First-Person Shooters on mobile always seem to have something wrong with them to stop me playing after a while. This time around, it didn’t take me long before the rage was building, and I can safely say it’s not my fault.
What is Good about COD Mobile?
As always, I want to start off a review by saying what a game does well. In this situation, COD Mobile offers a fun experience for new free-to-play players. Which, let’s be honest, is no real surprise seeing as it’s stuffed to the brim with microtransactions.
With that being said, it’s easy to look for good things to say about Call of Duty Mobile. The maps are like a greatest hits compilation from several games and the gameplay, minus the default controls, feel immersive and engaging.
There are a variety of game modes, including Team Deathmatch, Domination, and a Battle Royale. So on the surface, Call of Duty Mobile offers an insane amount of content when compared to other free-to-play games like Mario Kart Tour.
I haven’t even mentioned the Battle Royale game mode, which overall is solid. Its got a lot of the same features from Blackout, but available as a class rather than random drops in-game. Meaning you can pick a class with sensor darts or grapple hooks, rather than waste inventory space carrying them.
What’s Wrong With COD Mobile?
Unfortunately for any neutral, there are a lot of problems with the multiplayer experience. Most of these problems are exclusive for just the multiplayer game mode, because of the amount of monetization included in COD Mobile.
Now, I am going out on a limb here, but I am sure everything other than Battle Royale is pay to win. Most items you pay for in COD Mobile are cosmetic, minus the weapon XP cards. However, I believe that if you were to buy the battle pass, you would get access to a crate that has guns in it.
A game that is pay-to-win (P2W) allows its players to play for free, knowing that they don’t stand a chance against the players who are paying. After several games online, I started to see a lot of the same gun, in the same camouflage. This could mean, when you unlock a skin of a gun, you unlock the gun way before any free-to-play players will.
This is where it gets hard to classify what is P2W and what isn’t, you can unlock all the guns without paying, which is good! But there are too many ranks, meaning you could play for hours and hours without being near to unlocking every gun. So gameplay is not strictly pay-to-win, but it offers players a potentially significant advantage if they are willing to spend a lot.
What Else is Wrong?
I felt like I spent too much time diving into the P2W argument, especially since I am not sure if it actually crosses that line. Instead, let’s go into the other problems that are making it hard for me to recommend the multiplayer of COD Mobile to anyone.
What also ruins the online experience, besides overpowered guns, is other players’ poor connection. Now, I did an internet test on my phone several times and I was never below 30Mbps. Yet, I constantly bumped into players who were lagging all over the place, effectively becoming impossible to shoot.
Now, a lot of players will blame connection issues on teething problems of a new game, but I think that’s rubbish. When I say rubbish, I mean that it appears beneficial to be laggy. The amount of players who move around faster than expected is crazy. I am not accusing anyone of hacking, but it doesn’t seem beneficial to have a good internet connection.
One problem I thought I may as well throw in was how bad the controls are. The customization of these controls is actually very good. However, the default button layout and sizes are not good enough and should be changed to fit your preferences. In the default layout, the shoot button is surrounded by other smaller buttons, so it’s very easy to not fire at all.
The reload is on a timer which means your character finishes the animation, but the reload has not yet finished. In essence, you will see your character has reloaded, go to shoot, and immediately run out of bullets.
There is too much monetization
I can’t end this review without mentioning the sheer amount of pointless crap you can buy. I feel the best way to show you how much crap you can buy is with a list of every type of item you can purchase using real money!
- Character skins.
- Vehicle Skins.
- Specialist Skins – The skills you use in Battle Royale e.g. Grapple Hook.
- Parachute Skins.
- Wingsuit Skins.
- Gun Skins.
- Frag Grenade Skins.
- Smoke Grenade Skins.
- Flashbang Skins.
- Weapon XP Cards.
- Rename Cards.
- Four types of Loot Boxes.
- Two Bundles.
- AND a Battle Pass – Which has another type of Loot Box and all of the above!
I know the game is free and I know the developers want to recoup some money from the players. But you take one look at that list and tell me that’s not greedy, excessive and pointless all wrapped up into COD Mobile.
Look, I have poured a silly amount of hours into this COD game, and I know many of you will do the same. But, everyone has to understand that the game will give you a better time if you spend money. Ranking up 80 times to get a gun you can randomly get from a crate isn’t strictly “pay-to-win”, but it’s not far from it!
I wasn’t able to get into every reason why I dislike this COD game. I think the menus are cluttered and full of crap. The control customization is minimal and confusing, there is no external controller support and there are two in-game currencies.
I want to say, that I am a fan of the Battle Royale mode, which was fun to play. However, I have no choice but to give COD Mobile a bad review because it’s made with the player’s wallet in mind. You shouldn’t be able to get better guns earlier than other players, just because your willing to spend your money, it just seems manipulative.
COD Mobile is a free-to-play game that is a lot more enjoyable once you pay for everything
I can safely say this game is better than Mario Kart Tour, but that isn't saying much. I liked the Battle Royale mode, without this game mode, it won't be on my phone for long.