|Release date||July 24, 2014|
Windows 8.1 and 10
|Size||929 MB at initial download, 1.8 GB final (iOS)|
|Requirements||iOS 7 or higher (iOS)|
Android 4.0 or higher (Android)
|Input methods||Touch screen|
MOGA controllers (Android)
|Ratings||17+ (Apple App Store)|
|Predecessor||Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour|
Modern Combat 5: Blackout is the sixth edition in the Modern Combat series, and is the first game in the series developed by Gameloft Bucharest. It was released on July 24, 2014 for mobile devices and Microsoft Windows. Gameloft first revealed the game at E3 on June 6, 2013 on their YouTube Channel via a teaser trailer.
In contrast with previous Modern Combat titles, Modern Combat 5: Blackout uses a "freemium" model, with the game being free-to-play but allowing players to unlock premium content, such as new weapons and armors with in-Game credits, which can be purchased with real-world currency or received in exchange for viewing in-game ads.
One noticeable change in Modern Combat 5: Blackout from previous titles is that campaign missions are much shorter. The average mission lasts 5-10 minutes, noticeably shorter than Zero Hour's or Fallen Nation's average mission length of 15-20 minutes. Modern Combat 5: Blackout also introduces allies during missions - characters who travel along with the player and assist during firefights.
As in Zero Hour, campaign missions in Blackout vary in style. The game is primarily a first-person shooter; but also includes missions where the player controls mounted guns on vehicles, boats, and even drones; as well as "Spec Ops" missions with unique objectives, such as requiring the player to use a sniper rifle to defend allies from an attack.
Chapter 1: Venice
The protagonist in Modern Combat 5: Blackout is Caydan Phoenix (who was a minor character from Modern Combat 4), a former US Marine now freelancing as a private military contractor for Gilman Security corporation. The campaign begins with a cutscene, in which Phoenix and his superior Sophie Daviau ("Roux") discuss current events at the Gilman Security headquarters in Tokyo, Japan on the first day of an International Summit on Cyber Security.
Three weeks prior, an international terrorist organization the World Liberation Army (WLA) had launched a surprise attack on Venice, Italy to steal chemical weapons secretly stashed in Venice by the United Nations, followed by a cyber-attack on several Asian networks a week after. Phoenix had been sent to Venice as part of a Gilman security task force to counter the WLA attack along with Jonathan Taylor ("Bull"), a former US Special Forces operative who was dismissed under suspicion of selling classified weapons and information to terrorist groups.
Phoenix tries to convince Roux that the WLA attack on Venice was actually cover-up orchestrated by Gilman Security themselves for something greater, but Roux is reluctant to believe him. Phoenix also reveals that Gilman has become aware of his prying around into their business and blackmailed him into signing off on the mission report by threatening harm against his daughter Lily.
The cutscene ends, and the first mission begins in the form of a flashback to the events in Venice, with Phoenix and Bull infiltrating Venice as part of a Gilman Security special forces unit sent to intercept the WLA attack. After eliminating a WLA terrorist leader, Phoenix and Bull hijack a boat and escape through the Grand Canal while being pursued by hostile boats and an attack helicopter.
After the flashback ends, another cutscene begins with Phoenix and Roux resuming their conversation. Phoenix further tries to convince Roux that something big is about to happen, insinuating that Gilman Security is involved, but before Roux can respond their room is rocked by a sudden explosion, and Phoenix blacks out
Chapter 2: Rinnoji Temple
The campaign continues one month later, with Phoenix waking up in a hospital gown in Rinnoji Temple, Japan. It is revealed that one month ago Tokyo was rocked by a massive chemical weapons attack using the chemical weapons from the mission in Venice, with the entire city now on lockdown. The temple has been converted into a makeshift hospital for refugees of the attack, but has now fallen under control of the Raiders, a powerful street gang who have been using the chaos in Tokyo created by the attack to loot and expand their power.
Phoenix escapes safely from the temple grounds with the aid of a nurse and confidante of Roux Miku Kubo, and meets up with Isaac Tukura and Andrews, who have been sent by Roux to rescue him. The group then heads by truck to Roux's safe house in downtown Tokyo.
