EA vs Activision. Dice vs Infinity Ward. Fight! While this post has no intention of supporting either side of the virtual conflict, it would still like to quell the hysteria of what many are referring to as the “COD-killer” (Battlefiled 3). Before we get into disproving the accusations of me being a fanboy, let’s look at the facts. When MW2 launched (4.7 million copies in the first 24 hours), there was no argument as to where to find the largest online shooter experience in gaming. Months passed, noob-tubes flew, players commando’d, rushers UMP’d, campers tactically nuked, and (to put it mildly) MW2 lost its charm for many people. But hey, friendly DICE inbound! Battlefield: Bad Company 2 launches (2.3 million copies in the first 2 weeks) with the promise of providing a far more interesting multiplayer experience than Infinity Ward’s noob-ish creation. Giant maps, huge teams, destructible cover, and the addition of weapon physics all seemed to point towards DICE’s victory over Modern Warfare.
The numbers greatly spoke the contrary but DICE’s outing with BBC2 was indeed more strategic than any tactical gametype found in Modern Warfare 2. Then, what felt like years later, Treyarch joins the fray with COD: Black Ops! Long story short, the launch (breaking records set by MW2) was huge. However, this time around, I didn’t feel the same sense of shock and awe that the Modern Warfare games delivered. Despite how down-graded the experience seemed (visually at least) compared to Infinity Ward’s vastly superior game engine, Black Ops remains one of the most played experiences in online gaming. Now, we found ourselves yet again drawn into discussion about DICE’s upcoming Battlefield release that promises to re-define modern warfare. Or can it?
When it comes to Call of Duty vs Battlefield, both parties have their strengths and fails. Personally, the key factor in this dilemma (and primary reason why the MW franchise is so successful) is accessibility. Call of Duty (hands-down) has the most accessible approach to shooters. Menu navigation is instantaneous, custom classes are thrown together in seconds, and the 60fps fluidity makes the experience thrilling and fast-paced. While Call of Duty games will never earn descriptions like “perfect,” the compromise of realism allows Infinity Ward to produce immediate satisfaction despite the competition among first-person shooters. Battlefield 3 looks to be the most realistic and aesthetically pleasing experience yet but I for one predict that its “next-gen” enhancements will be over-looked in the grand scheme of things (much like BBC2 and its addition of destructible environments).
As mentioned earlier, the Call of Duty franchise has a prominent history of selling favorably compared to its competition regardless of what innovation is brought to the table. Does this mean developers like DICE are inferior to Infinity Ward/Sledgehammer? Of course not! The point of this post is to highlight that Call of Duty (repetitive and burned out as it may be) will continue to be received well (if only by the fanatical masses) and is no danger of annihilation. Battlefield 3 will indeed be an incredible experience but the odds of its launch rivaling Modern Warfare’s is very unlikely.
-Fifth Fleet Out-