The Drowning is a first-person shooter for iOS that promises the end of the world will be a beautiful thing.

The setup for The Drowning is utterly intriguing. On New Year’s Dead of 2011, 3000 dead blackbirds fell from the sky over Beebe, Arkansas. Nobody knew why, but before long it started happening all around the world.  Some people believed it was the first sign of the end of the world, but they were dismissed as cranks-until the end of the world came. Now, ten years later, you’re a survivor in a broken world, scavenging supplies and fighting off hordes of horrific creatures.

Based on the announcement trailer and pre-release screenshots, The Drowning looks absolutely fantastic, with graphics comparable to mainstream console shooters. It will eliminate the frustrating virtual thumbsticks that are so commonly used to control touchscreen FPSes; instead, you’ll tap the screen to move and shoot, swipe to look and pinch to zoom in on targets and other areas of interest. Special parts you find can be crafted into unique and powerful weapons that can be upgraded as the game progresses to give you better odds of staying alive.

And you won’t have to face the horror alone: There’s no indication as to how it will work, but the developer says that players can cooperate to take down more powerful enemies, even if they’re not actually playing together at the same time.

The Drowning

The Drowning is being developed by Scattered Entertainment, a new DeNA-owned studio headed by Ben Cousins, who has previously worked on games like Battlefield Play4Free, Battlefield Heroes and Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, and it would seem that the studio is taking the job very seriously. Between dodgy controls and tiny screens, I’ve never been much of a fan of shooters on mobile devices, but if The Drowning lives up to its promise that could change very quickly.

The Drowning will be free-to-play, and is scheduled to come out for the iPhone and iPad in early 2013.