DOOM 3: BFG Edition Review - A good DOOM Pack
DOOM 3: BFG Edition is an FPS action survival horror game developed by id Software and published by Bethesda Softworks. It released way back in October 2012 for the PC, Mac, Linux, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. BFG Edition is an HD remaster of DOOM 3 (2004) and its expansion DOOM 3: Resurrection of Evil (2005).
The pack also includes the original DOOM, and its sequel DOOM 2, with modernized controls. You can find my review for DOOM and DOOM 2 here on GameSkinny. BFG Edition brings in new enhanced graphics along other welcoming changes to the game, such as no longer having to hold the flashlight key down to use it.
The inclusion of the Lost Mission campaign is a nice addition. The only major faults of BFG Edition is the sluggish, and somewhat repetitive gameplay, of DOOM 3 and its additions. Not to mention the low volume of audio logs, which give backstory into the plot.
Hell breaks loose again
DOOM 3: BFG Edition is the final installment to enter, before the release of the reboot later this week. In the review, I am going to cover all three of the DOOM 3 campaigns. The first we are going to look into is, of course, DOOM 3, a reboot of the original game.
The plot to DOOM 3 is not that different from the original DOOM. It takes place on Mars in the distant future where experiments into teleportation are taking place. Dr. Malcolm Betruger, a ruthless man who will stop at nothing to get what he wants no matter the cost of both finances and lives, is the man leading the experiments.
After receiving too many complaints, the UAC board of directors send Councillor Elliot Swan and his bodyguard Jack Campbell to investigate what is happen on Mars. On the shuttle Swan and Campbell travel to Mars in is the protagonist, an unnamed Marine Sergeant.
After signing in at the reception desk, the Marine is sent straight to Marine HQ for his first job. The job is to search for a scientist from Delta Labs, Betruger's division, who has gone missing. Upon finding the scientist in an old decommissioned communications facility, he warns the Marine that he is sending a message to Earth.
Before the scientist can finish explaining what is happening, the base comes under attack by demonic forces. These entities begin killing, or possessing, all within the base. The Marine has no choice but to follow his superiors orders and attempt to stop the invasion before the demons can reach Earth.
The story isn't anything fantastic but is more detailed than what you would find in the previous games -- however, it is rather predictable. If you have played the original DOOM, you will pretty much know how it is going to go. There is a slight change in the overall plot, but it isn't that interesting.
If the player was looking for an engaging and exciting story, DOOM 3 isn't going to provide it much like the originals. It is a game more about the action, and in this case horror, than the actual telling of a story.
Monsters in the closet
Unlike in the previous games in the series DOOM 3 very much focuses on horror, as oppose to the fast-paced over the top action. The levels are often quite dark, consisting of hidden areas where monsters tend to jump out of frequently.
It is what I describe as "monster closet syndrome". Despite the game having a great horror atmosphere that sends chills down the neck, its biggest frights come from the monster in the closet. They may sound like cheap jump scares, but they have great placement -- it never becomes predictable.
It is the only circumstance where I will forgive a game for having jumpscares. If they work, which in DOOM 3 they do and do so well. The monsters themselves are very well redesigned, and give a higher sense of horror in comparison to that of the original games.
The imp, for example, is now a gray creature with a humanoid figure that can jump extremely long distances and at great speed. That is not even including their ability to run along walls, and that they can shoot fireballs. The imp is a more stealthy creature that tends to blend in with the environment, and can often sneak up on you, adding to the horror.
Of course, we can't forget about the big boys such as the Hell Knight. Like all the enemies here, they too are redesigned to blend in with the others, and to give have a more horror look to them in DOOM 3 -- than to the Hell Knight of the early games. Going up against a ten foot Hell Knight, face to face is certainly an intimidating experience.
There are some scripted horror scenes within the game which do their job well, but they are few and far between. Often the player could go several levels without another horror scene, leaving it up to the monsters to do the scaring.
The horror of DOOM 3 may be very monster closest syndrome, but nevertheless the monsters redesign mixed in with the great atmosphere create quite the horror experience. If horror shooters are your thing, DOOM 3 is bound to please.
Generic and repetitive gameplay
Fans of the original two DOOM games may have a hard time adjusting to DOOM 3. The gameplay is a very different in many regards, including the speed of the game and the combat. If you are looking for a more fast-paced over the top action game like the previous ones, DOOM 3 won't be for you.
Due to the game focusing on it being a horror shooter, the game plays a lot slower than that of the previous games -- perhaps even a bit more than is needed. Along with that, the gameplay gets very boring after awhile, but this boredom is more due to it being very generic than the speed.
