Three games in one, and one looks like a sad, tear-stained painting?
I can't imagine there are many FPS gamers over the age of 20 that missed out on either Doom or Doom II. There just aren't many of us. And even if you did, there were enough other titles based around that engine—my personal favorite being Chex Quest—that are close enough that you might as well say, "Yeah, I played Doom way back when, what of it?"
I usually take this area to explain the story of a game or a breakdown of the mechanics, but again, if you're buying this, it's assumed you know exactly what you're getting. And if you don't… well… you shoot stuff. Anything that moves, in fact. In the first two titles, there are no serious puzzles, just the occasional switch and key to open up the next area, but if you're still finding enemies wandering around, you're on the right track toward the next stage point. This is going back to the early '90s, remember; guns firing in an open environment was still cutting-edge, so everything was focused on blasting your way through Hell directly.
I've got plenty of good memories playing both Doom and Doom clones; my favorite of which is watching Beavis & Butt-Head Do America at a sort of slumber party one summer back around 1999/2000. Staying up with a notably-outdated Windows 95 machine, shooting demons with a friend, giggling every once in a while when Butt-Head expressed his love for boobs and scoring… "Huh-huh-huh… sthcooore." But those days are long past me, even if I'm giggling at the same stuff.
So I was hoping to be brought back with Doom 3: BFG Edition. I didn't play a lot of Doom 3 before because of the "let's have everything shout 'boo' at you" aspect of it, but I did get some time in it. And while it hasn't changed (duh), it actually appears a bit uglier than before. Maybe it's the generic and muddy color scheme, or the fact that I played Duke Nukem Forever, but it doesn't even appear to have been up-rezed at all. Why not, I have no clue… seems like that would be the course of action, especially for a game that was touted as a graphical step forward. Now, it just looks outdated and bland… kinda like DNF. Though at least you can use a flashlight and your weapon at the same time this time, because it only makes sense.
There is some new content in the package: a new campaign for Doom II and an expansion for Doom 3. The new eight levels of DII are a lot of fun and harken back to what made the series so much fun in the first place—a flood of enemies all spread around a stage, all firing at once, and all unrelenting in their thirst for your blood. The strategy that came into play in those instances—firing through see-through barriers, bottlenecking the crowds when possible—is brought to a head with some fun, open level design.
Sadly, that aspect is still lacking in this disc's namesake. It's just basic puzzle-solving and shooting when an enemy presents itself. The whole package, especially the visuals, reminds me of Duke Nukem Forever, and though I know the engine running Doom is the same in DNF, I don't mean that in a positive way.
If you need a fix of some classic run-and-gun action, both of the original Dooms are available for pretty cheap, $15 together (a fiver for the original, tenner for the sequel). If you still want the third, this will do, but you'd be better off buying an original Xbox copy. These three games for forty bucks? No frills or "making of" videos, no concept art or anything behind the scenes? For a poop-ton of extras I could see a full release, but this simply reeks of the combination of "let's fix minor prior mistakes", like the flashlight with a weapon and some other lighting bits, and cashing in on a 20th anniversary, minus any… you know, history. Wait for the price for this to drop, or just save your cash.
Well, buy the first two games at least, save the rest.