Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation Review
- Action-packed FPS gameplay; not so much tactical as it is gung-ho.
- 13 missions over a diverse range of areas; adds much needed variety.
- 12 player online multiplayer; seven game modes, matchmaking system and ranking/achievements for item/skill unlocking.
- Gorgeous graphics; great performance on fourth gen onwards with beautiful environments.
- Controls will need tweaking to suit your style of play; larger hands at a disadvantage.
- Ultimately a rehash of the previous title.
- Too many bland combat scenarios in the campaign.
While Modern Combat 3 doesn't feel anywhere near as revolutionary as the previous title, it still manages to up the ante with an exciting campaign and online multiplayer that's compelling enough to keep coming back for more.
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If I could digress for a moment before stepping in to this review, there are times at which I wonder if parroting what already exists on larger consoles is really the way forward for iOS. While I agree that in many cases we'd otherwise not see games like this on an iDevice, at times it's hard not to feel like being a hyena tearing at the shreds of a carcass. In this way a game can feel disappointing even despite being, relatively speaking, amazing for the platform it's on.
With that said, Gameloft's latest release, Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation is one of the best FPS experiences I've had in quite some time and the only thing keeping me from loving it even more is that it feels more like a re-run of my favorite TV show instead of a brand-spanking new one.
Jumping straight in to the campaign, the first thing that hits you is the gorgeous presentation. While far from the best that the iPhone has to offer, Gameloft's in-house 3D engine still manages to pull double-time by providing sharp, clear environments; smooth character animations; and plenty of cinematic effects to add depth to the experience.
Where the campaign really falls short of the mark is in the use of cheap scenarios involving enemies that simply spring out of thin-air to walk in to the line of fire. This removes a lot of the sense of strategy by turning the game in to a giant action blockbuster. The campaign does at least manage to score points for its variety of missions, with each of the 13 stages whisking you around the world to perform various roles (or survive against hideous odds).
In a bid to provide a smoother experience, players will earn 'tokens' for their efforts which can then be spent on temporary assistance within your current mission. In App Purchasing can provide more tokens, but they're far from necessary and are a neat aside for those having trouble with the game.
Assisting players through the campaign are the controls, with three basic schemes being available along with customization options. It seems that the gyroscope controls have made a return and still remain as gimmicky as ever, but worth trying if only to see if it works for you. Various options including Aim Assist can be toggled on or off, though it's worth keeping these on if only showcase the way in which a detailed shooter can work just as well on a relatively smaller device.
But of course, the real hero of the Modern Combat series is its multiplayer. Whatever weaknesses exist in the campaign are quickly expunged and replaced by the frantic pace of Fallen Nation's online gameplay. Those familiar with the Modern Combat series (and by corollary, the recent Call of Duty titles), will recognize the ranking system that limits your access to items in the armory until you've earned enough experience through gameplay.
Separate multiplayer tokens are also earned in matches and can be spent on unlocking additional items, though while these can also be purchased via In App Purchases, it's not hard to earn your tokens via direct combat (and honestly, it's far more fun that way).
While it may not seem like much, the addition of two more players in each map (rounding up the figure to 12 players total) helps to keep the action flowing faster than ever. Be it straight Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag or any of the other five game modes set in the six currently available maps, it won't take long to fill up your server with players ready to blow each other up.
All statistics including your level progression and items unlocked are tied to your Gameloft account, which means you can take the fight to any iOS device armed with Modern Combat 3. Unfortunately the servers seem to be glitching quite badly and it's possible to lose your progress (if you can even connect to the servers at this time).
Ultimately the choice to pick up Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation will rest on whether you're after a compelling single-player campaign or an exciting online multiplayer experience. For the former you're in for a game that follows a well-worn path with no real surprises and more than a few short-cuts including suicidal AI and gruff over-acted voices; it's par for the course, but there are enough action moments to keep you jumping from mission to mission. As for the latter, if you have always wanted a solid multiplayer shooter then this is the one you'll want to keep coming back to thanks to its buzzing scene and incentivized ranking system.
Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation may not be a step forward for shooters in general, but it's still the best on offer on the App Store and an easy must have for all action gamers.
DescriptionWhen war hits home, abandon all fear.
**IGN: “Modern Combat 3 is the best FPS on mobile devices, especially if you're a multiplayer-minded gamer.”
The best, most realistic smartphone FPS series returns with even higher intensity and an apocalyptic battle for the freedom of the United States, for one or more players.
BE THE HERO OF AN EXPLOSIVE SOLO CAMPAIGN
• Fight through a 13-mission campaign from Los Angeles to Pakistan.
• Witness multiple memorable moments thanks to AAA scenario-scripting.
• Experience different types of gameplay: escort, destroy, helicopter, 4x4 chase…
LIVE THE MOST IMMERSIVE REAL WAR EXPERIENCE
• The deepest and most intuitive FPS gameplay on smartphones improved once again, now with a sprint and slide feature.
• Gaze-upon next-gen GFX that allow for an unprecedented rendering of environments.
• Improved SFX and voice acting will immerse you in an apocalyptic scenario.
ENJOY WHAT IS SIMPLY THE BEST MULTIPLAYER ON SMARTPHONES
• Enter battles for up to 12 players in 6 exclusive maps and 7 different modes.
• Use your customized weapons to move up an addictive leaderboard with more than just ranks.
PLAYS WITH DUO GAMER
Play with Duo Gamer, the app-supported game controller for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch! Get ready to take gaming control to another level with Duo Gamer’s two analog joysticks, d-pad, four buttons, and two triggers! (Go to www.duo-games.com/duogamer for more info and availability).
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What's New in Version 1.4.0- Security fix to kick speed hackers
- Play with Duo Gamer, the app-supported game controller for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch! (Go to www.duo-games.com/duogamer for more info and availability).