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Game Review–Modern Combat : Domination for the Playstation 3


Ah Gameloft … how I know thee from the days I had my iPod Touch. When I saw that this was coming to the Playstation 3 at a mere 8 dollars, I knew I was in. Even though I was in the mindset that I didn’t particularly like modern first person shooters (I found out later it was just Call of Duty I didn’t like) … I was willing to give this game a shot. And while it does have it’s severe flaws, it’s still a surprisingly good game.

If you’ve ever played the Modern Combat games on the iPhone or iPod Touch, you pretty much know what you’re in for. This borrows very heavily from games like Call of Duty and Counter-Strike. That much is fairly obvious. The graphics are clean and well represented, the levels have a fair amount of detail to them. Of course you’re not going to expect full retail game levels of detail out of a game this cheap, and they knew that. It ultimately looks like a really good HD PS2 game. Which is perfectly fine for a downloadable title. The character models, while they do look good and animate well, look so similar that you kind of need the little red symbol to signify an enemy, otherwise team killing would be rampant. The music is suitably epic sounding for a game of this type, though ultimately forgettable. The gun sounds and explosions sound good at times, but other times they sound … off. Like they’re cartoon versions of real guns, and it gets a bit irritating at times.

The gameplay is what you expect of a shooter like this. If you’re familiar with Call of Duty, you’ll know how to control this game. And, while it does have Playstation Move support, I don’t have the Move setup, so I can’t make a comment one way or the other. I will say that there aren’t any games that sell me on it, and this is among them. As with any shooter like this with the controller, the look speed is excessively slow, even when the sensitivity is all the way up. But that isn’t such a bad thing when everyone is dealing with that handicap, and most players who play this are going to be familiar with it anyway.

There is a fair amount of game here for the price you pay for it, so long as you’re playing online. The bot’s AI doesn’t do a whole lot for the game and isn’t even hardly worth the practice unless you’re just new to shooters like this and are largely unfamiliar with the game modes and how they work. And while I’m on that subject, this game comes with 5 maps and 6 game modes ranging from the traditional Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch to Domination. And with a large and active online userbase, there is never a time where you just can’t play. The times that they’re aren’t enough players or someone drops out, it just fills them in with bots.

Modern-Combat-TrailerThere is a leveling structure that goes all the way up to level 72, and there are some players out there who are apparently even worse than I am that game who are “boosting” … I never understood the logic behind that personally, but thankfully players like that are few and far between. There is also a money system in the game, you’re afforded so much per kill, but when you die you lose all of that unless you’ve managed to rake in the kills. And honestly all it really does is alienate players from the game because unless you get a fair amount of kills in before you die, you’re going to be stuck with just enough money to buy some of the default cheapie guns every time. Which, in all honesty, are more than enough to put the hurt in even on high leveling players. It seems to also work off of the regenerative health, but it doesn’t have that option. So if you jump from a certain distance, you permanently lose that health. The same with fire fights. 90% of the time when you get into a fire fight, you’re going to take damage if you live through it. That’s just how it works. But there are no health kits lying about, and there are no medics. There is body armor … but it doesn’t seem to do a lot of good when you see people with, say, 25% health and 100% armor. And for those just beginning with the game, it’s either weapons or body armor.

Now, yes, I'm fully aware that Counter-Strike doesn't have regenerative health. That's part of the gameplay, but this particular game has a bit of an identity crisis in the fact that it doesn't seem to QUITE know what it wants to be.

The action is fast and intense at times, and it does a decent job at getting your heart pumping. Especially when playing against players who are of similar skill. Of course, there’s the problem that all modern shooters seem to have in the fact that a fire fight lasts mere seconds most of the time with the person who’s able to aim and shoot first winning. So if someone starts shooting you in the back while you’re trying to reach somewhere, it’s no use trying to turn around or make it around a corner because by the time you make it there you’re already dead. And sometimes it will spawn you in right in front of one of the enemies, naturally leading to a very quick death. Thankfully that’s rare.

6.5 - There are some areas where this game needs some serious work, such as deciding whether or not it actually wants regenerative health … or no regenerative health but with health kits and medics. But in the end it’s a good time at a great price with a fair amount of maps and good game modes. Why they left out medics in a game like this is beyond me, I guess because Call of Duty doesn’t generally have them they decided this one didn’t need them either. Now I’m going to go in, play, and never get to see any of those cool weapons one can get. But practice makes perfect, and this game is definitely worth every penny of the $7.99 it'll run you with a surprising amount of depth, a decent number of maps and game modes and of course the leveling system it has.

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