iPhone game of the day: Modern Combat: Sandstorm

Game:  Modern Combat: Sandstorm
Price: $4.99
Size: 199MB
Buy it now from the iTunes Store: US/UK

Gameloft will never win prizes for originality. After all, the company's entire body of work seems to be copying other games on portable systems where nobody will notice. That's not inherently a bad thing though. What Gameloft lacks in originality it makes up for with pure workmanship. Its games are derivative, but you won't find more robust, slick and console-worthy titles on your iPhone.

Modern Combat: Sandstorm is a prime example of Gameloft's successful modus operandi. Everything, right down the name, reeks of familiarity, but it is undeniably one of the best first-person-shooters on the iPhone, matched only by Gameloft's other derivative FPS, N.O.V.A. Innovation and quality don't often go hand in hand, and Gameloft demonstrates that if you aren't doing the former, you better go all-out with the latter.

The game is set in the sandy deserts of modern warfare, and the general aim is to destroy all of those dirty terrorists in the name of Uncle Sam. There's something resembling a plot buried under all the gunfire, but you might as well discard that and focus on snuffing out as many insurgents as you can.

It can be quite a challenging game, and is fond of ambushes, but it's tightly woven together and the controls, while not quite as refined as N.O.V.A, work great on the touch screen and should provide you no problems. Graphically, Sandstorm doesn't have too many competitors, and most of them come from Gameloft's own library.

Modern Combat: Sandstorm is for gamers who love console games and just can't seem to part with them, even on the bus. It won't replace Call of Duty in your heart, but nothing will provide a temporary replacement better than this.

Aug 26, 2010


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  • mrmorozov987 - August 27, 2010 2:58 a.m.

    Console-quality? Are you implying that this is better than the Call of Duties on the DS? Because, last I checked, AI-less enemies, 15-minute long levels without midlevel saves (especially on a mobile device), a really crappy multiplayer mode, an utter lack of story whatsoever, and crouching that does absolutely nothing is not good game design. Gameloft is very good at tech; making games, not so much. Multiplayer has a ridiculous amount of spawn killing. I've lost 3 matches straight due to it. Note to Gameloft: if someone is spawn killing me, it's not a good idea to put myself in the exact same spot over and over again for an entire round. Just sayin'. Oh, and only 3 multiplayer maps. That won't get repetitive or anything. And no more of this bullshit excuse that it's "good for an iPhone game." As said above, the COD games on the DS are lightyears ahead of this. THE DS. Lack of competition is no excuse for piss-poor game design. The iPhone has everything it needs for some serious FPS action. Do it, already! Geez. Seriously, I know most FPS's aren't known for their stories, but this is beyond awful. You do realize that there is absolutely zero plot development until the second-to-last level, right? And that that development was literally "No one can stop us."? And don't even mention that God-awful plot twist in the last 20 seconds of the game. Holy crap. Fine, fine, it's graphically impressive. Ignoring the utterly generic art direction that doesn't change at all during levels, the polygon count is great. Yay. Oh, and the amount of mounted MG's is ridiculous. They're fun if you use them sparingly, but when you have 15 minutes worth of it at once, it gets beyond old. I know I probably sound really biased, but I really want a good FPS on the iPhone. I really, really do. But what I've seen so far just isn't up to other handheld gaming standards.
  • WillisTron - August 26, 2010 5:09 p.m.

    This would go for like $30 bucks on the DS, that's why i love my iphone/ipod

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