Thursday, January 20, 2011

Review: Modern Combat: Domination (PSN)

If you're a PlayStation Plus member, this game will cost less than $AUS10. That is dirt cheap. You'll soon find out why.


Modern Combat: Domination is the kind of game Gameloft does well. When not burdened by the need to create an interesting story, when music is not a concern, and when having a decent engine run glitch-free is the most important element to get right, Gameloft shines. This is why racing games and FPSers are generally the developer/ publisher's best output.

On the iPad and iPhone, the Modern Combat series stands out as being amongst the best on the format. On the PlayStation Network, it's coming up against a whole lot of very, very good competition.

Not that there's anything outright wrong about the game. It's smooth, clean and playable, but really, that's not enough. There's a very limited range of maps - only five on the always popular team deathmatch mode. More damningly, it's easy to see the same level of care that goes into the map construction of a Call of Duty title just isn't present in this game.

The concentration of combat on the maps is all over the place, and there are times where there is nothing to shoot anywhere near by. Combined with a slow movement speed, and there are moments of loneliness when playing this game, even with the full 8x8 matchup - disappointing for a genre designed for action.

Loading times are also appalling - ruling the game out as any kind of pick-up-and-play time waster, but at least that gives you the chance to catch up on the news between matches.





The now-traditional experience and unlock system is present and correct, and for the committed, reasonably rewarding. Leveling happens at a decent pace, neither too quickly nor too slowly, but you are going to have to play a bunch of games if you want to get anywhere.

We could be picky and point out a relatively sticky control scheme, which might put off those used to more fluid or precise controls, or a general lack of atmosphere or inspiration in the game, but this is a Gameloft game, and expecting anything else would have been unreasonable.

There's also no single player mode of note at all. Most FPSer gamers aren't going to care about this, because these days multiplayer is where it's at, but those who still like a single player mode tacked-on, be warned.

A major plus is the game features Move support, so owners of that underutilized peripheral can enjoy a competent FPS with it. In all fairness I don't have a Move controller, so couldn't test how this worked, but I personally have no major issues with dual shock controls either way.

As we said before: it's cheap and you get what you pay for. Credit to Gameloft for producing such a game for those with limited means, but the rest of us are probably better off saving for a slightly more expensive, but refined option.


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