First there was Modern Combat: Sandstorm [$4.99 / HD] which we described as one of the most impressive gaming experiences on the App Store at that time.  Next came MC2: Black Pegasus [$6.99 / HDFree], which we called " A new standard in online multiplayer". Now, Gameloft has released their much anticipated third installment, MC3: Fallen Nation [$6.99], which although not revolutionary, is easily one of the best first-person shooters available for iOS devices.

This release is named "Fallen Nation" because America is under attack. The enemies are KPR (Korea, Pakistan and Russia), who have declared war on America and invaded US cities, reportedly destroying Chicago. Anyone familiar with the earlier games will find more of the same non-stop action in this military shooter, but Gameloft have extended their previous efforts to ensure this latest release is the best in the series.

Because this game has so much going on, we'll focus primarily on highlighting the new features. If you're not familiar with the earlier games, you might want to read the review links above.

The single player campaign has 13 missions and four levels of difficulty, with combat in different vehicles, settings, and six different countries. There are plenty of cinematic cutscenes between gun-fights to shape the story-line, some of which require swipes when directed. The voice-over acting sounds good considering Gameloft's previous efforts, and the graphics and level of detail in the levels is already being praised as "better than MC2" in the games busy discussion thread.

The highlight for many players will be the expanded multiplayer mode which is available via local WiFi or online via Gameloft Live. It now supports up to 12 players, compared to 10 previously, and delivers six much larger maps, which is more maps than MC2 had at release. Bluetooth multiplayer mode, which was available in MC2, has now been removed. Some users have experienced lag at times, which has caused stuttering graphics, but the general indication is that it's nothing unreasonable.

Seven multiplayer modes are provided. The four MC2 modes are still present (Battle, Team battle, Capture the flag and Defuse the bomb), but now there's also "Manhunt"  where you hold a flag for as long as possible, "Zone control" where you capture and hold locations, and "Destruction" where one team defends multiple devices from an attacking team. Multiplayer mode also has a list of challenges to complete, like achieving a certain number of head-shots, beating each game mode, and achieving the required number of kills with each weapon / attachment.

By killing other players and completing objectives and challenges, you'll gain the experience points (XP) necessary for promotions to higher ranks. This is important because your rank now determines which new weapons, attachments, equipment, and skills are available in the armory.

In multiplayer mode, you can pick one skill per weapon kit. A gun expert loads his weapons quicker, an athlete runs faster while an anatomy scientist heals in half the time. The meanest skill is "One more thing", which drops an incendiary grenade upon death, as a good-bye present to anyone nearby, like the person who shot you.

The expected diverse arsenal of weapons is available, plus equipment like remotely activated C4 explosives, sensors to display position of enemies, radar jammers, mines, and camouflage to avoid satellite scans. However, the process for unlocking weapons has changed, with guns being unlocked progressively once your character reaches certain levels while in-game currency is used to buy ammunition or attachments. That's right, you can now add various attachments to customize your weaponry, like: Red dot sights, thermal scopes, and suppressors, which help you stay invisible on enemies radar while shooting.

There are two forms of in-game currency: Blue credits are used to buy or upgrade items in the single player shop, or to unlock items in WiFi multiplayer. Gold credits are used in online multiplayer, to unlock items in the online armory. You can buy additional credits as an In-App Purchase, but this is not really necessary as playing the game can yield the same results without extra cost.

Kill signatures have been added, so you can unlock and choose a message, picture, background and sound to be displayed to your victims after you kill them.  So when your opponents die, they might get a message like: "PWNED!" or "Would you like fries with that?"  along with a flatulence or baby crying sound effect. It's a final slap in the face for your dead opponent.

Gameloft has added rewards for killing sprees this time around as well. In multiplayer mode you can earn "kill-chains" by killing multiple enemies without dying. These kill-chains can be used to buy military support. For example, three kill-chains will get you a satellite scan, showing all hostiles briefly. You can also request air strikes, turret deployments or helicopter / bomber support. With 20 kill-chains, you can obtain the much coveted nuclear missile and drop this WMD to end the conflict in 15 seconds.

