DOOM Resurrection is a first person shooter developed by Escalation Studios, published by the infamous id Software.
DOOM Resurrection takes place parallel to the events of DOOM 3, though the storyline is fairly uninformative in this respect. You play as ‘Marine’. The last surviving member of Bravo Team and that’s all you need to know… You’re a Marine and you’re good at killing stuff. You start the game on the UAC Research Facility on Mars City after an unknown invasion, and you quickly meet one of the only other surviving humans on the colony, an unnamed scientist who gives you a floating robot companion called Sam. Sam helps you communicate with this scientist as well as opening doors, retrieving data from terminals and generally being a floating robot.
You aim your gun by tilting your device. Your character moves automatically through a preset path, but it seems as if Escalation Studios missed an opportunity to allow some user input on which path to take. The only other controls you have are shoot, which is done by tapping the bottom right corner, manual reload which is in the top right, switch weapon in the top left and occasionally dodging and covering, but I’ll get into that in a moment. The tilt controls generally work very well and give you more of a sense of challenge than any other control method I can think of, though it can frustratingly get stuck or move erratically on a rare occasion, and although re-calibrating is as easy as going into the pause menu and tapping a button it can be quite awkward if you change position while playing the game.
You can carry up to three weapons. Your Assault Rifle is your best friend, it has infinite ammo and a good rate of fire. Not the most powerful, but its reliable. The second weapon slot is filled with a combat shotgun, it has 8 rounds and limited ammo, which you find by shooting boxes open. It is powerful at close range but has a slow rate of fire, so is often used in a panic when a monster is slashing your stomach open. The last slot is a special weapon slot. This can be filled with anything from a Chainsaw to a Minigun.
The cover/dodge system is quite stale, it is a similar system to the old Time Crisis games. If an enemy throws a fire ball at you, you press the dodge key to get out of harms way at the opportune moment. When enemies shoot at you, a hexagonal yellow reticle appears from the end of their weapon. This hexagon gets smaller until finally going red for around half a second. This means that the enemies fire is focused on you and you will take damage if you aren’t in cover. This system can be challenging at best, especially when the game starts throwing 2 or more different types of enemy at you. But on the most part it gets frustrating in the later areas of the game where you almost have no choice but to jump out and take damage.
Your objectives are unimportant as the format of the game doesn’t change much, you walk through a few corridors until you find a locked door or data terminal or some other inconspicuous object to which Sam, your floating robot companion comes into play. Sam will either unlock the door, download the data or do some other inconspicuous action while you defend her against a slew of enemies. This also seems like a bit of a missed opportunity for some fun mini-games to break up the monotonous gameplay, but alas, another thing left to be desired for.
The scenery and gameplay do eventually change when you are thrown into a portal to hell by a large enemy after a relatively disappointing boss battle. You lose all your weapons on the way there (oh yes! They pull that one on you!) though there is quite a few of your dead comrades littered around to replenish your arsenal. The gameplay changes slightly, as instead of fighting enemies while defending Sam, you have to fight enemies while destroying teleports. If you don’t destroy the teleport, more enemies will come. There is also a new enemy to fight. Flaming Stalin Heads. These will let out a terrifying scream and and fly around you until finally coming at you to take a bite. This can be quite a challenge when you have to fight more than one flaming evil dictator at the same time as dodging fireballs and destroying teleports.
There is basically no ending to the game. A huge anticlimax with no special boss to fight, and some very odd emotional dialogue choices regarding your robot friend. The last few stages are extremely monotonous and repetitive to boot, so it’s quite the downer when you think that all this has been building up to a large fight against a towering beast, only to find a series of enemies you have been fighting since the beginning.
This is where the game really sets itself apart from the rest. The graphics are quite simply awesome, and although the scenery can get repetitive, the graphics are by far the nicest I’ve seen on the iPhone so far. There is the occasional slowdown but it generally doesn’t affect gameplay. Enemies are well rendered and easily recognizable if you are familiar with the DOOM series. Sceneries are well detailed and intricate and the effects are brilliant.
Another stellar aspect of the game. Whether its the sound of your footsteps through the hallways, a fire ball sizzling past your ear, or the terrifying sounds of trapped souls in hell, you will want to play this game with the lights on. The sound quality through the inbuilt speaker on an iPhone doesn’t do it justice. Stick some good quality earphones on and savour the sounds of hell. There is unfortunately no in-game sound track but you can listen to your own music if you please.
At the end of each level you are graded in a House of the Dead style rundown. This gives you information such as Accuracy, Head Shot %, Time, Secret Items, etc. Although this is standard, it would be missed if it wasn’t there and does allow for some replayablilty. You are also treated to a stage selection style “Free Play” mode. This is good if you think you could run through a stage better or missed out a secret item, but it also overwrites your campaign save… Which is a bummer.
Though DOOM Resurrection is a shallow rail shooter without a hell of a lot of originality, it’s still enjoyable to play and by far one of the best games in terms of aesthetics. It may miss out on some great opportunities to come into its own, but when you consider it is a game made for a cell phone, its practically mind blowing. If you are into shooters its a game worth trying out, and although the price point isn’t exactly alluring, you should be able to respect its value.