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Modern Conflict HD

For: iPad
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Bum tank rush

Product: Modern Conflict HD | Developer: Gaijin Entertainment | Publisher: Clickgamer | Format: iPad | Genre: Strategy | Players: 1 | Networking: wireless (network) | Version: Europe
Modern Conflict HD iPad, thumbnail 1
There's a debate in military circles about the attitude of commanders to their grunts.

Back in the days of moving wooden markers around maps, generals were expected to be decisive despite the knowledge that hundreds or thousands of young lives were being sacrificed. In our asynchronous battlefields of small, highly trained professionals, every life lost is regretted.

To that extent Modern Conflict HD goes against the grain, reducing strategy to the abstract movement of groups of tanks and helicopters around the battlefield.

Base warfare

Bases are either blue (yours), red (enemy) or blank (neutral). Each has a number above it denoting the number of units that have to be thrown into the assault to capture it. Resource-wise, each base you own automatically provides you with additional units up to a set limit.

Attack a base held by six enemy units with 10 of your own and you'll capture it, with your remaining four units defending the base. Winning means capturing all enemy bases.

The point of the game is to control as many bases as quickly as possible. This makes the opening minutes of Modern Conflict HD frantic and decisive, as you have to balance your limited resources in terms of which neutral and enemy bases to try to conquer.

Things are made slightly more complex in that double the amount of helicopters are required to capture tank bases because of their inferior firepower. Moreover, bases can be armoured, requiring multiples of the stated number of attackers.

From A to B

You tap on a base once to select half the units it contains, whereas tapping twice selects all of them. A final tap on the target base sends the units into battle.

Tanks can only move along the roads that connect bases, while helicopters can fly anywhere. In this way, the topology of each level is important, in terms of the vulnerability of bases depending on how many roads to which they're connected.

This throws up some interesting situations. For example, well connected strong neutral bases requiring 40 or 50 units for capture work well as road blocks. It's not worth wasting units assaulting them until you've got enough bases to create such a large army quickly.

These bases also play into a significant second wave of gameplay where you can leverage the computer's unsuccessful assaults on neutral bases, using the subsequent reduction in the capture number as an subsidised opportunity to get a resource bargain. It will do the same in terms of your failed attacks. 

Rules of engagement

Still, as wargaming rules go, these are fairly simple and so it's little surprise that Modern Conflict HD doesn't offer a deep tactical experience.

Despite the addition of 12 bonuses, which revolve around your initial number of units and how you're reinforced, it basically boils down to an early tank rush and then a consolidation period where you mass as large an army as you can, before moving around the map capturing as many weak bases as possible.

Not that there's anything wrong with this. It's simple fun. The AI isn't too sophisticated - it tends to assault too regularly with too few forces - but there's enjoyment to be had in rolling up the enemy. And even when you made a tactical mistake, there's little penalty either in time or embarrassment for replaying a level.

Easy target

But the reason Modern Conflict HD doesn't score higher is its complete lack of ambition.

Effectively a rerelease of Gaijin's Judgment Day War, it doesn't improve on any of its limitations, either in terms of settings or in terms of the presentation or plot, which is complete nonsensical using made up country names.

And the lack of a multiplayer mode - as noted in our iPhone Judgment Day War review - remains a glaring omission.

In this way, Modern Conflict HD is a missed opportunity. Its basic gameplay is solid and simple enough to attract a more casual audience than usually plays such games, but there's not enough variation to keep them interested, nor enough depth for real strategy fans.
Modern Conflict HD
Reviewer photo
Jon Jordan | 17 July 2010
Modern Conflict HD is fun, but too limited and lightweight to capture hearts and minds
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