Activision released a closed beta of Call of Duty Mobile on May 16th, 2019. India is the first country where the beta version went live. On May 19th, 2019, the Battle Royale mode became available. It is currently available for pre-registration via Google Play and will soon come to the Apple App Store.
I have been playing the game daily since its release, and these are my first impressions.
Graphics and Visuals of Call of Duty Mobile
The first thing which you’d notice is just how realistic the textures and lighting effects are in the game. Especially if you play on very high graphics and frame rate settings (like I did, on my OnePlus 5). There are two modes currently available – Multiplayer and Battle Royale.
Graphics in multiplayer mode are far more superior than Battle Royale. This could be an issue with the Beta version. We can expect the graphics to improve with future releases. Multiplayer maps are much smaller than Battle Royale and have only 10 players at a time. This could be another reason for better rendering and smoothing in this mode.
Multiplayer and Battle Royale in Call of Duty Mobile
There are 2 main modes of gameplay – Multiplayer and Battle Royale. A Zombie mode is also expected soon.
The Multiplayer Mode only supports First Person Perspective (FPP) gameplay. You can play a Non-Ranked match (your progress won’t be counted in ranking), a Ranked match (progress counted in ranking) or a Private match (a private lobby/room where you can set your own rules like time and score limit, friends who can participate, etc.).
Non-Ranked matches have various mission styles like Frontline, Team Deathmatch, Search & Destroy, Domination, Hardpoint, and Free-For-All. Players also get to choose from a choice of five maps depicting various scenarios. These matches are generally short and last for 5-10 minutes.
The Battle Royale mode offers gameplay similar to PUBG. You can play solo, duo, or 4-player squad matches. This mode supports both First Person and Third Person Perspective. Currently, only one map is available and we can expect more maps to be available with the public release.
100 players drop from planes and can land anywhere on the map. The last player standing is the winner. Along the way, you can collect various weapons, vehicles, tools and military gear. PUBG players would feel right at home in this mode.
Game feel and controls in Call of Duty Mobile
The control layout and HUD on-screen is very similar to PUBG. There are two shooting modes – simple and advanced. In simple mode. the gun shoots automatically whenever you aim at an enemy. The advanced mode is the traditional, manual style of shooting. I prefer the advanced mode as it offers more control and timing while shooting.
Call of Duty does offer one very intuitive control that makes shooting while running very tactile and convenient. You can press & hold the shoot button, and move your finger with the shoot button held. This allows you to move the camera aim while you’re shooting. The left joystick is available for running. This has always been a little tough on PUBG and I really enjoyed the shooting mechanics in Call of Duty Mobile.
Other things like opening/closing doors, collecting items from inventory, driving, etc is usual. There are some interesting new things like the ability to fly a helicopter, use gadgets like drones, grapple hooks, etc, rocket launchers, and special class based abilities.
Before the game begins, you need to choose a “class”. Depending on your choice, you get special abilities and gadgets. Squads can use the player classes in a strategic way.
The following “class” are available:
- Defender: the ability to place a deformable Shield which can protect from bullets. A player of this class can resist more damage.
- Mechanic: the player can call an EMP Drone to create electromagnetic interference on enemies. This class also gives you augmented sight which allows you to spot vehicles, hostile traps, and other equipment. Think of this like an x-ray vision or detective mode from the Batman Arkham Game Series.
- Scout: the player can use the Sensor Dart that can view enemy positions in the immediate area of the radar map. This class also has a Tracker ability, allowing you to see footprints of enemies.
- Clown: this class has a Toy Bomb to detonate and call zombies that only attack enemies near them.
- Medic: Players of this class can position a Medical Station that continuously heals the Medic and your allies in a nearby area. The Master Healer ability allows a Medic to heal more quickly and reduces the time it takes to revive teammates.
- Ninja: players of this class have a Grapple Gun that fires a hook, allowing you to propel yourself up onto target buildings or across the land. Players get quieter movement and increased stealth abilities.
Call of Duty: Mobile offers breathtaking graphics, fast-paced gameplay, and familiar PUBG Style Battle Royale. Calling it just a PUBG rip-off would be an over-simplification. (Interesting fact: Tencent, the company associated with PUBG is also associated with COD mobile. Maybe this is why the games are similar.)
COD Mobile offers enough new ideas and gameplay styles to keep players engaged for long periods of time. It also features seasonal ranking, royale pass, in-app purchases for guns, skins, clothes, etc. One must keep in mind that this is just the beta. The official release would be far more stable in its performance. I am looking forward to the future releases of this game.
Have you tried Call of Duty: Mobile yet? What are your thoughts? Let me know your views in the comments section below.