Doom. It’s a name that every gamer knows, no matter how young or old they are. It’s the game that helped define a genre that has overtaken the industry. The games have been around for almost 20 years, helping to establish id Software as a force to be reckoned with, and the team behind it, including John Carmack and John Romero, as some of the biggest names in development. Doom and Doom II took video games by storm in the 1990s, but then the franchise went quiet – at least in terms of new games. While there were spinoffs and updates, longtime fans yearned for Doom 3, which they finally received in 2004. Now, seven years after its release, Doom 3 is back in the BFG Edition, updated and improved for this console generation’s hardware, and packing a few surprises.
The BFG Edition is the most complete compilation of Doom games ever released: included is an updated version of Doom 3, along with its previously released add-on, Resurrection of Evil, and an all-new expansion, The Lost Mission, rounding out the definitive experience. The BFG Edition doesn’t stop there, adding in Doom and Doom II, as if to give Doom fans everything they love all in one place. Doom 3 is the only one that received any kind of upgrades, adding in 3D support, along with re-mastered graphics and sound, but that’s likely for the best, since the original Doom games are probably best played in their pixel perfect glory anyways.
To review Doom 3 at this point would be like taking a trip back into time and reviewing any FPS from last generation. While the game holds up as an intense and frightening FPS from 2004, so many innovations have taken place in the genre that it still feels a bit like a last generation game. The updated graphics and sound do improve the experience, but not exponentially – don’t expect something that is going to compete alongside games that were actually developed for this console generation. It’s better than playing an up-resed version, but it’s probably not going to look as good as Doom 4 will (pure conjecture), whenever that comes out. However, if you somehow have one of those fancy head-mounted displays (this reviewer does not), the gameplay probably feels entirely fresh and new, making the $40 price tag (on consoles, $30 on PC) a bargain.
The graphics and sound aren’t the only improvements that were actually applied in the BFG Edition, there is one vital thing that this release has that its predecessor does not: light. Perhaps the most important update in the BFG Edition is the flashlight (well, more specifically a suit that includes lights) that you can use while shooting, answering one of gamers’ biggest complaints about the original. You no longer have to shoot blindly in the dark, instantly upping the enjoyment of the game, and dropping one of the biggest points of player frustration.
If, for some reason, you missed out on Doom 3 the first time around, this package is a great way to experience some of id’s greatest works. Added on to that, you get the complete experience, with Resurrection of Evil, which, even if you did play the original release, you might not have had a chance to try since it was a separate purchase, and new content in the The Lost Mission which offers a nice layer of icing to an already tasty package that includes the original games as well. Basically, the BFG Edition is a great way to relive some of the most important games in history, and is a must for anyone that likes to live their lives knee deep in the dead.