Title: Modern Combat Blackout
Genre: Action, Adventure, Other
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Audience: Mature 17+ – Blood, Violence, Strong Language
Release Date: 14/02/2019
Price: £19.99 – Rapid Reviews UK was very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
What the Developers say
Begin the fight to switch on the light.
Never lose sight of your friends.
No soldier fights alone.
Jump into the crossfire as the latest Modern Combat raises the bar for FPS action on Nintendo Switch!
Pick from 9 customizable classes and fight around the world in thrilling 12-player online battles, or in the engaging offline story mode. Find friends and join a squad that fights together, or go it alone like a true commando. However you play, you’ll unlock potent new skills and a variety of gear as you progress.
• Deploy for epic clashes in Team Battle and Free-for-All matches online.
• Up to 12 players can deploy for simultaneous battle.
• Take the fight to 9 unique maps, from the gorgeous canals of Venice to the neon streets of Tokyo.
• Rise to the top of the Player and Squad Leaderboards.
• Win cool rewards in the limited-time events.
INTENSE SOLO CAMPAIGN
• Fast-paced story missions with various challenges taking you from Tokyo to Venice.
• Play the challenging Spec Ops missions for a real adrenaline rush.
• Flawless graphics and music, optimized specifically for the Nintendo Switch, with voice performances seamlessly integrated into each cutscene.
CHOOSE YOUR FAVORITE CLASS
• Choose from 9 customizable classes that you can level up across single- and multiplayer modes.
• Find the playstyle that suits you: Assault, Heavy, Recon, Sniper, Support, Bounty Hunter, Sapper, X1-Morph or Kommander.
CUSTOMIZE FOR COMBAT
• Attach Trinkets to your weapons to add personal flair.
• Choose a camo design for your gear to have a unique presence on the battlefield.
• Intuitive, highly customizable controls allow you to play just the way you want.
2 MODES — 1 PROGRESSION
• Accumulate XP and level up by playing both single-player missions and multiplayer matches.
• Unlock new weapons as you master your initial arsenal.
• Customize the perfect weapon using a host of attachments.
In amongst the plethora of titles on the Nintendo eShop, the First-Person Shooter genre is, in my opinion, lacking. Sure, we’ve had Doom and Wolfenstein, which represent two of the finest titles on the Nintendo Switch, but I’m talking true online-multiplayer, real-world combat. Hell, it only took less than 12 months for Call of Duty to grace the PS Vita with its presence, and yet here I am wondering how well a Wii port of World at War would do on the Nintendo Switch – desperate times!
Noticing a gap in the market, as they so often do, Gameloft has come out shooting with Modern Combat Blackout. Renowned for their mobile gaming prowess, they have made the Nintendo Switch their next gaming hardware of choice, and have subsequently ported this 2014 hit to it. Sceptical, unsure and belligerent, I jumped in to see whether this is a cash and grab for what was a free-to-play title, or a genuine attempt at introducing a shooting series to our beloved hybrid console. Read on for a Rapid Review of Modern Combat Blackout.
Looks and sounds
Best described as a mixed bag, the visuals in Modern Combat Blackout range from marvellous to murky. The cutscenes and more scripted areas of gameplay look great and showcase its relevance on the Nintendo Switch. I liked the lighting effects and found the environments to be detailed enough. Fast forward to the combat itself, and some of the backdrops looked like cardboard cutouts, and the AI was often clones of one another.
The audio itself is competent if unremarkable. All the usual gunshots and enemy grunts are here, but nothing of note to write home about. The inclusion of voice acting is a massive plus, and the music was atmospheric-ish. However, I dispute the claim that “flawless graphics and music, optimised specifically for the Nintendo Switch” are present here.
Gameplay and Replayability
There are two distinct game modes available in Modern Combat Blackout: story mode and online multiplayer.
The story is delivered through a series of punchy, short and varied missions across many locations. Each location has many missions to complete, ranging from the usual ‘make it to the checkpoint’ style to others not too dissimilar to Time Crisis – albeit without the gun. It is here where it’s mobile origins are most apparent, as it is clear that the missions have been tailored more towards mobile gaming. That’s not to say they aren’t fun, but the pickup and play nature of a mobile game would mask some of the game’s shortcomings, something that can’t be disguised in a more extended playthrough on a console.
Each location you are presented within the story mode has a number of missions associated with it. You must complete each mission in turn, trying to achieve gold status by fulfilling the three objectives set. Much like many a mobile game, you can receive up to 3 stars for each mission depending on the objectives you complete. These can be anything from making three headshots to getting two explosive kills, and by splitting them into bite-sized missions, they provide enough of a motivator to attempt the mission again for the three-star ranking. Oddly enough, even though more console-orientated titles have much longer missions situated around the same location, the fact that Modern Combat Blackout split them into smaller ones meant that the locations became stale at a quicker rate.
Where this game does offer something new is in the online multiplayer. As I alluded too earlier, this is something I’ve been craving and had high hopes for. Although not at all the finished article, nor a Call of Duty/Battlefield competitor, it does provide a solid multiplayer experience in either of the free-for-all and team deathmatch modes. With 9 classes available, opportunities to gain XP and level up, and relatively smooth, lag-free combat, there is a lot to like. Much like Call of Duty did back in the day when it wasn’t all about running along walls ‘Prince of Persia’ style, it got me hooked.
The maps are well-designed and just the right size to provide familiarity without becoming claustrophobic. The on-screen hud is detailed without being overwhelming, offering a radar that can be made full-screen at the click of a button and clear indicators on how to use your kill-streak perks. I also found the customisation options of your soldier and his weapons to be intuitive and straightforward, although the number of options available can be overwhelming! I also liked the inclusion of ‘combat packs’ which can be bought with points earned in-game. These would have previously represented the opportunity for Gameloft to make their money in the mobile version, however here there are no ‘in-app purchases’ so to speak.
Of course, all the usual suspects appear here trying to hinder my enjoyment: someone with better WiFi; someone with far too much time on their hands and is already level 579; someone who is just categorically better than me…It never did test my patience though as I was having some good ol’ fun with it.
The developers deserve credit for what they have created in the online mode, and I believe this is where most will spend their time. I wanted to like it more, but graphically it does let itself down, and the way the other players move around the screen was somewhat reminiscent of a PS2 title – clunky and unrealistic.
Modern Combat Blackout scratched an itch that needed scratching. It is far from remarkable, and won’t be heralded as a Nintendo Switch must-have, but it delivers on a first-person shooter with up to 12 players fighting it out online. Being able to join a squad of mates and fight alongside one another is an excellent touch and promotes the online capabilities of the Switch, something that has not been fully utilised elsewhere. Whether it ‘raises the bar for FPS action on Nintendo Switch,’ is up for discussion, and even if it has, I would hope it wasn’t long before someone raised the bar once more!
A solid shooter that offers a spot of first-person combat, but shouldn’t stand to live the test of time.
Rapid Reviews UK Rating
You can purchase Modern Combat Blackout on the Nintendo eShop at the following link: https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/Modern-Combat-Blackout-1511993.html