A new chapter in the franchise marks the abandonment of the hardcore experience in favor of casual gameplay. Check the analysis.
Modern Combat 5: Blackout is the fifth game in the series for smartphones and the sixth in total. Gameloft's shooter franchise started way back in 2009 with Modern Combat Sandstorm, and MC5: Blackout arrived this week for Android, iOS e Windows Phone (US$ 6,99) dividing opinions. Those who have never played the previous games will find the game wonderful, but longtime gamers will notice a smaller evolution compared to Modern Combat 4: Zero Our.
– Great visuals (if you have a great iOS device)
Don't get me wrong, the Modern Combat series always made graphical leaps from one version to another. But in Modern Combat 5: Blackout it became evident that if you don't have a high-end iOS device, you'll quickly notice that the game isn't much better than its predecessor in terms of graphics.
Running Modern Combat 5 on mid-range devices accentuates this perception, since, at times, Modern Combat 4 is even prettier than the new game. During the week of its release, many Android users have been complaining about this aspect of the game. Those who have iOS, didn't have much to complain about, since the game is very beautiful, even on the iPhone 4S.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewDccd4giUc
Apparently, the game's performance, on Android, has been hampered by the variety of Google's platform. Even on well-known devices like the Nexus 5, the game has crashes that close the game immediately. On Android, it will take a while for the game to demand all the quality that Modern Combat 4 has presented, especially for combat veterans who will compare the game to the last update of MC4.
– Focus on Multiplayer, but with few scenarios
Several aspects determine this fifth episode's focus on multiplayer. Campaign mode missions have been made smaller and experience points, weapons and soldier class can be shared between both. In addition, the campaign mode received characteristics of casual games, such as the classic “three stars”.
The novelty of the multiplayer mode is due to the new soldier classes. In reality, they are the embodiment of the “upgrades” the player could make to their soldier in Modern Combat 4. However, the soldier now looks different and the player can only determine “by eye” who is who in multiplayer.
The soldier classes in Modern Combat 5 are: Assault, Armored, Recon or Sniper. “Assault” is the normal soldier class, very balanced, while “Recon” is indicated for stealth actions and one of the best in the multiplayer. The “Armored” class is for using heavy weapons and the “Sniper” is for snipers, those who use long-range rifles.
The multiplayer mode is divided into five modes, they are: “Free for All”, “Capture the Flag”, “Squad Battle”, “Vip” and “Team Battle”.
The "Free for All" mode is the classic deathmatch or "deathmatch" where it's every man for himself. The “Vip” mode, on the other hand, nominates a player to receive a bonus for each enemy killed, however, he becomes the target of the enemy team, because if he is killed, he will give a lot of points to the opposing team.
“Squad Battle” is the new multiplayer mode. In it, you assemble your team, made up of friends and set out to face other squads in exclusive battles. With this, you only play with your friends, preventing any “noob” person from joining your team.
“Capture the Flag” is self-explanatory, it's a team battle where you must capture the opponent's flag. The last mode is the most suitable for beginners. “Team Battle” is simple, whoever dies the least wins.
Even with this greater focus on multiplayer, it's surprising how Modern Combat 5 has few scenarios for combat. There are only four of them, and the game suffered almost a year delay.
The multiplayer mode is exactly what is expected of it. Fast, fun and with people online direct. The games are fast, and the scenarios, although few, are very large, which makes it possible for many people to play at the same time. However, one-on-one or two-on-two matches can be a little boring, as you'll spend a lot of time looking for your opponent.
– No vehicles and few new weapons
Another thing that was strange in Modern Combat 5 was the decision not to use vehicles. The series, which has always been marked by chases in cars, trucks and even helicopters, did not have the option to control vehicles in multiplayer mode. Interestingly, previous Gameloft games have this factor, as is the case with NOVA 3 and Blitz Brigade.
The multiplayer mode, as well as singleplayer, has few weapons. Most don't have a lot of differentiation, what will be more worthwhile is customizing the weapon, adding new sights, barrels, etc.
However, what causes the greatest strangeness in Modern Combat 5's weapons is the lack of recoil of the weapon. This made the game very artificial. The aim does not change after a shot, not even if you use a large caliber weapon.
– Online 100% of the time and no in-app purchases
One of the most controversial features of the new Modern Combat 5 is the internet requirement. And it's not required for login or just for a few moments, it's required every second the game is running. If you are playing over 3G/4G and the signal varies, the game will stop immediately.
Many say that the reason is to fight piracy, but in an online multiplayer game it is very easy to identify pirates. The impression that gets, combined with the “casual” phases, is that Gameloft is preparing the ground to make Modern Combat 5: Blackout a free-to-play game, just as it did with Asphalt 8: Airborne.
At least, until then, players will be able to enjoy the game without having to worry about in-app purchases. This is one of the best aspects of the game. There is no type of purchase, everything acquired in Modern Combat 5 requires experience points, which are acquired in both campaign and multiplayer modes.
– Campaign and Story “more or less”
You control soldier Phoenix, who works for a security company, and soon, he will find out that his boss is involved with terrorists. The single-player campaign is interesting. Gameloft added new elements that made the game look like "Call od Duty" like the awakening of Phoenix in a hospital in Japan.
But anyone looking for a good story could be put in one of two situations, either they've never played Modern Combat or they're looking in the wrong place. The game is full of clichés, including a Black Widow from the Avengers, but very generic.
The campaign will be summarized in "pew pew pew" killing the villains in missions without any strategy. It's a shame how a game that was previously war, falls into surreal conflicts with no connection with reality. Don't expect any allusions to the real world or real conflicts, Modern Combat 5 can be translated as "Surreal Combat".
– Gameplay and commands
Finally, let's talk about the controls. The commands in this Modern Combat are a little weird. The knife that previously appeared quickly when approaching an enemy, now only appears if you practically "rub" it. Aim assist is now almost useless and the sprint button has been suppressed on the default controller.
All this, combined with the lack of recoil of the weapon, leaves the impression of a different game, which is not necessarily a positive thing. On the iPad, I had some difficulty with the controls, especially when trying to use the camera with the same finger I use to control the soldier. Making the game a little boring to be played on the iPad.
– final words
Modern Combat 5 feels like a sideways direction for the series, rather than a step forward. It seems that something went wrong in the middle of the game's development, since the game was in charge of the Gameloft Budapest studio instead of the Montreal studio, which had developed Modern Combat 4. The game has great visual quality, but in set, what we have is a different game, not necessarily better than the previous one.
The new Modern Combat is a solid game, but it has a lot of “cons” compared to its main competitor, the previous game. This overturns our assessment of Modern Combat 5: Blackout , a game that evolves little and imposes some boring things on the player. In addition to seeming to set the stage for a future freemium release.
- no in-app purchases
- Addictive multiplayer mode
- cool graphics
- Constantly requires internet
- Campaign mode lost focus
- Need to download additional content
- Little evolution compared to the previous one
- Campaign mode turned “casual”
Name: Modern Combat 5: Blackout
Platform: Android 4.0 or higher, iOS 7.0 or higher and Windows Phone 8.0 or higher
Price: US$ 6,99 (around R$ 15 reais)
[originally published July 27, 2014]