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‘Doom 3 BFG Edition’ Review!

by on October 20, 2012
 

STORY

You are a simple marine that works for UAC (Union Aerospace Corporation) and you have been assigned to Mars City on…you’ve guessed it…the planet Mars.  Upon reaching Mars City you are instructed to track down a scientist that has gone missing and your orders are to bring him back unharmed and alive, this should be a very simple mission.  When you find the lost scientist, he is on edge and tries to warn you of a great evil that is about to be unleashed on Mars City, but before he has a chance, he is possessed by an unknown entity and he instantly attacks you!

This ‘Hell Knight’ wears no shining armour!

Then it seems that the scientist is not the only one on Mars City that has become possessed, everyone on board has turned into some kind of zombie and to make things even worse, they are joined by some very sinister, mutated and downright evil demons! Just what the hell is going on in Mars City?  Your only mission as of now is to escape this hell that has been unleashed on Mars City as soon as you can marine!

HD CONVERSION

Back during its original release, ‘Doom 3’ was one of the best looking games on the market, but seven years can be a very long time in the gaming industry. Some games visually have stood the test of time and others haven’t had such a kind fate, but that’s without the HD makeover element.  Today there is growing trend of HD remakes and this is something that I’m thankful for, as it gives you the opportunity to relive some of your favourites from the past and gives others that may not have had an opportunity to play such games, a chance to see what all the fuss was about.

The ‘Doom’ franchise has always been one of the iconic figurines of the gaming history and for me this is an opportunity to play a game that I hold dear, so when I first heard that it was receiving a HD makeover, I was over the moon (or Mars in Dooms case).  If you graded ‘Doom 3’ against the standards of today’s generation, that would be very unfair to do so, but in all fairness, ‘Doom 3’ hasn’t aged all that badly.  With its HD makeover, it still holds up very well and I’d put it alongside some of the best HD remakes that have hit our consoles recently. ‘Doom 3’ visually is a very dark game and that probably works in its favour alot, as it makes it a little easier to hide some of the ageing textures.

Here Impy…Impy…Impy!

The enemies still look as sinister and look almost as good as any demons that you can find in any of today’s game.  If you’re familiar with the original ‘Doom’ games, you will recognise some of the demons instantly.  Some of the personal favourites of mine that have had a new look are of course the ‘zombies’, the imps, the ‘Cacodemon’ and the badass ‘Hell Knight’.  The one particular demon that always manages to crawl under my skin (which has alot to do with me being arachnophobic) is those pesky ‘Trites’ and ‘Ticks!’ Those dam things will crawl from the woodwork so to speak and swarm you in packs; this is where the shotgun particularly comes in handy.  If I was to put the ‘Doom 3’ that is included in the ‘BFG’ edition on par with any current generation game, it would be ‘Quake 4’ and ‘Prey’, largely because they all run from the same ‘id Tech 4’ engine.  I know these games are also old, but there still Xbox 360 games and considering ‘Doom 3’ is an original Xbox game, that’s still quite a feat.

GAMEPLAY

Back in the day of the original ‘Doom’ games, the gameplay was extremely basic, but very effective and that was a big part of its appeal.  Then in 2004 on the PC and 2005 on the original Xbox, ‘Doom 3’ came along and blew me away with its impressive visuals.  But one principle that remained true was the basic gameplay mechanic.  While other game on the market such as the legendary ‘Half-Life 2’, was a big focus on its amazing gameplay, even more so for a FPS.  ‘Doom 3’ however wanted to keep the gameplay simple, like the original games and this was again a big appeal.  ‘Doom 3’ was easy to pick up and play, with terrifying visuals and scares, dark corridors, jumps around the corner and just pure evil goodness.

Though there was one gripe with alot of gamers and that was that you could not hold your firearm and ever so important flashlight simultaneously.  I could see why ‘id Software’ did this, as it added to the fear factor, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a slight ball ache.  To tackle this minor issue, there were various PC mods that allowed you to carry your firearm and flashlight at the same time and it pleases me to say that you can now do so in the ‘Doom 3 BFG Edition, but I know this will have a mixed reaction of opinions.

