I am not a fan of mobile games. I find them to be the usual timesink, free to play garbage. As of Oct. 8, Call of Duty Mobile isn’t that. Developed by the shady company Tencent, the essence of COD Mobile is a Call of Duty equivalent of a greatest hits album. It has the multiplayer, a battle royale mode, and a yet to be released zombies mode. I say greatest hits specifically because of the multiplayer.
Consisting of an ever-growing group of maps, the set-list of Mobile has such classic Call of Duty maps as Nuketown, Firing Range and Standoff. Having the freedom to choose pretty much any map from any of the recent games, I can’t wait to see what is added next.
In many Call of Duty games, multiplayer comes first, and it is the case here as well. You get to choose either the competitive ranked mode or the more casual normal mode. With surprisingly intuitive controls, you will run through familiar maps, with some familiar guns, and have a fun time doing it, all running perfectly like some kind of black magic.
Then there is "Battle Royale." While performing a bit less smoothly than multiplayer, you are put on a giant map with several other players, either in teams or solo, and fighting to the death. It is a condensed version of Blackout, first introduced Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, and you are given the option of either playing in first or third person, and it is fun in both ways. However, there is one big kicker with battle royale, and that is the amount of bots.
The only problems I see with this game are the bots and the battle pass. It is quite obvious that most of the time, aside from ranked, you are playing against bots, not with other humans. I would have a problem with this, but with the way progression is handled in mobile, it does not make a difference if you are fighting a bot or a human. It will still level you up when you play. I noticed this when I was getting kill after kill and win after win. Coming across these with ease is the norm for me in this type of game. Hopefully players will learn to accept and get used to it, but the only problem I see with them is in the battle royale. One of the things that keeps players coming back to games like Fortnite is the rush of getting first place above several other players. However, having AI instead of real players in this mode robs any of that rush. I won two times in a row, whereas in Black Ops 4 I have only won once. Even as a casual player, I felt robbed. It is essentially a blatant timesink that makes you wait a long time just to get that artificial win.
Then there is the battle pass. Surprisingly, it isn’t the most anti-consumer cash grab in the world. Being a free to play game, the battle pass is about $10, and as of right now, it's worth it. You progress through it by completing challenges, most of which will happen organically as you are playing, and are rewarded things like gear drops, and I have found it satisfactory, although there is a more expensive “premium” version that is likely rigged to give you better items, but I did notice that progression in this game is abnormally slow unless you have that pass.
So, if you can get past the rampant amount of bots instead of real players, something that may or may not matter to a lot to players, or some minor problems, Call of Duty Mobile is so much fun. I don’t have much time to play video games sitting down anymore. Having an experience that is engaging, familiar, and that works on mobile is lightning in a bottle. It is a more satisfying experience to play than the latest console release, Black Ops 4. I can’t wait to see what the zombie mode will be like, but so far, Mobile is on the right track, and I will be playing it for a long, long while.
Edited by Adam White, Jason Morrison, Jackson Woods