Call of Duty: Mobile Review – An FPS Classic Perfected on Mobile Devices

    Title: Call of Duty: Mobile
    Developer: Tencent
    Release Date: October 1, 2019
    Reviewed On: iOS
    Publisher: Activision
    Genre: FPS

Those crazy kids at Activision actually did it. I never thought I’d sit here and say there’s a perfect FPS available for mobile devices, but Call of Duty: Mobile did it. A staple in the FPS genre for years is genuinely accessible to play for basically everyone now. After all the shortcomings you’ve probably heard about this franchise, it’s time to give it another look on a smaller screen. Visually, it’s almost a perfect copy of the intense action from the console and PC condensed into your phone, which I love. And all this is coming from a guy who’s personally hated Call of Duty for years.

Call of Duty: Mobile follows the route of Call of Duty Black Ops IV with a multiplayer-only format on iPhone and Android devices. As of now, there are only the traditional game modes of Team Deathmatch, Domination, and Search and Destroy. You get to play from a variety of past Call of Duty maps, so console and PC veterans should feel right at home in each match. There’s also a battle royale mode which we’ll get in to later. You only have access to a couple of guns and locked slots for weapon attachments, perks, grenades, and a special “ultimate weapon” for your loadout. Those slots can be unlocked as you level up. As a F2P game, you can, of course, pay for higher quality guns with your real money right away.

Here’s the exciting thing about it. I’ve been able to win quite a few matches with some of the starting rifles like the M4 over someone who paid a couple of bucks to unlock a better gun right away – and it’s because I had better aim and game awareness compared to my opponents. If you can get used to the “twitch” shooting motion of play on your phone, you can come out on top of a lot of gunfights. Whales (an industry term for people who’ll pay hundreds of dollars on F2P games) aren’t a massive deal if they don’t know how to aim and react quickly, taking away the “pay to win” issues some people might have had. However, when you’re first starting, it seems like there are quite a few games where most players are bots. So if you’re destroying other teams with 20+ kills, it’s expected. The bots start to die down once you get to around level 20, though, which comes pretty quickly. There’s also a ranked mode to test your skills against other opponents.

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After each match, players will be rewarded with experience points for their overall character, weapon experience cards to quickly level up your gun, among other rewards. Just like past Call of Duty games, you’ll be showered with bonuses every time you play, so there’s always a good sense of progression. There’s also a battle pass available for purchase for other cool things like sprays, emotes, and in-game currency, but it’s honestly not necessary. There’s a free version of the battle pass already accessible to players to at least give you some rewards, so that’s always nice.

The battle royale mode is surprisingly fun and fleshed out. You can go in solo, duo, or in a squad of 4 to drop into the map “Isolated.” It’s oddly similar to the layout of “Blackout,” the battle royale map for Call of Duty: Black Ops IV, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. I’ll even go as far as saying Isolated is a much better map than Blackout as far as aesthetics go, and the way each area of the map is set out. There’s a right mix of urban areas to fight in close combat and open areas to take long-range engagements.

Once you drop in the map, you start running around looting weapons and other items to help you survive. You have access to different classes, including the medic, scout, clown, ninja, defender, and mechanic, to help battle against other players to be the last man or squad standing. I typically run the medic class, because I can’t depend on my teammates to stop running in by themselves without actually taking any cover and thinking about how to engage a fight. If you want an authentic strategic battle royale experience, I’d recommend partying up with a few friends. You’ll have to deal with some bot players as well, but I’m not entirely sure when they go away. But that’s not to say I haven’t come across some players who were prepared to take out my squad within seconds.

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I was honestly shocked by how much fun I’ve been having with Call of Duty: Mobile. I haven’t had this much fun since Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. You can’t complain about pay to win mechanics either since it’s practically non-existent. You have to, how the kids say, “get good.” From its addicting gameplay, stunning visuals that mirror that of its console and PC counterparts, and endless amounts of replayability, this is one Call of Duty game that I’m looking forward to logging ungodly amounts of hours in. Despite what you know about the franchise, you need to forget about it and get this on your mobile device ASAP.

Looking forward to seeing you grunts on the battlefield.

Score:
9/10
A review copy of the title was provided by the publisher for review purposes

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Brock Jensen

Saebyeolbe is the Tom Brady of Overwatch. MOBILE GAMERS ARE STILL GAMERS. Send me stuff [email protected]