Hands-on with Modern Combat 5: Blackout - Gameloft's globe-trotting FPS

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Hands-on with Modern Combat 5: Blackout - Gameloft's globe-trotting FPS
| Modern Combat 5
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I want to start this preview of Gameloft's next globe-trotting murder sim, Modern Combat 5, by telling you that the game will have an upfront fee, and carry no in-app purchases.

As a firm that makes some 80 percent of its revenue by selling virtual hats, potions, and extra lives, Gameloft's appeal to the hardcore crowd goes some way towards warming my cold, cynical husk of a heart.

Plus, the game is quite good. It's another action-packed first-person shooter made from the Call of Duty mould, with sharp controls, impressive graphics, and a full suite of modes both online and off. Let's start with the story mode.

Once again, we're on a picturesque tour around the world (this time: Venice and Tokyo) as we follow a hammy story that takes itself very seriously but basically boils down to shooting guys who are wearing hoodies.

Modern Combat 5

The controls feel a lot like those in Modern Combat 4, with a big blob on the left that admirably mimics an analogue stuck, and a 'fire' button that can be wiggled about so you can move your gun as you shoot.

And, besides, Modern Combat 4 was one of the better touchscreen shooters out there - especially as you could move every button on the screen (I like to put 'shoot' on the left like a weirdo) and tweak the sensitivity to your liking.

The story mode is split between a Campaign and Spec Ops missions. The former offers longer missions that propel the story, and feature cut-scenes and Michael Bay-style explosions and helicopter chases. Spec Ops missions are short, simple, quick-fire objectives that you can do on the bus.

My favourite of the bunch involves you kicking down a series of doors and then shooting all the dudes inside in slow motion. Some of the baddies have hostages and some are running away. It all felt like Virtua Cop mixed with a penalty shootout mini-game.

Another interesting mission just drops you into an area filled with baddies who you have to find and kill - a lot like the terrorist hunt missions in Rainbow Six Vegas. This gives you a good reason to use the search drone - a handy hovering robot buddy that flies about the level, highlighting enemies with red outlines.

Modern Combat 5

There's also multiplayer of course, and we've detailed all that in this news story. But the interesting thing is the way that online and offline play fit together.

For one, your single-player character is the same as your multiplayer soldier, and your EXP, gear, unlocked classes (which includes assault, recon, sniper, and heavy) and customised weapons with unlocked scopes and barrels all carry over to online play.

Plus, time-sensitive multiplayer missions will show up on the world map as you play, and you can be in constant contact with your squad when you're in the menus through a Clash of Clans-style chat feature.

So that's Modern Combat 5. Another round of shooting people in the face, mixed with a silly storyline that will make your eyes roll right out of your head and not too much in the way of innovation. But if you dug Modern Combat 4, you'll find plenty to enjoy here.

We've got no idea when it's out (Gameloft says all will be revealed at E3), but until then you can see some hands-on gameplay footage in our video, above.

Mark Brown
Mark Brown
Mark Brown spent several years slaving away at the Steel Media furnace, finally serving as editor at large of Pocket Gamer before moving on to doing some sort of youtube thing.