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Call of Duty: Mobile
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Call of Duty: Mobile is a first-person multiplayer shooter available for download on iOS and Android devices. This is the latest spin-off of the wildly popular Call of Duty franchise. Players compete against others online, using realistic military-style weapons and tactics in objective-based matches. The game also includes a Battle Royale mode, pitting players against one another in massive last-man-standing matches. Violence is a key focus, and there's a fair amount of blood splatter and other graphic violence on-screen. The game includes an option for online voice chat between teammates, which could expose younger players to potentially offensive or toxic conversations and language. Though players can progress and earn rewards through basic gameplay, the game does feature a number of items available for purchase via the in-game store.
Combining Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds and the classic Call of Duty on PC gets us the result Call of Duty Mobile. Any mobile gamer in the industry should not be called a mobile gamer if the person has not heard of the ubiquitously known as PUBG Mobile game.
So, Call of Duty: Mobile aka CODM is tactical, first person shooter online multiplayer game. It has mainly two modes: Multiplayer and Battle Royale. Call of Duty: Mobile opens just like any new-age mobile game would, with regular rewards for logging in, added rewards for being among the early players of the game, premium pass monetisation for those who wish to play with more intent, and so on. It combines this with classic Call of Duty character classification, weapons and gear mods, and most importantly, some of the most iconic CoD maps. This, it further combines, with gameplay mechanics that focus on the realism of elements such as closeness to bullets and gun recoil, along with new age technologies such as augmented reality crosshair scope, and the added control of drone strikes at your disposal. In all, there is a ton of stuff to explore.
This game is basically a competitive stage for players to showcase their skill in gaming and reach the pinnacle in the competitive scene. There is a total of 150 levels over which the player unlocks weapons, gears, abilities and perks to be used in different modes and matches. A separate ranked system: Rookie(I-V), ELITE(I-V), PRO(1-V), MASTER(I-V), LEGENDARY which allows you to compare your position and points with respect to the global level. The players on the leader boards are considered to be the most skilled players who have a minimum of 75% win ratio which is very tough to obtain.
The Multiplayer mode is again subdivided into normal multiplayer and ranked multiplayer. Multiplayer has varied modes which needs the player to do different tasks in each mode in order to win the match. Team Deathmatch, Search and Destroy, Domination and Hardpoint are some of the core modes in the game.
5v5 team deathmatches are at the smack dab centre of the gameplay. What makes this ridiculously fun is that everything here is fast paced — an average team match lasts for about seven minutes, so you’re not dawdling at any moment. The objective is simple — be the first to register 50 kills of your opponent team, and you win. As rewards, you get progressive weapon upgrades, ancillary abilities such as frag grenades and smoke bombs, cosmetic upgrades and most importantly, levelling up to unlock special weapons such as the Purifier — the flame-seething slow killer from Black Ops III
The speed of the gameplay means you respawn almost immediately after you die, jumping right back into the game. Interestingly, dying in multiplayer can also work as a strategic element, if you’re too far away from picking up ammo from your kills, and you don’t have any left. Given the ease of ammo availability, Call of Duty: Mobile pays special importance to picking a weapon that has high accuracy, which is what makes the M4 a great starter gun. In fact, it can even be sufficient until about level 8. Plug in a high accuracy scope and a mobility upgrade to maintain pace with scope view enabled, to get a great chance at winning more multiplayer matches.
Alongside multiplayer is a full-fledged 100-player battle royale mode, much like Blackout in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. It’s not the same map, but Call of Duty: Mobile’s large environment similarly integrates locations from past multiplayer maps in the series. Most of all, it looks and feels very similar to Tencent’s own PUBG Mobile — which is a pretty good thing overall.
The key features of the game are the loadouts, perks, scorestreaks and operator skills that are used in a match:
Loadouts or gunsmiths of weapons are weapons customized by a player according to his playstyle and need. One can set up to 10 loadouts which the player can use in different modes according to the need. This plays a key role in the entire game as the best loadouts gives a player the advantage over mobility, accuracy, control and range which increases the chances of winning a gunfight by a huge difference.
Perks are passive abilities that a player obtains if equipped in a loadout. There are 3 types of perks differentiated by their color: Red, Green and Blue. Some perks gives you deadly silence while walking while another perk gives you and extra tactical grenade or another one gives you the ability to heal faster and so on. This plays a key role as different mode demands a specific set of perks which gives a player advantage during the game.
Some guns and perks compliment each other and hence figuring out the right combination of gunsmith loadouts and perks needs a lot of practice and focus.
Scorestreaks are specific added perks which enable you to gain extra advantage over the enemy during a game. It unlocks when you get a certain amount of kills in a row or obtain points by playing objective like capturing a point or planting a bomb. Some examples are hunterkiller, which when used tracks the nearest enemy in the open and dives down to kill the player or players; Cluster strike opens up a bombardment of missiles on a specific area selected by the player; UAV lets a the team know the location of the players in the enemy team; and so on.
Operator skills are specialized weapons or equipment which help in getting kills faster or in some case defending an area better. These skills unlock after a certain time of staying alive. Figuring out the best operator skill according to one’s playstyle and game-mode is very crucial as it can save an entire team or put the victory on the enemies’ hands.
The other big question mark coming into Call of Duty: Mobile was the free-to-play model and monetization. Luckily, you can play as much as you want: the freemium energy meters of old are thankfully absent here, plus you don’t have to watch video ads between matches or anything like that. In that sense, the game is surprisingly friendly. Play for hours at a time without paying, if you please.
