Given the huge fanfare that accompanies a Modern Warfare launch, it's easy for its DS counterpart to slip under the radar. It's understandable, really. Whereas the console/PC version is a high-octane, explosive visual feast full of gloss and gunfire, the DS offering can't help but seem a little ropey in comparison. And while it almost manages to hold its own, Modern Warfare 3: Defiance struggles with poor controls, a number of glitches, and some ill-thought-out checkpoint placement.
6347106NoneWhile it may not look pretty, Defiance is sometimes fun to play.
Defiance tells a story that is parallel to the main Modern Warfare 3 campaign. It sees you, playing as members of the National Guard and the British Special Forces, trying to repel the invading Russian army. There's little in the way of story, and scenes jump from place to place, with the general goal always being to "kill the bad guys." Cutscenes are lacking in exposition and also lack a subtitle option, and often, the audio is a bit unintelligible. It's not a huge matter, but most of the cutscenes are in game and can't be skipped, so it would have been nice to follow what was being said all the time.
Mechanically, it's fairly typical Call of Duty. You're funneled from gunfight to gunfight, down tight corridors, shooting bad guys as you go, meeting with the occasional turret sequence along the way. There's a decent balance here; you're never overwhelmed with enemies, which suits the small screen. And you have the helpful ability to peer down the sights with a tap of the touch screen, which snaps your view close to an enemy soldier. There are two control methods. The first, using the stylus to aim, is problematic. Finding the aiming sensitivity sweet spot proves difficult, and more often than not you'll end up flailing as you struggle to get a bead on an enemy. Button control works a lot better though. The D-pad is used to move back and forth and to strafe, while the face buttons allow you to look up, down, and turn left or right. Auto-aim comes into its own here too, compensating for the lack of pinpoint control. The touch screen is used nicely in this control scheme too, with the hot spots to change weapons or interact positioned well so that a quick tap of the thumb does little to break the flow of combat.
It manages to be quite exciting at times. Running in, clearing out a warehouse of Russians, switching up weapons, and hurling grenades is all rather fluid once you get the hang of it. It's often difficult to aim precisely, though, and the limited directional control from the four buttons occasionally becomes a problem, especially at close quarters. It's serviceable, though, and once you get the hang of using the iron sight auto-aim, becomes less of an issue.
An incoming helicopter? Explosions must be imminent.