The basic war in Modern Combat 5: Blackout is similar to the four previous games in the series. The player can shoot, crouch, sprint, throw grenades, aim, reload their weapons, leap to obstacles, knife enemies, and change/pick up weapons. A new key feature to Modern Combat 5 is the ability to pick a soldier and fix class ranging from assault, heavy, sniper, recon, support, bounty hunter, sapper, and the X-1 Morph (each of which has its own different perks and weapons), although a player's class does not prevent the player from picking up different classes' weapons in-game (For example, a sniper class player can still pick up assault rifles).The campaign focuses on Phoenix (a minor character in Modern Combat 4) trying to hunt down Saunders (a supporting character in Modern Combat 4). Each mission is about 5 minutes long, noticeably shorter than previous entries in the series. As you play in a certain class and acquire a "weapon score", you unlock new guns and attachments to use in both the campaign and multiplayer. Modern Combat 5 is the first Modern Combat game in the series to use DRM and requires a constant internet connection to play (an internet connection is required for the campaign as well as multiplayer).
One major change in the campaign of Blackout, compared to previous MC titles, is that the missions are a lot shorter. The game was take role in 2039 - 2042. The average mission lasts 5–10 minutes, noticeably shorter than Zero Hour's or Fallen Nation's average mission length of 15–20 minutes. Modern Combat 5: Blackout also introduces allies, characters who follow along with the player, often joining in during conflicts.
Like Zero Hour, the campaign missions in Modern Combat 5: Blackout vary in style. The game is primarily a first person shooter, but missions include controlling turrets on boats, helicopters, and even drones.
The multiplayer of Modern Combat 5 is the same as most FPS multiplayer, mainly basing gameplay off PvP matches. The weapons carry over from campaign (unlike in Modern Combat 4). The game features 7 different maps. Four are based on locations from the campaign, two return from previous Modern Combat games, and one, called Vantage, is a completely new map added in an update. The map named Overtime has been removed and a new map called Conversion has been added. Players can also form "squads", a feature new to the Modern Combat series. Another new feature is Private Chat, which allows chat between squad members.
Currently there are 6 modes: Free For All, Team Death match, VIP, Capture the Flag, Rush and, as of the March 2015 update, Zone Control. Maps include: Canals, set in Venice; Construction Site, set on a construction site; Streets, based on a market place in Japan; Overtime, set indoors at an office block (a map imported from Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour); Scramble, set in a military storage/hangar location; and Rooftops, the smallest map, based on a large square room with stairs leading up to the roof of a building with several rooftop generators and an elevated platform that is the roof of the room. A newer map, Vantage, is one of the biggest maps in the game and features several buildings and open spaces arranged around a wide street. The 1.8 patch brought in another new map, called Conversion, which features an abandoned warehouse with a huge radioactive reactor in the middle. Additional features led to an overhaul of the league system, and community-requested "Custom Lobbys" were added.
Free For All: A classic free-for-all mode where the goal is to eliminate all opponents. The first player to reach the score limit wins the match.
VIP: To score points, you have to kill the enemy team's VIP, while trying to protect your own. VIPs can score bonus points by getting kills.
Squad Battle: Join your squadmates in a fight against an opposing team. Here you are able to get on the world's TOP 100 squads.
Capture the Flag (C.T.F.): Find, steal and bring the enemy flag back to your base to score a point. The first team to reach the score limit wins the match.
Zone Control (added in v1.2.0): Capture and hold the flags on the map to score points. The first team to reach 100 points wins the match.
Team Battle: Team-based match where the goal is to eliminate members of an opposing team. The first team to reach the score limit wins the match.
Rush Mode (added in v2.1.0f): An objective-based mode that has 2 objectives for your team: (Ex. Retrieving the relay, etc.). To win, kill all the enemy team until no one is left, or retrieving the relay. Before the beginning, you can buy some power-ups or unit by using the new currency (Intel) after 15 seconds.
The protagonist in Blackout is Caydan Phoenix (a minor character from Modern Combat 4). Some other characters who play a big part in the campaign include Sophie Daviau ( Roux) and Isaac Tukura. The campaign begins with a cutscene, in which Phoenix and Daviau discuss current events in Gilman HQ, Tokyo. One month previously the World Liberation Army had launched a surprise attack on Venice, Italy, and a week after that a cyber attack on several Asian networks. Phoenix tries to convince Daviau that the attack on Venice was a cover-up for something greater, but Daviau does not believe him. The cutscene ends, and the game begins as a flashback, with Phoenix and Jonathan Taylor (Bull) infiltrating Venice as part of a Gilman Security Special Forces Unit.
