The 2004 release of id Software’s Doom 3 spurred many PC gamers to upgrade their rigs – with many building completely new machines with the sole intent of driving this game at its ultimate eye-candy settings. And many gamers still came up a bit short, which is just one reason why they are looking forward to jumping into the corridor-crawling fray again with the release of Doom 3 BFG Edition.
For those new to the series, Doom 3 puts you in the boots of a marine sent as part of a detachment to protect a facility on Mars in which scientists have unlocked the secrets to teleportation. As luck would have it, you soon find yourself fighting off an invading horde of demons from Hell, which are threatening to use teleportation to take over not only Mars, but eventually, Earth as well. It’s up to you, naturally, to stop them.
Much more than a minor rehash of the original, Doom 3 BFG Edition not only gives games a chance to relieve one of the most notable game releases of the last decade in all of its intended eye-popping glory – it also throws several new ingredients into id’s classic FPS recipe.p>The Doom 3 engine pushed the technological envelope to such a high degree in 2004 that it still holds up relatively well on today’s hardware – and the dev team has gone back and tweaked textures, lighting, in-game models, level design and increased the speed of the game at the same time. Much of these improvements were enabled by id adding some of its Rage technology to the Doom 3 engine.
The biggest change for the PC version is that it now runs at 120Hz. So, for the first time, you get native 3D support in an id game; out of the box Doom 3: BFG Edition will be rated “Excellent” in its support for 3D Vision. And the corridor-heavy, dark, claustrophobic level design – ideal for introducing all sorts of baddies to you in shock-inducing ways – should prove even more effective with the addition of the extra dimension. Plus, the lighting effects from in-game mechanics such as your flashlight and laser site for your weapons get a significant boost from 3D, as well.
And the flashlight mechanic – one of the points of debate in the original release – has received an overhaul. In 2004 you were forced to decide whether to use your flashlight or gun as a “game tactic”, which fell flat with some gamers. The choice was meant to raise the tension in-game but defied the conventions of the genre, which some gamers disliked. The game was very dark overall so the flashlight was really needed a large amount of the time, and it was a bit cumbersome to switch to weapons when the action dictated. Now you can use both simultaneously – you’ll have to manage the limited charge of the light source, however, so the element of tension should remain. (More ammo and checkpoint saves have also been added – both major points of criticism in the original release.)
Many of the levels have been reworked – with the developers replacing some of the original scripted moments with new surprises. Overall the game is a bit brighter, the action is faster with more enemies to fight, and id has incorporated Rage’s network layer into Doom 3 BFG Edition to support the faster gameplay while also offering lower latency in multiplayer games.
All of this will likely make picking up Doom 3 BFG Edition a classic “no brainer” for id fans. And, if you somehow missed the original Doom experience on the PC, the BFG Edition is well worth considering. For $29.99 you get Doom 3 and the Resurrection of Evil add-on pack – as well as an entirely new mission pack entitled The Lost Mission, which adds seven more levels (and a new storyline) to the mix. But wait, that’s not all: you also get the original Doom and Doom 2.
Let the fragging commence – all over again!