Modern Combat 5: Blackout Review
- 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.
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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.
Description*IMPORTANT* Modern Combat 5 requires an iPad 2 (or newer), iPhone 4s (or newer), or iPod touch 5th Generation. An Internet connection is required to play.
> “It plays as good as it looks.” – IGN
> “Amps everything up to the next level.” – 148Apps
> “Sharp controls, impressive graphics.” – Pocket Gamer
Step into the action as the latest installment in the best FPS series raises the bar for shooters once more! Create a squad, add your friends and test your individual and team skills against other squads!
Is single player your thing? Then step into a world on the brink of anarchy and shoot your way out of one dire situation after another to expose a lunatic who’s trying to tear the world to shreds.
CHOOSE YOUR FAVORITE CLASS
> 4 customizable classes that you can level up across single- and multiplayer
> Find the play style the suits you: Assault, Heavy, Recon, or Sniper
> Activate class-specific skills by earning and spending Skill Points
> Epic team clashes in Squad vs. Squad matches
> Talk to other players in Global and Squad Chat
> Individual and Squad leaderboards
> Win cool rewards in the limited-time events
> Accumulate XP and level up by playing both single-player missions and multiplayer matches
> Unlock higher-tier weapons by mastering lower-tier ones
> Customize the perfect weapon using a host of attachments
INTENSE SOLO CAMPAIGN
> Fast-paced story missions with various challenges taking you from Tokyo to Venice
> Play the new Spec-Ops missions for a real adrenaline rush
> Flawless graphics, music and voice performances with seamlessly integrated cutscenes
HIGHLY CUSTOMIZABLE CONTROLS
> Intuitive, highly customizable controls so you can play just the way you want
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What's New in Version 1.0.3Get ready to dive into a next-generation shooter experience with the Metal update! It's time to feast your eyes on the awesome new effects that use up to 5 times more particles!
- Denser explosions and RPG rocket trails
- Awesome impact particles for intense gunfights
- Richer environments and weather effects
- Improved heat haze and god rays
The Metal effects are enabled on iPhone 5s, iPad Air, iPad mini with Retina display, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. iOS 8 is required. Please note that app resources have been improved and the game will require re-downloading the DLC packs.