The year was 1993. Back when PCs were new and an expensive endeavor; when hard drives and RAM were measured in megabytes. iD Software had already introduced the world to first-person shooters with the recent release of Wolfenstein 3D, but needed a way to introduce games to the masses. They needed a way to show people, for free, how much fun it could be to blast away at evil creatures and evil men in a virtual world. Why not give away 1.44 mb floppies with a game on it that allowed them to play a snippet of the title, and see what happens? Shareware was born, and DOOM was that shared game.
My PC at the time was an Intel 80386 with a 20MB hard drive and a whopping 4 MB’s of RAM. The CPU was clocking in at 33mhz and man was that thing fast. Ok, maybe not in today’s terms, but at the time it was top of the line and state of the art. A friend gave me my copy of DOOM and I blasted through the game like there was no tomorrow.
Fast forward to 2012 and here comes DOOM3: BFG Edition. The DOOM series has had several releases since its inception, and the PlayStation world had missed out on all of them. Bethesda Softworks has remedied that by releasing all of the titles on the BFG Edition. While I wasn’t expecting the graphics for the earlier titles to be breathtaking, I was surprised to see that they didn’t look all that bad on a big-screen TV. They were obviously old school and hard on the eyes at times. But, they did manage to bring back fond memories of much earlier times and were just as much fun as I remembered. Both DOOM and DOOM 2 are included. If you can remember where all of the secret passages are, or search for them, you can say hello to one of my personal favorite weapons, the chainsaw. It was, and is, a very effective close quarter combat weapon.
Both games have been ported nicely, with a few new features that weren’t there originally. In ’93 multiplayer games were non-existent and the internet was in its early stages of life. I would have never dreamed of playing ‘online’ with people from all over the world. Both games now have multiplayer features that include split screen, co-op and deathmatch. Blasting through the levels with a group of people online makes the old school games that much more fun.
DOOM 3 was released for the PC in 2004 and rebooted the series by sending it into the future. Occurring on Mars in 2145, scientists have inadvertently opened the gates of Hell by experimenting with teleportation and have unleashed demons upon the Martian space station. It is up to you, an unknown Marine, to take them out and prevent them from journeying to earth and destroying us all. Also included on the disc is the Resurrection of Evil add-on pack and seven bonus levels entitled The Lost Missions.
DOOM 3 also got the multiplayer treatment but with a few more options than the earlier titles. Along with Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch there’s also Last Man mode which pits you against all comers, with the last gamer alive getting the win. Tournament mode is also included.
DOOM 3 and the extras have all been remastered in HD and, for those of you with a 3DTV, they can be played in 3D. The depth of the game surprised me in 3D. While there wasn’t anything really jumping out at me, I did find myself moving my head to try to look around dark corners. I found the in-game mounted flashlight to be a bit of a pain though, as its power timer runs out after less than a minute, and having to constantly hit the light button on the controller can get monotonous. Lurking around in the dark, with monsters and demons hunting you down, your flashlight is really your best friend, next to your shotgun of course.
The weapons for Doom 3 stay true to the series, and there’s even a chainsaw hidden and waiting for you. The hand gun is basic, while the shotgun is devastatingly powerful at close range. Blasting off a demon’s head is disturbingly satisfying at point blank range. The mini gun is effective but not as enjoyable as the shotgun. The rocket launcher is great at clearing a room, but dangerous to yourself if the blast is close by. Splash damage has always been around in the DOOM series, and that trend continues with the rocket launcher as well as grenades and exploding barrels. The chainsaw damage could have been gorier, but it still looks pretty slick. Some new weapons make an appearance later in the game, and prove useful, but still not as pleasing as the shotgun.
For those of us that remember the early days of gaming, adding every DOOM game known to man on one disc is a welcome addition to our gaming library. For those of you that weren’t around back then, DOOM 3: BFG Edition is a great way to see how far the gaming world has come in the last twenty or so years.