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Doom 3 BFG Edition PS3 Review

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Doom 3

Doom 3

Image © Bethesda
"Doom 3 BFG Edition" collects some amazing, influential games and attempts to polish them up for a new generation of gamers. While some of the mechanical flaws make the journey disappointingly intact, this collection serves as a solid reminder of the influence and remaining high level of entertainment produced by these landmark games. I can vividly remember losing hours of productivity to "Doom 2" when I should have been studying in college. It was my first addiction. "Doom 3 BFG Edition" may be little more than a greatest hits collection but the tunes are still incredibly effective.

Game Details

  • Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
  • Developer: id Software
  • ESRB Rating: M (Mature)
  • Genre: First-Person Shooter
  • Pros: Incredible Tension, Non-Stop Action, Three Games in One
  • Cons: Some Lackluster Remastering, Incredibly Long Load Times

First, a little history -- "Doom" came out for the PC almost twenty years ago and was quickly followed by "Doom 2." Both games have been remastered and are included in their entirety in this release (along with expansions "Thy Flesh Consumed" for "Doom" & "No Rest For the Living" for "Doom 2") but the name on the title is "Doom 3," the long-awaited 2004 follow-up to the game that turned so many college kid's computers from school work to gameplay. It is the main game that comes up when you start the title and the clear focus of the release. It's been remastered and the package includes the previously-released expansion pack called "Resurrection of Evil" along with a new adventure called "The Lost Mission," which has been conceived and designed in a nostalgic vein to look like it came out eight years ago, when "Doom 3" took the gaming world by storm.


Doom 3

Doom 3

Image © Bethesda

There are only a select few games from the early to mid-'00s that could be released today and still be a hit. With only a few mechanical changes, "Doom 3" is one of them. The game is incredibly well-paced and even terrifying with its blend of action and claustrophobic atmosphere. It opens with a surprisingly long, action-free prologue in which you arrive at the Mars City base that will be the setting for much of the game. It turns out that this is no mere base and that the experimentation there with teleportation has opened a portal to Hell. As most of your former colleagues become possessed by demonic forces, hideous creatures join them in an assault to take your life.

The "Doom" games are masterful at the kind of claustrophobic fear that would later be honed in titles like "Dead Space" and "Bioshock." It's still one of the Scariest Games of All Time. It's not merely that enemies face you ahead but that there's nowhere to go but through them. At its best, you can start to feel the walls closing in as the tension rises in "Doom 3." And the building tension as you know that the next enemy around the next corner is likely to be even more terrifying than the last is remarkable. It's amazing how successfully the game can produce honest fear even this long after its release. "Doom 2" looks more dated but works just as remarkably (although my opinion could be biased based on my former adoration for the game).

There are some frustrating elements to "Doom 3 BFG Edition." The developers enhanced the graphics in a satisfactory way but left in some odd gameplay mechanics like insanely long load times, no ability to turn on subtitles, and a few lackluster environments. It feels sometimes like a game that was remastered to a passable degree but not to the extent that it could have been. And even additions are odd given that the team put in auto-save checkpoints, which was a great idea, but stuck them in the oddest places, sometimes even mid-action.

Graphics & Sound

As mentioned, your response to "Doom 3" is likely to be multi-layered. It goes something like this -- "This looks good for an old game." "You know, it probably could have looked better." There are still some character animations that look like they were deemed "good enough" and not remastered to a notable degree. The audio is similarly lackluster. It was great in 2004 but I wish a bit more love and care had been put into the remastering in 2012.


Doom 3

Doom 3

Image © Bethesda
"Doom 3 BFG Edition" offers hours of explosive action at a low price and serves as both a history lesson for gamers who may not know how the shooter got where it is today and pure entertainment. "Doom 2" and "Doom 3" have barely aged in terms of level design, action, and pure terror. Could they have looked a little better and had a few of their mechanics more adeptly upgraded? Sure. But you'll be too busy blasting away aliens with your shotgun to care.
Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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