Chapter 3: Downtown
En route to the safe house, the group's truck is ambushed by Raiders - as well as Gilman Security hover drones which, due to the city lockdown, have been designated to fire on any moving target in their area. Phoenix attempts to hold the hostiles off using a 50 cal. mounted machine gun, but the truck is eventually flipped; Andrews is killed in the wreck, while Tukura manages to drag Phoenix away from the wreckage to safety. Tukura and Phoenix venture into the city on foot and commandeer a van from the Raiders which they use to reach the safehouse, where they Rendevous with Roux, Alex Hawk, and other members of Roux's team.
Roux orders the team members to take defensive positions as Raiders have begun to converge on the safe house, with Phoenix manning a sniper rifle on a balcony. However a Apache helicopter hijacked by Raiders launches a rocket at the building, causing Phoenix to fall safely to a lower floor. Phoenix along with Roux and Hawk, eventually manage to repel the Raiders from the safe house, with Hawk and Phoenix then heading out to deploy electronic jammers in the vicinity as defense against the Gilman Security hover drones.
Chapter 4: San Marco
After securing the safe house, Roux and Phoenix meet at Roux's office, where Phoenix resumes their earlier conversation about Gilman Security's involvement in the attack on Venice. Roux informs Phoenix that she has reported him as killed in action to Gilman superiors to keep his daughter safe in the meantime. Roux plays audio she managed to intercept between Bull and and international terrorist Everett Saunders (an antagonist from Modern Combat 4). In conversation, Bull reveals himself has having been on Saunders' payroll during the Venice mission, and the pair arrange a meeting at a construction site in Ryogoku, Tokyo to discuss Bull's pay as well as plans for a "Phase 2". As the conversation ends, Bull threatens that if he doesn't receive his pay, he plans to reveal that Saunders is actually running Gilman Security under the alias of CEO Kirk Bancroft. After this revelation, Roux and Phoenix make plans to spy on the meeting between Bull and Saunders to learn more about "Phase 2", but first Phoenix requests that Roux let him explain the true events which occurred in Venice.
The game then cuts to another flashback in which Phoenix further describes the events of the mission in Venice. Phoenix and Bull are en route via helicopter over the Piazza San Marco in Venice with the mission of securing "The Package" from the WLA terrorists, a cache of chemical weapons being stored in Venice by the UN. Their chopper are attacked by WLA helicopters, killing their gunner. Phoenix mans the machine gun to hold off the hostiles, and him and Bull are dropped off and sent to retrieve the Package before the WLA can steal it. Phoenix manages to shoot down a helicopter with a SAM missile just in the nick of time to prevent it from escaping with the package, while him and Bull make their way to the crash site, and deploy a hover drone to defend the area against the converting WLA hostiles.
The team eventually rendezvous with an Apache helicopter which retrieves the package, while another chopper clears a landing zone on the Plaza for Phoenix' extraction. However as Phoenix is extracted, the chopper is suddenly attacked by a hostile chopper, throwing Phoenix into the canal, where Bull rescues him by boat. Bull and Phoenix escape across the canal while pursued by a WLA attack chopper, with Bull calling off "Operation Strikezone", declaring the Package secure and requesting a new extraction.
The flashback concludes with Phoenix explaining the nature of the cover-up in Venice. The WLA were actually under control of Gilman Security the entire time, with the attack on Venice having been staged by the higher-ups of Gilman Security in order provide cover to steal the chemical weapons being stored in Venice by the UN under the ruse of a terrorist attack, with Bull having been under orders to retrieve the weapons and eliminate all opposition.
The weapons stolen from Venice were later detonated on Tokyo by Gliman during the International Summit on Cyber Security, which ironically was formed in response to a cyber attack on Asian networks which Gilman themselves was likely involved with as well; with Gilman using these attacks to try to start a major world war.
Chapter 5: Ryogoku
Phoenix and Hawk proceed to Bull and Saunders' designated meeting point in Ryogoku, Tokyo. The pair encounter hostile Gilman Security forces, including snipers, patrolling the area, but manage to secure a location at the top of a construction site just as Bull and Saunders arrive. Phoenix listens in on the meeting where Saunders hands Bull his cash and requests that Bull organize another terrorist attack on the Summit and link it to the WLA. As Bull prepares to depart, Phoenix kills Bull with a sniper rifle at Roux's orders; Phoenix and Hawk neutralize Bull's guards and escape from the construction site, where they are extracted by chopper.
