Nov 10, 2011

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Community Voice: Battlefield 3 v. Modern Warfare 3

Community Voice: Battlefield 3 v. Modern Warfare 3

With the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 on Tuesday, or Monday night for millions, the two biggest shooter franchises had finally landed.  In one corner, Battlefield 3 and in the other, Modern Warfare 3.  EA Games has talked a big game when it came to Battlefield 3 while Activision and Infinity Ward had remained relatively silent.  Some gamers might even remember the incident when Bobby Kotick requested that he be allowed to play Battlefield 3 at the last E3.  EA wanted to set its game up to at least take a portion of the market-share away from Activision’s shooter and indeed it has sold well.  Forum discussion for these two games more often than not however, erupted into flame wars because some believe it is impossible to like both.

While I have no idea as to what the final sales numbers will be, I do believe that Battlefield 3 is the best shooter released this year.  While reviewers have praised both titles, it is my opinion that during development, DICE took the extra steps to give gamers more.  DICE’s introduction of the Frostbite 2 engine displayed not only the power of PCs, but that there is still at least a little life left in the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.  While video games are suppose to be about how fun the gameplay actually is, I refuse to lie to myself and say it does not matter when Modern Warfare 3 looks exactly like the original Modern Warfare released in 2007. The Frostbite 2 engine has its quirks, but at least I see DICE trying to push the boundaries of the hardware it is working with.  The IW showed its age in both Modern Warfare 2 and Black Ops and it is incredibly disappointing that a company with the financial resources to do so, did not overhaul its aging engine enough to matter, 60 frames-per-second or not.

While there is no doubt in my mind that it will be Modern Warfare that will ultimately define this generation of gaming, it is Battlefield 3′s scale that appeals to me the most.  Drivable vehicles and helicopters, the huge maps that can quickly be shrunk down to size depending on the gameplay type and the vast array of weapons/accessories create for me, a more pure sense of what a battlefield should be like.  Battlefield 3‘s modes allow for a fast-paced experience or a slower experience.  Players have more freedom to play how they choose.  Action in Modern Warfare 3 has one speed, fast.

It is perhaps the perk and killstreak system that is my biggest problem with Call of Duty now.  I was a huge fan of Modern Warfare when it released o so long ago.  At that time, there were only so many perks.  Infinity Ward’s new brand of super soldier has enabled players to sprint across entire maps faster than Usain Bolt runs a 40 yard dash while duel-wielding shotguns from the 1800s.  On top of that, the sheer number of perks available leads to weapon imbalances that take months to perfectly tweek and dare I say, most of the perks are unnecessary anyway.

Perhaps I am just upset that my once beloved Call of Duty has become a jungle-gym for teens and preteens.  Maybe I am just upset that Call of Duty has become a machine for the supposed villain that is Mr. Kotick, allowing him to milk millions from gamers without trying to actually improve the series.  These are my problems with Modern Warfare 3.

As someone who has been playing shooters since first storming the beaches of Normandy in Medal of Honor: Frontline and then making my way to Allied Assault and the original Call of Duty, with a lot of other shooters along the way, Battlefield 3 is, in my eyes, the one still trying to do something that has not been done before.  Battlefield 3 is far from perfect, and my review mentioned some of the flaws, but at least I know DICE is not trying to sell me the same game year in and year out, changing only the number at the end.

Regardless of sells, Battlefield 3 is the better game and until a true sequel to Call of Duty 2 comes out, I am done with the Call of Duty franchise.  What do you guys think?

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