Call of Duty: Strike Team for iOS launched on Thursday, September 4th. This new Call of Duty experience tailored for mobile gaming is set to help Activision extended their global reach with Call of Duty. Thus far, Activision has also brought Zombies ports to mobile phones. Strike Team is the first Call of Duty game for mobile that was designed from the ground up with mobile experience in mind. We’ve been playing this game for a few days now, and so far it’s the best First Person Shooter on iOS in a long time.
The game does offer in-app purchases that’s worth up to around $50. If you sign in with a Call of Duty profile, you get some free tokens, which you can use to unlock weapons. Earning XP and leveling up also helps you earn tokens to use.
The controls, at first, are hard to get used too. You have to control your soldier’s movements by using the left side of the screen and control the direction the soldier looks with the right side of the screen. You have to tap on the target icon on the right to shoot your weapon; if you want to shoot and change the direction you’re facing, it’s a little cumbersome to accomplish. The controls feel smooth, as with any Call of Duty experience. It’s quick, responsive, and works as it should. I had many issues trying to figure out what button does what, but the game guides you in the right direction.
On an iPhone 5, they’ve decently spaced out the two sides. You’ll get the best experience using an iPad, as the larger screen will allow for more real-estate to play the game.
If you’re new to a FPS on iOS, Strike Team provides a nice step by step tutorial on how to play as you’re playing the first mission.
The game features multiple campaign levels, which have to be played in a certain order, just like any other Call of Duty game. The first mission is called ‘Europa Fall,’ which takes you to an arctic area in Europe. Strike Team starts off with a stealth operation, in which you have to take out two security guards using a knife. The animation for this is really cool. You walk your player close to the back of the enemy, and tap the knife icon. The AI does the rest. The first weapon you encounter is a sniper rifle. You can use it scoped or just shoot with hip fire.
The game switches between cinematic movie like viewing experiences to you actually playing the game in first person. In the first mission, you get the option to play in First Person and control a Quadrotor drone. Quadrotor’s functionality is very limited in this game; you can only control the two soldiers on the game and see a tactical view of the entire map. The first mission felt really short and quick. It may have been that I missed somethings, but it felt as if it ends abruptly.
The other missions were great; those lasted a lot longer and brought together a nice story for the game. The campaign itself takes around four hours to complete if you strive to go for lots of XP and challenges (the length of this campaign is actually longer than Black Ops Declassified for the Vita).
In the campaign mode, you also get another squad member to play alongside. You can change between your player and the soldier. If you are not playing as the other character, he’ll become AI controlled. However, you get to control the movements of your teammate; the game forces you to bring him closer to your current location whenever he gets too far behind.
The campaign mode was a well developed story line and experience that they brought to mobile. It isn’t similar to any other Call of Duty game storyline, so it provides some new scenery and action.
Survival Mode in Strike Team is the same idea as Modern Warfare 3’s Survival Mode. It’s a bogged down version, of course. I only survived 5 waves, as I’m (1) a noob and (2) not used to these controls. The first map you unlock for Survival felt really small and clustered, resulting in few escape routes if you’re trapped. The mode itself is really enjoyable. It’s fun to play survival mode on your phone.
Survival Mode lets your start with a TYPE 25 Assault Rifle. The weapons feel and look like Call of Duty guns; not some down scaled versions of the weapons. When you fire the guns, you immediately recognize the noise and feel from Black Ops II.
The team at The Blast Furnace have done a fantastic job on brining the Call of Duty experience to mobile phones with Strike Team. One of the biggest downsides is that the game does not support any multiplayer features. It would’ve been nice to play Survival with friends on this game. You can connect use the ACTIVATE account, and find friends who are also playing this game. However, this feature only allows you to see leader boards and compare your stats with your friends. If you plan on buying on an iPhone 4S, note that the screen might be small for a good experience. And, as the description of the app says, don’t even buy this game if you own an iPhone 4. It crashes, freezes, and doesn’t even load.
The game definitely has it’s benefits, including a nicely designed campaign, Call of Duty-feel, weapon animations, player animations, and more. Comparing Strike Team to Call of Duty Zombies on iOS, this game is a lot better. You do not have issues with slow loading times or lagging animations in Strike Team. Activision and The Blast Furnace really pushed the boundaries on what a Call of Duty game can do on mobile, and we hope Activision continues to invest in brining newer experiences to Call of Duty: Strike Team.
Call of Duty: Strike is available now on iOS for $6.99. It’s coming soon to Android and Kindle Fire.