Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Mobilized
If you’re a Modern Warfare nut and will be away from your console for a weekend, n-Space’s Mobilized is your only option for a Call of Duty fix. Playing as U.S. and British forces, you’ll fight through a unique campaign not found in the console versions. The core shooting experience is peppered with turret sequences, air strikes, tank runs, decrypting minigames, Javelin missile blasts, boat rides, and satellite targeting. With the notable exception of the terrible stealth RC robot sections, these entertaining breaks provide a nice variety of gameplay.
The primary shooting mechanic, however, has problems. Key COD features like ironsights and crouching require clunky double taps to account for button limitations. I wish they just canned the ironsights altogether and made shots from the hip more accurate so you wouldn’t have to deal with the workarounds. Your character has less health than the console soldiers as well, so dying comes quickly. Mix this with poorly placed checkpoints and trial and error scenarios, and it makes you extremely cautious. By the end of the game I was reduced to slowly peeking out from behind boxes with my sights to pick off one soldier at a time.
The smart player will try to trip the invisible line that makes your invincible squadmates run forward into battle to thin out the ranks while you pick off the stragglers. They’re not always helpful, though. Once I caught one soldier endlessly shooting a wall with no enemies anywhere. Another time they refused to kick open a door I had to get through. More often they’ll push you through a doorway into a hail of bullets if you don’t keep off of their predetermined paths.
The six-player local multiplayer and Wi-Fi versus modes are impressive DS features. Eight maps and a variety of standard team and solo match types scratches the multiplayer itch. While there’s no robust perk system, you can unlock new weapons as your kill count rises. Online play took a while to start up in our tests, but once the battles began things ran smoothly. It’s best to play locally or from your friends list, however, because strangers eventually drop out and you’ll be stuck at the plodding matchmaking screen again.
The four unlockable modes might keep hardcore fans coming back, but I didn’t find much reason to stick around. Challenge and Arcade modes are rewrapped campaign levels, and the Minigame mode features puzzles you’ve already found the solution to in the campaign. Survival keeps you on your toes, but you have to beat the game on hard or enter a pesky code every time to access it. Like Mobilized overall, the reward just isn’t worth the effort.