Call of Duty: Mobile has announced it is stepping into Esports with the World Championships and a $1million prize, but can it begin to rival the consoles?
Call of Duty: Mobile is somewhat of a grey area for CoD fans. Since conception, CoD has been a console game for all players, whether that is casual or competitive. The Call of Duty franchise has established itself as one of the biggest games in the world, and the most played shooter-game if you account each game within the franchise. In its seventeen-year lifespan, it has grown from strength to strength, with over 50 million players playing Call of Duty: Warzone in 2020. But only this year has it introduced Call of Duty to a mobile game, and now Call of Duty: Mobile is becoming an Esports.
In recent Call of Duty news, the mobile World Championships 2020 was announced, with $1million up for grabs. Call of Duty: Mobile is attracting a huge number of players, and it is clear as to why. Who wouldn’t want to become a millionaire from the comfort of your own home?
But can the success of the app be sustained in the long run?
Call of Duty: Mobile is a fruit salad of the Modern Warfare and Black Ops franchises. Featuring all of your favourite maps from the last ten years such as Nuketown and Firing Range (BO1), Standoff and Raid (BO2), Crash (MW), Scrapyard (MW2), and more, the app has combined most of what has made the console franchises so popular and put it all on a free-to-play. This has been a popular feature, as a cure to nostalgia-hungry CoD fans who cannot get their fix from sweaty hacked lobbies on old devs. Having old-but-gold maps on the app certainly gives the game longevity, with the option to rotate popular maps and move with demand from the fanbase, rather confusing them with new and tricky maps.
Whilst the maps are engaging and loved by the fan base, the quality of the game is also important. In other mobile shooter games such as Fortnite, the mechanics of the controls have been difficult to get the hang of, with buttons in unfavourable places; however, Call of Duty seems to have combatted this well, allowing you to customise the interface of your controls. With a drag and drop system on the customised controller settings, you can move each ‘button’ to a place where you feel it comfortable, such as the area where you control movement, and then the ‘button’ for shooting. This has allowed a much more lenient skill level, as people can feel more comfortable with the mechanics than other mobile games which have failed due to the rigidity.
The mechanics will never be up to the same level as console though, which is a major problem for the longevity of Call of Duty: Mobile. With the console allowing much quicker and fluid reactions and movements, the gameplay is undoubtedly much more gripping and entertaining than its mobile version. The Call of Duty audience has always been motivated by seeing the most entertaining plays, whether that’s casual 360 quickscopes or competitive clutches. There’s nothing more exhilarating within CoD than seeing someone pull off something completely out of the ordinary, it’s what makes gaming so engaging. This is where the app fails. Out of the ordinary on mobile, is very mediocre and saturated on console, which fails to grip the imagination of the audience who can see much better on console. Albeit there is a high level of skill involved in hitting collaterals on any mode, the consoles have moved on from these outdated skills to things more outrageous.
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There is, however, one element of the app that console fans will love but loathe Activision for neglecting for so many years on console. A brilliantly sound and working ranking system. Almost a replicate of League Play in Black Ops Two, ranked play on mobile allows you to play against players of similar ability to add a competitive edge; something console players have been longing for years. The ranking system also allows players to be eligible for the Call of Duty: Mobile World Championships 2020, and a chance to grab that $1million prize. By advancing to ‘Veteran 1’, players can then become eligible to compete in the championships, a model that could be very enthralling if introduced to console.
Ultimately, the mechanics and slower gameplay will put players off Call of Duty mobile, but in fact, the app has many positives. If you haven’t already, it may be worth checking it out.
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Images via Activision