With indie game development being the flavour of the week, it’s easy to forget that before Bethesda acquired id, they were one of the most successful independent developers to date what with Quake, Wolfenstein and Doom being household names. But that was a long time ago. So much so that they felt it was time to remind a world salivating over Black Ops 2, Battlefield 3 and Halo 4 of their existence with an HD collection of Doom.
The Doom 3: BFG Edition is a misnomer. Not only does it have Doom 3 and the Resurrection of Evil expansion pack, there’s the original Doom, Doom 2 and its “No Rest for the Living” add-on. Plus they’ve thrown in seven additional levels of Doom 3 known as the Lost Mission.
As you can see, on the surface, there seems to be a lot of value for fans of the series and newbies alike, even if you do factor in the lack of coop gameplay in Doom 3 and Resurrection of Evil. Dig a little deeper however, and you’ll think otherwise.
The gameplay of Doom 3 remains classic id fare of running and gunning. There are med packs, non-regenerating health and a lovely sense of weight and satisfaction on pulling the trigger of a shotgun. Needless to say, if you’re hankering for a dose of old-school, linear demon slaying goodness, you’re in for a treat. The addition of its two prequels is just icing on the cake. That is if you’ve never had a good enough PC to experience the series.
If you have however, you might want to reconsider. In terms of eye candy, Doom 3 treads the awkward middle ground of not looking ugly but not looking spectacular either. While it remains serviceable with a silky smooth frame rate to boot, odds are that the original PC release and its plethora of mods would be a whole lot easier on the eyes. In the words of a rather vocal IVG member, “It looks like Doom 3 on ultra settings. In 2004.”, so if you have a semi-decent PC you’d be better of avoiding the console version, dusting off your old copy of Doom 3 (or procuring it from Steam) and installing your mods of choice.
And if you think the Lost Mission content adds enough value to warrant a purchase, you’ll be thoroughly disappointed as it promises the same shoot on sight gameplay with little else. This applies for all three games too. Great for id fanboys but not so for the rest.
If you’ve been partaking of the open world, choice laden titles that have been the hallmark of this generation, you’re bound to find Doom 3: BFG Edition a rather sparse, threadbare affair of first person shooting. Sure, there’s an attempt at a narrative and the odd puzzle thrown in but that’s about it. The AI feels a tad archaic as well. But it does excel in delivering scares. At times, monsters would spawn a couple of areas behind you, leaving you vulnerable to attack from behind while the gloomy atmosphere further accentuates the tension of being the lone marine in what is essentially a giant haunted house in space.
So is Doom 3: BFG Edition worth the price of admission? Well, given that we’re paying Rs. 2499 for it on consoles and Rs. 1999 on PC for three games, it just boils down to how much of a fan you are, and if you own a fairly okay PC. Having the latter means you can safely skip this in favour of sprucing up the original Doom 3 release with mods. But if you happen to be a fan of id’s work and for whatever reason don’t own a working PC (unlikely but possible), then by all means pick this up. However, if you are like the rest of us who tightrope between curiosity and a slew of end of year triple-A goodness, wait for a price drop.