Modern Warfare 3 vs. Battlefield 3: The Final Verdict
The first-person shooter genre has undoubtedly thrived on this generation's consoles, but none more than 2011. This year was arguably the biggest year for the genre with two juggernaut titles: Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3. The Call of Duty series has ruled the genre for the last half-decade, and is wrapping up its biggest series in franchise history. Battlefield, on the other hand, is looking to stake its claim as the true king of FPS. Both titles have been out for weeks now, and it's time to finally crown this year's top military shooter.
The Modern Warfare series has brought gamer's countless hours of action and thrilling cinematic appeal. The third installment of the series not only went back to its roots in terms of gameplay, but offered players a whole new way of storytelling. The series has introduced dozens of characters and landmarks all across the globe, which has created a blurry story - rightly so. MW3, though, answered all the questions and told a fantastic story. The game utiltized its personal feel with characters like Captain Price and evolved the game around their stories. By the end of the campaign, you were emotionally attached to the main characters, and were gasped by each's fate. Though the story used action sequences seen in past games, they were amped up to an extra level and were brought out in full force. The short campign offered a satisfying close to the series and tied off all loose ends.
Known as a multiplayer developer, DICE promised its community a worthwhile story that player's could fully invest it. Hype was built through successful TV ads, and it looked like BF3 was going to be the "complete experience." The downside to the campaign, ironically, is that it tried to coppy what CoD has done. DICE turned away from their past campaign formulas that added its own flavor: comedy, squad involvement, and vehicles. Instead, DICE took a serious, more straight up shooter path, which was a worthwhile "clone," but never seemed like a Battlefield game. The campaign offered several fantastic cenimatic moments, but you never really cared about what was happeneing because there was no emotional attachment with the characters and their mission.
Winner: Modern Warfare 3
It was known for months leading up to MW3's release that the multiplayer formula was not changing. Instead, Activision and Sledgehammer Games were polishing up the foundation and adding new features that would hopefully satisfy fans. The experience works, there is no argument there, but it feels as though Activision got complacent - afraid to step out and try something new. It can definitely be argued that the multiplayer is just a large DLC, adding new maps and modes, but whether you agree or disagree with that statement, there's no arguing that the multiplayer is the smoothest and most polished component to date.
Battlefield 3's online experience can be described as one simple word: spectacular. DICE's expertise with multiplayer is carried over to BF3. The entire experience feels like an innovative push. Vehicular combat is back and better than ever, and the addition of jets creates a whole new battlefield in the air. Class restructurization has proved to be one of the highlights for multiplayer, creating balanced gameplay among the four class options. Each match feels like a fresh experience, and unlockables can keep players playing for months. BF3's multiplayer is arguably one of the best multiplayer military shooters in years, and should not be passed up by anyone. Period.
Winner: Battlefield 3
If you've been living under a rock lately, you're probably unaware that each title offers an online application for multiplayer: Battlelog for BF3 and Call of Duty Elite for MW3. Deciding which application is better is definitely tough at this point because both services have experienced problems. Call of Duty Elite has had the rockiest start with its servers being overworked, but Battlelog has also had a rough start with certain features unavailable due to problems. For 4200 MSP, I really expected a deeper experience with Elite. For free, Battlelog offers many of the features that Elite does, and is somewhat easier to access. Nonetheless, I expect Call of Duty Elite to evolve into a unique service, but for now, it's questionable if it's worth the yearly fee.
Winner: Battlefield 3
After analyzing each component of both titles, it's time to reveal the final verdict. The head to head winner is....Battlefield 3!
Battlefield 3 triumpths over MW3 due to its push for innovation. While both titles are worth your money, Battlefield 3 is unlike any other FPS you will ever play. The experience is unique, action packed, and will have you playing for a substantial amount of time. Simply put, Battlefield 3 is a title you should not pass up, whether you are an avid FPS fan or not.
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