The gameplay pretty much features killing a few monsters in a room, collecting PDAs for locker codes, background story, and completing each objective. It doesn't do anything to separate it from other shooters, and is missing that big, loud, and impacting action of the originals.
Occasionally the player will have to head outside to the surface of Mars to get from one building to another. During this time, they will have to find oxygen tanks to restore their oxygen levels, otherwise they will start to lose health -- eventually dying.
It is an interesting mechanic but one that is only experienced once or twice, and for a few minutes. As for collecting PDAs, these are more an annoyance than anything else. Often codes for storage lockers containing weapons, ammo, and armor are placed within audio logs which the player has to listen to.
The issue with this is that the volume for the audio logs is quite low in comparison to the rest of the game, and with no options to increase that. It forces the player to have to sit in a quiet area, and listen to the log instead of being able to continue playing. It slows down an already slowed down pace for a DOOM game.
PDA's also contain e-mails for the player to read, which serve to give backstory and storage codes. Though these are not as painful due to being able to scan through them for the codes. Overall the gameplay to DOOM 3 is quite generic and repetitive, but it does have its moments.
Too little too late
The biggest mistake made with the design of DOOM 3 is that the player doesn't spend enough time in Hell -- that might sound a bit weird since it is a DOOM game. The player doesn't enter Hell until quite late into the game, and even then their stay there is too short.
Just as the player is soaking up the demonic architecture of Hell, and finally starting to get some excitement, they find themselves back in the base on Mars again. This lack of Hell may not be too much of an impact to newcomers, but for fans of the old games it is a major disappointment.
A lot of the story behind the original game was about the player fighting their way through Hell to get back to Earth. Spending only a brief amount of time in Hell, in DOOM 3, is highly underwhelming. It is a shame considering the design, not only did it look downright scary but it honestly seemed like a living, breathing Hell.
The iconic weapons are back
DOOM 3 brings back all the old iconic weapons from the original games. They include the pistol, shotgun, fists, chainsaw, rocket launcher, minigun, plasma rifle, and of course the BFG 9000. All the weapons are redesigned well and are incredibly satisfying to use -- all, apart from the plasma rifle.
Not only is the plasma rifle one of the ugliest weapons I have seen in a video game, but it feels incredibly fake. The sound effect, and the impact it delivers just doesn't feel real. It was a disappointment as the plasma rifle is one of the most impactful weapons from the original games.
DOOM 3 also introduces an assault rifle, which is a nice addition to have in between the shotgun and the minigun. Apart from the plasma rifle, the weapons are back in all their glory. They are big, they are loud, and a hell of a lot of fun to use -- the BFG 9000 certainly doesn't fail to satisfy in any shape or form.
A good horror shooter but an okay DOOM game
DOOM 3 is a good horror shooter, with excellent graphics and atmosphere. Where the game delivers on horror, it lacks in gameplay. It may be a bit more monster closet syndrome than some may like, but it is effective.
If you are returning from the previous games you may not like it so much, as DOOM 3 is missing the fast paced over the top action of the original, with the horror taking its place.
With DOOM 3 now done, it is time to move on to its expansion, Resurrection of Evil.
UAC never learn
The plot to Resurrection of Evil takes place two years after the events of DOOM 3. UAC reestablish the Mars Base and once again begin conducting research. The studies lead is Elizabeth McNeil, the whistleblower who notified the UAC board of directors of the happenings on at the Mars base in DOOM 3.
UAC detects a strange signal coming from one of the Martian satellites, and a team of marines are sent to investigate -- one of these Marines is the protagonist. The team finds a strange artifact that the Marine takes causing a wave of energy to wipe out the rest of the team, and start another invasion.
The Marine must fight his way through the demons, and make his way to McNeil. She tells the Marine to return the artifact to Hell to stop the invasion. Along the way, the Marine faces off against three Hell Hunters who are attempting to retrieve it.
Each hunter grants the Marine a new power through the artifact. Eventually, the Marine reaches hell where he must battle his way through and defeat their leader.
The plot to Resurrection of Evil is more or less the same as that of DOOM 3. It gives background into the events leading up to the game. As for the conclusion, it is well done, but is not the most interesting. It pretty much is a case of "more of the same".
It doesn't introduce anything new to the overall storyline or lore of the game. Overall the plot feels unnecessary, and is simply there just for the sake of making an expansion. If you are looking to play Resurrection of Evil for the plot, it may be something to miss. If you are looking for more DOOM 3, then it may be worth the venture.
A second serving of DOOM 3
Resurrection of Evil keeps everything that DOOM 3 has to offer. It keeps the same monster closet syndrome with jump scares, along with the horror atmosphere. Unfortunately, it also keeps the same gameplay too and does little to improve it.
