Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
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Id software basically invented the modern first person shooter. So why would they create a new DOOM for the iPhone and make it an on-rails shooter, not even a true FPS. Well, it turns out they actually made a pretty good decision.
The UAC, the largest defense contractor in the universe, located on Mars, has been authorized to conduct controversial experiments. Then, predictably, something goes horribly wrong. A troop of elite marines is sent in to investigate, when again, something goes horribly wrong and you are left as the only marine alive. What starts off as a simple escape mission evolves into something that holds the fate of the world in balance. The story is decent enough, but a little generic. Throughout the game, the story is advanced by dialogue and cut-scenes. For the most part these are fine, but there is no way to skip the cut-scenes, which gets a bit irritating, especially on the second play through.
The game contains eight levels, for a total approximate 2-3 hours (or more, if like me, you stink). This is my main complaint for the game. Making this game a 20 level saga would be a mistake, but two more levels would be a welcome addition. For replayablilty, there are four difficulty levels and a letter-grading system with a full statistical breakdown for each level. In addition, after completing a level in the game, you play that level directly from the main menu.
In each level, your character moves automatically, so all you have to do is worry about shooting zombies and other nefarious creatures... which there are plenty of. Besides the "normal" zombies that simply rush at you and attack you, there are a variety a monsters that require special game mechanics. There are fat zombies that will attempt to eat you, making you have to shake your phone to stave them off, and there are both monsters who will shoot machine guns at you and those that will hurl fire balls at you. The machine gun-wielding monsters start off shooting at a low accuracy, then will hone in on you, signified by a shrinking hexagon that will eventually turn red, meaning the zombies are certain to hit you. At that point, you must duck for cover. For the projectile hurling zombies, you must dodge at the right time to avoid the fire balls. Dodge too early or too late, and you're dead meat. To either take cover or dodge, depending on the situation, you press a button in the lower left of the screen. These mechanics work well enough, though they are annoyingly overused in later levels.
Luckily, you have a bevy of weapons to fend off monsters. In addition to your trusty default assault rifle, which has unlimited ammo, at different times during game, you will have access to cool weapons such the chainsaw, plasma rifle, and of course, the legendary BFG. All the weapons are really well done and truly distinctive, so you will have to choose a weapon carefully depending on the situation. Cycling through weapons is accomplished by tapping a button in the upper left of the screen, and you can manually reload by tapping a button in the top left. The best control mechanic in the game is the shooting. To aim the small reticule on your screen, you use the accelerometer, and you fire by tapping a button in the lower right corner. The accelerometer is automatically calibrated at the start of each level, and you can re-calibrate at any time from the pause menu. The only option lacking is sensitivity adjustment, though I found the accelerometer to be perfectly responsive. The accelerometer controls are fantastic, and they make the game infinitely more fun than a simple tap-to-shoot. There are also health and ammo packs scattered throughout levels, some hidden inside breakable boxes, and you pick them up by simply tapping on them.
The graphics in DOOM are virtually unparalleled on the App Store. Everything is incredibly detailed, and the zombie illustrations are fantastic. The 3D graphics are all done with a very depressed color palette that creates a creepy ambience, and the lighting is impressive. Creepy ambience sounds and sound effects further add to the aura.
Don't judge DOOM Resurrection simply because it's "on-rails." It's actually an incredibly engaging and fun game that was truly made specifically for the iPhone. Yes, at $9.99 it's a bit pricy, but that's a worthy price to pay for one of the iPhone's best games.