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Doom Classic

For: iPhone

Raising Hell

Product: Doom Classic | Developer: id Software | Format: iPhone | Genre: Retro, Shooter | Players: 1 | Networking: wireless (adhoc) | Version: US | App version: 1.0
Doom Classic iPhone, thumbnail 1
No amount of debate could convince a sceptic of the existence of Hell, just as it couldn't alter a true believer's resolute faith.

Doom Classic fortifies such partisanship by delivering a superb port of the definitive first-person shooter complete with an array of control options. Faithful followers are unlikely to be deterred, however, by the absence of a couple features that makes it less attractive to anyone not as devout.

It's kill or be killed in Doom Classic. As a Marine stationed at the Union Aerospace Corporation's Martian outpost, you're the lone survivor following the opening of a portal to Satan's domain. With all manner of monsters and hellish creatures flooding the facility, it's a fight for survival.

Escaping the base is done via touch controls, of which you're given three configurable options. The default ranks among the worst of the three, tying movement and the camera together in a single D-pad. Unsurprisingly, it's a clunky solution that feels particularly unnatural given the game's PC roots.

There's an alternative option that places a wheel for controlling the camera opposite the D-pad. Bizarrely, it functions just like a steering wheel: rotating, not sliding, adjusts the camera left and right. It's a nightmarish setup that frankly doesn't even deserve inclusion.

That leaves the preferred D-pad and horizontal analogue stick scheme. With this setup, you're given an analogue stick with which to control the camera left and right. While it may seem odd that you can't look up or down, it's a feature (or lack thereof) held over from the original release.

Of greater concern is the omission of sensitivity settings in the options menu. The default rate of movement is unnecessarily fast. After a few missions you learn to adjust, but there's no reason to have left out the option to reduce the rate of movement and sensitivity of the camera stick.

The ability to configure the head-up display and move the D-pad, analogue stick, and 'fire' button around is welcome. A double-tap to fire option would be nice, though the freedom to reposition the 'fire' button is an acceptable consolation.

Short levels make Doom Classic an ideal portable game since it takes mere minutes - sometimes less - to complete a mission. In fact, each level comes with a par time that you're encouraged to beat by racing through, killing enemies, flipping switches, and finding the exit as fast as your can.

A quartet of difficulty modes cater to noobs and hardcore gamers alike, each gradually increasing the challenges across the game's 36 missions, all of which are unlocked from the get-go. Once you get a handle on the controls, there's some good, fast action to be had. It comes as no surprise given the iconic weaponry and enemies that have shaped shooters ever since that humble PC release.

Three friends can join in on the action thanks to support for local wi-fi multiplayer. The App Store listing misleads by stating that the game features "wireless Internet" multiplayer, but only local wi-fi competitive deathmatch rounds and cooperative missions are offered. Both are great, even if we'd like to see id make good on their claim of wireless Internet play.

Nevertheless, this is a game that remains playable more than a decade later, its go-to-Hell gameplay still shaping the genre it helped create. Without online play and a bigger suite of control options, Doom Classic isn't a convincing enough re-release to sway anyone who doesn't know its history.
Doom Classic
Reviewer photo
Tracy Erickson | 1 November 2009
A competent, though not a convincing enough re-release without online multiplayer and a wider slate of control options to bring a new generation into the flock of Doom faithful
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