Indeed, the artifact obtained at the start of the game adds a new mechanic, but it alone is not enough to give the gameplay the boost that it requires. The powers the artifact gives you are slow down time, berserk, and invulnerability.
The slow down ability is required to get through some sections with traps that open and close. It is also a useful ability when dealing with a lot of enemies to gain an advantage.
Aside from that the game is still a case of wiping out hell spawn, collecting PDAs, and listening to audio logs for codes to storage cabinets. If you are looking for an expansion that adds to the overall experience, Resurrection of Evil isn't going to offer much.
Even more firepower and demons
The expansion introduces two brand-new weapons to the game, which are a gravity gun and the super shotgun. The gravity gun allows the player to pick up objects and fire them at enemies, like exploding barrels, or catching an imp's fireball and firing it back.
It is a weapon that is cool to use, but not something that is very effective when the player has an arsenal of far more powerful weapons at their disposal. Its appeal does not last long, and it requires very accurate precision to able to use it correctly. In the long run, the standard weapons are better to use.
As for the super shotgun, it is everything that is to expect from its name. It is a sawn-off double barrel shotgun of absolute demonic destruction. The super shotgun has always been a weapon that is slightly stronger than it needs to be in the series, and here, it is a bit overpowered too.
I can't deny it is a hell of a lot of fun turning demonic beings into little pieces, but it ruins the difficulty. To further ruin the challenge, the game has an almost unlimited supply of shotgun shells. Once you find the super shotgun, you rarely need to use anything else, other than the likes of the rocket launcher from time to time.
Along with the new weapons, the game does introduce some new zombie variations, new lost soul design, and a new demon. The new zombie variations include the hazmat suit zombie, and the new lost soul is simply a more modern redesign than of the originals.
The new demon uses the same A.I script as the imps, and act in almost the same way. The only imagination and creativity that went into the new creature are its physical design. Aside from that, it is a very uncreative enemy.
The new additions to the game are welcoming, but don't do anything to enhance your overall experience further. The super shotgun is fun to use, yet its extreme power ruins the balance of the game. The new enemy, lost soul redesign, and zombie variations don't add much to the experience.
A missable expansion
Resurrection of Evil is a very missable expansion. The only two reasons it would be worth playing, is to see the conclusion to the story, and to play more DOOM 3. Apart from that, it is a game that doesn't offer anything new that would be worthwhile playing.
The expansion is about half the length of the original game, with a playtime of approximately three to four hours for experienced players. If you like DOOM 3 you will like the expansion, otherwise you can ignore it.
With Resurrection of Evil and DOOM 3 now done, it is time to move on to the last expansion, Lost Mission -- which is exclusive the BFG Edition.
A pointless plot
Lost Mission takes place around the halfway point of DOOM 3, where the player takes on the role of the last member of Bravo Team after demons ambushed them. Dr. Richard Meyers contacts the Marine.
Meyers is a scientist working on teleportation in the Exis Labs. The researcher asks the Marine to help him destroy an experimental teleportation array that is captured by the demons and currently in Hell -- the device is powerful enough to send an army of demons to Earth.
To do this, the Marine must collect the components necessary to activate the Exis Labs teleportation system, and then travel to Hell to destroy the captured array.
The plot to Lost Mission is a trivial one, and it feels like it is created for no separate reason than to be an extra selling point of BFG Edition. It doesn't add to the overall lore, or story of the original game and is completely unnecessary. Unless you only want more DOOM 3, this is a pointless addon.
A needless extra filling
There is little to say about the gameplay of Lost Mission that I have not already said about DOOM 3 and its expansion. It simply doesn't add anything new, appart from the aforementioned pointless story.
It isn't a long campaign and lasts approximately three and a half hours -- it is a fun little campaign to play if you are looking to kill some time, with nothing better to play. Aside from that, there is no reason to play it.
It would have been nice for this to be a as worthy an addition to the series as it looked in the Steam page, but unfortunately it is one that you can pass without regret.
A good DOOM pack
DOOM 3: BFG Edition is a good DOOM pack that is worth its $30 price tag. If you are looking for a good horror shooter DOOM 3 and its expansions are well worth a play. The addition of DOOM and DOOM 2, along with their expansions makes the purchase even more worthwhile.
DOOM 3 and the expansions are good horror shooters, but if you are looking for a similar experience that the original two gave, it may not be for you.
The graphics are simply beautiful, most of the guns are extremely satisfying, and the monsters have great design. With all the games combined you are looking at approximately thirty-five to forty hours of gameplay.
If blasting demons back to the hell mother they came from, in an atmospheric horror sci-fi environment, is what you are looking for you can't go too wrong with DOOM 3: BFG Edition.
DOOM 3: BFG Edition is available to buy on Steam for $30.