Call of Duty: Strike Team Review
Mixing first-person shooter with real-time strategy, can Call of Duty: Strike Team challenge Modern Combat’s top spot as the best war game on smartphone and tablet?
The Call Of Duty franchise is now a decade old, and there have been numerous variations and scenarios released over the years. Each console version was eagerly awaited and played to death by millions of enthusiasts. This is perhaps the reason why Call Of Duty: Strike Team has had such a lukewarm reaction on the iPad and iPhone. People have high expectations having played it on a PlayStation or Xbox, but Call Of Duty: Strike Team for iOS is a fraction of the price, it runs on more limited hardware and there is no controller, just a touchscreen. It’s wrong to compare it to the console version and if you forget your preconceptions and expectations of the game, then you should have great fun with this £4.99/$6.99 iOS app.
Call Of Duty is a war game and in this iteration the United States is under attack by an unknown enemy. You and your team are tasked with taking down the bad guys. This involves entering enemy bases patrolled by guards, hacking door locks, disabling alarms, breaking security codes and retrieving vital information. Oh, and killing bad guys – a lot of bad guys. The action is as fast and furious as a machine gun.
The app mixes real-time strategy (RTS) with first-person shooter (FPS) and it is an interesting idea. In FPS mode there are thumb controls at either side of the screen and the left is used to move forward, back, left and right, while the right is used to look, aim and fire. Touchscreens aren’t ideal for this type of action because it is a little awkward – many players may be wishing for a decent physical controller.
Still, there is the option to tap the left and right screen edges in order to snap right onto the next target. Some might consider this to be cheating, but you don’t have to use the feature. You can switch to another team member and take control with a swipe across their name. You can even hide them in lockers and dumpsters where they will be hidden and protected from the enemy while you concentrate on one person.
Tapping at the top switches to RTS mode where you’ll have a bird’s-eye view of the battlefield or building. Team members can be selected individually or together and then instructed to move to new positions. Enemy soldiers can be targeted and engaged or taken out with a sniper rifle. You cannot play the game entirely in either FPS or RTS modes and to make progress you must switch from one to the other as best fits your current situation.
You might need to use FPS to take over a gun turret and blast the enemy at close range, or you could use the RTS overview to position your team so as to ambush the enemy, draw their fire or attack on their unprotected flank. It’s a bit slow and clumsy when switching modes, but it does add a bit of interest to the game and you need to consider which mode is best at any time.
There are lots of campaign missions and a moderately interesting story that links them together. As you work through the missions you gain experience points and new and better weapons become available. You can choose the weapons for each team member at the start of each mission, but until you’ve tried it and failed, you won’t know which weapons to take with you.
Thinking about the specific situation will certainly help you – for example, do you need a sniper rifle or a machine gun? The weapons at your disposal are limited at first, but there are in-app purchases that enable you to unlock items early to provide extra firepower if you can’t wait to earn the experience points. If the team is injured or killed, you can restart the mission or revive the men with health kits. They cost you, but you earn game money for completing missions.
There are a lot of one-star reviews in the iTunes store and this is because the app is big and pushes the limits of the iPad. It is a 1.3GB download and 2GB installed. You must then quit all apps and power off the iPad. Restart and it will then run smoothly. If you don’t, it stutters and crashes a lot.
Call Of Duty: Strike Team isn’t as good as the console versions and it lacks any online multiplayer action. However, it makes an entertaining iPad game. It will likely appeal more to those new to the series rather than old hands that will compare it with the console experience.
With mixed FPS action and RTS strategy, this attempts to create the Call Of Duty experience on iOS.
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