Comparison is human nature. Something is always better than something else in someone’s eyes, and that someone usually has to try and prove it to someone else. Some concept, huh? That’s just how we act as a society. So when I thought about a comparison piece this week, my mind instantly went to two companies that have been battling it out in the gaming industry for a while now: EA and Activision. Their Battlefield and Call of Duty franchises have polarized gamers for a few years. Is one better than the other? Well, hopefully after reading this, you’ll decide for yourself.
A few things should be noted here in the beginning. First, I do favor Battlefield more than CoD. I’ll insert a few comments here and there to show why. Also, this article is based off my experiences playing the newest iterations: BF4 and CoD: Ghosts on the PS4. I have played more CoD titles in the past than Battlefield, but that will not affect my article on here. Finally, and most importantly, I’m not a great first person shooter player (later designated as FPS for all you non-gamers), so I can’t really speak much on the reasons why a single button for one game works better than on another in terms of competitive advantage. I’m just along for the ride.
SO, let’s start with the single player campaigns, the main course of what I look for in any game. After all, a good game has to be accessible to those not plugged in to the network. Both play smoothly and don’t last too long. Battlefield campaign missions are much fewer than Ghosts, but play much longer. I could finish a Ghosts mission in about 15-20 minutes tops, but with Battlefield, you have to invest a little more time in its completion. What surprised me a bit was that Battlefield took the medal for very over-the-top campaign moments, which is usually a CoD thing. To be honest, after I played through the BF campaign, I was a little underwhelmed with the story elements of Ghosts. I just felt like I was going through the motions to get to the ending. Don’t get me wrong, Ghosts was still a pretty decent game to play. I feel like it rested on its laurels a bit and spent more time on the multiplayer, which I’ll get into later. So, in the single player category, I think Battlefield did more for the players.
The multiplayer for both games is a totally different kind of discussion. It’s an apples and oranges sort of preference talk. Battlefield is not really tailored for individual play; you work as a squad and as a team in order to take full advantage of what it has to offer. And it offers incredibly large battles of up to 64 players. That’s 32 people against you and yours. A basic match can become a complex and tactical match that can last for at least half an hour, giving you more time to think between deaths unless you’re foolish. It would be better except for certain technical difficulties that break up the battles occasionally. It’s definitely more for the team player. On the other hand, Ghosts is more for the run and gun player. It’s easy to see why CoD is recognized in the Major League Gaming circuits. Its short and fast-paced matches definitely get the blood pumping. A good gamer can rack up about 40 kills in an average length game. Though there are fewer game map uses, it’s pretty simple in terms of what you need to do. To put the two MP experiences in terms of other kinds of technology, CoD is the iPhone of gaming while Battlefield is the Android.
I describe it like that because these two games seem to draw out different kinds of players in my opinion. Yes, there are some that play both, like myself. However, the majority of FPS players usually spend their time playing one or the other. I don’t know if there is a certain demograph type that floats to one side, but I can maybe make a few inferences to who plays what kind of game. I think BF attracts those who want a little more realism out of their FPS. The visuals are almost breathtaking to me, the kind of effect that the film Avatar had on filmgoers. The guns have very realistic sounds to them as well. Finally, as mentioned before, the multiplayer almost requires teamwork and squad-based command tactics, giving the player more of a company feeling instead of a Rambo gunning scenario.
With Ghosts, people play to get the experience of gunning and participating in something that millions of others do around the world. You jump in, you learn the controls, and then you just keep practicing. In the business world, you could call this “low entry cost”, meaning it doesn’t take much to invest in this game. I think this is what appeals a certain type of gamer. The marketing for CoD is expansive in order to attract all sorts of new people. They get in and try it out, eventually getting decent at it with practice. I know, because I’m one of those. I’ve been known to spend a lot of time at night playing over and over. I can understand the appeal; I just find BF to be a breath of fresh air in the MP scene.
So there you go. My thoughts on the two heavy hitting FPS titles out at the moment. I do enjoy BF more, though I definitely pick up the controller for a few quick CoD matches too. With the PS4 supporting both titles, I’m still trying to decide which one I want to invest more time in. Part of it has to do with how much support I can get from friends to play BF in. I’m not really a team player, and I need reliable friends to play some BF. Otherwise, I’ll be passively yelling at myself for not doing well in that one CoD match. Feel free to come find me on either playing field. (PSN: MogwaiOfOwnage)