There are three different control options, including "Classic Controls" like MC2 (but with a new sliding move by pressing crouch when running), but this set-up is not the default.  You can adjust the sensitivity of the controls, which was handy as I didn't like the default controls at all, finding them too fast and floaty and the sprint button was in an uncomfortable position. Fortunately, there's an option to customize the position of each control individually, although this is hidden away in the pause menu. It's worth taking a few minutes to get the controls right for you.

Your progress and ranking is stored on Gameloft's servers, so even if you delete the game, you can re-install it and resume without needing to start over. This means you can login from another device if the game is installed. And a multiplayer headquarters menu now presents all your stats, leaderboards, challenges, match history, and military support options. Finally, there's now an online armory where you can save your weapon sets (primary, secondary, weapons attachments and extras like equipment or skills). Additional weapon kit slots can be unlocked. This isn't as good as having direct access to all weapons, but it's still nice to have this ability.

A few teething issues have been reported, with some ranks being listed incorrectly / inconsistently or progress being lost altogether. This is a major inconvenience which Gameloft is likely to investigate as a priority. And if you have a hyphen in your Gameloft Live login (as one of our editors does) you may have trouble logging in for online multiplayer, so avoid using dashes if you're signing up.

This Universal game is larger than most and requires additional room for the install process, so gamers all over the world are busy deleting other large games to free up a couple of gigabytes. If you want to play first person shooters on your iOS device, Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation is a must-buy game, so start making room for it.  Although, with Gameloft  reportedly committed to releasing frequent updates sooner this time around (in contrast to previous versions), we may have to delete even more games for the future updates.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • glenn torres

    now it really looks like call of duty ,, nc!

  • Ronny Walther

    why there are no small bugfix/content updates, instead of installing the whole game a second time? Isn't this possible with iOS 5?

    • http://twitter.com/Sanuku Sanuku

      Because the Developer always have to create a new Build if they Fix something and sent it to Apple to get it Reviewed. A Patch on the fly isn`t Possible with the current Review System that Apple does use. There is a Way to force a quick Review but at the End it won`t change that you will have to re-download the hole Release if Gameloft does fix something. Don`t mix it up with a DLC/IAP since those are most of the Time just small Files.

    • http://twitter.com/owais95 owais sandeed

      i've seen something like this in MMO's like pocket legends and Order and Chaos,i would like that to be in all the games

      • Zachary Skywielder

        It works it those MMO's because all the content is hosted on the servers of the producing companies, and the device is just a "window."  But with games like this, the server just provides information like rankings, location, etc, while the device generates the maps and all the objects in them.  Some bugs could be fixed without an update if they are on the producing company's side but usually with a game like this the error is with the code on the device.

  • Anonymous

    Hopefully the single player missions aren't as mediocre as the last 2 games. But i think this game is going to be more about the multiplayer than a bad single player campaign

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CN5B3ROVDFAFDYBQTPCMD3C3OI James Bond

      The campaign is actually pretty nice. When you make a headshot, enemies actually DO die in this one.

      On top of that, the monotony of travelling by foot is relieved with the addition of the ability to run. It's really actually quite good.

  • Anonymous

    I found the first two entries in the series feeling a lot more light-hearted and "arcade-like" with their controls, combat pacing, and general atmosphere and am wondering if this new entry feels like those or like the more serious Modern Warfare series

  • Texazzpete

    90% of this review is about Multiplayer, with the Campaign getting a miniscule mention. The visuals which should be one of the main draws gets just a one-liner!

    Please improve on this...some of us are just in it for the Campaign...a more balanced review would be appreciated

  • https://openid.aol.com/opaque/413d29f0-69ee-11e0-947a-000bcdcb2996 compactman

    BEST GRAPHICS EVER ON A SMARTPHONE OR TABLET, PERIOD.
    GAMELOFT TOTALLY OUTDID THEMSELVES WITH THIS ONE. MY JAW IS STILL DROPPING EVERYTIME I PLAY IT. THE SHADOWS, THE SUN REFLECTIONS, THE DETAIL OF THE GUN, THE ENVIRONMENTS. IT'S LIKE HAVING BATTLEFIELD 3 ON YOUR SMARTPHONE. CRAZYYYYY!!!!

    10 STARS!!!!!

    • Declan Bowers

      Best graphics you've ever seen on a tablet? I'm going to assume that you havent had an iPod for very long...they are better than most iOS games, but the best? No. (have a look at infinity blade to see what I mean here. Now THATS nice graphics for you.)

