As the number one game publisher for iOS devices, Gameloft knows a few things about making retina-blasting games on small displays… and now it’s ready to conquer huge monitors, too. Modern Combat: Domination ($13) is the Mac version of Gameloft’s signature first-person shooter series, now focused solely on squad-based deathmatch-style missions rather than a traditional single-player campaign. If you’re familiar with the iPhone Modern Combat titles, you’ll be blown away by Domination’s use of the high-resolution, effects-laden graphics cards inside new Macs, which let the company produce wind, smoke, and explosion effects that put the earlier games to shame—say nothing of all the detailed, realistic characters who appear on screen here at once.
You’ll need to see all of them moving smoothly, because the missions here are all about teamwork. They range from 2-on-2 battles where the large maps look empty to 8-on-8 scenarios where your teammates line up and fan out in front of your eyes. While you can play each of the game’s handful of maps in single-player mode with AI opponents and teammates, the real action’s in the online mode, where up to 16 people can network online together. In-game cash and fallen players let you upgrade your weapons; grenades, armor, and other niceties can be purchased, as well. Only users of machines with integrated Intel graphics chips are likely to be disappointed, as Domination demands recent AMD and Nvidia cards. But after seeing this in action on an iMac, we can’t wait to see Gameloft build out a full single-player campaign for a subsequent Modern Combat Mac release. With this standard of graphics and the right additional levels, it’ll be a great rival for Modern Warfare.