To keep everyone locked, loaded, and ready for the release of Doom 4, id Software and Bethesda have released Doom 3: BFG Edition. While a release date and any official media for Doom 4 is still to be seen (thank you pre-release announcements made four years before anything actually happens), the Doom 3: BFG Edition lets you experience the blood, hellfire, and annoying flickering lights that made Doom one of the most important and influential games ever.
Including the original Doom, Doom II, Doom 3, the Resurrection of Evil expansion, and the all new Doom 3 Lost Missions, the BFG Edition has everything that a fan of the series could want. And if you’re not a fan, it’s still a must have, or at least a must rent, for those who have not experienced the game in which space marines first started their battle against zombie scientists and demonic hellspawn with rocket launchers on their shoulders.
Before we go too much further, a history lesson for those who are new to the franchise. Way back in 1993, id Software created Doom. After the success of their earlier Wolfenstein 3D, Doom arrived via the internet (if you were lucky) onto work PCs around the world. For the next ten years, there wasn’t a supervisor that didn’t look up when the distinctive keyboard-taps started echoing around a quiet office.
Aside from costing businesses millions in productive work hours, Doom was - and still is - a slick, inventive, and awesomely fun game. Effortless to play, apart from some strategic weapon changes, all you do is face forward and shoot - you didn't even need to worry about looking up or down. Gleefully violent, and with some nasty end-of-level surprises, Doom is still the perfect way to spend a quiet weekend. Or a boring Friday afternoon, if the boss is on a long lunch break.
While Doom II was just more Doom, and there’s nothing wrong with that, the ten years following the launch of Doom saw the game go freeware and and the release of a tonne of user created levels. It wasn’t until many years later the gaming community eventually stopped calling every FPS a Doom clone.
When Doom 3 came out in 2004, not only did it have the spectre of the original game hanging over it, it also ending up being compared to expansive and epic games like Half-Life. Despite impossibly high (and conflicting) expectations, Doom 3 still managed to be a very good game. It looked as good as anything else at the time, played great, and made an effort to be darker and scarier than the original. While it was more derivative than innovative, and took a lot more time to tell the story, it was still Doom.
Playing all three games now is a hell of a lot of fun. Doom and Doom II are first person shooters stripped back to the bare bones. Playing the original games makes you realize that every FPS out there is still a Doom clone. And that includes Doom 3. But, Doom 3 is a good clone. Research facilities crawling with misshapen monsters, fat bald zombies shambling out of the dark, a pounding metal soundtrack, annoying flickering lights, and big freakin’ guns.
But it wasn’t just the awesome metal soundtrack and dynamic lighting that Doom brought to gaming. Doom also invented the Deathmatch. And Doom 3: BFG Edition lets you connect online and Doom it up with the rest of the world. Although the original Doom’s online is horrendously sluggish and unresponsive, that’s if you’re patient enough to wait for the game to find you someone to play and it doesn’t drop out after five minutes, Doom 3 has a community willing to go old-school deathmatch on you.
If you want to jump into a team or individual game, or set up a custom game for your friends, Doom 3 online is fast and furious like online games used to be. No kill-streaks, no messing about with mines, or snipers, or air strikes. It’s just you, your gun, a couple of grenades, and a mad scramble for armor and the plasma rifle that spawns on the second level, in the dark corner under the stairs.
So, aside from the two hours of new levels for Doom 3, everything on the BFG Edition has been out there free, or cheap, for years. But if you want all three games for your console, the Doom 3: BFG Edition is for you. You get a straight port of Doom and Doom II, a nicely polished up HD version of Doom 3, and a chance to send a whole lot of monsters to hell. It’s Doom. Marine, grab the biggest freakin’ gun you can find and follow me.