This is the first Call of Duty game for iOS, and Strike Team sticks to what makes the franchise so popular: sneaking, firefights, drones, grenades, guns, more guns and leaderboards.
Developed by the Blast Furnace, the studio Activision set up in Leeds, England, to handle mobile game development, Strike Team is actually two genres in one: a first person shooter and a top-down tactical. Strike Team’s first-person features will leave you frustrated, but the real-time strategy component is kinda cool.
You’ll alternate between the two modes – switching between first person, in which you control squad members, and overhead, in which you have more strategic control over your soldiers – as circumstances require, and according to your play style.
In first person you use the left side of the screen to move and strafe, and the right side of the screen to look and aim. You’ll tap on buttons in the heads-up display to crouch, sneak kill, interact, and switch between squad members. Gyroscopic and gestural controls are also available.
In the top-done, “drone” mode you can pinch to zoom (pinch and twist to rotate your view). You tap to set a location for your soldiers to move to, or you can trace the path you want them to take instead. You can also direct soldiers to attack targets you specify, hack alarms and collect intel.
The missions are structured very much like they are in console Call of Duty games. Before each mission you get to set your squad’s load out, which includes weapons, equipment, and perks.
Completing objectives grants you experience, levels up your soldiers and unlocks weapons. You also earn Tokens which can be spent on weapons and equipment. This is not a freemium game, it’s $6.99 to download, but it also encourages you to spend even more real money to purchase Tokens.
Leaderboards, another stalwart feature of the franchise, are also part of Strike Team in the Survival mode of the game, which has you fending off waves of increasingly-difficult enemies. And you can opt to take on any number of Challenges to earn medals.
Strike Team is as full-featured as you expect from a Call of Duty game. Some of its elements – the shooter aspects in particular – don’t translate as nicely to the mobile format, but there is plenty of fun to be had if you’re willing to spend some time mastering the controls.
Developer: Activision; Platform: Android, iOS