Oh, how long of a time it’s been, and how sweet the return. Take a trip back to 2012, or in my case, come with me and bring your mega laser to the summer of 2014. Doom 3 came back in 2012 as a somewhat graphically updated, atmospherically enhanced, and more human-friendly version of its predecessor. Enter DOOM 3 BFG EDITION, a game that features many milestones from the history of the franchise. And a game that paved the way for the modern first person shooter, not with any paving equipment or machete, but with its plasma rifle and own two fists.
More light. More ammo. More saves. The first question you may ask is “how has this game improved from the original version?” A decade later and you wouldn’t be able to tell that the graphical fidelity has improved significantly. It’s not fair to say it looks amazing, but if you consider when Doom 3 first came out, then yes it was amazing. You appreciate it more for its time rather than any strength it may try to boast now. Yet, this game has its beautifully disgusting moments that cannot be reconstructed using any rival engine. A unique antique like a blood filled chalice. Drink from it, because its few drops are satisfying.
Obviously, more important than graphics is the story, characters, and… atmosphere. The story and characters remain the same from the original, but the atmosphere is shown in new light. It’s the wild west flavour that makes a space opera an instant classic, and it’s the scarcity of light that made the original Doom 3 so scary. I had to put down the game for a while and shit the bed. Doom 3 has been stripped of the restriction of choosing between flashlight or weaponry. You now can use both simultaneously. This decision alone makes the game feel more accessible to newcomers of the franchise, but given how easy it is to use the flashlight and fight impending doom with lasers, you’re more likely to die because you missed a jump or kill yourself with a grenade. Make no mistake, Doom 3 BFG has its scary moments. Try playing without the flashlight, I dare you. Death awaits you.
If you are a frequent demon slayer, or an average frustrated gamer, then Doom 3 BFG should be played on hard. You stand a chance, and you still feel progression. Any harder and you’ll be scavenging for pickups. And plenty pickups are a’ plenty. The game offers more weapon supplies to kick some serious arsenal. I prefer the plasma rifle combined with spamming the jump key, but you may find more satisfaction pounding enemies to death with your own two hands. Amongst a host of items, this is one of many weapons you rarely use! Grenades are clunky and the learning curve for a weapon you gain more than halfway past the game is a slippery slope.
Levels and stories do have some variety throughout the game, but room clearing and backtracking just felt right at home with its mindless repetition. The story is a long drawn out and sometimes frustrating fight for survival plot. Marine versus demon and marine-demons. With all the changes in the BFG update, I felt like a powerful, and confident demon hunter. In Doom 3, I felt like a claustrophobic, anxious bed shitter with a few guns. The outcome is the same, but the rise of anxiety up to the crown of your head is undeniable and irreplaceable. Id needs to reinvent the wheels of hell for the next chapter in the Doom franchise. It has to be great for it’s time, and future proof for more than a decade of doom.
The original Doom 3 was scary for how good it looked, and how it made you feel. Doom 3 BFG is a similar experience, but can never bring you back to the feeling you had as a teenager trapped in the bowels of hell on mars. Doom 3 BFG is an update, but necessarily an upgrade. Try both. Take your sweet time. Suffering and pain await you.
Rating: Buy [both] on sale!