Monday, November 28, 2011

Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation Review for iPad/iPhone

We review Gameloft's edition of the record-hit, Modern Warfare 3. We see if the iPad/iPhone app can possibly pose a challenge to FPS console developers.

In case you hadn’t noticed, Activision has already released the record-breaking First-Person Shooter hit, MW3. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 has already smashed sales records and made millions for its publisher, redefining the term blockbuster along the way.
Entirely by coincidence but probably not, Gameloft has recently released the third game in its gritty first-person shooter (FPS) series, Modern Combat 3. Accusations of the company shamelessly cashing in are likely to fall on deaf ears, as Gameloft has a history of aping existing games with its own creations. However, what cannot be ignored is that this latest release pretty much puts all previous mobile FPS games to shame.

Fallen Nation had thousands (For a mobile app, that's a lot) of players waiting for the new release since Modern Combat 2. Now with Fallen Nation, players even suggest they'll pay $20 for the game.

Taking a leaf not only out of Call of Duty’s book, but also the recent home console shooter Homefront and Battlefield 3 as well, Modern Combat 3 presents a grim vision of the future. An alliance between rebellious factions in Russia, Pakistan and Korean has created a terrorist force so powerful that it has managed to invade North America and plant nuclear weapons in several major cities.
It falls to the player to try and curb this threat, and the game sends you on an almost suicidal mission to prevent the certain destruction of your beloved homeland.

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The controls in Modern Combat 3 will be instantly familiar to anyone who has played one of Gameloft’s other FPS releases on the iPhone. The left-hand side of the screen controls your movement while the right-hand side is in charge of your aim. Virtual buttons on the right side work as the fire, grenade, and Aim Down the Sight keys. The left side has sprint and changing body positions (crouch and stand). This setup mimics the twin-stick control arrangement that is present in most console shooters, and it works well enough. If you don't like it, hit the settings and customize where the buttons are to your liking.
We have to admit that we are eagerly awaiting the Xperia Play port of this game - physical controls really enriched Modern Combat 2. It will allow to see the screen better, so you're not blocking the way with your fingers (for iPhone users. iPad users, you're fine.)

The Modern Combat series is famed for its incredible graphics, even though MC2 was only available for iPhone 3 in it's release. This third iteration of the franchise is well and truly jaw-dropping. The graphics are outstanding, superior to any mobile gaming device and even some PC games. The opening sequence features a helicopter fly-by over a battle-ravaged city and it looks so good that you could almost believe you were watching a 360 or PS3 game in motion. That may sound like a massive exaggeration, but it really isn’t.
Once the stunning impact of those visuals has washed over you, what follows is a slightly more formulaic FPS romp through several varied locations. Like so many titles of this ilk, the game progresses via pockets of action.
This rapid-fire succession of set-pieces maintains the excitement, but if you attempt to stray from the pre-determined path the developers have set for you, you’ll either find your way blocked or you’ll expose the linear nature of the gameplay.
Like we said, this kind of issue afflicts pretty much every FPS title you could mention - including many on home consoles. It’s disappointing that there’s so little freedom afforded to the player, but the upshot is that the tight level design allows the tension level to be kept red-hot.

Just look at the scenery. It's gorgeous!
The single player section of the game will keep you entertained for several hours and once you’ve finished it, there’s always the challenge of playing again on a tougher difficulty setting (Easy, Normal, Hard, and Hardest).
However, the real longevity lies in the online multiplayer mode, which has become even more robust since Modern Combat 2. You can literally lose yourself for weeks in this mode, thanks to a good selection of modes (Capture The Flag, Destruction, Team Battle, Battle, and Zone Control) and the ability to earn experience for every kill, headshot, kill assist, capture etc. 
Modern Combat 3 is unquestionably an improvement over its predecessor. There is not such a great selection of FPS games released for mobile gaming, making MC3:FN the best mobile FPS yet released. While it suffers from the rare hiccup, you simply cannot grumble with the quality of what is on offer here. The visuals are stupendous, the action is well-paced, the sound is cinematic (even without headphones) and the multiplayer is highly addictive.
The bar has been raised once again. One has to wonder just how much better looking iOS games can possibly get. Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation for iPad/iPhone receives a
Graphics: 5.0/5.0 - The graphics are superior to almost anything in the mobile gaming industry. You have to wonder how great these designers are for bringing small-time console graphics to the iPad.
Sound: 4.25/5.0 - I admit it. The sound quality is superb, amazing, down-right pure POUND TO THE EAR! Gunfire sounds are of nice quality, as well as human movement. But frequent phrases in multi-player mode lead to a repeating annoyance and block in your enjoyment. However, these phrases and sayings during the game do not affect the gameplay significantly. Just pointing it out.
Gameplay: 5.0/5.0 - The gameplay is just the best offered for mobile gamers (especially for iPad owners). The game is much like the Modern Warfare series in itself, with Call of Duty killstreaks and whatnot. However, the feel is not completely Modern Warfare. You don't necessarily run-and-gun all the time, and there's always different ways to defeat the enemy team.
Replay Value: 4.5/5.0 - The campaign of this game is highly playable by a lot of standards. Because of the 4 difficulty levels, the game offers more variety to each type of player, depending on your FPS skills. The game's solo mode itself is not completely running around killing enemy AI. You're going to experience riding a helicopter, firing missiles at your enemies to protect your ally troops. You're going to ride a truck and fire a machine-gun. You're going to use turrets, rocket launchers, and a variety of other cool weapons. It's one heck of a ride, and don't forget that we're talking about an iPad game, not a console game or PC game. The multi-player is extremely addictive and fun. It will definitely keep you in the game for a long time.
Recommended. For $6.99, you can't get a more quality action game than MC3. It's top class, pure graphics, and superb multi-player make it a serious FPS game. The pricetag, which shouldn't be your first concern, is definitely not that high, considering people will pay $20 for Minecraft or even $59.99 for a console game. We suggest you snatch it up and get in.

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