Gameloft is one of those publishers that really splits the base of gamers on Android. While many can appreciate the great looking games they bring to the platform, many others will despise the fact that they are all infested with numerous high-priced in-app purchases. Their latest release Modern Combat Versus does no one any favors in this regard.
I mean sure, the game's graphics look fantastic. But everything else about this title leaves a lot to be desired.
First off, the default controls have been dumbed down to the point that your gun now auto-fires for you as long as your target is within your sights. Luckily you can add the manual fire button back from within the game's settings. While I can understand that a manual fire mode is difficult to control on a touchscreen, maybe that is a sign that the FPS genre isn't the best to play on mobile unless there's an option to play with a controller, which of course Modern Combat Versus does not offer.
The second glaring omission from this title is the fact that there is no story mode. The entire game is played online as a 4x4 team-based multiplayer shooter. While this is not necessarily the worst news, it is another "feature" that lessens the game when compared to prior offerings. Essentially anyone who enjoyed the single player experience in the previous Modern Combat titles no longer matters in Gameloft's eyes.
Now, in the larger scheme of things dumbed-down controls and a missing single player mode are not this game's biggest issue. What really drags down the gameplay is the fact that your advancement is tied to loot boxes that unlock new characters and earn you currency. But you see, these are not your average loot boxes, as they have a timer tied to their access. You can either wait for the timer to run out or pay in-game currency to remove the timer altogether.
Luckily there is no energy system tied to the gameplay. This way you can continue to play as long as you like, you just won't be able to unlock new characters or earn your cash until you can open a new loot box. The tricky bit is you also need to earn individual character XP through simply playing the game as well as use your in-game currency to upgrade your players. This slightly diminishes the pay-to-win aspects of the loot crate system as everyone will need to at least be the same XP level before they gain access to their player's upgrades. Sure, those with more money to burn will still have a leg up over those at the same XP level that are playing for free, but it's at least a step in the right direction.
Really, it's no surprise that the latest Modern Combat title is going in the direction of trying to interest the more casual players out there. But for the more hardcore fans of the FPS genre, Modern Combat Versus is simply a facsimile of a better game with the addition of timed loot boxes, multiple currencies, and in-app purchases that range up to $99.99. While it's pretty apparent that team-based shooters are really popular right now and this release may just find a healthy audience thanks to current trends, that still doesn't change the fact that the gameplay has a slight pay-to-win aspect that is pretty difficult to ignore in a competitive multiplayer game.