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Modern Combat 5: Blackout Review

By , on July 24, 2014
Last modified 4 years, 5 months ago

Modern Combat 5
  • Publisher: Gameloft
  • Genre: Action
  • Released: 24 Jul, 2014
  • Size: 1.3 GB
  • Price: FREE!
Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5


  • Rarely a dull moment
  • Violence is explosive and satisfying
  • Shared XP pool means every multiplayer scuffle counts


  • Controls still a compromise
  • More of the same with no real innovation
  • Always online requirement is a pain


Even with the control issues, DRM nonsense, and lack of real innovation, Modern Combat 5 is probably the best example of the genre on mobile. The fun may be loud and dumb, but fans will doubtless fall victim to its explosive charms.

  • Full Review
  • App Store Info

Modern Combat 5: Blackout is an orgy of simulated violence - short bursts of brutal, amoral slaying set to a soundtrack of bombastic Zimmer-esque strings and the metallic trill of shell casings on concrete.

Like it's predecessor Zero Hour, it throws set piece after set piece at you, switching between urban shootouts, gunship massacres, sniper challenges, and aquatic escapes with the excitement of an impatient child opening Christmas presents.

The controls are the familiar mixed bag of accommodation and compromise. Though the continuing refinement of the virtual stick system over the course of the Modern Combat series can be felt, it's still easy to accidentally open fire or cook a grenade when you simply meant to turn your head. However, bringing up the iron sights to zero in for headshots not only nets you double XP it is reliably satisfying, rewarding your accuracy with arterial sprays and slumping ragdolls.

This time around, the six-chapter story campaign has been padded by spec-ops missions - micro challenges involving breaching rooms or deleting a single target, all of which of which must be completed before advancing to the next location on the map. The necessity to jump through these incidental hoops before moving to a new city extends the game's running time, but does interrupt the flow of the single-player experience.

The other interruption comes in the form of the game's always-online stipulation. Even playing in a location with a strong wifi connection, you may find your gunplay put on hiatus now and then because you've lost contact with Gameloft's servers, something which becomes an even greater problem if you're playing on the move.

Multiplayer returns with a healthy selection of decently-sized maps and modes, including team battles, capture the flag, and classic free-for-all. Party play for up to 5 friends is supported, and with experience points carrying over into the single-player campaign there's even more incentive to get stuck in.

Though Gameloft keeps the action moving at a breakneck pace, with chapters now divided into even smaller sub-missions, you can't escape the fact that we've all been here numerous times before. While the set pieces are more bombastic than ever, Modern Combat 5 is trudging up a well-worn path flanked by familiar sights. The obligatory helicopter sections and boat chases are reliably ticked off the checklist, the game echoing countless other military shooters without really adding its own voice.

However, even with the control issues, DRM nonsense, and lack of real innovation, Modern Combat 5 is probably the best example of the genre on mobile. The fun may be loud and dumb, but fans will doubtless fall victim to its explosive charms.



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TheAspieFox 4 years, 5 months ago

If they could figure out a way to bring the online-always feature off and make it so the campaign/spec-ops can be done offline, then I'd consider buying this.

As it is, I'm not inclined predominantly because of the need to be online at all times. ;-;

smc02 4 years, 5 months ago

I agree completely, I should not have to be online to play single player campaign mode.