I will start this review off with the positive. The Doom 3: BFG Edition’s new “Lost Missions” episode is fantastic. These few new levels prove that id Software has the potential to make a thrilling and mind bending Doom 4. The plot is simple… you show up and everyone’s dead, so you grab a gun and start killing your way to a scientist. The scientist tells you everything’s jacked up and sends you to hell to turn off the teleporter. This is honestly the deepest plot a Doom game should have. Really. Because now I’m going to tell about the 2 things that made this new episode a hit.
Front and center is level design. Lost Missions wastes no time with long corridors of build up only to fight off 2 zombies with your pistol in the dark. Instead, by the second room, you have a machine gun. The next room? The Shotgun. I’d average that in most large rooms you fight an average of 4 or more monsters. And they’re tough. Fortunately, plenty of ammo is given, leaving you with less ammo management to do and more twitchy reflexes to control. There are moments where you know you’re building to something else, waiting for a scare. You see a dark corner, walk in. Grab the armor. Turn around and BAM! There’s an imp ready to rip your face off. Doom 3 always did this well. Trouble is, that was its crown jewel, rather than an accessory. Lost Missions takes the best of Doom 3 and makes you feel like you’re playing Doom II in the 90s.
The next great triumph of Lost Missions is the visual design. Levels are bloody. The Mars levels are familiar in their design. In one part, you have to walk outside and open another door. Solid design makes this scene look great even with the decade old graphics. I was also particularly fond of the Hell levels. They were just plain cool. I kept having moments of nostalgia that reminded me of Doom II. Dark corridors that lead to rooms with hidden doors that open up to reveal 2 Mancubuses flinging rockets at you. Cacodemons get unleashed from a hidden room above you as you come within proximity. All good things.
I played the Playstation 3 version of Doom 3: BFG Edition. The graphics looked like they could’ve used some anti aliasing. Other than that, the graphics were sharp and the frame rate solid. The original Doom 3 has been tweaked to be less dark and a bit more ammo is handed out. This makes the game a more enjoyable experience without diminishing its creepyness. Also, the flashlight on the armor makes the game a little less frustrating since you can see where you’re going easier now. Fortunately, there is a time limit to how long you can keep the light on. Now onto the Doom I & II ports. This part here I think is especially PS3 specific because according to Tim Willits, they actually remade those 2 games in whole for the PS3. They’re actually built on the same engine as Rage, the id Tech 5 engine. I also don’t understand why they made the music so damn quiet. Doom’s music is iconic and should’ve been louder. Overall, they’re fine ports but certain things have been changed, which to me as a purist, I find frustrating. The changes are mostly arbitrary and do not effect gameplay. Some of the changes are also improvements. The nerds over at the Doom Wikia have compiled a list of changes…
- Includes the recently released Doom 2 expansion “No Rest for The Living”
- Runs at 1080p resolution on consoles
- Improved and smoother animations at 120hz
- Improved weapon sound quality and MIDI music quality
- Removal of the International Red Cross symbol on medpacks and berserker packs
- Removal of all Nazi references, including the Swastika, Hitler’s portrait, furniture and textures
- Map ‘Wolfenstein’ (map31) and map “Grosse” (map32) have been renamed to “IDKFA” and “Keen”
- Changed unit ID’s in maps 31 and 32
- Changed textures in map 31
- Changed music in maps 31 and 32
- iddqd no longer works nor do any of the idbehold# cheats. However, idkfa DOES work.
In closing, this collection is worth getting for people who don’t own Doom and want a console introduction. It’s also worth getting for Doom fans who want to play a thrilling new Doom episode. Basically, the enjoyment of playing Lost Missions made this good to me. I already played all the other games it included, but its nice to have them all in one package.
You can get id Sofware’s Doom 3 BFG Edition for Windows PC, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360.