Doom 3: BFG Edition (XBOX360) Review

While it would’ve made more sense to cover what’s always looked like a great reboot in PS4/XBOX One’s “Doom” I’ve never actually played it myself, so instead I went with what was an unsuccessful reboot in Doom 3. Given the film I’m reviewing alongside it though, covering an unsuccessful reboot is rather apt! So let’s take a look at specifically the BFG remaster version of Doom 3, which at least improved on some of the perceived faults of the original…

Background:

Yes that is a TV monitor with a picture of some teeth stuck to the face of the enemy in the back, and no, I don’t know why…

Doom 3 was released on PC in August 2004 before being ported over to the original XBOX in April 2005. While it was warmly received by some (and even got an expansion pack!) there were some issues, especially with lighting and a general lack of action…

This is where Doom 3: BFG edition came in! Released in October 2012 worldwide for the PC, XBOX 360 and PS3, it fixed a lot of issues with the original game, including the two points mentioned above, while also packing in the Expansion, some previously cut levels and the original two Doom games. A very nice collection all round.

Gameplay:

I know you need a better tan Mr. Zombie, but I don’t think standing around a massive furnace is going to do you much good…

As you’d imagine with a Doom game it’s entirely in First Person with lots of shooting! Well, actually, not as much shooting as you may think. The original Doom 3 favoured tense, poorly-lit areas with one or two jump scares, something the BFG edition “fixed” by adding a light source on your armour (rather than having to switch between a torch or a gun) and increasing the amount of enemies a bit, along with giving you a lot more ammo pickups on the earlier difficulties. The game is still quite dark and is certainly more story focused than the Doom games that came before and after it, but at the end of the day it is a FPS, you do fire weapons at zombies and demons while walking around corridors and blood-splattered labs. While I’m sure more modern FPS games have tighter controls or better aiming, I still find Doom 3 perfectly fun in its core element, bearing in mind that Doom 1-3, GoldenEye, Perfect Dark and the TimeSplitters series are about the only FPS games I’ve ever played properly… (oh and the first two Borderlands in co-op, actually, even if I never owned them.)

Classic Doom things like colour-coded keys to access different doors are here, though this is done through a PDA you have on you that can download the door code’s data. It also serves as a means to play video and audio files that further or add extra bits to the story. Throw in some health pickups alongside the already mention ammo and the framework is still very Doom-y, even if the atmosphere and pace isn’t so much. The same goes for some of the classic roster of enemies, they’re mostly all here, but they’ve all be reimagined to look more… I don’t want to use the phrase “realistic” when talking about a floating flaming skull, but made to look more like something that might follow the rules of what we know things can look like? Either way the art direction of the some of the enemies is one of the turn offs for me, combined with the lack of variety does make for a less than thrilling Doom game…

Graphics and Sound:

You know what they say: Ran out of oxygen? Shoot a barrel!

Even though it was a re-release of a previous gen game, the little lighting improvements and other touch ups make Doom 3: BFG Edition look quite good, for the time. Sure, some of the models and textures don’t hold up at closer inspection, but for a game on the XBOX 360, it’s perfectly fine.

Sound is great. Very tense, little use of music and a good effective array of soundeffects to unnerve you as you walk around the abandoned facility. I can’t fault it for that, even if most people’s idea of Doom music is hard rock!

Story:

It’s a not-very-pink Pinky! … For some reason. I guess pink wasn’t “moody” enough.

It’s your classic Doom story: some scientists on Mars are experimenting with teleportation technology and accidentally open up a portal to hell, over-running the base with demons and transforming most the staff into zombies. “The Marine”, otherwise known as “Doom Guy”, arrives to help clean up the mess and does so, slowly working his way through the facility and fighting both zombies and demons and dealing with insane humans who think siding with the demons and helping them to reach Earth is a great idea… The final part of the game is in Hell itself and involves a demonic cube that must be collected and a huge end-game boss to defeat.

Like I said, it’s the same plot, but this time the lives and fate of the base’s staff, as well as other marines, are more greatly explored. Whether you think that’s a good thing or not for a Doom game is up to you though!

Downloadable Content:

As mentioned, Doom 3 did have a DLC add-on, titled “Resurrection of Evil”, but that is included here on the main disc, so while there IS DLC for Doom 3, there isn’t any for Doom 3: BFG Edition. Still thought I’d mention it though!

Thoughts Then:

At least the chain gun still looks like the original!

Doom 3 was one of the few original XBOX games I brought when I got a 360 and found a list of which games were backwards compatible. I didn’t get very far and just didn’t have a good time. When I heard about how Doom 3: BFG Edition changed things I was all for it, because I did like the horror-over-action aesthetic, even if I did feel they went too far with it, so pull the game a little closer to its routes was fine by me. I played through the whole game, the DLC expansion and the “Lost Mission”. I had a great time, despite little niggles.

Thoughts Now:

Three-on-one? That doesn’t seem very sporting… Who knew demons from Hell would be so unfair?

To be honest, Doom 3: BFG Edition is perfectly fine now, but obviously with the Doom remake and its sequel blowing up in popularity by putting fun chaotic gameplay and more original-game-inspired enemy designs it does make Doom 3 look rather slow and tame in comparison. The new games got the idea of what made the originals so popular, leaving this reinterpretation feeling somewhat left in the dust, and this is coming from someone who’s only looked at the reboots and not even played them! Still, it’s fine. I’m sure there are better FPS games on the console, let alone out today, so you can probably skip Doom’s third entry. It’s still quite old-fashioned in its design, and the story isn’t half as gripping and interesting as it wants you to think it is…

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