Modern Warfare took the world by storm, and it was only a matter of time until it invaded every gaming platform imaginable.
Is Mobilized worth the price of entry, or are you better off just sticking with the console and PC iterations?
Right off the bat, you’ll have access to the single player game, and online/local play. After some time, you’ll unlock more “challenges”, similar to Modern Warfare 2‘s Spec Ops, but none of them are particularly interesting outside of Survival mode, which pits you against a large amount of enemies in a small room.
Unlike most DS FPS titles, Mobilized actually has its controls down pat. Movement is controlled using the d-pad, and your weapons can be fired with the press of the L button. You use the touch screen to aim, reload, change weapons, and aim down your sight. It would have been nice to be able to switch to ADS mode using another button, but overall I felt at home with the control scheme, especially in comparison to other DS shooters. Reloading and switching weapons is a breeze, and sprinting is as easy as double tapping the d-pad.
Despite the fact that the combat controls are serviceable, the poor frame rate and the “blood” animation, that’s triggered when shot, make combat very convoluted. If there are more than a few enemies on screen, you’ll be hard pressed to do anything at all, much less return fire, as your entire screen will just light up red (both when you are shot, and when you’re recovering). Perhaps if a solid red directional marker was used when you’re under fire, and spattered blood was used when healing (like the console version), it would have been a less hectic experience.
The campaign, to say the least, is extremely underwhelming. There’s very little effort put into the game’s generic voice acting performances, and the main plot line doesn’t really go anywhere. Additionally, most of the story is told through static portraits, which makes it hard to really take the narrative seriously.
After all’s said and done, in addition to challenge and survival mode, you can replay the single player missions for a higher score in arcade mode – and that’s about it. While Arcade mode is simply re-playing the campaign, survival is a bit of fun, as it places you in a small room with countless enemies, and requires you to fight back with all you’ve got. Hardened fans will want to beat the game on Hard to unlock survival, but through simple searches, there are available cheat codes, if you’re so inclined. Despite these side-shows, like any Call of Duty title, the meat is online play.
Including an online mode is admirable, but as all handheld fanatics know, DS wi-fi communities outside of Pokemon and Mario Kart are abysmal. After spending two entire afternoons searching for games (which the scanner took five whole minutes each session to check), I was unable to find any. Luckily, late at night on the third day, I was able to find one session, and I’m pleased to say that if you can actually find a game, things do run fairly smoothly. That is, if you find a game.
Unfortunately, there is no perk system to be found on the DS iteration. The only thing that’s tracked is your kill ratio, which unlocks more guns as you go along. Moblized‘s game modes include Deathmatch, “Switch” (which requires you to run around, blowing up areas), CTF, “Prey” (a game mode that makes one person the hunter, and tasks him with killing a specific enemy), and Sabotage. I found the “oddball” modes like Switch and Prey very un-fun, and unnecessarily convoluted.
All in all, Mobilized really doesn’t live up to the Modern Warfare name. Perhaps if a rudimentary perks or leveling system was built into the multiplayer, and a bit more polish was involved, it would have been a much more engaging title.
When there's more than a few models on screen, Mobilized's frame rate chugs along so slow that you'll have a tough time playing the game. Despite the fact that the locales are diverse, extra effects (like explosions) are very underwhelming.
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Running and gunning works surprisingly well on the DS: weapon changing, item use, and reloading are all done intuitively using the touch screen. The biggest gripe I have with the controls, however, is the fact that you have to tap the screen to aim down your sight.
Voices and gunfire are very crisp, but the music and explosions sound very average.
Considering there's no real online community, you won't get very much mileage out of this one; it's a shame the DS' online capabilities are so poor. The single player also doesn't last you very long.
Ultimately, Modern Warfare: Mobilized lacks personality and polish. Hardcore Call of Duty portable gamers are better off buying last year's World at War DS.