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Activision announced and released Call of Duty: Strike Team last week to the surprise of COD nation. The iOS title was curiously kept under wraps until a day before its September 5th release, which sometimes points to internal troubles with a particular game. While Call of Duty: Strike Team isn’t a mobile game to write home about, it still offers a trimmed down COD console experience that uber-fans of the series may enjoy.

The bulk of this $6.99 title’s gameplay is rooted in a campaign component that offers 16 different missions to tackle, which will take most gamers 3-4 hours to complete. The intriguing aspect of Strike Team’s gameplay model is the fact that it uses a top-down “Drone” view, similar to the presentation in XCOM: Enemy Unknown, in addition to the traditional first person mechanic used in the console titles. Players have the ability to swap between the two perspectives with a tap of a button, which can be freely used outside of certain scenarios such as door breaches that require the first person view.

Drone view definitely has a XCOM feel
Drone view definitely has a XCOM feel

The ability to change perspectives is one of the more unique features of Strike Team, and it does lead to various strategies that can be employed to defeat the enemy threat. Personally, the top down view works the best with the touchscreen controls, and ended up being my preferred style of play. The virtual first person shooter controls work better than most FPS games on touchscreen devices, and the inclusion of an auto-aim button helps to simplify the twitchy shooting mechanic featured in all COD games.

Quite frankly the auto-aim arrows feel like cheating, but they do help to alleviate the issues that go hand in hand with virtual FPS controls on touch-based devices. If you don’t mind the simplicity that this feature offers, you may very well prefer the first person view over the top-down presentation while blasting your way through the campaign missions.

The virtual FPS controls work well and the inclusion of auto-aim arrows help
The virtual FPS controls work well and the inclusion of auto-aim arrows help

Each of the 16 missions try to resemble the terrorist-centric campaigns featured in the COD console games, but the story aspect falls short of the Bayhem provided by those triple-A titles. Never did it feel like I was making my way towards an end game. Each mission more or less offered the same experience as the last. Some required an asset to protect, while others just offered legions of brain dead AI soldiers to mow down. For the most part, the gameplay remained the same throughout, and the tap-to-kill mechanic only added to the generic feeling that the watered down campaign story offered.

The tension of the firefights featured in traditional COD games just never came to fruition in Strike Team, which made the story attached to it highly forgettable and not needed. Each mission would have been better served if they just loaded like a new level in Angry Birds, or more like the “Survival Map” challenges that round out Strike Team’s arsenal of game types.

Call of Duty: Strike Team does make an attempt to offer a similar experience to the wildly popular console games through equipment loadouts that can be set before each match. Perks such as increased blast radiuses, heavy weapon movement penalties, and others can be toggled to help your squad achieve its goals (campaign features missions with 2 and 4 man squads.) New and better weapons also unlock as your level increases, further connecting the Strike Team experience to the familiar Call of Duty console titles. Strike Team does include an in-game store where credits can be purchased with real money, but never did a situation occur where money had to leave my account to help aid my soldiers en route to victory.

Strike Team tries to tell an interesting tale, but falls short.
Strike Team tries to tell an interesting tale, but falls short.

Activision isn’t shy when it comes to capitalizing on the unparalleled success of the Call of Duty franchise. The annual releases are a clear indication of this mantra, and now the publishing giant is trying to reap some more cash from the franchise by providing an official mobile experience for iOS devices. Call of Duty: Strike Team is actually a decent representation of the franchise on a touchscreen device, but its lackluster gameplay and dumbed down AI spoil the experience. The use of two perspectives is interesting, and the “Drone” view will surely elicit comparisons to XCOM: Enemy Unknown for iOS, but neither view honestly tests your skills.

Rather than being a FPS on the go, Strike Team turns into a simplistic tap-to-kill affair that quickly becomes repetitive and unexciting. The low price of $6.99 is worth the price of admission, but the game should only be purchased by the Call of Duty faithful who can’t get enough of the franchise in their daily life.

 


[schema type=”review” name=”Call of Duty: Strike Team | Review Summary” description=”The Awesome: XCOM style COD, Decent virtual FPS controls | The Not so Awesome: Repetitive gameplay, AI issues, Lacks a worthy narrative” rev_name=”Call of Duty: Strike Team” rev_body=”Call of Duty: Strike Team for iOS manages to sort of bring the COD console experience to touchscreen devices. The two different perspectives provide both a FPS and RTS feel to the gameplay, but the shady enemy AI takes most of the challenge out of this game. $6.99 is a fair price for the content provided by Strike Team, but casual COD fans can steer clear without the fear of missing a must-play Call of Duty experience.” author=”Matt Heywood” pubdate=”2013-09-09″ user_review=”7″ min_review=”0″ max_review=”10″ ]

The reviewer received a code from the publisher for review purposes on the iOS platform.

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Tags : Call of Duty Strike TeamGame ReviewMobile Gaming
Matt Heywood

The author Matt Heywood

Matt Heywood is the founder and EIC of EntertainmentBuddha.com where he strives to make you a better geek, one post at a time! When he's not scouring the Internet for interesting nuggets of awesomeness he can be found in his secret lair enjoying the latest and greatest video games, taking pictures of toys, or talking Star Wars on EB's Star Wars Time podcast show.