Here we go again. Gameloft are the masters of aping successful console franchises to make great iPhone games - and this time around, they've set their crosshairs firmly on Modern Warfare. Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus doesn't do anything new, innovative or unexpected, but simply delivers a level of polish that elevates it above the competition.
The campaign is as gritty, chaotic and cliched as you'd expect from any modern shooter. As a member of a special ops team, you'll run, gun and QTE your way through a number of varied environments; stopping every once in a while to hop in a turret and mow down some tangos. There are always turrets. The gameplay ain't innovative, but it's damn good fun nonetheless. At the end of the day, that's actually what I want from an iPhone FPS.
Fully-featured online multiplayer makes a welcome appearance along with a slew of modes, gametypes and unlockable weapons as you gain experience. This does make the scene a little daunting for newcomers, but the starting weapons are lethal enough to guarantee a few kills. Along with N.O.V.A. and it's sequel, you'll be set for multiplayer shenanigans on your iPhone.
Poor controls can break any app, but Gameloft have delivered one of their best input schemes yet. The tried-and-tested virtual thumbstick setup works extremely well and ensures that there's no learning curve for existing FPS fans, but Modern Combat 2 also packs what is possibly the finest gyroscopic control on the entire App Store. iPhone 4 owners will soon find themselves relying on (and revelling in) it, which is a major achievement in and of itself.
Finally, we've got to talk about the graphics. Modern Combat 2 looks great on older iDevices, but the visuals absolutely pop out of a Retina screen. The art design is fairly generic, but then again, I can say the same about most shooters that cost ten times the price. And I frequently do.
- Full-fat FPS action both in singleplayer and online
- Slick controls and amazing gyro functionality
- Looks the business
- Overly serious (and hence hilarious) voice acting
- Multiplayer can be difficult for newbies
Summary: Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus is a great contemporary shooter that just happens to be on the iPhone. There's nothing wrong with imitation when it's drawn from a good place, and Gameloft's FPS does the business.
Compatibility: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Requires iOS 3.1.2 or later.