To be completely honest, I wasn't expecting much from Call of Duty: Strike Team. It's not that Call of Duty titles on iOS are notoriously bad -- in fact, most of them have been quite good -- but the fact that we had heard practically nothing about the game prior to it popping up in the App Store made me think it wasn't a particularly rich experience.
I am pleased to say I was wrong.
The plot of Strike Team is fragmented and presented as multiple conflicts that dot the globe. You can pick and choose which missions to play (or replay), and each will have you performing familiar tasks such as eliminating enemy forces, collecting key items or surviving an onslaught of attackers.
As the "team" moniker suggests, squad play is a major part of the game, and you'll almost always need to control multiple soldiers at a time. This is less cumbersome than it may sound, and as you maneuver through each mission, there's always an on-screen button that forces your teammates to gather on you.
Strike Team doesn't try to completely replicate the traditionally twitchy first-person Call of Duty experience on iOS, but instead takes a more tactical approach. Most missions allow you to switch seamlessly between a first-person perspective and a top-down view that lets you control all your squad members independently. You can drag them to new positions and control even the tiniest aspects of your approach, which is something never before offered in a Call of Duty game.
The on-screen controls work well for an iOS shooter, and in first-person mode it's still rather easy to make accurate head shots and dart from cover to cover. The environments are similarly excellent for a mobile title, though the ultra-smooth framerate comes with some relatively ugly textures if you happen to get up close to an object or flat surface.
Completing missions earns you experience points that helps you level up, as well as in-game currency which you can use to unlock additional weapons, perks and other goodies. You can also take a shortcut and use the in-app purchase option to get an edge, but even the earliest missions are so enjoyable that there's really no reason to want to skip them.
The game costs US$6.99, which is more than you might be used to paying for an iOS game, but it's certainly worth the premium. There's a lot of content here, and online leaderboards can keep groups of friends busy trying to best each other for a long, long time.
- Key specs
- Form factor Tablet
- Operating system iOS (8)
- Screen size 9.7 inches
- Storage type Internal storage (16 GB, Flash)
- Maximum battery life Up to 10 hours
- Dimensions 9.4 x 6.6 x 0.24 in
- Weight 0.96 lb
- Announced 2014-10-16