Gamers are generally a competitive bunch, and the fact that competitive online multiplayer games sell like hot cakes is clear evidence of this. It tends to extend outside the game though. Not content with shooting each other in the head virtually, many fans take the competitive spirit to the forums with endless debates on what is the superior console, game or franchise. The latest in this never ending spiral of arguing is the debate between whether the upcoming Battlefield or Modern Warfare games are superior. In an attempt to calm down the proceedings, here are five reasons why the whole argument isn’t worth your time.
Even before you get into the specifics of game mechanics, balancing and story, two games of the same genre will instantly feel different. This is certainly the case with the Battlefield and Call of Duty games. CoD offers a fast paced, adrenaline-pumping and addictive shooting romp. Battlefield, by contrast, is a slower but more tactical experience. As a consequence of this CoD often plays out as more of a solitary experience of individual skill, with Battlefield games being won or lost entirely based on team dynamics. Does this make either one superior to the other? Not really. It allows for two different experiences in their entirety that can be enjoyed together in different ways. Sometimes it’s nice to change up the tempo by switching shooters, so there’s no need to completely disown one in favour of the other. Why would you compare apples and oranges?
The Battlefield series has a rich history and legacy amongst the PC gaming canon. Call of Duty is a blockbuster that holds record upon record for its mass popularity. Battlefield has always been a PC focused series that has only recently broken into the console market. Call of Duty (in the opinion of many fans at least) has supposedly been neglecting the PC community as of late in favour of the Xbox and PS3 playing demographics. Once again we have a situation of two completely separate franchises with separate achievements that fans are force fitting into the same mould. The two franchises have seldom ever been competing for the audience, and one of the only reasons fans are now lumping the two into the same vein is due to the people behind the games following such a pattern.
The high-ups and their own battles
It’s true that the publishers and developers responsible for the two games in question have kicked off a lot of the controversy. EA have talked extensively about how they are now gunning for Call of Duty’s market share, and Activision and the dev team behind Modern Warfare 3 have responded in kind, though often without specifically naming names. We’ve also had Activision’s Bobby Kotick getting turned away from the private showing of Battlefield 3 at this year’s E3, EA supposedly redirecting people from Modern Warfare 3’s homepage to the appropriate Battlefield 3 site. Hell, we’ve even had a dissatisfied Call of Duty player hijacking a Modern Warfare 3 internet domain so that he could publicly voice his dissatisfaction with the PC version of Call of Duty: Black Ops. A lot of parties with various levels of vested interests have waded in on the debate so far, but this shouldn’t really be an influence for the average consumer. Companies will always argue as, for them, it’s a matter of business. For the average gamer though, this is nothing but a source for joy. We get two awesome shooters instead of one, so leave the high-ups to their bickering and get excited for some great gaming later this year.