Call of Duty Mobile was something I thought I’d never care about, but ended up becoming a current mainstay in my daily routine. Since I don’t feel like playing StarCraft II these days due to the whole Blitzchung thing, I wanted to move on to something else. I played The Outer Worlds for two weeks, clocking in 120+ hours before feeling like I’ve seen everything I care to see. Then this game came about, and it has been a nice break.
Despite having the reflexes of a three-toed sloth, I really like playing straight-up first-person shooters. No objectives, no need for complex teamwork, no wacky abilities, no overly large maps, no YOLO crap. Just a gun in a map with a time or kill limit and the only goal is to kill as much as possible.
Anything more complex than that, and my brain can’t be bothered to handle it. At the very least, Call of Duty Mobile has game modes that satisfy that unevolved side of mine. However, since I have an irrational hatred towards mobile games and playing on a smartphone in general, I had to play this game another way.
My Brief Thoughts on Mobile Gaming in General
I really don’t play mobile games. I dislike the pain in my neck that crops up when I’m looking down at my phone, tapping the screen furiously to get that next ding that sounds different from the other dings, which signifies that I’ve acquired the virtual item I need to progress to the next whatever in the game.
Have you seen mobile game tournaments? It’s a bunch of people lined up in two rows on a stage, hunched down on their phones. It’s something I’ve shown and talked about in some of my convention vlogs, and I still find it weird. I understand what all the fuss is about, but I started gaming in the late 90s, so I’m basically being an old man like I should.
Mobile games I’ve played in the past are strategy and puzzle games I’ve reviewed on this blog, and that’s about it. Two worth mentioning are Rymdkapsel, Puzzle Forge 2, and Atomas. They don’t need high-end specs, are designed specifically for mobile platforms, and can be played in short bursts. Those are the types of mobile games I prefer.
If it’s a game that requires you to hunch down on your phone for at least half an hour at a time, I don’t think my neck can take it. I’d rather play those on an emulator.
Call of Duty Mobile Initial Release
So, I’m not that excited about a mobile version of a game I enjoyed a decade ago. Sure, I always wanted a new online action FPS that I can sink my teeth into enough to get me stimulated, but not enough that it causes me frustration. It’s that frustration that keeps me from playing Rainbow Six Siege on the regular.
When Call of Duty Mobile first came out and I got word of it, I tried following instructions to play it. The version that was out at that time was only for certain markets, mainly China, so a VPN was needed to bypass region locking.
The instructions I tried to follow stated I had to download the APK from a third-party app market, then get a VPN that would let me connect to an Indian server since most of them don’t have connections to a Chinese server. I did all those steps, but couldn’t find an Indian server in the VPN I was told to install, so I just stopped there.
There are people out there who are more used to online gaming with VPNs to play region-locked titles, but I’m not one of them. I barely play online games these days, and I only get to touch my preferred singleplayer titles every now and then. If it wasn’t going to be a no-brainer, I’m not touching it.
Garena Release of Call of Duty Mobile for Southeast Asia
A month later, a friend asked me on Messenger whether I played Call of Duty Mobile. I told him about my experience of not being able to play the Chinese one, but then got word the day after that Garena had published it for the Southeast Asian market.
It turned out that it was available on Google Play by then, so I installed it and actually got to make an account, log in, and connect to the game. It has been a week since, and I’ve been playing it during my work breaks.
Playing Call of Duty Mobile for the First Time
Of course, I’m not playing this on my phone. Also, I’m not playing a first-person shooter with my thumbs, no matter how much Halo fanboys whine about how aim assist is a legitimate way to play it. I’m playing this game with keyboard and mouse, even if people may think that’s cheating.
I use Nox Player as my Android emulator as it runs better for me. Maybe I’ll give BlueStacks another chance when I have time, but I switched to Nox when my previous BlueStacks installation somehow went sour for some reason.
To make it run better, I put the graphics on low, so it looked like Special Force and CrossFire in visual quality. That did make the experience more nostalgic, so it somehow helped me get more into playing team deathmatch in it.
It wasn’t like I was actively searching for a turn-my-brain-off shooter, but having one is good for me as it gives me a way to stay awake and stimulated so I don’t have to keep feeling bogged down by work and the usual drudgeries of everyday life.
Call of Duty Mobile is like an even shittier version of Blacklight Retribution and Dirty Bomb. I may be licking Bobby Kotick’s scrotum by playing this game, but I can give myself a pass for it since it’s free-to-play and I don’t intend to engage with the microtransactions.
My Ongoing Gameplay Experience
As of this writing, I’m at level 31. I’ve just stuck to the AK47 with a tactical scope, foregrip, laser sight, and FMJ rounds as my primary weapon. I use War Machine as my operator skill as it’s the closest thing to the “noob tube” from Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.
I kinda like pissing people off with the noob tube, to the point that I almost got into a fist fight with someone in the net cafe because he hated getting bonked with it so much. That just means it’s really good.
When I played my first few games here, I was getting way more kills than everyone else to the point that it felt like cheating. But that was at around 4AM, so perhaps those are purely mobile players. Later on, I went up against much better players who are most likely playing on keyboard and mouse like I am.
As I played more games, I realized my limits when I would perform badly in certain game modes. I do best in Frontline, but also knew what to do in Capture as far as defense goes. But at least with Frontline and Team Deathmatch, they’re not as dependent on team performance as Capture or Search and Destroy.
Maps I do worst in is Crossfire due to my lack of skill in sniping. Perhaps I should snipe more because of that, but I would always gravitate to going back to an assault rifle as I value mobility a bit more than camping. I do camp every now and then when I find a good spot, but I prefer being able to move while shooting.
It’s fine that I’ve seen where I suck in the game as I get chances to be challenged in terms of skill and not just piling on gameplay time. However, I haven’t tried Battle Royale yet. I suck in that genre due to being a momentum player. I play best when maps are more dense with enemies. I don’t do as well in large maps where enemies are sparse.
Perhaps that’s how I’ll finally be forced to get good at sniping. I didn’t do that well in CounterStrike because of that self-imposed limitation, and I’ve had enough of that. I tried in other games like Overwatch, but I couldn’t bring myself to stick to sniping since other options are readily available.
But in a genre like battle royale, you can’t just choose how you play. You have to play with whatever you get, so it’s imperative to survival that you know how to do pretty much everything to adapt to all scenarios. I’ll still have to warm up to the genre, but at least the option is there.
My need for a staple action FPS is due to my disappointment with Quake Champions. I do like that game and it’s the right speed for me, but its lack of a sizeable player base makes it not viable for me.
But having an online action FPS as a “trash game”—a game I can play whenever I need a pick-me-up—is good for me as it can help me keep my dwindling reflexes sharp for as long as possible.
Mind you, I still prefer having a full PC game for that, not just an emulated mobile game.
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