familiar pace and one that can provide a nice, relaxing afternoon of play (in stark contrast to how terrifying we found it first time around: its scares haven’t aged well), circle-strafing and mincing up demons with your chaingun until you decide to play something that actually involves your brain in some tiny way.
Fortunately, you don’t have to go far for that: the BFG Edition includes both the original Doom and Doom II, from 1993 and 1994 respectively. These are the PC ports and not a conversion of the PSone version, meaning they’re a bit different to what you got if you’ve only played that version.
One thing it does mean though is that the first level has the original, amazing music. Great days.
The original two releases show up all three versions of Doom 3 constantly and consistently: inventive, maze-based level design, enemies that overwhelm you rather than queue up to be killed, more than just monster closet scares (though still plenty of them) and a palpable feel of speed and excitement that just doesn’t resonate with what is apparently the main attraction in this collection.