John Carmack and crew have been hard at work since the release of Rage last year. Despite high reviews for consoles and mixed PC reviews due to some technical issues, Rage enjoyed moderate success and showed the world that id Software is still capable of wearing the crown for King of FPS’s. While we have all been hoping and waiting for more information on Doom 4, instead we are getting a remastered and revamped Doom 3. The nearly decade old title was release back 2004 as a solid FPS marred with unusual game design choices, including having a flashlight but not being able to shoot while you were holding it… It was otherwise a quality gaming experience overlooked by many.
id is back now, with Doom 3: BFG Edition. A director’s cut of sorts that fixes several game play elements that gamers complained about when the game first came out years ago. Some of these fixes include improving visibility in the stages by reducing shadows. One of the key graphical elements of Doom 3 was that it had a dynamic lighting system, and this was used excessively throughout the entire game, often making the levels more suspenseful rather than action packed. In the same vein, they’ve also increased the amount ammunition given to the player, thusly requiring less ammo rationing. Are we forgetting something? What? The flashlight? Oh yeah, you can shoot and use your flashlight at the same time now.
“We’ve tried to find those opportunities that can enhance the gameplay,” Tom Willits, Creative Director at id says. “We didn’t have enough ammo in the original. It was too dark. There weren’t checkpoint saves. No flashlight. That one was so big, we put it on the sell sheet.”
Things keep getting better with the BFG Edition. Carmack and the boys have even revamped all the graphics for the game into beautiful HD goodness… enhancing textures and graphics to make Doom 3 an enjoyable and modern gaming experience. This is one of the luxuries that id can afford now that it has proper funding thanks to being bought by Zenimax who also owns Bethesda. Doom 3 Resurrection of Evil is being included too, also with remastered graphics and sound. Furthermore, they’ve added a whole new level pack to Doom 3, which includes some new enemies and a new boss. To wrap things up, id is also adding the original Doom and Doom II to the package, although it is unknown if it will include the expansion packs for those two games also. In order to be a truly comprehensive package, it should include both Ultimate Doom, Doom II, Final Doom, Master Levels, and No Rest For The Living… but maybe thats nit picking.
John Carmack is also working on developing a virtual reality controller for First Person Shooters. Any of you who follow Mr Carmack on Twitter could have predicted this since he’s been writing a bit about head mounted displays. It’s still in the very early development stages, but he has created a working version for use with Doom 3. Ross Miller, writer from the Verge, was lucky enough to try out this early working demo version. As you can see below, it appears to work quite well:
No price or release date as been announced as of yet, although we’re told we can expect a release in late fall of this year on Xbox360, PS3 and PC. Furthermore, the HMD is not officially scheduled for release, although Zenimax has stated that it is assessing the possibility of it. We would like to see a few key things in Doom 3: BFG Edition… for one, the extra level packs for Doom and Doom 2 would be great for completion. The other thing we’d like to see is full implementation of online multiplayer, including death matching, co-op play, and a survival mode wouldn’t hurt either. Oh yeah, and split screen.
No word yet on Doom 4, but E3 and Quakecon are right around the corner. In anycase, this will be a great interim between Rage and Doom 4.