Call of Duty: Black Ops Mobile

You have to hand it to Glu. Not content with simply telling you that the latest edition in its Call of Duty franchise is set in the later years of the Vietnam War, the developer has also taken steps to ensure the very design of the game itself reflects the period it depicts.

That's not a compliment. Call of Duty: Black Ops Mobile kicks off in 1967, but in truth, the gameplay it presents feels far older than that.

Routine encounter

It doesn't help that Black Ops pops up just weeks after Medal of Honor on mobile proved so adept at translating the franchise's take on all out action.

EA's latest was a honed beast, delivering a structured take on war with just the right amount of variety to keep the player engaged. In contrast, Call of Duty: Black Ops Mobile is a predictable, sluggish, and frankly forgettable.

If the two were to face off, Glu's shooter would be downed in seconds.

As are most of its enemies, in truth. Viewing the carnage from above, you guide your troops through the jungles of Asia taking on the seemingly sporadic defence mounted by the North Vietnamese army along the way.

Aiming at said targets is taken care of, your only job being to position yourself appropriately and fire back by hammering the '5' key.

With three grenades also on offer at the start of each level, it really doesn't take much to brush enemies aside. Even getting hit yourself presents little peril – simply stepping away from the action for a few short seconds is enough to restore your health.

Friendly fire

That is, essentially, how Call of Duty: Black Ops Mobile plays out from start to finish, with levels a linear affair and enemy troops sprinkled across them fairly liberally.

As such, Glu's latest feels heavily influenced by pretty much every shooter that's ever graced mobile – there's nothing new here, with even supposed ambushes by your rivals easily conquered with a bit of practice.

The odd helicopter or sniper based level may hint at variety, but neither really delivers it. In fact, shooting from the air is a simple task that you could complete with your eyes closed.

As such, unlike the twenty year-long war it's based on, Call of Duty: Black Ops Mobile is something of a nonevent – easily mastered and, ultimately, just as readily forgotten.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Mobile

Proving Medal of Honor has the upper hand on mobile, Call of Duty: Black Ops Mobile is a forgettable shooter, held back by uninspiring design and tired gameplay
Keith Andrew
Keith Andrew
With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font. He's also Pocket Gamer's resident football gaming expert and, thanks to his work on, monitors the market share of all mobile OSes on a daily basis.