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First impressions: Doom BFG, up close and personal with Hell

by Han Cilliers (Lola)  Posted Friday, November 23, 2012 12:48:00 PM

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Hell didn’t show up for the party

I am no stranger to the hellish experience known as the DOOM universe. I used to play it back in the day when you didn’t have the use of a flashlight and a gun. When every dark corner was shot at before you even dared approach it. The bad old days when DOOM gripped your entire being and the strange sounds emanating from the shadows made you swallow nervously. Yes, there was a time when DOOM gripped you tightly and Fear, pure and unadulterated, permeated every part of your body. Back then, Fear was a being, a life-like presence and companion always skulking and flittering nearby as you navigated your way through the dark, flashing and bloodied hallways.

Fear seems to have gone on holiday in DOOM BFG. Or maybe it is Fear’s lesser cousin, or perhaps I simply overcame its dark hold. I used to clutch my mouse so hard my hand went into spasm when I played the previous installments, now, pftt, I dance through Hell, baby. I firstly blame this on the absence of fear, and secondly on the humongous demonic sign that appears before a demon spawns accompanied by the trumpet blast announcing its arrival. I used to haul my ass as far away from the approaching demon as I could, but with DOOM: BFG, I simply walk up to the portal from hell and wait for it with my gun aimed right at its face. Hell and its spawn have no chance.

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Armed with the double barrel shotgun, and my shiny new flashlight, no demon can prevent me from finishing DOOM BFG without even breaking a sweat. And yes, I am playing it on ‘Veteran’ mode. Put that in your pipe and smoke it ;)

For the first timers

The story is nothing to write home about, but then again, that’s not what DOOM is about. The DOOM experience means having a big freaking gun in your hands, shooting the crap out of Imp, Pinky, and the rest of the family from Hades. It’s also about strutting around being all bad-ass Marine like, it’s fun, pure and simple. You are a brawny looking Marine, with only one task at hand; get out of the Moon base alive and if you have to go down, take the hordes from Hell with you.

You occasionally meet up with personnel from the abandoned Mars station, but them scientists are all scary, creepy looking cowards. They hide behind protected windows mumbling instructions to you, “Go there, find this, and insert into that”, that is the total sum of your objectives for the game. Nothing too complicated, right?

Wrong.

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Every action you take in DOOM has an (un)equal opposite reaction from Hell. You can hardly take a few steps without being ambushed, grappled, or tongue lashed by a horrid looking thing that has escaped from the pits of hell. DOOM hits you right in the balls in less than five minutes from when you pick up your first gun. From here it is relentless and holds nothing back until the last drop of demon blood hits the floor. I’ve not finished DOOM BFG, but since it’s a remake I do know how this bad boy ends.

An aspect about DOOM that I really find thrilling is the different enemies. Not all guns work effectively on all demons. To survive, especially on Veteran mode, you have to know your arsenal. Different guns work better on different demons. You dam well better be able to switch to the appropriate weapon in a split second, or it will be your brains plastered on the walls. My weapon of choice is the double-barreled shotgun. If you can get close enough and aim right at the head, the usual hell spawn will go down with one shot and the upgraded spawn with at the most three shots. The only problem is, you have to reload after each shot. It becomes a dance of death and I love it. It’s a real adrenaline rush to get right into the face of evil, kick it in the balls, step out of its reach and rinse and repeat.

The hell infected soldiers (Z-Secs and Zombie Commandos) are a lot more challenging to take out than the demons. They wear armor, has better weapons and attack with more sophistication than the dumb demonic horde. DOOM has its fair share of boss type battles, each with a unique range of abilities, strengths and weaknesses. My advice, just shoot, strafe and try not to be intimidated by its scary appearance.

Let’s talk bells and whistles

The sound, physics and graphics have all been buffed up. Everything looks less pixelated and more “I am going to jump through your screen and rip your freaking head off” kinda thing. Don’t expect the level of attention to detail or physics you get with current AAA titles though. This is still DOOM as you remember it, just remastered on HD.

There are a few first-person shooter gameplay elements that you will not find in DOOM – there’s no such thing as sliding into cover, you don’t regenerate health and you can’t aim down your gun sights. DOOM is for real soldiers ;)

First impression verdict, played on PC

So should you buy it? If you’ve played the previous installments on PC, then I wouldn’t pay the R340 it’s going for on Steam at the moment. I’ll wait for a price reduction. If you are new to DOOM and you want to try it on a console, then it gets a definite “yes”. Doom BFG is a unique FPS experience when compared with the realistic, military type shooters currently flooding the market.

DOOM: BFG edition will give you plenty of bang for your buck. It includes DOOM, DOOM 2 and 3, the Resurrection of Evil expansion pack as well as a new campaign, The Lost Mission. Just keep in mind that DOOM and DOOM 2 are as old as your great grandmamma, you’ll play it only for some tongue in the cheek fun.

In the end, DOOM: BFG is about doing unrealistic things with exotic guns against fantastic nightmarish creatures. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

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Minimum System Requirements

  • OS:Windows vista/ Windows 7
  • Processor:2.0 GHz dual core
  • Memory:3 GB RAM
  • Graphics:NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT / ATI Radeon HD 5750, 512 MB video RAM
  • Hard Drive:11 GB
  • Sound:Windows compatible sound card

Recommended System Requirements

  • OS:Windows Vista-64/ Windows 7-64
  • Processor:2.4 GHz dual core
  • Memory:3 GB system RAM
  • Graphics:NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 / ATI Radeon HD 5850, 768 MB video RAM
  • Hard Drive:11 GB
  • Sound:Windows compatible sound card
  • Additional:3D Monitor + compatible glasses

DOOM: BFG is available for PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

To refresh your memory, here’s the DOOM: BFG trailer

 

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