Doom 3 BFG Edition PC Review

Like many salivating over the slightest details of Doom 4, I’m eager to spend any time I can in the world of Doom. With Doom 3 BFG Edition now $15 on Steam, the time has come to return to Mars.

Given all the lackluster (to say the least) opinion on Doom 3 BFG the only question in my mind is was $15 worth it or was it simply a waste of about a weeks worth of Tim Horton’s Coffee?

Originally I intended to give you some background into my history with Doom 3 but it just took up way too much real estate in this review. If you are interested in why I originally played (and LOVED Doom 3), please read in our forums, “Why I loved Doom 3“.

For me, the $15 was all about the Lost Mission. To this day I still have my original Doom 3 and Resurrection of Evil Disks and I hear with mods it’s 10x the game BFG Edition is.

The Lost Mission as quoted in Steam, “eight heart-pounding single player levels and a completely new storyline that will have players once again on the edge of their seats”.

Again, just to clarify, I spent $15 for the Lost Mission only; I don’t care about Doom 1, Doom 2 or Doom 3 (which I already own).

Doom 3 BFG Edition PC Review – The Good

I’m pleased to say that the Lost Mission is actually pretty well done so far; I’ve not fully completed it at this time. I can say however that the visuals are everything you’re used to from Doom 3 as are the game mechanics.

If you’ve played Doom 3 before, you’ll have no trouble settling in quickly.

The one thing I do like in particular is the addition of a flashlight that can be used in conjunction with weaponry. The flashlight itself is very similar to that found in Half Life 2 as it only lasts a certain amount of time before it requires recharge.

A bit silly if you stop to think about it really.

With all this advanced weaponry, teleportation, and the space station in general, you’d think the UAC could make a flashlight that stays lit.

It also seems as if the Imp spawns are more regular that in Doom 3 but that could just be my imagination. I can say that they spawn behind you much more than I remember in Doom 3 which keeps the action amped up.

So far running out of ammo hasn’t been much of a problem and you get plenty of guns unlocked within the first few hours so there’s  a lot of options in killing your foes.

There’s also plenty of background noise, machinery and animated lighting to keep the visuals constantly changing. I think Doom 3 has done this better than most games out there as it really helps set the mood as well as lend authenticity to the overall atmosphere.

There is some exploration available which typically yields additional bounty but the game is pretty much understandably linear as was it’s predecessor. Not a deal breaker by any means but I thought it worth mentioning.

Doom 3 BFG Edition PC Review – The Bad

I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting originally but I would have thought that the Lost Mission would have benefited from some texture bumping which I don’t think it has. The wall textures are all pretty ugly and flat looking as are many of the textures and I can’t help but be disappointed by that.

There is very little in the way of graphical adjustments so you may as well crank everything.

That being said, the textures and overall visuals are no worse than in Doom 3 and certainly better than some of the crap textures we were insulted with as PC players in Rage.

The weapon sounds are also horribly flat. I’ve combed the internet trying to see if there’s a way to bump the weapon sounds but have come up empty. Should you find a way, please post it in the comments because the weapons sounds are just awful.

You do acclimate to the muted weapon sounds after a while but it is a huge disappointment given they are only a bit louder than the overall environmental noises.

The other thing I noticed is that these levels seem noticeably brighter than in Doom 3. I’d suggest lowering the brightness as it will certainly make those dark areas darker which should amp up the paranoia. Also, darkening things will make the flashlight more viable as core brightness makes the flashlight a novelty rather than a necessity as it was in the original.

The atmospheric sounds are pretty much identical to Doom 3 and I find that a bit disappointing as well. It would have been nice to get something a bit updated or unique.

The opening cinematic sets the pace but I found it to be horribly lacking as well. It would have been nice to see it extended possibly to include a bit of how this area was affected when all hell broke loose. As it is you see some Marines being overrun by Imps and it just feels contrived as it’s been done before.

Perhaps it wouldn’t be an issue if you’re playing in conjunction with Doom 3 but since this is my first experience after years away from the game a bit more story would have been nice.

Speaking of story, there really isn’t one at least not so far. It’s the same mechanics of hunt down object a to interact with object b so you can move to the next level. The rest is explore what you can and shoot whatever you come across which gets more and more later in the Mission.

Doom 3 BFG Edition PC Review – Conclusion

While the Lost Mission is decent in it’s own right, don’t look for anything ground breaking or new to Doom 3. Sadly, there is just too little here to recommend purchase unless you’re either new to Doom 3, have no played Resurrection of Evil or are really that desperate (as I was) to try something new.

At $15 there is some value in the purchase but it’s negligible. Given the benefit of hindsight, I’m not sure if even the low price of $15 is a fair asking price for a few hours of new levels and completely familiar gameplay?

All I can say is that if you’re on the fence, stay on the fence and wait for Doom 3 BFG Edition to hit the $5 or perhaps $10 mark.

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