Doom 3: BFG Edition PS3 review – We’d rather have the friendly giant

Attention all of videogames: stop trying to colonise Mars. Setting up shop on the Red Planet only ends in misery and… usually painful death to the face. Whether it’s civil wars and smashy giant hammers in Red Faction or battling Mass Effect 3’s evil Cerberus soldiers, our virtual PS3 pals should just stick to Earth. Or, in the case of this port of an eight-year-old PC shooter, not even bother leaving the house.

Doom 3: BFG Edition PS3 review

When Doom 3 was first released in 2004 you needed a rig that cost more than your average bungalow to get the most out of the game’s state-of-the-art lighting effects and stunning textures.The game also had (and still does) an atmosphere all of its own, doing survival horror in space years before Isaac Clarke ever had his bowls routinely ripped out by Necromorphs.

Constantly oppressive, Doom 3 manages to convey an effective sense of clawing claustrophobia by forever ferrying you down flickering corridors. Level design owes much to Aliens’ iconic LV-426 colony, though artistic variation is ditched for a consistent mood.

This wasn’t a problem in 2004 when you’d happily stare at detailed textures of tile work in the most depressing bog since Trainspotting. But fast forward to 2012 and the repetitive environment gets dull quicker than a camping holiday in Bognor Regis.

Similarly, Doom 3’s scares have also been thoroughly diluted by visuals that have aged like a bottle of fine wine… left to ferment in a bath brimming with plutonium. Seriously, every single human character in the game looks like they’ve been forged from blocks of cheddar.

As a restoration job it’s akin to plonking up a bit of scaffolding and hoping your once glorious listed building doesn’t come crumbling down. Textures appear to have been untouched and the game’s chunky, angular style has aged terribly next to the stylish elegance of fellow 2004 FPS Half-Life 2. Compared to the work done remastering the Ico & Shadow Of The Colossus and Ratchet & Clank Collections, Doom 3 can’t compete.

Granted, Id Software has generously included eight new levels entitled the Lost Mission and the existing Resurrection Of Evil expansion pack. Even the first two games in the legendary series have been bunged in. But although crudely charming, Doom and Doom 2’s twitchy brand of shooting essentially act as antique curio pieces rather than genuine reasons to buy this bundle.