Still, the sheer repetition of freemium prompts is obnoxious. I’ve seen as many as six straight full-screen alerts about various in-game deals and promotions when opening up the game, promising more rewards if you pay for a Fortnite-like premium battle pass, or offering special gun skins for sale. Premium currency is sold in bundles, and you can use those coins to purchase items directly, or take a chance on gacha-style crates that unlock random weapon skins, emotes, sprays, and more.
Controls and customizations:
Call of Duty Mobile offers multiple control options and some customization, and I prefer the ability to shoot freely whenever I see the enemy or free fire predicting the enemy to come from a corner making it easier to win gunfights. There is option that the weapon automatically fires whenever an enemy comes in your crosshair. But this is not a good option as it hinders your shooting and even predicting the enemy location is useless and one who is pre firing gets an advantage.
The smallest of controls like gyroscope sensitivity while firing or aiming can be customized. This shows the depth of features this game provides. And moreover this is customizable for multiplayer(MP) and Battle Royale(BR) separately increasing the scope of the player’s choices.
The basics option, audio and graphics option, sensitivity settings and controller settings all are intricately molded and etched into perfection.
The sound effects and visuals are par excellence. From general shooting and reloading sounds to intricate sounds like the sound of a footstep or a bomb being defused, every single sound feature is taken care to make more realistic, giving the players an intense warzone feel. Every visual feature is also taken care of, from the tip of the head peeking from a cover to the shadow of a player hiding behind a box. The synchronization of both visual and auditory effects is perfectly timed.
The best feature of this game is the monthly updates. Every month there is a new update featuring new modes, maps, guns, skills sets, perks and skins. There is a comic storyline tab for the comics lovers to read and a new chapter is released every month to keep the readers engaged. Every month there are bug fixes and over powered gun fixes. A gun is either nerfed or buffed on the analysis of the previous month inputs and records of players. Since the launch of this game in 2019, this game has seen a lot of ups and downs. A core Activision lead team constantly works in the background to look for bugs, glitches and maintain a proper balance in the game.
The biggest revolution the game has seen is when the gunsmith was released to corporate the actual COD: Warzone weapon classification and loadout customizations in COD:M. In order to stay up to date with the best loadouts one must play regularly and hence it demands the player to return back time and again to stay in prime state throughout the game. There are seasonal as well as daily challenges which help in either acquiring a new weapon earn some cool gun skins.
Over the past year, with the ban on PUBG coming into action, the competitive arena in this game has evolved in India to International standards. A majority of the player base of CODM is from India, increasing the competition and is a great stage for content creation as well for the audience.
That seems to be a whole ton of people, too, given the 100 million downloads racked up in Call of Duty: Mobile’s first week of availability. Call of Duty: Mobile is smaller-scale proof that the core ideas of the series work just fine on mobile devices. In simple words, there is always a lot of things to explore in this game which makes one never feel unsatisfied and pushes players to grind more and more in this game.
The hit Call of Duty franchise calls in an airstrike on mobile shooters with CALL OF DUTY: MOBILE, available for download on iOS and Android devices. Designed from the ground up exclusively for mobile phones, the game takes all the fast-paced action and high-stakes competition the series has been famous for on computers and consoles, and packs it into an explosive handheld package worthy of the Call of Duty name. You'll create your soldier and fight online in familiar 5v5 competitions like Frontline, Hardpoint, Domination, and Search and Destroy. As you play, you'll earn and learn new abilities and weapons on the battlefield, gaining experience and improving your skills before testing yourself in Battle Royale mode with up to 99 other players. Do you have what it takes to be the last person standing when the dust settles? Answer the Call of Duty and find out.
Is It Any Good?
For years, this franchise has been the hallmark of first-person military shooters, setting the bar for others in the genre. The series has also made its way to mobile devices with Call of Duty: Mobile. The game has been designed from the ground up as an original mobile experience. Despite the smaller real estate of the phone screen, everything looks crisp and detailed, running smoothly on most modern devices. Since its initial release, Call of Duty: Mobile has continued to grow, adding more rotating game modes, a wider arsenal of weapons, and new operator skills and classes. The game also includes a slew of content and events running hand-in-hand with its bigger brothers on consoles and computers. In fact, it's almost bursting at the seams with content. Unfortunately, navigating through all of this has slowly become a more frustrating chore, as the game's menus have gotten more cluttered and cumbersome. The frequent promotion of additional content slows down action as you try to figure out the menu option you want without being subjected to a new promo.
Despite the issues with trying to navigate the menus, especially on the smaller real estate of mobile screens, Call of Duty: Mobile still plays buttery smooth once a match starts and the bullets fly. Controls have also been laid out in an efficient way, giving players instant access to all the tricks in their arsenal without seeming cramped or invading heavily into the game screen. Newcomers to the series will likely enjoy the game's Simple mode as well, which automatically fires the equipped weapon once players line up an enemy in their sights. But the Advanced controls give a much wider range of options, making it easier to sneak up on clusters of foes without giving away your position. It can take a little getting used to at first, though, as it's easy to get wrapped up in the action and accidentally slip your grip just a bit out of position, but practice takes care of that quickly. After starting a match, there's very little wait time and no noticeable lag during play. Maps feel a lot more condensed, outside of the massive Battle Royale map, of course. But that works in the game's favor by keeping the bullets flying and the matches short, perfect for pocket-sized play.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in Call of Duty: Mobile affected by the realistic visuals of on-screen combat? Would the gameplay be as engaging if there wasn't blood and gore shown as a result of the gameplay?
How have advances in technology made it possible to bring console-quality gaming to mobile devices? What might we see in the future of mobile gaming?