November 25, 2009 | by Evan Selleck
Oh man. At this point in time, I’m pretty sure you’re well aware that a video game came out a couple weeks ago. It was a pretty big hit. And with any kind of smash-hit like Modern Warfare 2, I guess everyone and their cousin should have realized some kind of spin-off was due. Maybe a mobile game wasn’t the way to go, though. Or maybe it was.
I was a fan of the first Modern Warfare, like a lot of other people; and I was one of the bajillion people who bought the second installment. So when I found out there was a mobile game, developed by Glu Mobile no less, hitting the Android Market I got pretty excited. Sure, I jumped the gun in that excitement, but come on: it’s one more quality game for Android. Or, at least, that’s what I thought. Turns out, that’s not really the case. Far be it from me to say technical errors, or graphical ones, detract from the overall gaming experience, but if you’re a gamer like me, if you see it enough, that’s exactly what it does.
The game’s called Call of Duty Modern Warfare: Force Recon, and that title fits nicely. Why? Because you’re a Marine, and you’re part of the Marine Corps’ special forces. You’re goal is to go down “south of the border” (yes, they say that in the game), and stop the terrorists from destroying buildings, and generally taking lives. First and foremost, don’t expect a graphical powerhouse from this game. It is designed strictly for mobile phones. And by that, I mean phones from like six years ago. It’s not optimized strictly for the Android platform, so games like “Abduction” look better than this thing. Still, that’s not something to hold against it. It plays like a classic Nintendo game, where you’re able to move in a full three hundred and sixty degree fashion, just by touching the screen in the direction you want to go. Shooting is handled by tapping on your own character until the enemy dies. Grenades are thrown by doing this: tapping the grenade icon, moving a cursor around on the screen to pinpoint where you want to throw that said grenade, and then tapping your character again to actually throw that grenade. Tedious, but it could be worse.
The funny thing about Force Recon, is that Glu Mobile included a cover system. An almost necessary function for any kind of shooting game (in my opinion), it’s lacking from the console (and PC) version of Modern Warfare 2. But here it is, working like a charm in the mobile version. There was one thing bugging me right from the beginning though, and throughout the entirety of the game it just kept popping up, mocking me. You’re a Marine, part of the elite Force Recon. And every truck in the game, even the one in your training grounds, says “ARMY” on the side. The Marine Corps has their own vehicles. I don’t know if they did that on purpose, or if it was a technical mistake, and it’s not even a big deal, but it’s there. Staring at me.
In the end, I’d give the game three out of five stars. It’s not great, but it really isn’t all that bad, either. It’s a good time waster, and that’s exactly what it should be. Of course, there is one really big issue with the game, and that’s the price. At $6.99, that’s not exactly a steal, and way too much for what the game offers in playability and graphics. But if you’ve got an extra seven bucks lying around, and you really, really like Call of Duty, here’s your mobile fix.