Making a first person shooter on a device with no buttons is no doubt a challenge. Some games have opted to take the auto-aim approach. Others, like id Software with the classic Doom series, have opted to try the on-rails approach to the FPS genre.
In Doom Resurrection, you do everything as you would in a normal first person shooter minus the actual movement. You aim by tilting the iPhone in the direction you want to shoot, and fire when the reticule is lined up. You’re also given the usual options to change your gun, reload, and duck behind cover when applicable. The character automatically moves and progress forwards. As you see and hear enemies, the camera turns, simulating your head’s movement to look in the direction of a threat. Then you have time to kill the enemy before it hurts you. While you are taking on the enemies alone, there does happen to be a floating helper robot to talk with and give help when possible. So, how does the game actually pan out?
My robot: I liked the fact that you had an expressive robot buddy flying around to help when needed. It really provided a much needed break from each interval of shoot two enemies, reload, and so on. Breaking up the shooting with the story elements and dialogue helped give the game some varied pacing and tone.
Animations: Sometimes enemies would make more interesting appearances than the usual quick scares. When they started climbing over railings and coming towards you, it was fun to mow them down. The animations complimented the graphics nicely, which were also impressive in their detail.
Weapon variety: Using a shotgun versus the stock gun definitely had a noticeable effect. I found myself scrambling to switch to a more devastating gun once I saw a large enemy approaching, and each one really felt unique. Using the chainsaw wasn’t as visceral as I’d hoped for, but it was no doubt satisfying.
Rinse and repeat: For the most part, you’ll be doing this: stop moving, shoot two enemies — again and again. As you’ll face the same enemy class over and over with little variety, it gets repetitive and easy. There wasn’t much change in how you faced them, or in the number that approached you.
Stop pushing me: The problem inherent with the on-rails format is that you have no control with your movement, and it can conflict with your natural inclination of where to move. If I’m hearing the enemy behind me, the game sometimes figures it’s a good idea to walk me straight towards them instead of backing up and firing. Getting pushed into the face of an enemy is never fun. That said, it’s pretty easy to take down enemies by doing headshots, so health is never too much of a problem.
There’s no real problems with Doom Resurrection: the graphics are good, the game runs well, but at the high price of $9.99 I have trouble whole heartedly recommending it. With only the eight levels, I can’t see many playing through them a second time after completion. Ultimately, it is definitely worth a look, but I’d say wait until a price drop to at least $5.99 and it’s worth your purchase.
Doom Resurrection was developed by id Software and is available for $9.99. I played on version 1.0.1 on an iPod Touch 2G.