Back at the safe house, Phoenix and Roux discuss plans to infiltrate Gilman HQ in Tokyo to retrieve proof of Gilman's involvement in the terrorist attacks in Venice and Tokyo.
Chapter 6: Gilman HQ
Phoenix, along with Hawk and Turkura enter the main lobby of Gilman HQ, while Roux assists the team with a sniper rifle from an adjacent building. Upon entering the HQ, the team notices that the building has already been attacked by Raiders. The team eliminates the Gilman forces guarding the lobby and make their way higher up the building by an external elevator; however the elevator is attacked by hover drones, which causes Hawk to lose his footing and fall to his death.
Turkua and Phoenix make their way to the HQ's computer mainframe and hack the system, retrieving evidence of Gilman's involvement in recent terrorist attacks, and make their way to the roof to be extracted by chopper after the Gilman response team begins shooting the computer power cells. On the roof, Saunders contacts Phoenix by radio and taunts him, threatening his daughter Lily, and attacks the team in an Apache helicopter, however Saunders' chopper is temporarily chased off by the Apache sent for the teams' extraction.
Phoenix and Tukura manage to clear a landing zone for chopper extraction, but after Phoenix approaches the chopper, Saunders' chopper re-emerges and shoots down the extracting chopper; Phoenix angrily retaliates by shooting the pilot of Saunders' chopper with his pistol, causing it to crash into the roof. Saunders then emerges from the wreckage and prepares to shoot Phoenix, but Phoenix manages to wrestle the gun away and plunges Saunders' own knife into his throat, killing him.
The plot concludes with a conversation between Roux and Phoenix some time after the previous events. Phoenix reveals his daughter Lily is safe, and that he is with her now, while Roux reveals that the information retrieved from Gilman HQ has led to the arrest of high-ranking Gilman and UN officials involved in the conspiracy, and been used to link Gilman to terrorist organizations in the Middle East. After Gilman's involvement in terrorist attacks was uncovered, the UN removing them from Tokyo and the region has sinse re-stabilized, As the two conclude their conversation, however, Roux suddenly receives an important email regarding an urgent assignment, with the plot ending on a cliffhanger.
Gameplay is similar in many aspects to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. However, gameplay in Modern Combat 5: Blackout is somewhat different from previous Modern Combat games. Compared to previous games, there is much more of a focus on upgrading your character by unlocking new weapons, armors, attachments, and skills as opposed to more tactical gameplay.
Likewise, a new feature to the franchise is the ability to choose from 8 different soldier classes. Each class has access to a specific set of weapons, armors, and unique skills.
As always, players can crouch, sprint, throw grenades, aim, reload their weapons, jump over obstacles, knife enemies, pick up dropped weapons, and deploy military support options which are unlocked by performing killstreaks.
Unified Progression and currency
Credits can be purchased directly with real-world currency, as well as earned through gameplay and from viewing in-game ads, and are primarily used to purchase Supply Packs and Bundles which allow the player to unlock new weapons, armors, armor cores, and soldier classes, and can also be used to purchase a temporary Power User status.
Diamond Dust is earned via gameplay (and is also received when the player receives duplicates of equipment they already own from Supply Packs), and is primarily uses for purchasing items on the Black Market (such as Mod Kits and Weapon Parts for upgrading weapons), as well as for purchasing Booster for Boosted Events. Credits can also be exchanged directly for Diamond Dust, but not vice-versa. All weapons in-game can also be rented fully-upgraded for 2 hours in exchange for Diamond Dust.
Blackout features a large array of weapons for each class which can be unlocked by collecting Blueprints. Blueprints can be acquired from purchasing Supply Packs with Credits or on the Black Market, as well as earned as rewards for completing matches or in-game Events. Once a full set of blueprints for a weapon is acquired, the weapon can be permanently owned by the player. Each weapon also has a Weapon Score which can be increased via gameplay or the use of items called Mastery Kits; improving a weapon's score allows the player to unlock new attachments for the weapon, as well as upgrade the weapon's abilities (using items called Mod Kits and Weapon parts).
Blackout also features armor parts which can be unlocked from Supply Packs to unlock new suits of Armor, as well as Armor Cores (introduced in Update XV) - armor attachments which provide the player with unique enhancements and abilities in battle.
Blackout also features a "level up" system, in which new players begin at level 1 and can reach a maximum of level 120 by earning experience points (XP) from gameplay. With each level up, the player receives 1 extra Skill Point (SP), which are used for purchasing and upgrading the unique skills of each soldier class (Skill Points can also be purchased directly from Bundles using real-world currency).
