Modern Combat: Versus. The next chapter of the Modern Combat series. With many praises under its belt, the Modern Combat franchise has always stood as the definitive first-person shooter on the mobile platform to beat. However, since the release of Modern Combat 5: Blackout, the game took immediate criticism upon its release, and in my opinion, has only waned since its release, adding overpowered pay-to-win features in exchange for becoming freemium, making it hard for new and free-to-play players to keep grasp among the pros that actually pay for these items. So, while I may be excited for the new game, and have donated a wishlist to it, the game is drastically different compared to the game I was expecting. Before I start with my concerns, I have an extra-big one: if the game starts as pay-to-play (which it likely won't be), if it ever goes free-to-play never add an energy bar, but maybe make the f2p players have weaker weapons but can, with time, unlike the normal weapons. So, here are my concerns for the game, starting with
Most of us like to be able to run across walls, especially in console games. But on a mobile device, which can only hold so many buttons without feeling overwhelming, is there going to be a separate button for the wallrunning? Also, I'm confident wallrunning will only become a victim of exploiting if the developers don't iron out obvious and easy "bugs" within the system. Also, won't it be incredibly different while you are on the wall, aiming at someone on the ground? Or trying to shoot down someone that is wallrunning? I will go in depth on this later.
In the short preview we all have seen, you can clearly see that the gun, when it is being fired, has almost no recoil, which was a big problem for me in MC5. Only the LMGs had some degree of recoil, and even then, not by much Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus had recoil. Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation had the Shred-4, which no one really used because of the recoil. In Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour, you had the VECT9, Compakt-665, OPS65, and Charbtek-28 which all had noticeable and very excellently done recoil, especially as each weapon had recoil for a reason. Recoil and hip spread (which is totally different) was a main factor when choosing weapons in all games before Modern Combat 5: Blackout. Taking this away might appeal to some, but it won't appeal to veterans. This is Gameloft Montreal after all, I trust them for making game mechanics that make sense and work well (except for those in Gangstar Vegas), so I hope this lack of recoil gets patched right away.
This is techincally still a section of Weapon mechanics, but I thought this deserved a talk of its own. One of my concerns is that MCV's weapon customisation will be similar to MC5s. It, in my opinion, should not be. It should go back to MC4, where there were so many different attachment and skill customizations to make your class the godfather class you wanted it to be, unlike in MC5 where the higher-tier attachment is always the better, pretty much like the weapons itself.
Time to Kill
Let's face it - Modern Combat 5 had a ridiculously long time to kill compared to previous games, which I think is not good. Personally, I want to have a game that makes you think before entering an area you know is swarming with hostiles who can gun you down fast if you're not aware of them, instead of a game where you can just rush in with your fully modded weapon and armor and destroy normal players who don't even have a chance. In Modern Combat 4, 3, and 2, even novice players could at least get a couple of kills even on the most skilled players so long as they had the element of surprise. In Modern Combat 5, that was taken away from us. So, for MCV, I would like for that higher feeling of "tacticalness" that was missing from MC5. I know this game will have many majestic ways of travelling around the map, but at least have players put some thought before they wallrun into this room, guns blazing. Even Call of Duty might make you think before going into an area for god's sake!
Controls and Wallrunning
With the wallrunning that has been released to us, we can safely assume that MCV will feature other fast ways to traverse the map. So that brings us on to aiming. Unlike PCs, you don't have a mouse where you can adjust the sensitivity not only in the game, but on the mouse itself, as well as being able to shoot with a tap of the left mouse button. Unlike consoles either, you don't have a joystick and triggers for you to snap onto targets simultaneously while aiming. So, how effective will aiming be in MCV? I would not like to see a revolution of Modern Combat's controls, but rather an evolution so we can accomodate all this. If they throw that idea under the bed, I have no doubt imagining how hard it would be to aim at someone wallrunning at high speed while you are on the ground.
Balancing & IAPs (In-App Purchases)
With Gameloft's sales strategy these days, Modern Combat: Versus will not surprise me if the game, at launch, is freemium. If it is freemium, I have no doubt believing that it will follow in the steps of MC5 in terms of available IAPs. If you still think Gameloft Montreal would never add such overpowered IAPs despite being free, look at *cough cough* Gangstar Vegas *cough cough*. Though a case could be made for Gangstar Vegas being more of a "grind-to-win" more than a "pay-to-win", it isn't exactly forgiving when you have very low skill points to spend and are awarded little gems to continue your crime life in Vegas. I do not want to see a repeat of MC5's case system. We know there are going to be different "classes" in MCV, that work like Specializations in Call of Duty: Black Ops III. Hopefully all the specializations are available by grinding and not by *cough cough* paying USD$25 for an overpowered specialist with bazookas on its arms and double the wallrun speed and double the damage dealt by their weapons, which brings us neatly to weapon balancing.
Weapon balancing for me, has always been the dark cloud hanging over the Modern Combat series. Every single Modern Combat game has its fair share of overpowered weapons, and no overpowered Modern Combat weapon list could be complete without the plethora of OP MC5 weapons like the Bosks, E24s, PR39s, and almost all of the Sapper and Bounty Hunter weapons. Despite the shower of dreaded weapons from Modern Combat's past, this is the perfect opportunity for Montreal to have a community test environment for weapons, similar to what Counter Strike: Global Offensive does with its maps and weapons except for *cough* the R8 Revolver*cough*. Anyway, I am hopeful and concerned at the same time that Montreal better do a good job with the weapon balancing this time around.
Killstreaks have been satisfying the community since the first killstreaks debuted back in Fallen Nation, especially that Bomber and Nuke, which, despite being a ripoff of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2's killstreak of the same name, has to make a return in MCV as there was no other feeling like launching that hard-earned nuke after slaying 20 foes without dying. However, that brings us on to availability and balance. Killstreaks are supposed to be rewards for the skilled and hard-working players, and almost anyone can earn a Satellite Scan or Recon Aircraft legitimately by getting 3 kills in a row.. But it shocked me when I found out you could buy these, meaning a rich noob could buy a Bomber at the start of the game and before you even thought about capturing that first crucial objective in Zone Control or finding a sneaky way to snatch the flag, you would be confronted by a C-130 that spelled Game Over if you weren't under sufficient cover. I was glad that this feature was absent in MC4, but in MC5, with the Bounty Hunter collecting gems, you can spend those gems on those killstreaks. So, excited for the killstreaks in MCV, and hopefully they will be creative and unique, but please do not make them available for currency. That's bullshit in my view, and something I will be concerned about when they release the game early next year.
Concerns with Graphics
Personally, the quality of Gameloft's graphics have gone down every year. I'm confident this has something to do with the fact that most of these games are free-to-play, but still. I will be concerned if MCV's graphics are worse than MC3's. This is lower down in the list, because I'm all about the gameplay and frames per second, but Montreal, if you could, just make the game as aesthetically polished as you can, especially in the animations department, as MC5 and MC4 had mostly copy-and-paste reload animations. Draw animations would be appreciated, like cocking a pistol before shooting, or sending the bolt home on a rifle like a certain PC first-person shooter pioneer had already got the hammer down as far back as 2000.
There is still a lot of content I am concerned about in Modern Combat: Versus. We will just have to wait and see, but these were my concerns I thought were appropriate to share and/or interesting, as out first glance at the gameplay was released.