Doom 3 BFG: As Fun As You Recall, Regardless of the Flashlight
The flashlight is connected to your armor, and you can still shotgun incoming imps while it’s on. And the battery runs out rather quickly.
And it really doesn’t seem to matter.
Going into my hands-on time with Doom 3: BFG Edition, I was distraught over this consideration. The flashlight-or-gun mechanic of the original Doom 3 was one of my favorite elements of the game (which puts me at odds with roughly half of all humanity, who hated being forced to choose to use one or the other at at time). Because I like to be piss-my-pants scared sometimes, and the requirement of having to choose between seeing — something fundamental to the human experience of the world at least, and of video games of course — and fighting was always extremely unsettling.
But the flashlight is mounted now, mostly because people complained (fun fact: they complained back in 2003, too, and id Software “fixed” the issue with the release of 2004′s Doom 3 expansion, Resurrection of Evil; so this isn’t that big of a deal), but I found myself barely noticing it. The core gameplay of Doom 3 is shooting vicious things that hurl themselves at you, and not being able to see them really doesn’t decrease the tension all that much.
My hands-on time with Doom 3: BFG centered on the game’s newly added eight levels, known as “The Lost Mission.” As id Creative Director Tim Willits told us, the mission takes place basically in the center of Doom 3, concerning a member of the Bravo Team of marines that got their asses handed to them by monsters during the course of the original story. All eight maps are new content made specifically for this release, Willits said.
And why stop what id is working on to create a new version of Doom 3? Willits said that, coming off RAGE, the developer was in the perfect position to do a re-release of Doom 3 while the rest of the studio shifted to work on Doom 4.
“This has been like the perfect storm for us, of, like, Doom 3. The team is wrapping up some RAGE stuff, finishing that up, kind of ramping up on the next project. So we have a couple of people … that we can keep busy,” Willits said.
“And if you look at the consoles, the 360 and PS3 worldwide install base now, I think it’s about 105 million. It’s ridiculous. And of that 100+ million, I think there’s about 60 or 70 million Playstation 3s. And a lot of those Playstation 3 folks never had Playstation 2 or Playstation 1, and they have never actually played a Doom game. And that’s just a huge install base. I think the console install base is just going to drop moving forward, so it’ sreally the sweet spot. We have the time, we have the resources – everyone knows what we’re working on at work, so it’s a great way to bundle everything together.”
The level I played took me to Hell (dammit, again), and was filled with giant things that wanted to murder me viciously. Luckily, the id team was merciful — I was bestowed a number of capable weapons, including a fully loaded BFG. A good thing, too, because the mission was hard.