Doom Resurrection – not the Doom you remember and that’s not a bad thing

Posted: June 30, 2009 in Shooter

I spent the better part of the afternoon avoiding the Doom Resurrection thread because quite honestly I wanted to experience the game for myself without any preconceptions. After the past few hours of playing Hello Kitty Parachute Paradise and Doom Resurrection, I can say that I’ve had a well-balanced evening of playing video games that went from one extreme to the other. When it comes to the Doom Resurrection, one thing is clear—this is not the FPS (first person shooter) I grew up with. In fact, this game significantly exceeds my expectations for an on-rails experience on the platform…hands down. The top-notch animation and adrenaline-rush sound effects combine to create a heart-pumping immersive experience.

For those new to this…with the rails approach, the game follows a pre-determined script meaning you won’t have free movement to walk around. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have any issues with on-rail games, but the bread and butter of Doom has always been that of an FPS. But it only took me a few minutes to realize that this is one terrific game rails be damned. Doe rails take away from the game? Surprisingly, not for one reason: the game does a tremendous job of keeping a continuous flow action coming at you.

The graphics and animation are just done perfectly and run lag free on my iPod Touch 2g. When you’re walking through the passages of station, the sense of dread is all around you, and if a game can do that for me, then it’s already halfway to succeeding. The storyline follows the standard Doom manifest involving the Union Aerospace Corporation, experiments gone bad, and Hell actually freezing over. Well, maybe not freezing over, but the door’s open which is just as bad.

Doom Resurrection has two modes: Story Mode and Free Mode. Story Mode has 8 levels that take you throughout the zombie-filled, Hell-bound station. Throughout the game, cut dialogue scenes provide more of the storyline as well as highlighting objectives for the next level. At the end of the each level, a grade or rank is provided ranging from A-F (A being the highest) based on shooting accuracy, item pick-ups and health. Free Mode allows you to play any level that is unlocked in Story Mode. The game also has 4 levels of difficulty: Recruit, Marine, Veteran and Nightmare. For those a little wet behind the ears, feel free to start out at Recruit, but Veteran is when things get challengingly fun and smackdown delicious.

The game will autocalibrate or can be manually set based on personal preferences, and the controls can also be inverted. Maneuvering in Doom Resurrection primarily consists of tilting to aim with the crosshair. If you can do that, then you can play this game. There are a number of game screen controls which all work great:

Weapons—upper left corner (tap to switch)
Reload—upper right corner
Fire—bottom right corner
Health number—bottom center
Ammo/Total Ammo—top center
Dodge/Cover—bottom left corner

In addition, Sam the sentry bot is along for the ride, and while a bit sensitive, he comes in handy for opening doors and providing alerts when a hellish monster is inching up right behind you. Also, be aware of various spinning and glowing items that can be picked up including ammo, heath and most importantly weapons. By default, the assault rifle has infinite ammo, but other weapons such as shotguns and laser rifles have limited ammo. The issue for me which happened several times involved picking up items located in the corner of my screen where I would inadvertently hit an action button (e.g. fire button). It’s an inherent and expected issue with an on-rails approach because of both the limited and pre-determined movement.

Doom Resurrection is all about the zombies and hellish creatures, and you’ll come across a fair share of mutants with their own unique attributes. These include:

– Typical zombie—I call him typical
– Fat zombies—will attempt to grab and munch (shake the device to get them off)
– Commando Zombies—shoot weapons (cover button is useful to avoid getting shot)
– Hell Knights and ArcViles (resemble the metal liquid Terminator in Terminator 2 and will throw fireballs; use Dodge to get out of the way)
– Maggots (quick attacking swarm)

I’ll reiterate a previous point: it’s the constant barrage and variety of enemies that enables the on-rails approach to work so well in Doom Resurrection. Graphically, nothing beats blowing away some of these zombies especially with the shotgun. The images are vivid, and stunningly presented throughout.

The remaining issue that needs bringing up to round out this review is the replay value. The game on each of difficulty levels will easily last a few hours, but once you’re done with it, there won’t be much reason to come back to this. The Free Mode play addresses part of the replay value, but in terms of depth, Doom Resurrection is certainly not the deepest at the current price point.

Bottom line is that I’m not here to change anyone’s mind about rail shooters. If you don’t like them, nothing I say will change your mind. However, if you’re looking for a top-notch shooter and on-rails isn’t an overriding concern, then Doom Resurrection is a solid choice.

Albie Meter: 4 Stars (one of the best rail shooters out there; while this and the price may turn off some, other will find it worth the risk when it comes to entertaining and graphically strong gameplay)


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