It's DOOM on the iPhone. Yawn. We mean, yay!
It's bizarre how we constantly purchase the same games not once, but multiple times. It's sort of like buying another copy of your favorite movie, except crazier. Take DOOM, for example. We first played id Software's genre defining first person shooter on PC in the early 90s. Then we bought it on Super Nintendo, PSOne, Game Boy Advance, Xbox 360 and now the iPhone, where developers repackaged the same old adventure and renamed it DOOM Classic. Did we buy it? Of course. Do we regret the purchase? Kind of.
DOOM casts you as an unnamed space marine battling demons from Hell across a Martian space station. Armed with a small cache of weapons (pistol, shotgun, chain gun, BFG, plasma rifle and a rocket launcher), you'll quickly zip through four episodes mowing down imps, pinky demons and other terrors, blasting them to pieces or nailing explosive barrels to transform them to mush. You'll also wade through toxic slime, hunt down different colored key cards to open doors and see lots of nasty stuff (this is literally Hell in space, after all).
It's a 3-D adventure, but it lacks some of the more advanced features that you'll find in newer shooters, primarily the ability to look up and down. But don't worry. You don't need to aim directly at a monster to kill it. You just need to point the chosen weapon in the general direction. That makes slaughtering enemies in high places much easier.
On PC, you maneuvered with the help of a mouse and a keyboard for pinpoint accuracy. Since the iPhone lacks those peripherals, id Software compensated with three control schemes, two of which will drive you nuts. The first (and default) scheme tasks you with sliding a cross around the screen to direct your soldier. That's OK for moving forwards and backwards, but makes strafing nearly impossible. The other scheme features the cross on the left and a wheel on the right that lets you spin the character 360 degrees. Again, strafing is much too difficult to accomplish, and since the game moves so fast, you're liable to fall into that toxic goop and die a quick death.
The third, and most ideal, option puts the d-pad on the left and a turning icon on the right, allowing you to strafe with ease. It's still imperfect, but if you plan on making it to the end of the game, go with these controls.
In addition to the 36 mission single player campaign, there's also four-person multiplayer, both deathmatch and co-op; this comes with a slew of maps, such as Hangar, Spawning Vats, Fortress of Mystery and Nuclear Plant. Just keep in mind that you'll have to track down folks who own the game. Sadly, we don't know anyone who forked over the $6. Stay tuned.
Other than that, it's DOOM. The designers made no efforts to revamp the visuals and audio, or create episodes exclusive to the iPhone version. Sure, this classic provides several hours of fun, but we couldn't play it for more than 30 minutes at a time. Probably has something to do with knowing the exact locations of the key cards, weapons and monsters. Still, despite the old hat gameplay and awkward controls, it's one of the iPhone's best first person shooters. Just don't expect anything revolutionary.
What's Hot: The control scheme that works, classic run and gun action, 36 missions, four-person deathmatch, graphics pop off the iPhone's screen.
What's Not: Same old missions, costs $5.99 (same price as DOOM Resurrection), same visuals and audio that we saw over 15 years ago, awkward controls.