In addition, Blackout features a VIP level system which rewards players for purchases made with real-world currency with VIP points. Accumulating VIP points increases a player's VIP level (from 0-10) and awards the player with unique prizes and benefits, such as extra loadout slots, more Credits earned at the end of matches, and unique armors and camos.
Blackout also features an Energy system in which players have an Energy meter which depletes by a fixed amount each time they start a mission (unless they have purchased Power User status), limiting the number of missions they can play unless they pay Credits to refill it or wait for it to recharge. As of Update XV, however, Energy depletion was removed from all multiplayer modes, and now is only in effect in the single player Campaign.
- Blackout features a significantly larger arsenal of weapons and attachments than previous titles. Familiar weapon types such as pistols, assault rifles, sniper rifles, submachine guns, shotguns, light machine guns, and rocket launchers make a return. However Blackout also introduces many unique weapons, including deployable and drones, futuristic energy weapons, and modular weapons.
- Expended cartridges are seen being ejected out of a weapon when fired (also reintroduced from Modern Combat 3).
- The size of the minimap can be increased to fullscreen by tapping on it.
- It shows building edges. (Reintroduced from Modern Combat: Sandstorm)
- There is no minimap in Campaign missions.
- The Melee attack is a separate button again.
- The Melee animation is greatly updated. The method of Melee varies randomly, depending on the situation and environment.
There are three options to customize your way of using the interface. Each of these can be turned on or off.
- Auto-crouch: Crouching is now also performed by moving into cover.
- Auto-sprint: The player can choose to hide the sprint button. Sprinting is now performed by dragging the move V-pad up, and it seems that doing so does not cancel reloading.
- Auto-fire: Weapons will automatically fire when pointed at an enemy. Aiming down the sights will still be possible. (Singleplayer only)
- Gameloft Live! is no longer used in Modern Combat 5. Players connect using Facebook, Game Center, or Google+.
- There is no difficulty mode. The campaign missions just get harder as the missions progress. (Enemies will also begin to wield higher-tier weapons as the player unlocks them).
- A revive mechanic. In Campaign missions, a revive can be bought for 15 . Before the Spring Update, allies would revive you once per mission. You can also revive your teammate if they go down.
- Unlike in previous titles, players can't shoot through allies.
Credits are one of the main in-game currencies; they can be purchased with real-world currency or earned through gameplay and completing Activities. Credits can be used to purchase Supply Packs, Black Market items, and Power User status, and can also be used to refill Suit Abilities. Players can also exchange credits for Diamond Dust on the Black Market.
Diamond Dust is the other major in-game currency; and is earned by completing matches or by playing as the Bounty Hunter class. Diamond Dust also used as a substitute reward when opening Supply Packs if a player receives duplicates of collectibles (such as Weapon Camos) which they already own. Diamond Dust is primarily used for purchasing items on the Black Market, and like credits can also be used for refilling Suit Abilities. (It can also be used to purchase Boosters in Boosted Event Activities).
Skill Points are used to upgrade each class's skills. They can be earned by leveling up, completing campaign missions, or by completing Activities.
VIP Points are automatically accumulated every time a player purchases credits; when a player accumulates specific numbers of VIP Points, their VIP Level increases (from 0-10) which unlocks special bonuses, such as increased XP and Weapon score from multiplayer matches.
These include in-game items such as weapon blueprints, weapon attachments, armor parts, camos, and killsigns. They can be earned by purchasing Supply Packs with Credits, or from the Black Market with Diamond Dust, as well as earned through gameplay and participating in Activities.
Consumables are items use to upgrade weapons the player owns, which include Mod Kits, Mastery Kits, and Weapon Parts. They can be earned from Supply Packs, purchased on the Black Market, as well as earned through gameplay and participating in Activities.
Apple Watch companion
Modern Combat 5: Blackout is the first game in the series that features an Apple Watch companion app. This app focuses on the multiplayer of the game. Launching it gives the user three different options to check out.
- Loadout customisation
- Detailed multiplayer statistics
- Current events
Supported processors include ARM and x86 processors.
