Doom 3 BFG Edition Preview
It’s not the size of the gun, it’s… oh wait, this is Doom we’re talking about.
I love Doom. From the moment I shot my first demon with a shotgun on an occupied Martian base in the early '90s, I was hooked. The sense of power, the satisfaction of getting a perfect shot, the click-clack of cocking that beastly boom stick yet again for another blow, all balanced with the tension of not knowing what’s around the next corner. It all came together to form an addictive stew of demon slaying madness. Doom II was basically more of the same, and after that, the franchise lay dormant for over a decade.
Then came Doom 3.
All your favorite super-powered weapons made their return. Demons looked vicious, aggressive, and downright scary, and the game developed a real sense of tension. Above all this was the dynamic lighting that completely stole the show. Shadows were cast perfectly by the demons hunting you. Swinging fixtures caused the darkness to move like a living creature, scurrying away one moment, only to return, consuming the environment with a ravenous thirst. Your flashlight became a necessary survival tool against this lack of light so thick it was almost Biblically tangible.
Juggling that flashlight with your weapons, however, became a tedious frustration. Enter, what I feel to be the best improvement to grace Doom’s BFG edition: The armor-mounted flashlight.
That’s right; no longer will you have to choose between light and might*. Best of all, it does almost nothing to alleviate the tension. Alien creatures moving in the darkness will still make freaky noises well outside your lamp’s narrow field of illumination, and once you do manage to see what was stalking you in the dark, you’ll probably wish you hadn’t. If Doom 3 scared you before, it will scare you again, cheap jump scares, “monster boxes” and all.
As far as the rest of it goes, it’s the same game you’ve played before, just graphically enhanced with controls optimized for consoles. By all reports, the game plays and looks great. Also included with this special edition are the classic Doom games (exactly like the XBLA titles, just on disk,) and Doom 3’s expansion pack. They even created seven new levels called “The Lost Mission,” which exists independently of the main story as an added bonus for those who just want more Doom.
With more and more titles being pushed to 2013, and modern shooter experienced tending to lean more toward well-scripted action movies, it’s easy to see why this game will appeal to those looking for a first person shooter more in spirit with the classics. Its fall 2012 release window seems like a good choice for release, so long as they get it out there well in advance of Call of Duty’s November release. In any event, if you’re a fan of Doom and you want to experience it on your 360 or PS3, there’s no reason not to be on the lookout for it.
*Yes astute observer, I did indeed steal this line from Gears of War II, but hey, at least I didn’t use “I’ve got your back like a butt crack.”