If the Gen X gaming culture has a hero, that hero is John Carmack and id Software. Creators of some of the best known and hardest played games in existence, id has pumped out lone-wolf shooters since the early 90s. Games like Quake, Hexen, Wolfenstein, and the iconic Doom generally cater to the lost generation’s “one against the world” gaming style. Multiplayer features generally favor deathmatches over co-op, where the killer is king.
Carmack coding Quake
Doom is the game that put FPS on the map and id deep in the black. The plot is fairly basic: the Union Aerospace Corporation research complex on Mars experimented beyond the realm of moral research and opened a portal to hell. It is the player’s grim duty to kill the demons and shut down the portal from the other side of hell. Doom 3, which is essentially a series reboot, drastically improved the narrative. The player, a space marine reassigned to Mars, arrives on a shuttle with UAC rep, Counselor Swann, and his bodyguard. Swann is immediately involved in a heated discussion with the head of research, Dr. Malcolm Betruger. The player reports to Sgt. Kelly, aka Sgt. Girlfriend, who sends the marine off on a mission to search for a missing researcher. Meanwhile, Betruger steals an ancient artifact, known as the soul cube, and opens the portal to hell, unleashing demons upon the unsuspecting complex.
Sgt. Girlfriend orders the marine back to Marine HQ, which is no small task. The complex is a maze of tight, dark, metal corridors with demons coming out of the floors and walls, or apparating out of thin air. The “regroup at Marine HQ” thing turns into a “get to the satellite and call for help” thing, which turns into a “go to hell and stop this” thing. It’s funny how your priorities change when demons are involved. The demons are everywhere and fight you every step of the way. You will battle fireball hurling imps, charging cyber-bulls, plasma-charged Hellknights, giant skeletons with mounted rocket launchers, flaming skulls, spiders, insectile demon babies, behemoths with cannon arms, and formidable boss demons. The marine has an arsenal of weapons at his disposal to dispatch the denizens of hell: pistol, shotgun, SMG, chaingun, chainsaw, plasma rifle, rocket launcher, hand grenades, and of course, a Big Fucking Gun...the BFG.
Technology changed dramatically since Doom 3 first hit shelves in August 2004. Doom 3 was a great game but it did have its fair share of issues: it was a very dark game and PC players had issues with the flashlight. The flashlight is now shoulder-mounted, so no more flipping between gun and flashlight during a firefight. However, the flashlight power drains much more quickly in the BFG edition. The marine moves a bit faster now, and can carry much more ammunition, which is important in a shooting game. Doom 3 BFG is also a lot brighter than Doom 3 was back in 94, and players can see more of the background than they used to. It is still a very dark and shadowy game, but at least you can kind of see where you are going most of the time. The game looks great in HD, even on widescreen, and can be enjoyed in 3D, if you have a 3D TV.
Doom 3 BFG Edition not only contains the original Doom 3 campaign, but also includes the Resurrection of Evil campaign, Doom, Doom 2, and a new Doom 3 campaign called The Lost Mission, which is a relatively short but satisfying Doom 3 experience. Resurrection of Evil is set a few years after the Doom 3 campaign and focuses on a different marine, with a different artifact, attempting to finish off Malcolm Betruger once and for all. The Lost Mission runs simultaneously to the events of Doom 3 and centers around a third marine from the Bravo unit, sans artifact, attempting to close a different portal to hell.
A remastered Doom 3 is already worth the $40 price of admission. Add the two original games, RoE, and the new Lost Missions, and you have enough quality Doom content to last until Doom 4 hits the shelves. So warm up your chaingun, amigo...Doom 4 is coming.