A couple of days ago I caught up with Bruno Ambregni from Gameloft, a video game publisher in the mobile space. Gameloft develop games for mobile handsets across a range of platforms – Symbian, Java, iOS and more recently, Android.
Over the last twelve months, Android has come a long way, such that it’s giving the iPhone a run for its money in many categories – variety of apps available, productivity and business apps, and more recently, gaming. However, when I say gaming, I mean more the ‘typical’ mobile-based games which have been lead by iPhone releases. Few of us wouldn’t have heard of the big name games on the iOS platform – Angry Birds and Rolando come to mind, with others like Words with Friends and Tap Tap Revenge also fond favourites.
Some of these games have come to Android and some have not, but one thing that has really been missing is the big budget game. iOS has had a lot of these – graphics intensive, 3D first person shooters are relatively common on iOS, but rare and (for the most part) not very good on Android. That changes right about … now.
Bruno spoke to me about Gameloft’s upcoming release ‘Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus’. Those of you familiar with iOS releases will recognise that this game is available – right now – on the iOS platform. However, Bruno told Android Australia exclusively that Modern Combat 2 will be coming to the Android platform – and coming soon.
During my chat with Bruno I played Modern Combat 2 on a Samsung Galaxy S handset, and I have to say, I was blown away. I’m not much of a gamer – the trappings of modern life don’t leave much time for video games – but I was impressed. I enjoyed a full screen, 3D first person shooter that ran easily over 30fps with no noticeable lag, impressive visuals and sound effects, and best of all, really enjoyable game play.
While I was running around shooting people with sniper rifles, shotguns, and throwing grenades, Bruno and I discussed the features of Modern Combat 2, many of which I discovered while playing along. There’s 12 different battlefields set around the world, and 15 different weapons you can use – good ol’ favourites for oldschool gamers like me are there – bazookas and grenades, and a trusty shotgun!
Most impressive – and something I wasn’t able to demo during our interview – was the online side of the game. While it has a fully developed and very enjoyable single player mode, there’s also a well developed multi-player option, where up to 10 players – across devices (i.e. you can battle your iOS mates with your Android device) – can engage in online battles across a variety of maps with different play modes that any Quake player would be familiar with.
In short the game was great fun, and the only let down was my fairly lacklustre gaming ability – my character died fairly quickly with me at the helm!
While I was playing away, Bruno and I also discussed the state of gaming on Android (and to a lesser extent, iOS). Gameloft invest a lot in their development cycle – from close ties with handset manufacturers to make sure their games work on as many handsets as possible, to discussions with carriers about what their customers want and need. Gameloft is not an indy game developer – and this is no slight on those indy game developers which make Android and iOS really alive, exciting platforms – no, Gameloft is right up there with its peers (and competitors) Electronic Arts and the like, and the quality that comes from that level of talent really shows in this game.
I remarked to Bruno that the gameplay of Modern Combat 2 would not feel (or would not have felt) out of place on a console gaming platform in the last couple of years. We both agreed, looking back even a couple of years, that had anyone suggested this kind of thing would be possible on a mobile phone platform in 2010 (and now 2011) they would have been ridiculed – and yet here we are.
Having played this great shooter and decided it was good fun, Android Australia have teamed up with Gameloft to bring our readers a bit of an exclusive.
First up, note down this date: Modern Combat 2 comes out on 28 January 2011.
Secondly, check this deal: buy a copy of Modern Combat 2 through Gameloft’s web store (accessible via a mobile portal, as it should be) and Gameloft will give you a second game free from their library. Stay tuned – once this is set up, we’ll do a new story with all the details you’ll need.
I enjoyed meeting with Bruno and I’m hopeful that Android Australia and Gameloft will be able to bring you more exclusives as new games are developed and released in the near future.