Written by  :  Gatekeeper (310)
Written on  :  Oct 16, 2015
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars

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Summary

BFG - Big. Furious. Glorious.

The Good

Doom 3: BFG Edition is an updated (remastered) version of the original Doom 3 and its mission pack (Resurrection of Evil) with a few interesting extras.

The first and most obvious improvement in this edition is the game engine - it now has considerably better support for high/widescreen resolutions. The in-game HUD and PDA interface have also been revamped to accommodate widescreen, without pixelation of text or visual elements (which inevitably occurs when running the original version of the game under high resolutions). The game world has been made a bit brighter overall (lots of people complained about the darkness in this game), more light/shadow effects have been added, and there are even some HDR effects thrown in here and there. Textures have a new compression method, which makes them look better and more detailed. Last but not least, the game’s main menu has also been completely revamped - made simpler and faster to navigate.

In terms of game content, you get a pretty nice package - Doom 3 (obviously), the expansion pack (RoE) and a new bonus episode called “The Lost Mission”, which is based on previously unreleased maps by id Software. And if that’s not enough, you also get the classic Doom and Doom II, plus a nice little addition - an extra “episode” for Doom II called “No Rest for the Living.”

Regarding the new level content - the Lost Mission is quite decent, design quality is consistent with what you’ve seen in Doom 3. Its two Hell levels are particularly good and offer lots of cool scenery and some previously unseen special effects. No Rest for the Living is a little precious jewel for every classic Doom fan out there - excellent level design, fairly challenging, and excessively fun to play. These 9 new levels offer detailed and polished architecture, while at the same time preserving the classic spirit of the maps from the original games. They fit perfectly into the classic Doom universe.

One of the biggest complaints about Doom 3 was about the flashlight being separate from the weapons (though, to be honest, this never bothered me, so I don’t see it as a flaw). Good news, everyone - the flashlight is now mounted to your armor and can be used at any time, while also carrying a weapon. A small detail - its power is no longer unlimited and it drains after a while, forcing you to recharge it for a few seconds.

Last but not least - support for stereoscopic 3D, though I've never tried this out and can't say if it's good or not.

The Bad

I noticed some changes to Resurrection of Evil’s levels that I don’t quite agree with - e.g. the removal of the enviro-suit sequence in the toxic sewer, or the dimensional flux effect in Delta Labs, and there is even an entire missing room in the final level. I can’t think of any good reason for these cuts. I can also add that I’ve noticed a few minor visual glitches here and there.

Another strange change is Sergeant Kelly’s face - his old appearance was much better, I think. His new face is pretty bland. Furthermore, they have not updated the in-game video communications with Sarge, and thus you actually see his old appearance when you receive a message from him. An oversight that makes the “facelift” seem even more meaningless.

The Doom and Doom II included with the BFG Edition have been altered as well (e.g. removing red crosses from medkits, removing Nazi references from the Wolfenstein-themed secret levels) - many of these changes were done for the sake of avoiding ethical or legal issues, yet they still feel a bit like censorship to me.

The Lost Mission is good overall, but only the last two levels are memorable. The others are pretty much the same thing we’ve seen and experienced in the original game (and expansion). In fact, some levels use “recycled” bits of architecture, which annoyed some people (there are some YT videos about this).

Oh, and cutscenes are now unskippable… it would be wise to save after the longer ones, so that you wouldn’t have to watch them again if you die.

The Bottom Line

This is an excellent upgrade to Doom 3, despite a few small flaws here and there (maybe annoying but nothing fatal). If you liked the game back in 2004, you will surely appreciate this opportunity to immerse yourself into this world once more, and play some new levels too!

Recommended for all hardcore Doom fans, as well as FPS enthusiasts who haven’t played Doom before.