Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Mobilized DS Review

Is Activision on a Modern Warfare kick or what? It wasn't enough that the company had to release the highly anticipated Modern Warfare 2, but it also produced a port of the original for the Nintendo Wii and a portable Nintendo DS game as well. But by no means should Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Mobilized be considered the weakest of the bunch. For a portable first-person shooter, this game brings a whole lot of action.

In the game, you'll join up with American and British SAS forces to bring down militant evildoers who want nothing more than to throw the world into war. These are mostly Venezuelan forces, although a couple of twists reveal there's more to the story here than meets the eye. Throughout the game, you'll jump right into a handful of missions, shooting soldiers on foot one moment and taking to the skies with a slick AC-130 gun the next. You'll even control a tank.

Like previous first-person shooters, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Mobilized utilizes the DS' touch-screen for aiming. You'll drag your stylus on the bottom screen as you look through the viewpoint on the top, keeping enemies firmly in your sights. It's a terrific system, although d-pad and button movement are available if you prefer an old-fashioned style of play. Switching weapons is a cinch, as you'll simply need to tap on whatever weapon you need to stay behind cover. (Grenades are available as well.) Best of all, you can still pick up enemy weaponry, so you'll never run out of ammunition. That's a good thing, because these guys come at you in droves.

That's part of what makes Mobilized good, the intensity. We were surprised to find that the game is as action-packed as the other Modern Warfare games, with bad guys shooting from both above and below. Fortunately, the stylus aiming responds quickly enough that you can cut them down to size, even on the hardest difficulty. There are times when the action is so frantic that it slows down a bit, but you can use this to your advantage while targeting.

In addition, you'll need to complete several touch-screen puzzles, such as number memorization. You'll solve these to unlock computers or complete other objectives. They're difficult at first, but if you've got a good head on your shoulders, you'll figure them out.

Along with a robust single-player campaign, Mobilized also has other modes available. Multiplayer lets up to six players enjoy different match-ups, such as Team Capture the Flag and traditional Deathmatch. You can play locally with other folks that own the game, or log on to the Wi-Fi Connection. Just a quick heads-up, though. Online match-ups take a little while to get going.

Bonus modes are also unlockable over the course of the game. Our favorite of the bunch is Challenge, where you'll need to mow down a certain number of soldiers before time runs out. It's a breeze on Recruit difficulty, but a challenge as you go higher up.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Mobilized may not look as good as Modern Warfare 2, but it's superb for a DS game. Slowdown issues aside, each level looks even better than the last, and the character animation is spot-on. Some of the visual effects are fantastic as well, especially in the AC-130 and tank scenarios. Seriously, we really want a game with just these in them. Call it Call of Duty Modern Warfare: Air and Tank Gunning, we don't care. Just make it happen.

As for sound, it's quite impressive. The music repeats on occasion, but the battle themes used throughout were well chosen. Furthermore, there's a lot of voice work, and it never dips into cornball territory, keeping the seriousness of the game intact. Finally, weapon effects and explosions sound convincingly real, even on something as miniscule as the DS' speakers.

Although Modern Warfare 2 is obviously superior, it's nice to see that DS owners have a great alternative with Mobilized. The gameplay is fun, and the presentation is jam-packed with excitement. Next time you're on a car trip, make sure to mobilize with this.

What's Hot: A combination of action and touch-screen puzzles, has the best presentation in a portable Call of Duty, plenty of multiplayer options both locally and through the Wi-Fi Connection, Bonus Modes will keep you busy long after you wrap up the Campaign.

What's Not: Too much action slows things down, it takes a while to set up online matches.