Reviewed: December 2, 2009
Released: November 10, 2009
The First Person Shooter (FPS) genre has been sadly ignored on the Nintendo DS. In total only about a dozen FPS titles have been released on the handheld, and other than the classic first party release of Metroid Prime Hunters and a handful of Call of Duty releases – the genre has been completely overlooked.
What makes this even more of a shame is the fact that the DS is actually quite a competent medium for the shooter genre – much more so than even than Sony’s PSP. The reason is simple; the DS’s ability to combine D-pad and touchscreen input is a much better representation of standard PC-style mouse-and-keyboard control than the PSP’s D-pad and face button combination does at mimicking the console-style dual analog controls. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare - Mobilized is the perfect example of this phenomenon – it is a fantastic translation of Activision’s award winning Modern Warfare 2 title that has been optimized for handheld play.
OK, well maybe I fibbed a little – because Mobilized is not an actual retelling of the events of its console brethren, but rather a parallel story of its own. But much like the fantastic console release, Mobilized throws gamers heat in the heat of battle against a horde of militaristic baddies bent on world dominance. Throughout the course of the game, players will experience all of the trappings that we have come to expect from the FPS genre; from the standard run-and-gun infantry, to manning turrets and sniper positions, and even helming choppers and tanks – Mobilized proves it is not a one-trick pony.
This is even more apparent once the single player campaign is completed and gamers begin to explore the alternate terrorist hunt-style Challenge mode as well as the multitude of multiplayer options available via either local wireless (Multi-Card play only, sorry) or Nintendo’s Wi-Fi Connection. Not only are the standard Deathmatch and Capture the Flag included, but Mobilized also some of the more non-traditional modes like Sabotage and Hunter & Prey.
Visually, Mobilized is very rough around the edges. Oh who am I kidding – it’s rough inside the edges, too. The colors are blotchy, the backgrounds are drab, and if it weren’t for the color-changing reticule it would often be impossible to differentiate distant enemies from the background. But for close-quarters action the visuals definitely get the job done, and really are no worse than we used to rave about on the old Nintendo 64. It’s nowhere near PSP-quality visuals, but we are willing to accept the visual issues for such a great handheld experience.
And for a handheld experience, Mobilized certainly goes above and beyond in the audio department. Best played with a pair of headphones, Mobilized features a great library of sound effects and samples – and even includes a fantastic amount of voice acting, which is considered a real bonus for DS owners.
Considering the excellent single player, the awesome online multiplayer, and the great sound package – Call of Duty Modern Warfare Mobilized is an excellent value for the DS gamer. While the title could stand to have a visual makeover, we are willing to overlook the rough visual quality in lieu of the wonderful gameplay.