After moving through the buildings of Venice, shooting WLA soldiers, Phoenix and Taylor hijack an enemy boat. They escape through the Grand Canal, gunning down enemy boats and helicopters with a mounted turret. After the mission ends, another cutscene begins with Phoenix and Roux continuing their conversation. Phoenix further tries to convince Daviau that something big is about to happen, even insinuating that Gilman Security is involved, but before Daviau can respond the room they are in is attacked. Phoenix blacks out, and Daviau calls Tukura to rescue him.
Phoenix wakes up a month later in Rinnoji Temple, Japan. The temple has been converted into a makeshift hospital, and is under the control of the Raiders. It is the first day of the International Summit on Cyber-Security, and Tokyo has become a battleground. Miku Kubo leads Phoenix out of the building, where he meets up with Tukura and Andrews and heads towards downtown Tokyo.
Immediately after reaching downtown, the truck in which the group is traveling in is ambushed by the Raiders. Phoenix tries to hold them off using the 50 Caliber mounted on top of the vehicle, but eventually the truck is flipped. Tukura drags Phoenix away from the wreck just before it explodes, killing Andrews. They venture into the city on foot, gunning down every enemy in their way. In addition to Raiders, they also combat Gilman Security tricopters, drones that have been instructed to fire upon everyone. Eventually, they reach a safehouse. Once in the safehouse, Phoenix grabs a sniper rifle, climbs to the roof, and begins defending the building from the swarming Raiders.
After a couple minutes of sniping, an Apache helicopter appears and launches a rocket at the building. The explosion blows up part of the roof, causing Phoenix to fall off. On the ground, Phoenix reenters the building and continues holding it off against the Raiders. Soon he is joined by Daviau and Hawk, and they bring the battle outside to the courtyard. After clearing the area of enemies, Phoenix and Hawk head out towards downtown Tokyo to place jammers for countering the security drones.
Daviau and Phoenix meet at Daviau's office, where she tells Phoenix that he is officially dead to protect him and his daughter. She plays a comm log between Taylor and Everett Saunders (the CEO of Gilman security) . Taylor asks Saunders for "the money" and Saunders makes an appointment on a remote construction site in Tokyo the next day. Phoenix and Daviau are to stop the exchange.
From this part, in the chapter "San Marco", the player will experience what really happened in Venice.
Phoenix, Bull, Hawk and an unknown character are in a helicopter flying over Venice. The unknown character manning the machine gun is shot, and Bull tries to help him, but before he can the helicopter shifts and the man's body flies out . Phoenix almost falls out, but is pulled back in by Bull. Phoenix takes over the machine gun and defends the chopper from a barrage of enemies. After reaching their destination, Phoenix and Jonathan Taylor jump out of the helicopter, diving into the Grand Canal. Gunning through even more enemies, they secure "The Package", chemical weapons the UN has been storing in Venice. During extraction the helicopter is shot down, and Phoenix lands in the water, and Bull helps him into a boat.
The Chapter "Ryogoku" begins.
Phoenix and Hawk are sent on a mission to kill Taylor a.k.a Bull, who is a corrupt Gilman Security personnel, working for Everett Saunders. As the pair approach the ambush point, they are attacked (never saw that one coming) by Gilman personnel working for Saunders and by drones. Phoenix extracts information from Bull's and Saunder's conversation, and then kills Bull. The duo makes their escape and are extracted.
The Chapter "Gilman HQ" begins.
Phoenix and the rest of his team infiltrates Gilman HQ. The building is heavily damaged by raiders, but the security is still present. After clearing out the lobby, they are sent to receive the information about Gilman's activities in the server room, however they lose Hawk in the process. After hacking into the system, Tukura and Phoenix make their escape on the rooftops of Gilman HQ. Only meeting Everett Saunders, shortly afterwards. Phoenix shoots down Saunder's helicopter in retaliation for losing their extracting chopper. At point blank range, the two rivals fight for one last time, only for Phoenix to come out victorious, and thus, ending Gilman's illegal activities.
The game concludes with Phoenix with his daughter, Lily. And Deviau discusing about the fall of Gilman Security and his business partners. However Phoenix recivess an urgent message about unexpected uprisings in the world. In the end credit scene, Bull, having survived the bullet wound to his upper chest, exacts revenge on his attacker (who he doesn't know is Phoenix) and vows to finish what he started in what could be a nod to the next installment of the franchise, Modern Combat: Versus.
The game was met with mostly positive reviews from critics. The iOS version holds aggregate scores of 79 out of 100 on Metacritic, based on 17 reviews, and 81.10% on GameRankings, based on nine reviews. Reviewers praised the game's, visuals, sound, and realistic grenade explosions but criticized the slow-paced game-play and some lag. A review by TechRadar explains that the campaign is impersonal, and there is no story to the character you are playing. Its review was 3.5 out of 5 stars. However another review by GamesLover, explained that the campaign is too repetitive and boring. Its review was 1/5 points.