Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour, arguably the last "great" Modern Combat and one of my favourite Modern Combats, and my most played, with a total of 250 hours on it.
One thing you need to know about me is that I am brutally honest on how I rate these games. I don't judge a game on my nostalgia for it. I take off my nostalgia glasses and go for my reviewing ones.
Anyway, let's get into the review for another high-quality Gameloft Montreal title.
Spoilers will follow from this point.
Click here to skip the spoiling part.
Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour has by far and away, the best graphics the series has seen so far, and probably the best graphics the iOS and Android devices have ever seen. Environments are more rich and detailed than the already impressive looking Fallen Nation.
Just like its predecessor, Zero Hour boasts a cinematic campaign from start to finish. However, thanks to its amazing graphics, I believe Zero Hour's campaign makes me feel more like I'm watching a movie than a video game than any other mobile game I have ever played. From the visually stunning opening cutscene of Red Summit, to the death of Edward Page in Extreme Sanction, MC4 does not disappoint.
Guns also look more detailed than any other Modern Combat title. They look both realistic and impressive, featuring decent colour and little details that make them attractive, like maybe a notable scratch on the side of the weapon. And guns also have a more refined gun noise/reload noise than any other Modern Combat game before it, in my opinion. From the heavy-sounding machine gun fire of the Charbtek-28, to the meaty thud of the SFS CTK-12, to the noise that suppressed weapons make when firing, Zero Hour isn't only an eye-pleaser, but a rather good ear-pleaser.
However, there can be occasional frame drops when playing campaign or multiplayer, which can detract from the overall experience.
Still, Zero Hour has arguably the best all-round aesthetics ever seen on a Modern Combat.
Zero Hour still plays similarly to its predecessors, which definitely isn't a bad thing. You have a joystick on your screen, moving your player around, and you have the other features. Controller support is available, but I've never tried it, so I can't give a review on it. Sliding is back from Fallen Nation, however, the slide is significantly shorter, which I felt was an acceptable change from the unrealistically long slides from Fallen Nation.
In terms of gameplay variety, Modern Combat 4's single-player campaign, in my opinion, has the most gameplay variety in any Modern Combat, tied with its successor, Modern Combat 5: Blackout. However, compared to Blackout, it features a much better single-player story (my opinion). From piloting drones in Barcelona in the mission Critical Path, to standard ground fighting in Cold Veangeance to chasing enemies through Barcelona in Terminus, Modern Combat 4 has gameplay variety for any one that's a fan for first-person shooters.
“ This is the night that everything changes. We have 10 minutes. Walk away with blood on your hands. Go. „
As expected from a Modern Combat game, Modern Combat 4 features a 12-mission single-player campaign.
But what I particularly like about MC4, is that instead of using the stereotypical Russian, Pakistani, South American, or German villain that has been used by pretty much every single FPS game before it, Zero Hour's two villains are American! Yes, American, and they are settling out to destroy the nations that they came from. Even though I live in America, I think that Montreal did a great decision on that, as before the release of MC4 I was expecting the main villain to be another Russian or Pakistani villain.
MC4's storyline itself once again follows the story of the elite squad Phantom Unit, as they set out yet again to stop the aforementioned two villains from destroying the United States. I think MC4 has the third-best storyline in the franchise, behind MC3 and MC2. However, thanks to the gameplay variety, MC4 more than makes up for this.
Overall, the campaign in Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour is one that is still a blast to play and that has a memorable setting(s), characters, and villains. Edward Page is my favourite villain in the franchise.
Campaign score: 9.7
Yet another feature expected for a Modern Combat game, the previous instalments of the franchise wowed fans, players, and critics alike with its console-quality multiplayer. And Zero Hour lives up to the reputation set by its predecessors. However, having a superior processing power means that MC4's armoury and multiplayer gameplay is as gorgeous as the campaign itself.
Upon logging into multiplayer using your Gameloft Live! account or Facebook account, you are welcomed by a clean, simple, and good-looking menu showing how many kills that you achieved in your last 10 games, your K/D (Kill Death) ratio, and your Win/Lose ratio, as well as showing your rank and how many XP you need to advance to the next level.
One unique feature about MC4 that only it and MC5 share is the ability to equip more than two attachments on a weapon. MC4's Create-a-Class greatly expands on the new system created by its predecessor, allowing for up to 5 attachments on a weapon at a time. And just like in Fallen Nation, there are 21 guns in total. Now, instead of having to unlock and then purchase weapons, all weapons are unlocked at the very beginning and the player just needs to obtain a certain amount of credits to purchase this or that weapon. Personally, I wasn't a huge fan of this, but I much preferred being able to create a class rather than not have the ability to.
You are able to equip an almost never-ending number of attachments, including stocks, grips, magazines, optics, and muzzles. And you can equip one of each on a weapon, effectively having 5 attachments at the same time, provided that the certain weapon has the option to. Good luck doing that in any of the other Modern Combat games, or Call of Duty, the game the series took its inspiration from. And you will be able to see all of these attachments in real time, meaning that you get to see how your weapon looks with this stock equipped or that muzzle equipped at the same time you are fitting your attachments.
Skills return in Zero Hour, however, only certain skills can be obtained. There are 5 different specialisations: Intervention, Front Line, Support, Stealth, and Demolition. Intervention can equip perks that help players catch enemies off guard, Front Line has skills that give you a boost when getting up close and personal, Support is pretty self-explanatory, Stealth is also self-explanatory, and Demolition will give you skills that protect you from explosives and increases the effectiveness of your explosives. Personally, I like that idea, which is why I decided to mention it.
Gameplay-wise, MC4's multiplayer is almost as fast-paced as previous instalments, however, there are some longer-ranged engagements in Zero Hour than any other Modern Combat game, tied with MC5, which adds a higher level of "tacticalness" to the gameplay, which is something I approve of. You can still go guns-blazing, which will work equally as well in some scenarios. Maps are well-detailed, and most of them have a decent flow to them. Gun balancing of MC4 was rather good, until the Content Pack dropped which added the Scrubpakt-665, which is rather overpowered and overused. Overall, gun balancing is definitely not as good as previous instalments.
Kill streaks return, but I won't explain them here, so if you want to know how they work, go look up kill chains for MC4. Plenty of helpful articles you will find on this wiki about them.
Multiplayer (fun-wise): 9.1
Overall, Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour is a slight step back in terms of multiplayer, but it still remains very enjoyable, especially as servers are online and functional unlike MC3's multiplayer. Aesthetically, there's nothing quite like it on the mobile platform, and the single-player campaign features a lot of depth and gameplay variety. However, the gun balancing in multiplayer is a big problem, and occasional frame drops does hurt it a little bit.
Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour is a worthy purchase and one of the very best games on the App Store/Google play Store.