After spending quite a bit of hands on time with Call of Duty: Mobile, we came away impressed and unable to stop playing.
Typically, when I hear of a “mobile game” I roll my eyes and look the other way. That’s basically what happened when our team at E3 was talking about Call of Duty on Mobile. While they were saying it was good, I thought it would just be another mobile game I shrug off and forget about. Turns out I was wrong.
Call of Duty on mobile is honestly one of the best mobile games I’ve played. I’ve suffered countless knock off games, I somewhat enjoyed some of Gameloft’s titles, but Call of Duty legit has me turning on my phone and finding wall outlets just to keep playing.
The controls are as simple, or as in-depth, as you want them. The initial run of the game allows you to simply target enemies and within a second or two the game will auto fire for you. This is handy for those who hate tapping the screen, have small screens, or if your fingers just don’t line up correctly and make you miss shots. This casual approach is something I expected from the title, but after messing with the settings I enjoy how much further they took the mechanics.
In the settings you can adjust everything including placement of where all the “buttons” on the screen are, along with how you fire a gun. I personally have it set to where I tap the fire button to hip-fire, and then another button to aim. I took the auto fire off because it felt like it was taking too long to register once I started moving into more skilled pools. The ability to aim and fire down range is a huge benefit once you start getting the hang of the game. I will say the standard layout kind of sucks because everything is too close together. Maybe it’s just my big thumbs, but I was often accidentally reloading my gun instead of shooting. So I moved the fire button out towards the middle of the screen.
Gameplay-wise the game runs fantastic on my Galaxy S10. I assume a majority of people playing are going to be on mobile sets with around the same power, but I’m not sure how lower end phones will fair. I’ve tried it a few times on an older Apple device and things got a little choppy, but nothing too drastic.
Visually things look good. Obviously it isn’t as sleek as the new Modern Warfare, but in terms of just being a good mobile game it does very well. The draw distance is perfect, and the smaller map sizes really benefit everything. I have no problem spotting enemies all over and aiming down range. The sound also does well and is rather helpful. I was playing through my speakers on my phone and could hear gun shots in the distance, along with up close shots making different sounds. Obviously playing with headphones in will benefit you more.
As for “pay to win,” I’m not entirely sure how it is working out. I personally don’t spend money on mobile games but trust me when I say this game is constantly asking for money to be spent. I don’t know if I’ll “need” to spend money, but so far I haven’t spent a dime and have been in first place every single match. I’ve also leveled up and gotten my “daily login” bonus every day since it released. I’ve leveled up pretty far in terms of normal COD, but don’t really have anything as far as a selection for a loadout. So this is something I’ll probably have to come back and answer in a future article
In terms of some drawbacks. I do have some issues when on the battlefield. For some reason I run out of ammo and can’t pick any up from people using the same gun as me. Maybe I need the perk to do so, but normally people with the same gun leads to ammo. Instead I find myself tapping repeatedly on the screen to pick up a new gun, and it leads me to question if I’m allowed to use “purchased guns,” because I’ll be tapping and nothing will work and the gun will vanish. I’ve had this happen multiple times mid game.
My only other complaint is that the matches seem to be really short. By the time I get my kill streaks going, the matches are right on the cusp of ending. It kind of makes sense to me considering it is a mobile game, but I’d also like lobbies with longer matches. Balancing may also be an issue because I haven’t been in a match where both teams nearly won, it’s always a one sided show.
Overall though if you are ever going to download a mobile game, this is the one to download if you want something other than your typical titles. I never really thought I’d be excited to play a shooter on my phone, but of course Call of Duty has done it. The games arcade style mechanics, and swift gameplay, transfer all too well into the mobile universe and the developers have done an amazing job bridging some of the most iconic maps into the game for the fans.