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Modern Combat: Sandstorm Review: The First Great iPhone FPS

This is one of those titles that had me excited for quite a while.  I am a HUGE Call of Duty fan (psn: B33R_3Y35), and being able to play a half-decent FPS on my iPod sounded so cool.  I wasn’t sure how the controls would work in practice, and I didn’t know if the iPod could handle halfway decent AI.  As it turns out, Gameloft hit the nail on the head with Modern Combat: Sandstorm.  It is more than I dared hope for, and I hope any first person shooter fan at least give this game a try.  If you aren’t willing to buy it now, at least try it on a friend’s iPod or iPhone.  If you can’t, then just buy it and thank me later.  That being said, I have thoroughly enjoyed playing this game!

Likes

Variety of Weapons: There are a number of weapons to keep you occupied throughout the game.  The weapons are also introduced at a rate that keeps you interested.  You aren’t just handed all of the weapons at once or in the first couple of levels like some other games.  To be specific, Modern Combat: Sandstorm features 2 assault rifles, sniper rifle, RPG, shotgun, submachine gun, light machine gun, heavy machine gun mounted on a moving 4X4, explosive grenades, flashbang grenades, radiation detector.

Enemy AI: One detail that I noticed right off the bat was the fact that enemies don’t just appear out of thin air.  You can actually watch them run into a room or from behind cover.  It is a very nice touch for such a graphically intense game, and I really enjoyed the fluid feel of the action throughout the game.

Overall Feel: Modern Combat: Sandstorm is just plain FUN.  The game feels like a FPS shooter should, and that is a remarkable accomplishment for this platform.  No one else has created a truly enjoyable first person shooter.  In fact, we rated Doom Resurrection as Worth a Look for that very reason.  It just wan’t that fun.  Modern Combat: Sandstorm is an enjoyable experience to say the least.  Well worth the money!

Controls: The controls in Brothers in Arms kept me from really enjoying the game, but Gameloft really nailed the controls in Modern Combat: Sandstorm.  If you can’t find a control scheme that works for you between the three choices, I don’t know what to tell you.  The controls were just fantastic.  I wish you could up the sensitivity a little more, but other than that, they are perfect!

Dislikes

Checkpoints Are Not Saved: For a mobile game, this seems like an oversight.  If you exit the game, you lose your place in that level.  Each level takes between 10 and 20 minutes to finish, so I find it disappointing that I have to be willing to dedicate that much time in order to keep my progress.  I hope this is fixed in an update!

Linear Gameplay: I like that some FPS let you roam freely or choose a course to take.  Modern Combat: Sandstorm is more linear and usually tells you where to go next.  The firefights are not as linear, but I would like to be able to sneak around more and find different ways of completing a level.  That would add to the replayability for me.

I found Modern Combat: Sandstorm to be the first solid FPS for the iPhone/iPod Touch.  It is well worth the money invested, and I think it is impressive graphically.  The storyline may be pretty basic, but it keeps you entertained throughout the game.  If you love shooting virtual soldiers/terrorists, then this should be an instant buy for you.  This joins our exclusive must have rank along with a few other great titles.

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Modern Combat: Sandstorm was developed by Gameloft, and I played through version 1.o on my 2nd Generations iPod.  The price is $6.99.

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  1. S199 on Wednesday 9, 2009

    Very Decent game, very playable. One the best i tried on the iphone. Lots of details and great controls, almost like a pc version, you can run, crouch, change weapons, zoom, reload etc. Its a pleasure to play it

  2. [...] first, true first-person shooter, Modern Combat Sandstorm, received a Must Have award from us for being one of the best shooters we’ve ever played on [...]