What's the most you would spend on a game for your iPhone? Not a port, mind you, but a brand new game based on a classic franchise, developed specifically with the iPhone's control system in mind -- $5? $7? How about $10? Try as I might, while playing id Software's latest Doom iteration -- Doom Resurrection -- it was near impossible to shake the uneasy feeling that $10 is just a bit too much money for the experience.
Truth be told, the game is "big" -- Doom Resurrection could easily be ported to gaming-specific handhelds -- though it weighs in under 100 MB. The problem with the scope of the game, however, is the resultant long load times and an occasionally choppy framerate -- the length of time it takes to jump into the game make it something I don't want to play on my way here or there (full disclosure: I'm using an iPhone 3G and it may run significantly better on the 3GS).
Which isn't to say my experience with DR was a bad one, per se, just one that I wouldn't necessarily take with me on the go. I spent the lion's share of my time with the game sitting on my couch, able to sit through loading screens, away from the sun's glare -- a necessity given the dark, gloomy environments of DR. It was clear early on that the game isn't intended for the morning commute.
When I finally got into the game, however, I was quickly greeted with a variety of UI customization, a load of recognizable, classic Doom weapons, impressive graphics (taken from Doom 3 mostly), and a decent, though predictable, story. The game is an on-rails shooter with a motion-sensitive control system -- one that works surprisingly well. Unlike other id Software releases on the handheld (Wolfenstein 3D Classic and the upcoming Doom Classic), player-controlled movement has been removed in favor of streamlined gameplay.
And, most of the time, the system works. An option menu allows for quick recalibration of your shooting reticle -- something I found myself doing more often than I'd have liked -- and a slight brightness adjustment. Escalation Studios (the game's developer) even threw a dodge/cover button into the HUD for use in certain firefights, helping to mix up the gameplay from enemy to enemy.
Unfortunately, like other iPhone games that require screen tilting, I often found myself contorting my head to see what was happening on the screen, desperately trying to avoid screen glare that would get me killed. Thankfully the game's difficulty is forgiving enough that I never felt "cheated" or not in control.
Can I suggest you immediately drop $10 on the first classic id Software resurrection to hit your iPhone, without a demo to check out first? Not really, no. Wait for a weekend deal -- you could spend $5 in a lot worse ways.
Doom Resurrection ($9.99, id Software.):