Price: $12.99 (£7.49)
Description: A Reasonably Priced COD-Clone with Oomph
Pros: Great sound design and graphics, stable online play, AI opponents.
Cons: Not many people online, small maps.
Advised Control Method: All (mouse preferred)
[UPDATE] Since writing this review, there have been an increase in players online so you are more likely to get a game going [UPDATE]
Developed and published by Gameloft, Modern Combat: Domination is a multiplayer focussed (no campaign to faff around with this time around) first-person shooter with its sights set on dethroning COD: 4 as the best gritty first-person shooter on the market. What seems to be an almost impossible feat actually turns out to be quite plausible due in part because of the great game that these guys have created here. To say that it competes with Modern Warfare on a technical level (the graphics, sound and content) would be ludicrous. However, being a much more reasonably priced shooter, Modern Combat: Domination may be a viable purchase depending on your situation.
As mentioned, there is no campaign in this FPS and instead the game focusses much more on getting you on an online battlefield against real online opponents. But this has its flaws. What if there is no-one online? Well, Gameloft have devised a cunning plan where ‘missing’ players are replaced with AI opponents to keep up the numbers. So no matter how many people are online, there will always be someone to play against, be it a living person, or faceless code consisting of Os and 1s.
The AI themselves aren’t ‘smart’ by any means but give you a good enough fight for the thrill. However, it does seem a bit of a cheat gaining XP on killing dumb AI. Of course it is much more satisfying blasting an opponent knowing that there is a real person cursing at you from behind their keyboard.
As far as controls go, you’ll probably be instantly familiar with them as soon as you start, provided you have played your fair share of FPSs in the past. However, if you are a COD veteran then you may feel a bit insecure at first with some of the control mechanisms. For example, looking down the sights or sprinting are locked when you press their corresponding buttons meaning you will have to press that button again to ‘unlock’ it. You also can’t strafe while sprinting.
Buying and unlocking new weapons has taken a bit of a turn in Modern Combat: Domination. You do still unlock weapons through levelling up, but to use them you need to purchase them every game. A lot of game modes are split into rounds with a round ending when an objective is completed. You can then use the money you earned in that round to buy more weapons for the next round. This normally results in you using the same basic configuration time and time again, with the latter, more expensive, weapons hardly being used.
The maps themselves are very close quarters. You won’t find any expansive space for sniper positions a mile away from the action. Everything is way more confined but there is still room for strategy. The game modes encourage you to use strategy as well with each map in the game. New modes like Escort have you protecting and escorting a picked member of the team whereas the opposition try and kill him. Familiar game modes like Domination and Team Deathmatch make its way into this one as well for a good old shoot out.
When it comes to graphics and online stability Gameloft have it down to a tee. Adopting their more technicolour approach, Modern Combat: Domination is vibrant and clear and this complements the lighter levels like in the desert a lot. The game’s sound is utterly superb also. With a great musical-score and punchy sound effects, the game really does come to life. Whether it be the crunch of dry sand underneath your feet, or the whizzing of bullets passing over you head, it all sounds great.
I have to say that I haven’t felt the ‘addiction’ factor come into the equation yet. Yes, the game’s fun but it hasn’t grabbed me like Call of Duty: 4 did. This may be because of the odd gun purchase system that prevents you from improving in terms of weaponry status, or even the lack of online players on at the moment. Even so, Modern Combat: Domination is perfect for those strapped for cash but looking for a COD-alike for their Mac. Yes Modern Warfare is the best game by a mile, but taking into account pricing, this is a worthy purchase.