EA Mobile is very keen to point out that the title of the latest mobile entry in the Battlefield series has 'Aftershock' as a subtitle.

Turns out it's not out of vanity. Battlefield 3: Aftershock is about as far removed you can get from DICE's console/PC shooter without changing genres.

A new theatre

While Battlefield veterans won't raise an eyebrow at the lack of a single-player campaign, those who jumped into the series at Bad Company may be left slightly confused by its omission.

EA says this is to focus on the mobile/portable nature of the platform - a long campaign doesn't suit short bursts of gameplay on the go.

So Battlefield 3: Aftershock has been set up as the first-person shooter equivalent of a novelty liqueur - dispensed in potent shots and swallowed in single burning mouthfuls of dizzying combat. Or something.

Keep it together

So out goes linear corridor combat and in comes wave-based Horde/Spec Ops gameplay that sees you facing off against an increasingly nasty (and more numerous) bunch of enemy soldiers.

The weapons and setting are in keeping with the Battlefield 3 universe, though, so my hands-on with an alpha version of the game took place in the dusty streets of Tehran, with an ultra-modern assault rifle the weapon of choice.

Alongside this new mode is what EA describes as 'Classic' multiplayer, which wasn't available at Gamescom. Co-operative play, alas, will be missing altogether.

Snap to

In terms of how the game plays, if you've experienced last year's Bad Company 2 then you know what to expect.

There's still a very generous auto-aim that seemingly snaps onto enemies you haven't seen yet, and the graphics are about on a par.

Given that the FPS I've played most on iPad is World at War: Zombies, I can see the wave-based mode working, but it'll need a few more enemy types (again, not yet implemented in the build I played) before I can say whether or not it will shake things up.

We'll see how much of a shock to the system Battlefield 3: Aftershock is when it hits the App Store later this year (most likely after the home console release).