I’ve been playing Doom 3 again for the first time in years. BFG edition this time, until last week whenever I want to play I would have to use an old version that barely just limped along. I’d have to go into config files to get it to output at 1920×1080 etc. But the BFG edition has been well worth the money with a bunch of improvements across the board. I know that this review is about 7 years late but I still want to dive into it a little. Things I picked up right out the gate was the torch being configured as an offhand item, usable at any time, autosaving at key points which is definitely a great quality of life change, and native 1920×1080 support. I wasn’t 100% sure whether I was ok with being able to use the pistol and the torch at the same time but the battery life is short enough for it to be only used sparingly. Also the BFG edition comes bundled with OG Doom 1 & 2, Resurrection of Evil, and Lost Missions. There’s a lot of bang for your buck, and I guarantee that the scares that Doom 3 provided in 2004 are still imaginative enough to make me freak out now.
Despite having played the first mission at least a dozen times over the years, I still jumped at least 3 times. Later on during my second long session I lulled myself into a false sense of security, thinking that I had numbed myself to the scares, only to jump as I got hit in the back of the head by an unforseen wrench by a regular old Fat Zombie.
For me Doom 3 was the last great hallway shooter. It’s definitely dripping in atmosphere, and never rests on its laurels. 3 hours in and you’ll still be getting introduced to new enemies. For everyone who hasn’t played Doom 3 before, you’re a marine stuck on a Mars base after the UAC opens a portal to hell. Just about Everything gets possessed, except the occasional survivor who’s usually on their own mission to keep the place from exploding while you spend your time trying to catch up to another marine and a board of directors who are doing their best to shut the whole thing down.
Between all the scares there are moments of light puzzling, where you’re usually manipulating some machinery via some seamless screen interaction. This doesn’t feel like mindless filler, like a pipe puzzle or whatever the fuck they decided to chuck into the latest Spider-Man game. These feel like they flesh out the location a little more. The UAC mars base feels like an actual place, and even if you don’t read all the emails on all of the PDAs floating around you still get a sense of what it must have been like to work on the base in the time leading up to the hell gate opening. The various survivors you meet (increasingly more sporadic as time goes on) give you a real sense you are in a real place. When I first played this game on Xbox as a kid I HAD to finish the game because I couldn’t stand the idea of leaving my character there. I had to get them through it.