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Plugged In

‘Doom 3′ is coming back, playable with head-mounted display

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Everything old is new again -- even hell demons.

Eight years after its initial release, the first-person scarefest Doom 3 is about to hit store shelves again. Bethesda Softworks has announced the Doom 3 BFG Edition — a remastered version of the horror/shooter that includes all of the previously released expansions as well as seven new levels.

The game will be released on the PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, marking the first time Doom 3 has been playable on Sony's system. And if Doom 3 wasn't your favorite of the Doom games, don't worry -- the BFG edition also includes Doom and Doom 2. It will also support 3D and 5.1 surround sound.

The game is due this fall, though there's no word yet on what it will cost.

"Doom 3 was enthusiastically embraced by gamers worldwide at its release," said id's John Carmack. "Today, the full experience has been enhanced and extended to be better than ever, and is delivered across all the platforms with a silky smooth frame rate and highly responsive controls."

id Software is also fixing one of the most common complaints about Doom 3: the ability to use a gun and a flashlight simultaneously.

In the original game, the developer took a beating from fans for not letting players shoot and see at the same time. Fans of the PC version of the game quickly made it a priority to create mods allowing them to do so.

Polishing and repackaging old games, in and of itself, is hardly a new event. What makes the resurrection of Doom 3 particularly interesting is the fact that Carmack has taken it upon himself to create some new technology to go with the game.

For the first time, players will be able to use head mounted displays (like those virtual reality devices that were the rage several years ago) to play the game. Carmack assembled his own version of the technology in his lab, and while Bethesda didn't announce any plans to sell his device, the game will be playable with other sets that are on the market.

Those who have had the chance to test the display have walked away impressed. The Verge called Carmack's creation "surprisingly thin and light" and noted "the framerate was also a smooth 60fps — something that Carmack focused on almost as much as the latency issue itself."

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