      • http://twitter.com/ass_from_space Jinwoohoooo

        Actually, we CAN say that this game got the best graphics when you actually consider that infinity blade got no shit at all, thats why the guy who made it can increase the graphics to an awesome level since there's only slashing and shit. In this game, you control it, you need A LOT of RAM and good processor on your phone or tablet for it. And by control it, i mean walking, shooting and other shits with big maps and enemies to do more shits. So you cant really compare this game with that shit

  • Anonymous

    Not revolutionary my ass: being the first next-gen online fps for iOS is certainly revolutionary.

    Not to mention the series just took an exponential leap in quality and technical prowess.

    New team Gameloft Montreal (Ubisoft Montreal)

    • http://twitter.com/back2this Sean Yuan

      Agreed, this game blows other shooters on the iOS out of the water. No competition. Best iOS FPS, hands down.

      @back2this:twitter 

  • Anonymous

    Damn this site is a struggle on an iPhone (go figure).

    New developer, much much better game.
    This is pretty much MW2.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HUMOGSDTZG4FAOVQGBCDNZPIKU zach leronee

    This game hasokay graphics but the controlls suck ass... I currently have n iPad andI get owned in multiplayer because of the controlls. I have tried everything Dutch as customizing and changing sensitivity sum1 help me plox

  • Chirag Kamat

    man the controls.!! why did they change. the part 2 was more better(camera) c'mon gameloft please change. 

  • Kelly Freeman

    Great game. I just finished hard and extreme level in single play mode. Awesome graphic. Control is ok. The graphic in 1st mission is so cool. I hope they can provide a more sunning graphic for the last mission.
    By the way, what is that shooting range mission??

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kyle-Simmons/1285673501 Kyle Simmons

    If you love MW. You will definitely love MC3. Graphics, gameplay, you name it. I'm so addicted to the multiplayer.  Add me, Phrase_Universe. I'm trying to start a clan. They should have released it a month ago. Especially since MW3 will be out in a week.

    • http://facebook.com/swiftmed Andrew MacDonald

      Do you know how to get passed training day level? I am stuck and i just can't seem to pass that level. 

  • ʎuoʇ uıɥs

    :S they need to bring back bluetooth mode so i can own my friends. not all of us have wifi around everywhere :P other than that its good except sometimes online mode you cant touch anything when searching match..

  • ʎuoʇ uıɥs

    and they should bring back the unmovable joystick cuz i somehow keep touching the edge of the screen which prevents me from walking left and i have to wait for it to go away before i can retouch xD

    • akash mehrotra

      there is an option in the game to do just that check out the option

  • http://twitter.com/crumpLezones Huy

    Does anyone know how much space it takes up once installed?

    • akash mehrotra

      1.05 gb to be exact

      • http://twitter.com/BrysonMackie Bryson Mackie

        i have 2.1 gb available and it still says i don't have enough space

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IUVMO2Y23BO2RYXLSK3ZV75TWY Ayham Hamad

    i got question i got to the training day on 
    MC3 what do i do after this because im stuck at this point is that how the game should b over ? 

    • http://twitter.com/mrsgsloan811 MPSLOAN811

      Hi, I am in the same mode. I don't know how to get out of it either. Please post the answer if you find out. Thanks!!!

    • http://facebook.com/swiftmed Andrew MacDonald

      Im having the same problem. I can't get passed training day. 

      • matt haman

        I'm having the same problem

  • akash mehrotra

    many bugs in this game so far ive discovered 4

  • twhaley67

    I'm very angry that when I play online, it rarely saves any exp or level up progress!!! Don't buy this app until they fix it. It's very frusterating!

  • Nando613

    I am stuck on training day at the shooting range. . .its very annorying n i cannot get pass that level. . . N e suggestions??

    • kerebin fernandes

      game is over it has only 13 missions

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/HJS4TLU2AP6JSWPA2ZYXM54MTA Sasuke-kun

    to save your exp and money won, first enter to gameloft life change all your settings like avatar, name and save changes then play and you will keepin levelin up.... luck

  • http://www.facebook.com/ricardo.arroyo.3994 Ricardo Arroyo

    if your finding First Person Shooter app this is it

Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation Reviewed by Troy Woodfield on . Rating: 4.5