Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour Review

By: Charles Warden

Publisher: Gameloft

Rating: Teen

Release Date: December 2012

Reviewed for Android

Overall Review:

There is no doubt that mobile gaming has made leaps and bounds in the past few years. What used to have nothing more than Tetris clones and sudoku puzzles now is fully capable of running games and game engines that were only available to the PC and console market. Modern Combat 4 is a beautiful example of this capability.

Based on the Havok engine, used in everything from Call of Duty to Skyrim, MC4 brings all the thrills of a wartime first person shooter to your mobile device. One is hard pressed to see much difference between this and other games written on the same foundation short of a few extra polygons and shaders. It even contains all the voice overs we have come to expect with our cutscenes.

When you have completed the surprisingly full story mode an online multiplayer complete with achievements and upgrades await. A wide variety of match types are available to keep things fresh and playable. Gameloft has already even added new maps and modes with more planned for release soon.

Family Gaming Assessment:

Wartime simulation is a genre parents really need to think about. On one hand war is real. Games like this are not just about running rampant and trying to be as over the top as they can be. On the other hand, war is real. You are not shooting cartoon aliens here. Real human renders with realistic blood and realistic weapons.

While the game is rated for teens parents really need to be sure their children are mature enough for this subject matter. During certain parts of the story mode you take on the role of the antagonist. While coming off as completely insane you are still shooting the “good guys.”

Children should have a strong understanding of right and wrong and the dangers of real firearms before playing this game.

Playability Assessment:

Here is where the game starts to break down. Well, more to the point, it is the platform that breaks down. Mobile controls can be clumsy. The input is perfectly responsive however holding the device and manipulating the controls can be very awkward. Only the MOGA Pro is supported as a gamepad natively. This becomes more pronounced during online play. You will see who does and doesn’t use a controller immediately

Screen size is a serious consideration. Even on a 10″ tablet I’d find myself getting shot by just a few unidentifiable pixels. Output to a television eliminates that and shows off just how detailed the game actually is.

Connection speed and age of the device can quickly limit the game. At well over 1 gb this is as big as console games from just a few years ago.

Conclusion:

At $6.99 I can’t recommend it enough. It sports both a solid story and plenty of great online play on a mobile platform for less than a used copy of Call of Duty.

I do so with one reservation. This is a game. Killing people is not. Knowing that is the difference between fun competition and real life tragedy. Be sure your little gamers can fully understand that before letting them play.

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