Modern Combat 5 Hands-On Preview

One of mobile’s biggest fist-person shooter franchises is revving up to drop another helping of modern military conflict on iOS gamers. In a move that surprises absolutely no one, Modern Combat 5 is in the works and it’s shaping up to be the biggest, most bombastic installment of the game to date. Gameloft had an early version on display at E3, and I was able to go hands-on with it.

The first thing I immediately noticed from the E3 build was another leap forward on the franchise’s visual fidelity. Running on a 4th gen iPad, the game looked sharp and the gameplay was mostly fluid. The texture work and depth of the environments was stunning, and it’s clear no resource is being spared in creating a believable portrait of war.

While the action is much as you’d expect if you’ve played previous Modern Combat titles, some new tools have been added for you to play with. Deployable drones add a new dynamic to plotting out your attack plan. Drones not only will fire upon enemies, but they also relay map data showing where the opposition is positioned. While Gameloft was quiet on details like story, mulitplayer, and new weapons, the game’s weapon modification system is ace for adjusting add-ons like scopes, reticles, and alternative fire, similar to how console titles like Crysis and Call of Duty do things.

The demo I played through was short, with many details left to be revealed later this fall. I could see the visuals shaping up nicely, but I’m hoping under-the-hood aspects like better weapon tuning for multiplayer and smarter AI help change things for the better. Look for Modern Combat 5 on iOS and Android this fall.

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