The Call of Duty franchise has had its sights on mobile gaming for some time now, and it's pulled the trigger to deliver Call of Duty: Mobile. This shooter game packs all the fast pace and gritty action that players expect from the franchise, and fits it all into one tiny, free app. Whether it's the classic 5v5 deathmatch, zombies, or a high-stakes sniper fight, you no longer need to lug a console around to enjoy the Call of Duty experience. Just pick up your phone.
Same game, new platform
Call of Duty: Mobile puts mobile gaming in its crosshairs, and doesn't miss the shot.Designed and published by Activision, Tencent, and Timi Studios, Call of Duty: Mobile fits a startling number of classic CoD elements in a pocket-sized game. In it, players will find their favorite maps, weapons, gear modifications, game modes, and character classifications. There's even a new Battle Royale mode that threatens to unseat the longtime champion of the genre, PUBG Mobile.
Battle Royale mode in Call of Duty: Mobile is unlocked at level seven, and while scale of matches is smaller than that of PUBG Mobile or Apex Legends, it looks and feels similar to the latter, with high-end graphics, smooth gameplay, and a crisp UI. The audio design is on point as well, and players will be able to hear enemies' footsteps even over the sound of distant gunfire and artillery strikes. Call of Duty: Mobile puts mobile gaming in its crosshairs, and doesn't miss the shot. Curiously, however, the game does not offer controller compatibility in spite of both Android and iPhone supporting Bluetooth controllers for other software.
While the Battle Royale mode is a pleasant surprise, the core gameplay still centers around the familiar 5v5 deathmatch. These matches last between 5-10 minutes, the objective being the first team to score 50 kills. The controls, which are often simplistic or sparse on mobile, are there in spades in Call of Duty: Mobile -- swipe the left side of the screen to move, swipe the right side of the screen to aim. When your reticle finds a target, you'll automatically fire. Gameplay mechanics such as recoil and bloom are still factors, and add a level of realism lacking in most mobile shooter games. Even though your weapon fires automatically, accuracy, range, and aim are still the deciding factors in most encounters.
The controls are simple and the game offers two different schemes for players to choose between. While the basic mechanics are intuitive in both schemes, ancillary abilities such as throwing grenades, switching weapons, crouching, or calling in airstrikes all require pressing on-screen icons. On the one hand, it's nice to have all the basic game mechanics laid out to you at face value, but on the other hand, these icons can crowd your field of view. This does make for a more cluttered, claustrophobic experience. As such, the game plays best on devices with larger screens, such as the the iPhone XS or Samsung Galaxy S10.
Call of Duty: Mobile does not have a story campaign, and an internet connection is required to play it. It's clear that the goal of the app is to present an on-the-go Call of Duty multiplayer experience. While micro-transactions and ads are present, they are seldom intrusive. Players can choose to view them for extra boosts in in-game currencies, and these can be spent on cosmetics. Higher-tier guns and upgrades are unlocked through completing milestones and using the gear in question. In this regard Call of Duty Mobile is not a pay-to-win product.
Where can you run this program?
Call of Duty: Mobile is available for free on both Android and iPhone.
Is there a better alternative?
While Call of Duty is a household name, Call of Duty: Mobile is the new kid on the block when it comes to mobile shooter games. Its biggest competition is Fortnite Mobile or PUBG Mobile, both titles that focus solely on the Battle Royale genre. If you're looking for a large-scale Battle Royale experience to play on the go, PUBG Mobile is recommendable. If you're looking for a slice of Battle Royale to go with your main course of 5v5 Deathmatch, however, Call of Duty: Mobile is the clear winner.
Battle Royale is good for the slow burn, but the added option of a 5v5 Deathmatch gives Call of Duty: Mobile a unique flavor of versatility in a mobile shooter game. It also means that matches go by much faster. The general pace of Call of Duty: Mobile is a fast, hectic frenzy; lobby waiting time is short, and respawn times are quick, putting players right into the thick of the gunfire and action, and keeping them there until the final kill is scored.
The color and style of Call of Duty: Mobile feel dissimilar to other mobile shooter games such as Bullet Force or Critical Ops. The polish and fluidity of the gameplay make it feel more similar to console titles in the franchise like Black Ops 4 or Advanced Warfare. The class system and weapons feel like those you'd find and upgrade in Modern Warfare. The best compliment we can give the game is that it does compare more closely to other Call of Duty titles, rather than with other lower-quality mobile shooter games. It's here to both change the playing field and raise the bar.
Call of Duty: Mobile takes the best aspects of titles within the Call of Duty universe and combines them seamlessly in a free mobile game.
It integrates the gameplay and nostalgia of classic Call of Duty with today's mobile, open-world approach to gaming, creating a successful product to keep you coming back match after match.
Should you download it?
Absolutely. Whether you're new to the franchise or a returning veteran, you might be skeptical about playing an online shooter game on a mobile device. If you're a shooter fan, Call of Duty Mobile is worth your attention, and will allay your fears in a hazy bullet storm of killstreaks and explosions.