You can always see a Gameloft game coming. As long as a console franchise is popular enough it'll eventually get the 'homage' treatment, and the inspiration behind Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus HD is obvious even in the name.
But - as usual with Gameloft's titles - it plays well enough for that not to matter.
As the title implies, this is a first-person shooter much in the vein of Modern Warfare. The action follows various special forces and soldiers across twelve missions, with firefights taking place in Middle Eastern streets and Cambodian rainforests.
Ignore the story (just keep telling yourself it doesn’t exist) and the endless clichés (cover your ears as they shout “Go! Go! Go!”) because this game is all about the gunfights.
Stick it to me
Pocket Gamer last stumbled across Black Pegasus on Android, where the first-person shooter formula felt more or less just as home as it did on iPhone. Since then, things have changed, and we find ourselves trying to get to grips with the game using the Xperia Play’s delicious buttons. Sadly, it isn’t a perfect transformation.
The touchpads are used as sticks for movement and sight, but they're insanely erratic. So you have to revert to using the on-screen stick and sight control.
The result of this is that you have to slide up the rest of the buttons, meaning a huge waste of every button except the L and R triggers. It feels like so much potential is wasted.
Terror to pieces
Apart from the this, the game plays as solidly as it ever did. Terrorists slump to the ground and barrels explode in all the usual ways. There are also several QuickTime-like set pieces which require some fast reflexes to save squadmates or dodge debris.
The game’s ten-person multiplayer is a more interesting ground for those who still can’t blind themselves to single-player’s storytelling faults. Four game modes including free-for-alls and bomb defusing scenarios makes up a fast-paced and surprisingly balanced multiplayer. A levelling system is obligatory in these games and, of course, Modern Combat 2 doesn’t let you down. It’s a simple but effective system earning you more weapons as you level up.
Overall, Modern Combat 2 was never going to do anything spectacular in terms of differences between the versions, but the broken Xperia controls are still a disappointment. Despite this, it still manages to be a formidable and mostly enjoyable shooter.