If you know me well enough (which you don’t, which is really a shame for you, because I’m a cool guy), you know that Doom and Doom II are my favorite games of all time. I’ve never been able to get enough of the Daddy of All First-Person Shooters, so when Doom 3: BFG Edition was released for Xbox, PS3, and PC on October 16th, I had no qualms about dropping the requisite $39.99 for a bunch of games I’ve played hundreds of times before.
I’m not going to waste your time or mine with an in-depth review of the games themselves. If you don’t know how fantastic Doom and Doom II are, you need to pop a go-fuck-yourself pill and join the real world. Doom 3 and its predecessors are outstanding games (though I’d venture to say that 3 isn’t as timeless as the two before it), and with them comes a general knowledge of how successful they are. I thought, however, that it might be helpful to outline a few of the details about the collection itself so prospective buyers know exactly what they are (and aren’t) getting for their money.
Is it worth it the forty ding-dongs? Maybe. There are also some aspects about the collection that make me want to puke acid into a kitten’s eyes. Let’s hop onto a turd-pony and flaunt our way through the downfalls of the Doom 3: BFG Edition, shall we?
(This series of notes specifically pertains to the Xbox 360 version; PC and PS3 gamers may not be able to replicate some of the same issues.)
Doom, Doom II, Doom 3. Okay, so what’s missing?
A lot. Sure, this is the “quintessential” Doom experience we all grew up with, but it isn’t the be-all-and-end-all of the Doom universe. Back in the late 90s, the original Dooms had one final hurrah when id software licensed two 32-level episodes by independent developers and touted it as Final Doom. TNT: Evilution and The Plutonia Experiment were some fucking brutally unforgiving levels that got ridiculously creative with the already-powerful id engine. I grew up with the original games, but really matured as a Doom fan with these games–they’re part of the whole Doom narrative to me, and an essential part of the whole.
Unfortunately, since Doom 3: BFG Edition only features the id-related material, you won’t be running around in mazes full of Arch Viles with dead rabbit music playing in the background. Sure, it wasn’t advertised including them, so it’s not like id lied to us or anything, but you’d think that because…
…all we’re getting are the versions of Doom and Doom II already pre-released on Xbox Live, maybe they could have included Final Doom as a little extra something.
I already bought the original games on Xbox Live, so unlike PS3 gamers, Xbox Doom fans are getting a little fucked. No new achievements for the original games, no additional material. The original games are literally the exact same thing that’s been available on XBLA for three years. Of course, the original games weren’t the big drawing point — id was really pushing the new 3d effects and updated graphics in Doom 3, Resurrection of Evil, and The Lost Mission — but I’d like to not feel so blatantly tricked into buying the same games two times over just for having jumped on the train in three years ago.
The mounted flashlight is even more awkward than the original handheld flashlight.
Removing the option to revert to the original Doom 3 handheld flashlight sort of blows. Granted, I was a big fan of the shoulder-mounted flashlight idea when this re-release was announced, but now that I’ve drilled through the campaign, I think I would have preferred id not mess with the source material. The shoulder-mounted flashlight allows you to see areas a little more well-lit while blasting away…but that would really only be helpful if the flashlight didn’t just illuminate the left part of your screen. It’s not centered whatsoever and makes seeing in the dark a bigger mess than it ever was. Not to mention, I found myself lacking the flashlight melee attack, a drawback that reduced my ability to conserve ammo.
I never realized how many zombies I killed in my original playthrough by Pujoling their skulls with my Maglite. Unfortunately, only the really weird-looking claymation-like fists are available. Good luck fighting your way out of corners. You will miss the flashlight.
Exiting Doom 3 brings you back to the game’s main menu screen; exiting Doom and Doom 2 make you go back to the Xbox menu.
The main menu of the game-disc is a clusterfuck. Sure, all you do is just choose one of the games, but if you’re trying to spread your Doom experience out over all the games, you’re going to have a red-panda-fuck of a time. Every time you exit one of the original games, you’re not booted back to the game-disc’s menu screen (like when you leave Doom 3), but instead to your Xbox Dashboard. Then, you’re forced to restart the whole game yet again just to play one of the other included games. Sure, it’s a small nit-pick, but it’s a pain in my asshole, especially when I’m getting no bites on multiplayer or cooperative games. Which comes down to my final big gripe…
If you’re hoping to get some multiplayer action in on the original games or on Doom 3, don’t.
I imagined there would have been a surge of popularity in the games once they were released. I wanted to get into the original games and molest some deathmatching assholes the way only I can. But good luck trying to get into a game, and good luck getting into a game that isn’t lagged to fuck when you actually do. I think there may only be three or four people on planet Earth who are playing Doom and Doom 2 at any given time, and for fuck’s sake, NONE OF THEM SEEM WILLING TO STAY LONGER THAN TWO FRAGS.
If you think the Doom 3 multiplayer experience will have any different results, you’re wrong. Nobody plays that shit either. Nobody probably wants to. There’s a reason for that.
Doom 3 multiplayer sucks farts.
For a newcomer to the Doom world, then yes, this collection is worth every dollar you spend on it. Doom 3, its expansions, and the original games will keep you busy for awhile. But unless you’re the biggest Doom-fan dickpuncher like me, I’d suggest you pass on this one unless you’re really, really trying to squeeze every drop of goodness out of your forty dollars. Wait for an id sale on Steam — The Lost Mission isn’t really worth that much more of your money, and at some point, you’ll find yourself asking, “When am I going to have to stop buying the same shit over and over again…and when will we hear anything about Doom 4?”
Doom 3: BFG Edition exists as both a justification to earn more money and to buy id more time to complete the fourth installment in their twenty-year-old series. But I have a feeling it won’t really satisfy the appetite of an impatient audience as long as they hoped it would.
(Oh, and if you feel like getting your butthole handed to you in some Doom and Doom II multiplayer? Send a message to ViolenceObscene on Xbox Live and let’s do this. I’ll then urinate my pants and you’ll kick my ass repeatedly.)