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Doom Resurrection comes to the iPhone (Review)

Id Software's first original iPhone game takes place in the demon-infested Doom universe. Once you get accustomed to being on rails, you'll love the action.

Like Wolfenstein before it, Id Software's Doom has been ported to just about every platform known to man. But Doom Resurrection is more than a port: it's an all-new Doom game written expressly for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

Indeed, whereas Id's Wolfenstein 3D Classic merely shrunk the original down to iPhone size, Doom Resurrection offers eight new Doom 3-inspired levels (six set on Mars, the others in Hell).

Screenshots don't do it justice; Doom Resurrection looks tremendous.

However, don't expect a traditional first-person shooter experience; Doom Resurrection runs on rails, meaning you don't get to roam free throughout each level.

Instead, the game moves you from one encounter to the next; the challenge lies in aiming your target reticule (which is controlled by the accelerometer), blasting a familiar assortment of hellspawn, and ducking incoming fire via well-timed taps of the Dodge button. If a zombie manages to grab you, you have to shake your iPhone to get loose before he eats your brains.

In other words, Resurrection may look like Doom and sound like Doom, but it doesn't play like Doom.

As it turns out, that's a good thing. Touch screens and tilt sensors work well for certain types of games, but they're no substitute for a mouse and keyboard or your garden-variety gamepad.

Consequently, in most iPhone-size FPS games, you're battling the controls at the same time you're battling demons. That's a war I don't care to wage.

In Doom Resurrection, however, you get to focus on aiming, reloading, and killing--all with a familiar arsenal of weapons (including the beloved BFG). While longtime Doom fans may feel a bit cheated by the rail system, the gameplay ultimately benefits from it.

In fact, Resurrection accomplishes its goal of feeling like a game that was built for the iPhone, not shoehorned into it. Whether or not that justifies the $9.99 price tag is up to you, but I think fans of either the genre or the seminal series will be pleased.