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