DOOM 3 BFG Edition (which is named after it’s most iconic and epic weapon: the Big F***ing Gun) is many things. It’s a compilation of all of the DOOM games released so far, it’s a visual and feature upgrade (sort of) for DOOM 3 and it even has newly released never-before played missions. DOOM 1 is just as good as you thought it was before and DOOM 2 is probably my favorite of the three with near-perfect pacing, great level design and just enough old-school charm. DOOM 3 is here as well with a few enhancements as well as a new add-on pack: The Lost Mission.
If you’re not familiar with the series then may the demons of hell have mercy on your soul because its one of the most prolific in all of gaming. This compilation is primarily designed, however, for people like that – those that missed out on the games the first time around, or those that are dying to play them again.
The additional content for DOOM 3 adds seven new levels that can be accessed from the very beginning. The first time you turn the game on, you can pick between DOOM 1, 2 and 3 and any of the additional campaigns and content for whichever game you desire, including both Resurrection of Evil and The Lost Mission for DOOM 3. Gameplay in the first two is identical – there is no vertical aiming at all and instead if you are aiming at the X axis where an enemy is located, your bullets go towards them. DOOM 3 contains many of the elements you would expect from a shooter circa 2004, what with its scope-less guns and non-regenerating health! Enemies take quite a while to kill because they are, well, demons, until you start amassing some of the heavier firepower.
Graphically the updates are negligible, at best. There really aren’t a whole lot of differences except for the character models (which still look ugly) and the textures (which are a mixture of unchanged and very pretty.) The lighting is a bit better as well, which highlights one of the best upgrades to the game: the ability to use your flashlight and a gun at the same time. This might sound weird to some people, but in the original version of DOOM 3, you had to actually swap between the flashlight and guns; even if the gun was your pistol.
Voice acting is about what you’d expect from a game that’s eight years old, but thankfully the poor quality fits the radio communication that you will be listening to most of the game well. But, you probably wouldn't ever play a game like DOOM for the gripping story and if you do, you’re missing the point. DOOM is a franchise that prides itself on tight gunplay and chilling atmosphere – and it retains that excitement from start to finish.
Enemies aren't exactly smart, but what they lack in practical firefight tactics, they more than make up for in gruesome physical details. From demented demon babies, large crawling and fireball flinging beasts, all the way to your most basic zombie-esque enemy – they’re all effectively creepy. The level design is superb and pacing is top notch in all three games as well as the new content, although the music in the original DOOM sounds out of place. I’m not sure what the issue is, but it just doesn't quite sound right. I do challenge you, however, to play DOOM 2 without bobbing your head to the catchy and chilling bit-style tunes.
All platforms were not created equal in the case of this package, as even though id Software has its roots in the PC realm, the console version of this edition is overall better – especially for DOOM 3. The game just seems to be poorly optimized on the PC, as I noticed framerate issues, especially in The Lost Mission set and lots of screen tearing. The PC and PS3 edition of the game also have 3D support which works great, especially with all of the projectiles enemies will send your way during the game.
All three games are recreated and updated for the current generation of gamers. DOOM 3 is clearly the focus of the pack along with its new content, but the real star of this pack is how great and smooth DOOM 1 and especially DOOM 2 look and play on today’s machines. While there aren’t really enough changes to justify a purchase if you own everything already, this is still the ultimate collection of DOOM and if you’re a big fan or late adopter of the series, do not hesitate to pick this BFG edition up.
Make sure you check out the first 20 minutes of DOOM 3's original campaign from this edition up top and let us know what you thought of the review and game in the comments below!
This review was based on a retail download copy of the game for the PC provided by Bethesda.