This year witnessed one of the fiercest video game rivalries in years. You had EA taking on Activision’s juggernaut, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 with Battlefield 3. Now that both games have released and the dust’s settled, we weigh in on who emerged victorious.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3’s campaign was short, but it was like an intense shot of adrenaline straight to the brain. Even though you know exactly what to expect from this series, after all these years, the single player still managed to impress. It also provided fans of the series with some much needed closure.
MW3 triumphs as far as single player is concerned
Battlefield 3’s campaign wasn’t too bad, but it wasn’t too good, either. It constantly felt like it was trying to ape the Call of Duty series and while certain set-pieces (especially the whole Jet sequence) were impressive, there were segments that just felt boring.
Winner – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
While Modern Warfare 3’s single player was entertaining, multiplayer was pretty much a copy paste of older Modern Warfare games with a few new modes thrown in. Killstreaks, something that started off as a nice way of rewarding skilled players today has become a highly imbalanced tool that can make the game frustrating for newcomers. In MW3, I hardly got shot; most of my deaths were caused through air strikes, chopper gunners or some Killstreak called in by the other team. I also think COD’s lone wolf attitude is its biggest drawback today and sadly, multiplayer is structured in such a way that it just rewards that style of play. Plus, the game needs to slow down; it’s way too turbo charged for its own good. I really can’t enjoy a game where my life span is not more than a few seconds.
MP in BF3 is a blast...literally!
The Battlefield series has always concentrated on team-based gameplay and this game is no different. Play well and you’re rewarded with perks that can be used, not just by you, but by your entire squad like the ability to sprint, carry more grenades and so on. Another thing that works great in Battlefield 3 is that it rewards players who aren’t very good at shooting as well. In MW3, if you can’t shoot fast, you’re dead. In BF3, you can take up a supporting role and provide your squad with ammunition or health. Besides that, if you work on your aerial skills, you can even dole out death with your chopper or jet.
Winner – Battlefield 3
Modern Warfare 3 had some pretty impressive set-pieces, but there’s no denying the fact that this game looks crazy outdated. With the amount of money Activision makes with this series, you’d think they would invest in some new engine tech, but no, it’s the same engine you’ve experienced since years and I doubt it’s going to get upgraded anytime soon.
How can MW3 compete with such visuals?
Battlefield 3, on the other hand made use of DICE’s new Frostbite engine and it is one of the best looking games of this generation, especially if you have a beefy rig to boot. The immersive factor is also greatly enhanced by some of the best in-game sound effects I’ve ever heard in a game, till date.
Winner – Battlefield 3
Since I played both games on PC, I’ll be using the PC prices as my benchmark. The PC version of Battlefield 3 costs around Rs.1,500, while Modern Warfare 3 will set you back by Rs.3,000. If you’ve pre-ordered Battlefield 3, you’ll even get access to the Strike at Karkand DLC absolutely free, while with MW3 you get jack. In fact, Call of Duty Elite, Sledgehammer’s detailed stat tracking software hasn’t been released for the PC platform yet.
More bang for your buck
Winner – Battlefield 3
Besides the single player campaign and the multiplayer modes, both games featured additional modes. Battlefield 3 has its co-op mode that felt very similar to the campaign. Also for some reason, you could not team up with a friend unless he’s unlocked the same mission as you. Redundant indeed!
MW3 packs in more extras
Modern Warfare 3, on the other hand has a bunch of co-operative Spec Ops missions, in addition to a new Horde mode both of which can be played solo and co-operatively. Plus the experience you earn in both game modes can be transferred to your versus profile making levelling up a lot easier.
Winner – Modern Warfare 3
And the Winner is...
At the end of the day, Modern Warfare 3 is not a bad game; it’s just that we’ve seen the same content wrapped in the same package far too many times. Even though Battlefield 3 didn’t change its core gameplay, it presented it in a terribly attractive package. It also refined its multiplayer experience opening up its doors to accommodate newcomers as well. In our mind, it’s emerged victorious.
Of course, if you disagree, you could state your winner in the comments below.