Traditionally, iPhone/Android users aren’t left with many great options for mobile shooters or adaptations of their favorite triple-A games. Touchy controls, frustrating levels, and downsized arenas do not make a great first-person shooters. Activision has smartly left most of these iterations alone (except for a few) until now, with Call of Duty: Strike Team. There’s a bit of a lull now until Call of Duty: Ghost, and it’s been nearly two years since the last iOS adaptation. Call of Duty: Strike Team is, surprisingly, a brand new Call of Duty adventure set in the Black Ops II universe.
It’s a robust offering with plenty to sink your teeth into, refusing to fall victim to the typical pitfalls these types of games do. If you need your next Call of Duty fix while waiting for the next console release, Strike Team is your best.
Strike Team follows a squad out to do battle with Cordis Die, another wacky terrorist organization looking to wreak havoc on the free world. When doesn’t that happen in these games, right? But you won’t be jumping on board for the story, anyway. With that said, you’ll enjoy blazing through the single-player campaign, obviously optimized for mobile devices. Despite the usual heavy multiplayer focus in the Call of Duty arena, it was an interesting twist to see a glut of content available as you wade through story mode.
A most interesting addition to Strike Team is a third-person tactical view that players can utilize from time to time to direct your squad and give orders. It works beautifully, and both first-person mode and birds-eye view are interchangeable at any time. It’s an invaluable tool for players wishing for a more tactical game than Call of Duty normally advertises and it’s useful for scouting terrain and getting a look at what’s ahead.
You can check for all visible enemies, issue retreat/frank/stealth commands, and then zip right back over to classic FPS view for instant gratification. The smaller levels and quickfire action couples well with the freedom to swap between views. It’s clear this is a Call of Duty meant to appeal to a wider audience than die-hard shooter fans, and this is a feature that would work well in future console iterations.
Presentation and visuals are top-notch as well, with an entire customizable loadout system and additional unlockable perks and equipment you’ll undoubtedly want to replay the chunk-sized missions to acquire. You’ll receive experience points for completing a wide variety of actions, and the additional social networking augments give you more reasons to return to campaign and Survival modes again and again.
Like most games these days, Strike Team uses micro-transactions referred to as tokens. They’re used to unlock weapons, purchase medkits, grenades, and more — all ahead of the level at which you’d normally receive them. Token purchases are not always required with real-world money, however, as Strike Tram doles several out during normal play. You earn enough to sustain you without ever having to spend a cent, which are micro-transactions done right: unobtrusive and not absolutely necessary, but a nice perk if you want to spend the money.
Call of Duty: Strike Team is about as close as you can come right now to a proper miniaturization of the blockbuster franchise. It’s completely devoid of multiplayer, but what’s here is a richly-featured, faithful adaptation of the best-selling hits that continue to dominate the FPS market. You’ll be getting an authentic Call of Duty experience for a fraction of the price.
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