If only Hell was this sweet.
DOOM Resurrection is one of those rare iPhone games that make us wonder if we need a PSP. More visual showpiece than fast-paced shooter, id Software's $9.99 piece of eye candy features gorgeous visuals, hordes of ugly fiends and a small armory of devastating weapons. If you want something that'll shut up your DS loving friends, prepare to leave them stunned. Just don't expect much from this three to four hour experience.
On the surface, Resurrection is DOOM 3 in the palm of your hand, sort of. Although it revolves around the same premise (space marine defends humanity from demons) and sports similar looking monsters and guns, the designers chose to make it on-rails. In other words, you don't actually maneuver the marine through the creature filled corridors. Instead, the game takes you on a predetermined route through the space station and later, Hell itself. Think of it as sci-fi safari, except instead of taking pictures of the animals, you splatter them with a shotgun.
As expected, the decision to limit a player's control drew criticism from iPhone users desperate for their DOOM fix, but we applaud the move, simply because it allows us to focus on what makes the game fun: shooting anything big, mean and ugly. To play, you simply tilt the iPhone to move the onscreen cursor. When you have something in your sights, you place a finger over the chosen weapon (located on the bottom right corner of the screen) and blast the demon back to Hell. When you run out of ammo, you tap the icon on the top right, and to cycle through guns, press the icon on the top left.
Speaking of guns, you can expect the same ones from DOOM 3, including the machine gun (this one has unlimited ammo), shotgun and the plasma rifle. And if you prefer carving enemies like lunchmeat, whip out the chainsaw.
Regardless of what instrument of death you choose, you'll have a blast mowing down imps, pinky demons and other monstrosities. Most times, you'll engage in furious shootouts, but id mixed things up by allowing you to occasionally dodge projectiles and duck behind cover, thanks to the icon on the bottom left corner of the screen. Pressing it once puts you out of harm's way, and tapping it again will throw the marine back into the fight.
The enjoyable gameplay, however, takes a backseat to the jaw dropping visuals. DOOM Resurrection is, without question, one of the iPhone's most incredible looking games, with a dimly lit space station, the smoldering pits of Hell, explosions, sweet weapon effects, lots of blood and skillfully animated monsters that shuffle, fly and gallop towards you. Naturally, it pales in comparison to DOOM 3, but the fact that id managed to create a game with the same art style without sacrificing performance makes us happy to be iPhone owners. It's one of those "until you see it" video games.
Then we have the exquisite audio. Rather than come up with new sound effects, the developers borrowed stuff from DOOM 3. As a result, the monsters and guns sound exactly as they do in the PC/Xbox shooter. Again, id deserves high praise.
Despite the accolades, however, the team came up short of perfection. First, acquiring items, achieved my tapping them, sounded easy until we struggled nabbing much needed health/ammo packs. Getting the game to acknowledge our attempts took a bit of effort, and thanks to the on-rails set up, we missed some loot.
Second, we had little interest replaying Doom 3. Meeting up with a scientist and working alongside a tiny robot added some depth to the story, but for the most part, it's still a mindless romp through a Martial space station. If this is your first time playing DOOM, however, the story shouldn't be much of an issue.
Third, Resurrection will significantly deplete an iPhone's battery. Our advice: bring a charger.
Finally, the game costs $9.99. That's a lot of cheddar for a two to three hour (essentially a one and done) experience, especially with several cheaper (even free) games that'll keep you playing for months at a time.
Then again, none of those apps look as sexy. DOOM Resurrection has some faults, but it's still one of the iPhone's hottest shooters, so if you have the cash to burn, head to the App Store and buy a one-way ticket to Hell.
What's Hot: Stunning visuals, DOOM 3 sound effects, impressive creature animations, on-rails gameplay, slick cursor controls, accessible icons, using the chainsaw.
What's Not: Paying $9.99, beating it in less than three hours, losing tons of battery life.