It’s still not easy to handle the spidery (though well-balanced) control scheme, but Modern Combat 5: Blackout proves once again that tablets and phones can do console-style first-person shooters with aplomb. As with its predecessors, Blackout sports cutting-edge graphics, a generic but solid single-player campaign, and a deep multiplayer experience.
By the time Infinity Ward released Modern Warfare 3 in 2011, Call of Duty’s style was well-established: the single-player mode should be bombastic, jingoistic, and cinematic, while a robust and quick-paced multiplayer portion comprises the bulk of the experience. But it also depends on an eager player base and densely populated servers. Unfortunately, Aspyr’s Mac port, released three years since, has neither.
It’s been some time since we last heard about Modern Combat 5, the latest in Gameloft’s iPhone and iPad military shooter series. In fact, we played the game at the Electronic Entertainment Expo last June and came away impressed by the brief demo, and it was slated to debut last fall — but it never appeared. Now the newly branded Modern Combat 5: Blackout is “coming soon” to iOS, says the publisher, which revealed additional details about the game’s single-player campaign today.
Vlambeer specializes in twitchy, arcade-style games that get really hairy (while remaining plenty fun) in a hurry—like iOS greats Super Crate Box and Ridiculous Fishing—and its latest Mac entry, Luftrausers, certainly maintains that philosophy. You'll pilot a tiny plane as enemy craft and carriers launch a barrage of gunfire, zipping about and laying waste to foes while trying to maintain a score-boosting combo streak. And much as the combat itself proves entertaining, it's matched well by an awesome customization system that allows you to swap various parts to create the fighter of your dreams.
Few games have seen as many downloadable content additions as Borderlands 2, but the today that long string of releases over the course of 18 months comes to an end with the release of Sir Hammerlock Versus the Son of Crawmerax. And just as with the previous 13 content releases, we Mac players get to play it at the same time as our PC cousins.
As a clear effort to emulate big-budget console shooters like Panzer Dragoon or Star Fox, Star Horizon is perhaps most notable for how true it stays to its vision. It's a game that takes very little influence from the usual iOS design trends, thankfully eschewing common devices like virtual sticks, tilt steering, or in-app purchases. As a result, it’s a mostly successful homage that shines particularly in its presentation, with the game serving as a showpiece for the iOS platform.
You can always rely on Crytek to push graphical boundaries, and the Crysis developer’s latest iOS outing is no exception, with detailed and realistic environments that sparkle in all the right places. But beneath the glitz and the glam—and beyond a strong core, top-down arena shooter design—The Collectables suffers from a toxic progression system, which forces you to spend big or grind repeatedly through already-completed missions.
Glorkian Warrior: Trials of Glork is what would probably happen if a quirky cartoon series was suddenly invaded by a host of goofy aliens trained by the kamikaze pilots from classic arcade blasters Galaxian and Galaga. The hero of the hour—a bipedal, three-eyed fellow wearing a talking backpack with automatic weaponry—must defend his asteroid from countless terrors intending on blowing it to bits. It’s here where you come in, guiding the purple protector left and right, blasting pulsating alien formations and occasionally having him leap about a bit in order to avoid swooping foes.
Respawn Entertainment's multiplayer first-person shooter Titanfall has emerged as one of the most noteworthy game releases of the past few months, but right now it's limited to play on Windows, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. But that could change. According to a tweet by Respawn's co-founder Vince Zampella, this hit game could also grace Mac hard drives sometime in the future.
Block Fortress: War tries valiantly to narrow the focus of its stellar, open-ended base building and first-person tower defense predecessor, but it misfires repeatedly and never quite lives up to its potential. Foursaken Media once again tackles a Minecraft-esque universe of war-torn block races, this time constructing a campaign around relatively linear battles wherein you have partial command of a hero and his minions, plus full control over the placement of defensive blocks, turrets, and bombs.