Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Mobilized aims to give Call of Duty fans something to do when they aren’t near their console of choice. Unfortunately, although the game delivers incredible graphics and sound for a DS game, everything else about this stale shooter leaves something to be desired.
For me, the distinction between a good handheld game and a bad handheld game is easy. If the game is so good that I play it even when I'm in the range of my PC and consoles, it's probably pretty good. If the first thing I want to do when I get home is hide my DS in the first drawer I see, then the game probably isn't that compelling. Unfortunately, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Mobilized falls into the latter category.
Modern Warfare mobilized attempts to bring a first person shooter onto a platform that, in my humble opinion, simply wasn't made for this type of game. It requires you to use your right hand to hold the stylus and drag around on the bottom screen to aim, while your left hand moves the character around using the D-Pad and utilizes the left trigger to shoot. If you're left handed you can use the face buttons to move around and the right trigger to shoot, although this formula worked pretty good for games like Metroid Prime: Hunters, this game adds a bunch of extra clutter and stylus controls to make it far from enjoyable.
You have to do everything with the Stylus - you can't just aim - that would be too easy. You also have to reload, toggle aim down the sights, use grenades, and interact with the environment using the insanely cluttered bottom screen. You also need to double tap forward on the d-pad to run, and back to crouch. I'll give them credit for trying to bring in as much as they could from the console game, it just doesn't work when you're playing on a DS. My hands got incredibly sore playing this game, and I had to take a lot of breaks. I found it really hard to finish this game. Not because of the difficulty, but because I just didn't want to keep playing it.
Speaking of difficulty, I don't suggest playing this game on the hardest setting, unless you enjoy death. I don't think it's actually that hard, but playing at this difficulty really brings the bad design of these controls to the forefront. It simply doesn't work. I found myself just never turning aiming down the sights off and carefully creeping around corners in hopes that I'd get the jump on the enemy. The issue with aiming down the sights all the time is that it fills up so much of the view, making it hard to see enemies. It would have been so much better to improve the accuracy of shooting from the hip and just leave it at that. The radar for the game also happens to be on the bottom screen, and it's basically rendered useless because your hand is always covering it.
To top it all off the A.I. in this game is lacking. The friendly A.I. is constantly shooting at the targets that are barely a threat instead of focusing on the enemies right in front of you, and a couple of times I found my AI buddies taking out their frustrations on a nearby wall. The enemy A.I. is pretty much always concentrating on taking you down, and they never seem to fire on anyone else in your group.
This game does have some multiplayer, but good luck finding an online match. The best I could do was convincing two of my buddies to join me in some local play. You can best your pals in deathmatch, capture the flag, hunter/prey, and sabotage, which is a team based attack/defend type game. Again, the controls here rear their ugly head, but at least everyone has to use them, which levels out the playing field.
I definitely suggest holding off on buying this game, at least until it’s in the $5 bargain bin. You can rent it if you really feel the need to try it out, but even that may be a misappropriation of funds. The only things that are great about this game are the graphics and sound. If only they had taken even a little bit of the effort from those two elements and put it into the gameplay and control mechanics, this would have probably been a winner.
Gameplay:4.0, Graphics:9.0, Sound:9.0, Innovation:4.0, Mojo:3.0 Final: 5.8 / 10
Reviewed by Mike Baggley | 12.10.09