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Doom 3 BFG Edition looks and plays so well on the Xbox 360 that id haven't even brought the PC version to Gamescom

Despite only being eight years old, Doom 3's decidedly brutal and unforgiving approach may well lead some newer gamers class it as a bit creaky these days. Having just played the new Gamescom demo of the new and upgraded BFG Edition though, we’re as impressed as we ever were. Moreso, in fact.

It’s smooth, it's slick, and – exacerbated by some excellent surround sound headphones – still damnably scary. In fact, particularly for console gamers, it's likely to be the best it's ever looked or played. While the original Xbox port was a nicely executed 'quart into a pint pot' conversion, the 360 version is every bit as accomplished as the original release, which obviously required the best of everything when it first appeared on the PC in 2005.

The demo allows 3D viewing, although we were playing it through a ‘passive’ 3D display (the polarised kind you get in the cinema, rather than the more expensive active shutter set-up) , which apparently requires a much greater effort to set up to secure the optimal viewing distance. After a bit of a faff, we did get it working and discovered it runs at a decent lick of speed, although not quite the wonderful 60fps of 2D mode. So we switched back.

In 2D mode, however, the game positively shines. Sure, it’s made up of about 80% shadows, but if shadows could shine then... Anyway, the relentless attack of zombies, hell hounds and floating demon heads is a startling reminder that games these days have made us weak from all that hand-holding. The demo has loads of weapons unlocked and ready to roll, from a meaty but slow-loading shotgun through to plasma rifle and frag grenades. 

So confident are Bethesda that their console versions are up to scratch, they don't even have the PC version present at the show. The console version runs at a frightening pace. And there’s something about the always-powerful atmosphere that’s still evoked by the now slightly blocky rendering of hell that makes Doom 3 feel as fresh and new as it ever did.

We can take or leave the 3D. As is often the case, it doesn’t have much real effect on the overall experience. But seeing the game ported so expertly to the Xbox 360 suddenly makes us wonder whether pushing the envelope is really necessary any more. Old graphics with strong production and atmospheric design can still look sensational. And of course, after years of Halo-style regenerating health bars, getting down to your last 2 points of vitality without a free recovery in sight is a tautly compelling experience all over again.

You’re fighting for your life, in the dark, against teeth-gnashing demon babies, with absolutely no help in sight. And we’d forgotten how great that is.

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15 comments

  • Shnubby - August 16, 2012 4:45 a.m.

    Looks like the sort of game that I buy, play for 15 minutes, get scared and quit, then put it on the shelf for the next ten years xD
  • code_r - August 16, 2012 5:27 a.m.

    Have't played Doom 3 in ages, probably will check this out as I never finished Resurrection of Evil. I imagine PC players have been modding this to look better for years though, surely?
  • gazzc - August 16, 2012 10:16 a.m.

    Correct, there are loads of texture and graphical updates available that make it look quite nice even today.
  • spankyj25 - August 16, 2012 7:21 a.m.

    LOVED this game when it first came out. I never played the RoE expansion, nor did I play the Xbox version. I'm looking forward to it. I've been doing more and more gaming in 3D, so I'm looking forward to that addition as well. Hopefully losing the 60fps in 3D isn't too much of a detriment.
  • Moondoggie1157 - August 16, 2012 8:22 a.m.

    Is it a 360 exclusive? 'Cause that would really suck...
  • lancelot110 - August 16, 2012 10:23 a.m.

    Nope, it's on PS3 and PC as well.
  • angelusdlion - August 16, 2012 8:53 a.m.

    *waits for the PC fanboy flamewar to begin*
  • larkan - August 16, 2012 9:11 a.m.

    ....it's 7 years old, they probably didn't feel the need to bring in a current budget Dell desktop system that can run it just as well as a 360 can.
  • lance-baldwin - August 16, 2012 10:20 a.m.

    Nope.
  • lancelot110 - August 16, 2012 10:22 a.m.

    Sorry about that, that comment was supposed to go to someone else. Everytime I use facebook to comment on GR it messes up on me.
  • EwoksTasteLikeChicken - August 16, 2012 9:18 a.m.

    Can't wait!
  • onetimebuster - August 16, 2012 10:40 a.m.

    I have a bad feeling ps3 users will be getting screwed again
  • IceBlueKirby - August 16, 2012 1:08 p.m.

    I never got around to playing Doom 3, so I'm eagerly awaiting this version so I can see what I missed out on.
  • debiate5 - August 16, 2012 7:24 p.m.

    As a 17 year DOOM fan, I am so freaking excited for this, that I'm seriously considering not picking up Borderlands 2.
  • SlimAdy - August 17, 2012 6:26 a.m.

    And now in 3D - this is going to be pant wettingly good. 3D adds a lot to games especially FPS style or racing.

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