- iPhone 4S and up
- iPad 2 and up
- All iPad Minis
- iPod Touch 5th generation
Blackout is compatible with Android 4.0 and up. Based on the Apple compatibility list, the following Android SoCs may be recommended:
- Exynos 4 Dual and newer
- Snapdragon S4 and newer
- Tegra 3 and newer
- AND at least 512MB of RAM
Blackout is compatible with Windows Phone 8 and 8.1. It is likely that any device with a high-clocked Snapdragon S4 or newer, and at least 512MB RAM, should be fast enough to run it.
Blackout is compatible with Microsoft Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.
Modern Combat 5 will not be compatible with iOS 7 MFi controllers at launch, but is high on the list of wanted features to be added in an update. It was planned to be added to the Holiday Update, but this was not reached. However, third party Android controller setups such as SixAxis Controller will work.
Modern Combat 5 was confirmed by Gameloft to be delayed from Q4 2013 to a later time in 2014. In November 2013 it was rumored the game would be released in March 2014, but this was never confirmed by Gameloft.
In May 2014, Gameloft mentioned via livestreams and other media that MC5 would be released in summer of 2014. The game was finally released on July 24, 2014, which was 7 months later than the original intended release date.
Modern Combat 5 has received mostly mixed to positive reviews from critics, however some fans of the previous titles in the Modern Combat series have expressed disappointment over MC5 due to it diverging from the playstyle of the previous entries in the series in many significant ways - something which is likely the result of its decision to switch to a free-to-play business model, and the fact that it was developed by Gameloft Bucharest as opposed to long-time developer Gameloft Montreal.
Most big-name mobile game critics gave Modern Combat 5 positive reviews, with most giving a score of 4/5. Android Police praised multiple aspects of the campaign, remarking that "The level design is reasonably good, and the spec ops stuff is surprisingly fun. I actually replayed some of these missions just because", though they disliked that an internet connection was always required even during single player mode. TouchArcade (4.5/5) "was impressed with the large number of weapons and attachments that can be unlocked in Modern Combat 5", though also noting that the included multiplayer game modes "...don’t showcase anything that hasn’t already been seen in another game".
At Modern Combat 5's first presentation at E3 2013, the game was overwhelmingly praised for its high graphics and sound effects. Almost a year later, TouchArcade received a hands-on preview at in which people were able to see the final version of the game. Bnatesgamer, a popular Youtube mobile gaming reviewer, also received a copy of Modern Combat 5 some time before the public release (prior to the availability of multiplayer). He praised the game on every single point, and was almost entirely positive. Some weeks before the official release of MC5, Gameloft released a livestream the first multiplayer gameplay, which caused some disappointment due to the graphics - the most anticipated part of the game - appearing to be lower quality in multiplayer modes than in the single player campaign.
Players and critics who expressed less favorable opinions of MC5 cited issues such as slow-paced multiplayer gameplay; a much shorter and easier single player campaign; balance issues regarding weapons, attachments, and equipment and concerns of the game being "pay to win" in regards to the in-game purchases; as well as significantly different controls from previous titles - bearing some resemblance to the the Dead Trigger series.
- The first livestream
- The second livestream
- The first E3 livestream
- The third E3 livestream (MC5 gameplay starts at 1:00:05)
- Blackout is the first Modern Combat game not developed by Gameloft Montreal, instead developed by Gameloft Bucharest. The development started before the release of Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour.
- The fact that the Unified Progression concept was already being developed before E3 2013 is confirmed by screenshots from E3, where a section was viewable on the right side of the player's screen mentioning "Assault Rifle" and "Pistol". This was the Assault class.
- The uniforms of Spec Ops members (the soldiers viewable in the Loadout preview) feature unique ensigna. The logo seen after completing a mission in the campaign also reads "Special Activities Division; Raven Task Force". The name Raven Task Force is also seen on Bull's goggles in the campaign, while lower on his the arm is an ensign which reads "U.S. Air Force".
- Likewise, while most soldiers' default uniforms featured the United States flag, the Support class wears a British flag and also lacks the Raven Task Force labels.
- Blackout is the first Modern Combat game in which:
- Excluding Sandstorm, protagonists from the previous games do not appear in the campaign (with the exception of the main protagonist Cayden Phoenix, who was a very minor character in Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour) no.</span>
- Enemies in the campaign will drop a pistol if they killed while making their last stand
- Geographically accurate real-world maps are offered in the campaign. 
- Questions and answers: Talk:Modern Combat 5: Blackout