id Software, the outfit which pretty much invented the first-person shooter with the ground-breaking Doom way back in 1993, has once again shown the gaming industry where it should be heading with a release of Rage HD for Apple's mobile devices.
Named Mutant Bash TV, the plot isn't going to win any awards for sure, being a bog-standard, mutant-shooting fest this time set in a post-apocalyptic gameshow, hence the mutant, bash an TV of the title.
But the game has such gorgeous graphics, visceral sound (plug in the headphones or hook it up to your sound system... it's well worth the effort) and well-balanced gameplay that we can forgive the lack of a sensible story arc.
Naysayers will also bemoan the game's lack of a free-roaming environment, as the carnage rolls very much on rails, but there's so much happening here you'll be glad in the end that you don't get the opportunity to get lost.
It's all standard FPS fare with selectable weapons: shotguns great up close but slow to load, rifles great at a distance but hard to get headshots at short range, and pistols with unlimited ammo but puny at all ranges.
Ammo, health bonuses and cash can be grabbed whenever your cursor turns green, and you can dodge missiles or sprint using one of the four on-screen controls.
Talking of controls, you can use your right thumb to aim, or the accelerometers to tilt your crosshairs towards your target's slobbering face, and both work equally well.
This is without a shadow of a doubt the best-looking entertainment title on the iPhone, and possibly on any handheld with the superb Retina Display being pushed to its limits.
It'll work on an iPhone 3Gs, iPhone 4, third or fourth generation iPod Touch and any iPad, and requires iOS3.1 or later.
The game weighs in at a whopping 743MB and is only three levels long, as opposed to the usual marathons id serves up on a PC. Nevertheless, we reckon it'll be the best £1.19 you'll spend this year
You can download if from iTunes here.
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