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Modern Combat 5: Blackout. The latest instalment of the Modern Combat franchise.

Definitely the most controversial Modern Combat game to date among the community. Some really like it, and some really hate it. I was one of the people that hated it at the start, but thinking about it recently, the game isn't nearly as bad as everyone says it is.

I have done reviews on Modern Combat 3 and Modern Combat 4, so if you want to see those, check out my other blog posts. You will find 'em easily.

Anyway, let's dive straight into my review of Modern Combat 5: Blackout.

Aesthetics

Modern Combat 5's graphics looked stunning from the teaser released by Gameloft back in 2013. However, when the game out in 2014, those good graphics turned out to be blasphemy. Modern Combat 5: Blackout is a big step backwards for the franchise in terms of graphics. Compare:

MC4-VECT9-fp Red Summit

Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour

MC5-LGR 35-fp

Modern Combat 5: Blackout

Clear difference there. Even MC3, a 4-year old game, has graphics similar to MC5's. So MC5 is a big step backwards for the franchise in terms of graphics.

Ironically, Gameloft have been crushing the graphics quality of MC5 ever since the game came out, just like what Montreal did to MC4 in the Meltdown Update. So the graphics of MC5 now are nothing compared to when it first came out, let alone the other instalments.

However, the graphics of Modern Combat 5 are still acceptable, especially when compared to other games available for the mobile platform and against its main competitor, Call of Duty: Strike Team. Environments still look rich and detailed, and weapons have acceptable colours and textures.

Aesthetics score: 7.3

Gameplay

Modern Combat 5 still has the same controls as its predecessors. But it definitely isn't a bad thing, as the series had great controls to begin with. Gameplay in both the single-player campaign and multiplayer is generally fast-paced, bullet-filled, and explosions-heavy.

In terms of the single-player campaign, I think that the single-player campaign has, in my opinion, probably the most amount of gameplay variety in any Modern Combat game. You are on the back of a truck, trying to defend yourself as you race through the streets of Tokyo, you mount a minigun in Venice, you use scout drones to escape a temple, you cover your team with sniper fire, and you perform amazing executions.

Overall, Modern Combat 5 has the best gameplay variety in the single-player campaign in the series.

Gameplay score: 9.8/10 (based on gameplay variety and "fun" factor)

Single-player campaign

Unfortunately, this is the part where I think MC5 definitely bogs down.

Modern Combat 5's storyline seems to just be a disconnected series of events that the developers thought would be cool to feature in their game. And not only that, on the loading screens for the missions, there is text literally telling you the outcome and what's about to happen, which definitely isn't to my taste.

Also, the storyline is just plain confusing. You start out with Bull in Venice, and then you wake up in Japan, and then... WHAT? I don't really understand, and I doubt that you guys thought the single-player campaign was nearly as good as MC3's, or MC4's, or to an extent, MC2's.

However, the campaign is still rather cinematic, and as mentioned earlier, the gameplay variety is truly real. You probably won't get bored playing MC5's campaign. I believe you should just play MC5's campaign for its gameplay variety rather than seeing what is there!

The ending of MC5 and the final battle isn't even impressive! Bad music, unrealistic gestures, and not a single bit of pulse-pounding action like there were in previous instalments does make MC5's storyline not up to par with its predecessors.

Single-player campaign score: 6

Multiplayer

Modern Combat 5's multiplayer is completely reworked. There are now five different classes, Assault can equip ARs, Recons can equip SMGs, Support can equip LMGs, Heavy can equip shotguns and RPGs, and Sniper can equip sniper rifles. And now, you actually have to unlock the weapons, which I think is a good idea. And if that wasn't smart enough, you had to use the sniper rifle to unlock other sniper rifles, which was a really good decision on Bucharest's part.

In terms of gameplay, Modern Combat 5: Blackout retains the fairly fast-paced, bullet and explosive-heavy action that its predecessors boasted. And since you unlock better gear the more you play the game, there is a reward for coming back each day.

A new addition to the Modern Combat franchise, Squad Battles allows you to create a squad, recruit your friends or random skilled people online, and go against other squads in the world for dominance, which is something that I would like to see in other Gameloft shooters. You can join a squad as well, and if you are the owner, you can customise your killsign and motto.

Another new addition to the Modern Combat franchise are Supply Packs. Supply Packs perform pretty much identically to Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's Supply Drops, and just like Advanced Warfare, there are two types of Supply Packs: Normal Supply Packs and Elite Packs. Opening a Supply Pack will give you some conventional items, while Elite packs will give you more advanced, more powerful gear/weaponry.

However, for all these new bonuses, weapon balancing in Modern Combat 5: Blackout is arguably the worst in the franchise. Unlike previous instalments, where all guns were relatively powerful, some weapons in Modern Combat 5 seem really underpowered and some others feel way toooooooooooo overpowered, like the LGR 35 and Bosk 3. This weapon balance, in my opinion, hurts Modern Combat 5's multiplayer's "fun" factor.

Overall, in terms of multiplayer gameplay, Modern Combat 5 feels more similar to past Modern Combats than its campaign. But the shift did work, and I think that if there wasn't that gun balancing issue, it would be a lot better.

Multiplayer rating: 7.8/10

Verdict

Overall, Modern Combat 5: Blackout is a definite step backwards from its predecessors in terms of aesthetics, multiplayer, and single-player campaign storyline. However, it still has arguably the most gameplay variety in the campaign of any MC game, and it has reasonably fun multiplayer and decent aesthetics to support it.

Overall: 7.5/10

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