Exclusive to the PlayStation Network, Gameloft’s Modern Combat: Domination takes the most addictive aspect of a first person shooter – the multiplayer – and focuses purely on it, forgoing singleplayer for an online experience. But can a small downloadable title compete with shooting games that have a multi-million dollar budget?
Taking obvious inspiration from titles such as Modern Warfare and Counter-strike, the game manages to take many of the better qualities of current online shooters and combine them to make a decent shooter in its own right, but in doing so, it also fails to bring anything new to the table.
With the standard fare of multiplayer modes such as Deathmatch and Domination, the title ticks all the boxes of an online shooter, while also bringing different, albeit not entirely original, modes that spice up the game. For example, in ‘Boom and Bust’ you must stop a missile launch and in ‘Escort’ you must protect or kill a specific player.
However, while such modes provide fleeting enjoyment, the missions are let down by the fact that the small maps and only one life a match lead to very short rounds, with only the classic Deathmatch and Domination having any real legs. Long load times compound the fact that rounds are short, with the load times sometimes equalling that of an actual match.
The maps are rather generic – an abandoned factory, a deserted town in a Middle Eastern country and a sandy Mountain to name but a few. The levels are on the small side, bordering on cramped, however they are reasonably well balanced meaning that while most modes are short lived, playing Deathmatch and Domination can lead to longer, more enjoyable matches.
With support for up to 16 players, tight and frantic gameplay can lead to exciting matches that require teamwork and strategy for a player to win, but, ultimately, matches are all too similar to those in other games. Modern Combat: Domination also has offline support that recreates the multiplayer with AI counterparts. Sadly, the AI is severely limited, presenting little challenge to even the most inexperienced of gamers, with enemies often running straight past you.
For a PlayStation Network title, the 720p HD graphics are rather impressive, admittedly falling short of those in a fully fledged title, but again, the game is let down by an uninspired environment that is bland and lacking in variety, with even the two factions, Special Forces and Mercenaries, looking virtually identical. The sound is of a decent quality, with the sounds of guns and explosions effectively recreated in the game.
Move support is a welcome addition, but is by no means perfect, with the sensitivity of the controls sometimes varying mid-game. While you’re probably best off sticking with the DualShock, using Move can be an enjoyable experience that complements your normal game time.
Modern Combat: Domination is a valiant attempt at trying to go head to head with shooter genre giants such as Call of Duty and Battlefield and is, to some extent, successful, but overall the title fails to bring anything new to the table, or build upon other titles. While the game is a fun alternative to other FPS’, those who already own a major title, and haven’t played it to death, have little to gain from picking up the game.
PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score
– Lacks variety
– Long load times