Gaming has come to a certain level of mystery, having so little graphical hindrance that one can only dream of the possibilities. The sky, or rather the universe, is the limit for the game developers today. Activision‘s Call of Duty and Bungie‘s Halo are a couple of the most popular console first person shooters. Most of us can remember at least one “Halo party” or the like, and it would almost seem silly for anything like these infamous titles to come to the iPhone and become a socially interactive gaming experience. However, this fantasy has become reality predominantly by the hands of ngmoco and Gameloft.
The first genuine attempts of a first person shooter on the iPhone included the porting of Cube and Doom by developers fernlighting and Zodttd accordingly. Cube is available on the App Store, and Zodttd’s Doom is available on Cydia and Rock App, though idSoftware has Doom classic on the App Store. Many of these games have brought on a yawn because, quite honestly, they cannot compare with even a cheap first person shooter on Gamecube or N64. However, when the big gaming companies joined the iPhone world everything changed.
Eliminate Pro: FREE
Eliminate Pro, developed by ngmoco, was the first to really convince iPhone users of the iPhone’s gaming capabilities. The idea of this game is that Arsenal Megacorp is employing you, along with various other lucky test-dummies, to test the quality of safety and battle equipment. Its combination of buying gear and leveling up via online battles creates a community of update-anxious iPhone gamers, pleading for more maps and weapons. The Eliminate Pro experience has needed much improvement since its release in late October of 2009, but ngmoco has increased the already superb game by adding several maps, weapons, and armors.
ngmoco is in the process of releasing a CO-OP mode in Eliminate, playable with one or two players. CO-OP mode will entail destroying “drones” and earning credits and experience in a similar way to deathmatch mode. Whenever Eliminate needs a minor update, it will make an in-app download of the update! Also, ngmoco has been considerate of iPod touch users, making a “bot” mode that can be played offline. Not to mention Eliminate also has a nifty “Where to Find” (WTF) button if you’re having trouble figuring things out. All in all, Eliminate Pro by ngmoco would be a great first person shooter to spice up your device. The best part about it is that you can download it today on the App Store for free!
Gameloft has taken an outstanding approach to the iPhone as far as first person shooter gaming goes. N.O.V.A. resembles Halo in so many ways that its hard to believe the graphics. Basically you’re a retired marine that gets forced by the Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance to stop an alien infestation. You encounter ancient beings and certain mysterious elements that almost emulate the Halo series. In N.O.V.A. you can enjoy the campaign or multiplayer.
The campaign consists of checkpoints and sections with witty titles such as “[un]Happy to Help”, and includes the typical weaponry such as a handgun and machine gun. Near the beginning you find yourself on a space station, reminding me yet again of the Halo experience. Multiplayer can be played locally with WiFi, or playing online with WiFi, EDGE or 3G. The maps are formatted specially for multiplayer, with conveniently placed man-cannons and ammo. N.O.V.A. is so much alike to Halo that I, being a Halo fanboy myself, could not imagine why anyone wouldn’t dish out the $6.99 to get this sensational title.
There is no doubt in my mind that the iPhone can be considered a legitimate gaming console. Eliminate Pro and N.O.V.A. seem to make this obvious, but if you’re not convinced, check out Call of Duty: World at War: Zombies and Brothers in Arms 2: Global Front on the App Store. First person shooters are only a small portion of the iPhone games out there, and sometimes I find myself laughing at all the iPhone competitors for not simultaneously having a phone and a gaming console in the palm of their hand. Happy shooting!