The new and improved ‘Cacodemon’.

Continuing on with the Flashlight function, there is one little niggly annoyance with this.  To use your Flashlight, you press ‘LT’, now the problem what I have here is that with me being so use to FPS’s, the ‘LT’ is often used as the scope.  So what I found myself doing alot to begin with is that when an enemy jumped out to attack me, that split second of panic, I’m attacking the enemy by flickering my flashlight on and off! Because of course my natural reaction is to scope down my gun before firing, but after a while I did start to get use to this function.  Yes I know that there was no ability to scope in the original ‘Doom 3’ game, but it would have been an idea maybe to include this function in the ‘BFG’ edition or at least allow you to fully customise you’re control layout.

One of the new selling points to ‘Doom 3 BFG’ is the new ‘check point save system’, but please don’t take this check point save system for granted! I died towards the end of a mission and I thought to myself, ‘no need to worry, the check point system will have my back’, wrong! I was pushed that far back into the level that I actually thought I was back in my mother’s womb! So a strong word of advice, get into the habit of manually saving…alot!  But none of this takes away from the fact that I still really enjoy playing ‘Doom 3’ and it still remains as addictive as it was when I first purchased it in 2005.

AUDIO

The ‘Doom’ franchise has never been know or never will be for its in depth plot, there’s not a great deal of dialogue or particularly  strong characters (just watch the movie), but just like the simple pick up and play gameplay, this has also been an appeal to the franchise.  Just like many of the enemies in the game, the plot is pretty much brain dead, but works perfectly fine for ‘Doom 3’.  But where ‘Doom 3’ does excel in this department, is the creepy noise in the dark, the groan of a zombie or one of this cringe worthy spiders creeping up on you and now it’s even better with the ‘BFG Edition’ as the audio has also been remastered in 5.1 Dolby quality.  I’m a big fan of the ‘Dead Space’ series and its quite clear that games such as this have been influenced by games such as ‘Doom 3’ where the eerie sounds can be just as scary as any visuals.  ‘Doom 3’ will constantly have you watching your back, frantically looking to the ceiling and what may be around the next corner.

Dooms take on Nightcrawler!

REPLAY VALUE

Just on its RRP alone, ‘Doom 3 BFG Edition’ offers great value for money, but when you throw in all the content that’s included in this package, it represents one ‘Hell’ of a bargain.  You not only get a HD and Dolby 5.1 remastered version of ‘Doom 3’, but you also get the ‘Resurrection of Evil’ expansion pack, 8 previously unreleased levels conveniently entitled ‘The Lost Mission’,  the original and legendary ‘Doom’ and ‘Doom 2’ will be included and not to mention Doom 3’s epic multiplayer.  Doom 3 is a game that still remains on my laptop after all these years and it’s still a game that I return to from time to time, so I have no doubts with all that’s included in the ‘BFG Edition’ you will keep returning to the hell that has been unleashed upon mars long after you’ve finished the main campaign.

CLOSING VERDICT

‘Doom 3 BFG Edition’ is an example to what a video gamer’s trip down memory lane should all be about.  With HD remakes becoming a very common trend in today’s gaming industry; it’s easy for developers and publishers to bang out a once loved treasure to make a quick buck.  I’ve purchased a few HD remakes myself, one or two have been very questionable, but editions like the ‘Metal Gear Solid HD Collection’ remains an example of how a HD remake should be done and ‘Doom 3 BFG Edition’ joins that elite club.

The RRP of the ‘BFG Edition’ is around £29.99/$39.99 and at that price, it’s well worth the purchase alone, but if you shop about you could easily pick it up for around £24.99/$34.99 or less!  So if like me, you grew up and loved the ‘Doom’ series, this is pretty much a no brainer purchase, but to those that may have missed out on this game originally, this is a great time to see what all the fuss is about and how a true horror First Person Shooter should be done.

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