Doom 3: BFG Edition (PC)
Developer: id Software
Released: August 2004
Played: Doom 3 complete in 9 hours; Resurrection of Evil complete in 3 hours; Lost Mission complete in 1 hour 50 mins
AboutAs a marine newly stationed at Union Aerospace Corporation's Mars research facility, you have the bad luck to arrive on the day that everything goes to hell. As one of the only survivors of an invasion of horrific monsters, you'll have to fight your way through the base to close the portal and prevent the creatures from reaching Earth.
At LaunchDoom 3 did quite well, earning average review scores of 88%. Critics were very impressed by the graphics, animations, and environments. Opinion was a little divided on gameplay - many reviewers enjoyed the classic run-and-gun style, but others were disappointed with the predictability of enemy patterns.
Post LaunchThe Resurrection of Evil expansion pack released in April 2005, eight months after the release of Doom 3. The expansion adds a new single player campaign with 12 levels and a few new weapons, wrapping up the story of Doom 3.
Doom 3: BFG Edition was released in October 2012, collecting Doom, Doom II, Doom 3, and the expansion packs for each game. It also includes a new expansion for Doom 3, The Lost Mission, mostly built from levels cut from Doom 3. The BFG version of Doom 3 features enhanced graphics, checkpoint saves, 3D display support, and the ability to use the flashlight and a weapon at the same time.
When the game first came out I remember Doom 3 being mocked endlessly for not letting the player use a flashlight and a gun at the same time. There was a well-known "duct tape mod" that let you use both at once by claiming that the marine duct taped the flashlight to the gun. Well, BFG edition lets you use both, so that's nice - but I actually kind of wish I'd tried the original way, because despite the lack of logic it actually sounds scary: do you want to see or shoot the monsters? Pick one, but not both.
If you notice that things look kind of fuzzy, there's a setting you should know about: "texture LOD bias", which is a setting name I haven't seen in any other game. LOD is a performance-enhancing feature that reduces the level of detail of objects the further they are from you. The odd thing about the setting in Doom 3 BFG is that turning it up increases the fuzz (use of LOD textures) and turning it down makes things sharper - it's the only setting I've ever seen in a video game where turning it down makes the game look better, which is awfully counterintuitive when you're used to turning things up to improve the visuals.
After getting rid of the fuzz by cranking that LOD setting down to zero, things look much sharper and more detailed. The art direction and graphics updates make most environments quite believable, if not exactly photorealistic. The human characters look dated even with the enhancements, but animation and movement are pretty good and mostly make up for it. Actually, playing Doom 3 makes me miss high contrast lighting. It may not
be strictly realistic but it's really paranoia-inducing to realize that
even in brightly lit rooms you'll have to double check the corners
because they're so dark.
|LOD max setting|
|LoD minimum setting|
Things pick up quick though. Combat moves at a good clip once you find the assault rifle, and when you obtain the chaingun and plasma rifle the action gets more tense and exciting. Most enemies are either melee attackers or fire slow-moving projectiles, so the best option is to sprint-strafe around, dodging attacks while firing. There are no iron sights and rooms are mostly pretty tight, so even with few enemies combat tends to be quick.
the invading force consists of demons from Hell and the teleportation technology comes from the ruins of an ancient Martian civilization that teleported to Earth and became us, well, that's a bit of a different take on things.
I was actually kind of disappointed with the BFG. Playing on normal difficulty like I always do for first runs, I never really got into a situation where it felt necessary to break out the big gun, especially after I obtained the Soul Cube. When I hit the final boss I thought, finally, I can blow all that BFG ammo I've been hoarding! But he doesn't take damage from conventional weapons so I had no use for it there either.
The Lost Mission is okay but a little weak compared to the other stuff. It's just more game, without much story. Not much to talk about here.
I only managed two achievements.