Battlefield 3 vs. Modern Warfare 3
Hunched down against a tattered piece of cover, your squad yells for you to take down the third floor RPG shooter. You quickly ready your M16 and reach into your ammo pouch to fill your weapon with ammo. Bullets are flying all around you, but before the enemy can get the detrimental final shot, you aim down your iron sights and hit the foe with a three round burst. This is just an example of some of the intense, action-packed gameplay that you get with both Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3. With both games coming out this holiday, which one can take the coveted military-shooter crown?
Let's start off by saying that I have always been a huge fan of both series. I have been playing the Call of Duty series since CoD 2 and joined in on the Battlefield action when Battlefield: Bad Company was released. Since then, I have purchased every title in each series, including the Prestige Edition of Modern Warfare 2 and the "Limited" Edition of Bad Company 2. I am a huge military-shooter fan, so you can imagine the thrills each game has presented to me, especially in the most recent years of each series. Both series have set themselves apart from any other military-shooter. They have stood like giants against any other title to challenge them (e.g. Homefront and Medal of Honor).
Call of Duty has a rich, money-making past. Year after year, Activision/Treyarch ups the ante, making their games the king of all first-person shooters. Breathtaking cinematics, car chases, and shootouts have been the selling point for each CoD title. From the first reveal trailer, Modern Warfare 3 has shown that it isn't changing anything, seeming to go with the old phrase: don't fix what's not broken. Let's be honest, why would you change a formula that has been making you billions every year? Modern Warfare 3 is using new features to set itself apart from the past games. Since multiplayer is the prime component that players use, Acitivision and Sledgehammer games are adding new features to keep the online play fresh. Add in the Bungie.net-like service called Call of Duty: Elite and players will be able to spend more time in multiplayer. You can expect the multiplayer to play like all Modern Warfare games, that will not change, but expect more integrated features to headline each online mode.
Battlefield multiplayer has just started to gain fame among console players. For years Battlefield was one of the most popular franchises on the PC, but not until Bad Company 2 did the multiplayer become one of the most prestigious on consoles. While Modern Warfare 3's multiplayer is sure to be the arcady, run-and-gun type gameplay, Battlefield 3's will focus on team play to overcome the enemy team. Classes mean everything in Battlefield multiplayer, unlike classes in Modern Warfare. Too much of one type of a class on a team can instantly ruin a team during a match, so a team must find that perfect balance of classes—medic, assault, engineer, and sniper. Battlefield 3 aims to focus more on actual gameplay than multiplayer features. The new Destruction 2.0 engine aspires to deliver realistic gameplay, while playing an enormous factor in multiplayer. While the CoD: Elite service will be the more in-depth service, Battlefield 3's Battlelog will give players multiplayer details to help analyze play styles.
Since Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, the CoD series' single-player campaign has been average at best. While jaw-dropping moments are still present, the ability to deliver a story that doesn't veer off to different countries/characters has been unseen. Modern Warfare 3 has already revealed that players will take the role as several players, taking you into several countries, and while that disappoints me, I cannot yet ride it off since a whole new studio is helping with the single-player. Activision has already revealed that the game will take place in various well-known cities, running you by stunning monuments, such as New York City's Statue of Liberty. Everyone loves a fight in their back yard—we all know that from the hype surrounding Homefront's story—but with the usual Call of Duty action, hopefully the game can deliver in a much bigger and better way.
When you mention single-player, the Battlefield series isn't what comes to mind. Bad Company 1's story was below-par; it wasn't until last year's release that we finally saw a worthy contender to a CoD single-player. DICE has been promising a campaign that will take your breath away. Focusing around squad gameplay, the story will have you tactically running and gunning to your next piece of cover. What Battlefield 3 has going for it is the ability to create its own story. The Modern Warfare series has always tried to take a war, or group, and intensify it to create a story off of it. On the other hand, Battlefield 3's narrative is completely non-fiction, meaning DICE can go at it from any angle and not worry about the "Does this line up with the history" question. Trailers and live demos have exposed a new cinematic side to the campaign that follows one squad throughout their mission.
So which title—Battlefield 3 or Modern Warfare 3—is better for military-shooter fans? Both titles will sell exceptionally well. There's no doubt about that. However, I expect a stronger showing from Battlefield 3. While Modern Warfare 3 will probably beat BF3 in units moved, Battlefield 3 will be a fresh choice from the aging, tedious gameplay that Call of Duty offers. With a large player base still on Bad Company 2, I can only think more players will make the jump to Battlefield's multiplayer, especially with its recent spotlight in the FPS genre. Overall, I expect both games to review and show well, but Battlefield 3 steals the belt in this fight.