Bros before foes.
When it comes to Call of Duty games on mobile, these titles pale in comparison to the console experience. We received a pair of good zombie spin-offs, as well as the supplementary Elite program for keeping your clans in line, but that's it. That said, Activision finally released a solid Call of Duty offering for iPhone and iPad. Call of Duty: Strike Team manages the best of both worlds, delivering a rock solid tactical planning system and above-average first person shooting in one package. While not quite Black Ops II, it sets a good foundation for future sequels.
The game revolves around a group of four soldiers tasked with cooling down a situation between global superpowers threatening each other with nuclear missiles. Using your squad, you'll have to neutralize enemies, claim objectives and live long enough to reach the next mission.
Strike Team is all about switching between two gameplay types. The first is tactical, where you get an overhead view of the action from a satellite. With it, you guide soldiers to different positions, have them take out enemies - with melee attacks or guns - and move to the next objective.
Despite a quirky camera - trying to rotate the viewpoint results in unnecessary zooming - and occasional clumsy controls, the tactical system is fantastic, and introduces a new wrinkle in the Call of Duty franchise.
If you're a series veteran, you'll also want to take advantage of the first person shooting, which is good. It's overcomplicated at first, but you'll get the hang of it, especially the quick aim feature. By tapping the sides of the screen, you'll automatically lock on to an enemy, letting you finish them off with ease.
On that note, we prefer tactical to first person shooting, but both styles work well, and you can switch between the two without much of a wait.
The game's single player campaign will take you a few hours to get through, and comes with an abundance of things to unlock, between new weapons, additional perk slots and Survival Mode maps. However, it's sorely lacking in the multiplayer department, where Call of Duty thrives. There are in-game challenges you can send to friends, complete with leaderboard support, but it doesn't make up for the lack of playing alongside and against others.
At least Strike Team's presentation somewhat makes up for it. The graphics look very good, whether you watch from a distance or plow through enemies via first person. The settings are great, too, with levels that look like they came straight from the console versions. The sound effects are also sharp, with various weapon effects and lots of chatter between your team members.
Call of Duty: Strike Team comes up short compared to its Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 counterparts, but it's easily the best mobile release to date, and paves the way for even better ones down the line. Let the tour of Duty continue.
Download Call of Duty: Strike Team: iOS
What's Hot:Excellent graphics in both strategic and first-person views, no shortage of action throughout the campaign, mostly solid controls, a lot of weapons and perks to unlock, quick aim makes taking out certain enemies a snap, Friend challenges and Survivor Mode add replay value.
What's Not:Unexpected control issues, no multiplayer.