The gameplay itself is familiar, yet different. Movement is controlled by the central joystick on most phones, with turn right / left, move forward / back assigned. As you can see from the screenshots, the Map is, er, mapped to one of the main phone buttons. You will be needing this, since the levels are pretty sprawled. The select button on your phone acts as the action key, which is context sensitive. Possible actions include talking to a character, opening a door, or firing a weapon.
How does the first five minutes play, for example? Well, you're in a room full of scientists. Walking up to one and pressing the action button launches you into a dialogue, where the scientist suggests that you should fight your way through some bizarre creatures to get to an exit to call for help. You walk around the room and pick up a couple of upgrades (the familiar blue health vials and ammo clips) before walking to the only door in the room and hitting they action key to go through it.
The next few rooms have multiple exits, and you'll want to go through them, identifying how they sit on the mini-map and working out which are dead ends and which will take you places. Dead ends often have things in them: a computer than you can use to get more information, or some extra equipment. Eventually you'll pick up a fire extinguisher, and you can use that to douse flames in the following rooms, allowing you to get to other areas. You'll find an axe subsequently, which you can use to chop down damaged doors.
You'll soon find yourself in your first combat, with Hellhounds. Spotted from across the room, a fire of the pistol will do some damage, but also provoke the hound into leaping towards you. You might have room to get another shot off before the first damage is dealt to you up close. However, the third shot - which you can take after the Hellhounds attack, switching weapons if you need to - should be enough to dispatch him.
Combat is tactical, as you might expect from something turn-based. Choosing which weapon to attack with, and which enemy in a room to attack first, can be critical for success. If you have a Hellhound that is in range to attack you but won't do much damage, or an imp that can shoot powerful fireballs from miles away but will take longer to kill, which do you go for? How do you conserve ammo? Sometimes, running and regrouping might be the best option. But then, that's hardly Doom, is it?
Wandering around, you'll come across keycards to be picked up and used in the familiar style, as well as more scientists to help you out. You'll solve a couple of basic puzzles, and 25 minutes of intelligent gameplay later, you'll find yourself at the exit to the level, ready to progress on.
Bloody Fun Game, Blinkin' Fast Graphics...
So we come to the question - is it any good? Absolutely, it's fantastic. As far as mobile gaming goes, it's a completely new experience. It really is a game that you can whip out for 5 minutes on the tube or bus, and make a bit of progression. It's also the kind of game you can sit down and play for an hour, if you get into it. id Software suggest that there's 8 hours of gameplay there, and I wouldn't disagree with that. It can feel like more, because you can get so utterly engrossed in mapping the level, collecting the bonuses, etc.
The graphics and the gameplay are smooth, with no hint of slowdown. The physical interface, and the turn-based combat, are strokes of genius, and they really allow Doom to translate well to the mobile arena. What id have succeeded in doing is to create a mobile phone game that hardcore PC gamers should want to play. Considering the download is just £5 here in the UK, or as little as $2 in the US, I'd suggest every bit-tech
reader goes and grabs this. £5 for 8 hours of sweet gameplay is great value, especially compared to £30 for the 4 hours of gameplay I got before Doom 3 bored the pants off me.
In terms of its market importance, it's playability and its damn awesomeness
, we'd definitely say that this is one of the best games Carmack has ever created.
Head over to the Jamdat website for more details of how you can purchase Doom RPG.