Earlier this week we announced that the long-awaited Modern Combat 5: Blackout would be launching on mobile Windows platforms on the same day-and-date as the Android and iOS versions. In the past, Gameloft titles typically arrived on Windows Phone months or even years later than other platforms (just look at Real Soccer!). This year, long-awaited titles like Heroes of Order & Chaos and Order & Chaos Duels finally came over, and new titles will release at the same time as they do on competing platforms. Progress!
Modern Combat 5 is now available on Windows Phone as promised (the Windows 8 version should arrive later today). The Windows Phone version requires at least 1 GB of RAM. Top-end 3D graphics need plenty of memory in order to function, which shouldn't surprise anybody. None of the versions support Xbox Live, something we all should have gotten over a year ago. The game rings up at $6.99 – a fair price for a full console-quality campaign and extensive online multiplayer. Oh, and it supports Moga controllers!
Call of Combat
The Modern Combat series is Gameloft's answer to Call of Duty. It's a good thing Gameloft makes these titles because Activision only seems interested in publishing slimmed-down Call of Duty games on mobile, omitting key features like online multiplayer. And Activision doesn't support Windows Phone or Windows 8 anyway, so we'd be out of luck without Gameloft and Modern Combat!
The Modern Combat 5 campaign plays very much like a genuine Call of Duty game, with fully-voiced cut scenes bringing the story to life. The new campaign features much shorter missions than Modern Combat 4, making them more appropriate for mobile play.
Players will not only run and gun as a soldier on foot, they'll also man turrets and control drones. The occasional "quick time events" in which a series of directions must be swiped correctly return, for better or worse. Players now receive a star rating upon completing campaign missions, increasing their replay value.
New to Modern Combat 5 are single-player Spec Ops missions. These provide bite-sized challenges as opposed to full levels. Gamers can replay them to receive higher star ratings, just like in the campaign. Spec Ops is especially suited to quick bursts of play when you're on the go.
Finally, Modern Combat 5 offers a full online multiplayer mode. Up to 12 players can participate in four competitive game types: Free for all, Team battle, Capture the flag, and VIP. The game also supports squads, which work a lot like clans. Squads can participate in limited time squad-versus-squad events in order to earn big rewards.
Although Modern Combat 5 is a premium game with no in-app purchases, it still requires an internet connection in order to play. Yes, you need to be online even during the single-player portions of the game. The online requirement is simply a form of DRM (digital rights management) meant to prevent people from playing pirated copies of the game. Presumably player save data is stored on the cloud under this setup though – a big plus. (Somebody test cloud support and let us know!)
Personally, I don't find the requirement very inconvenient, but everyone's internet situations will vary. At least Gameloft is up front about the requirement on the game's store page.
Modern Combat 5 is a huge game, and also a huge vote of faith in Windows Phone and Windows 8/RT from Gameloft. Not everybody wants to play a big console-style game on their phones and tablets, especially one with complex touch screen controls. But if you do crave the Call of Duty experience on the go, that's what you'll get from Modern Combat 5.
Note that the Windows Phone version has to download some extra data the first time it is launched. The additional file must be pretty small though, as it completed in seconds for me.
We'll update with the Windows 8 and RT Store link once it becomes available, and stay tuned for our full review! If you can't download the Windows Phone version yet, give it some time to roll out across all supported regions.
Good news, controller fans! Modern Combat 5 for Windows Phone supports Moga controllers! I just tested it myself.
- Modern Combat 5 – Windows Phone 8 – 776MB – $6.99 – Store Link
Thanks to Abhinav N for the tip!