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E3 2012: Doom 3 BFG Edition hands-on

DoomE3 2012

In 2004, id software released Doom 3, asking players to wander around absurdly dark corridors fighting off the forces of Hell. In 2012 console gamers can finally experience the definitive version, without downgrades and graphical readjustments. And while the eight year gap seems like an odd time to bring this game back out of the shadows, it makes perfect sense after Rage staggered out onto the market. This release, available on both consoles and PC, will allow id software to showcase its premiere series of games.

From a technical standpoint, the BFG Edition is graphically everything that the original version was at its highest settings, and while time has passed the game has aged pretty well. Close-up cinematics reveal blocky polygons, but otherwise everything still looks pretty good. There’s a slower pace to the running and gunning that makes the actual shooting unique when put up against the modern shooter. And then there is the tremendous contrast of light and dark, presenting a military facility that would be terrible to work in even prior to Hell’s arrival.

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Speaking of darkness, this new version grants you a flashlight that attaches to your combat suit. This means that if you actually want to see in the dark, you don’t have to switch back and forth between your gun and your flashlight. Gamespot Senior Editor Brandan Sinclair, in his article “The Customer Is Not Always Right“, argued that the attached flashlight is an intrusion into the game design. Talking to the representative, he’s not alone. Discussion on the matter has been about 50/50, with just as many people arguing for the mounted flashlight as those against it.

It’s not a floodlight. They didn’t change the actual strength of the flashlight. The beam is weak, especially against industry standards and what a person might expect from a flashlight in the future. But, it’s still just the same as it was in the original, and after a few moments it dies out on its own, taking a brief period of time to recharge. Personally, I would rather not have to constantly switch between my gun to my flashlight and back just to see what’s residing within the next dark corner.

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The BFG edition is thankfully not just a port. Aside from minor graphical touch-ups, it also comes with the Resurrection of Evil expansion and a new set of levels specific for the new version. On top of the new content it’s also carrying along the old: Doom 1 and Doom 2 to be specific. It gives off the idea that they’re trying to make something that’s not just a port, but also a collector’s title, which is a good thing. At least it’ll do until Doom 4 comes out.

The author of this fine article

is a Senior Staff Writer at Thunderbolt, having joined in July 2011.

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