BF4 vs Ghosts: Has Battlefield finally beaten Call of Duty?
The rivalry between Call of Duty: Ghosts and Battlefield 4 wasn't nearly as heated as the one we witnessed back in 2011 with Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3, but the debate over which first-person shooter can claim dominance is still fairly active.
With both games now in the hands of the general public for current-gen systems, we have a better idea of which game can finally claim to be top dog among first-person shooters. While Activision and EA are likely more concerned with sales -- which ultimately determine the success of a game -- reviews and consumer reception can paint a decent picture as to the overall reception of the game.
Both Call of Duty: Ghosts and Battlefield 4 failed to truly capitalize on the launch of next-gen systems, but early reviews indicate Battlefield 4 to be the better overall game, at least based on score. Taking all platforms into account, Battlefield 4 currently sits at an average of 83/100, with the PS4 version being the highest rated at 87/100. Call of Duty: Ghosts, meanwhile, taking all versions into account, is sitting at around 75/100. Not surprisingly, the PS4 version of Ghosts is the highest rated, but only at 78/100. Neither game has an Xbox One review, but I doubt that'll change much. The sad fact is that neither game really blew the socks off reviewers.
While critics seem to favor Battlefield 4 over Call of Duty: Ghosts, sales and consumer reaction may paint a whole other picture. Activision earlier today revealed that the company has sold more than $1 billion of Call of Duty: Ghosts into retail stores worldwide as of day one. While this doesn't reflect the number of copies sold through to consumers, it still represents a successful launch, especially when taking the mediocre reviews into account. EA, meanwhile, has yet to reveal actual sales numbers for Battlefield 4.
Personally, I don't see Battlefield 4 overthrowing CoD in sales. Call of Duty is just too well-established among console games. Now that may change in the coming years as users seem overall disappointed in Activision's latest first-person shooter offering, but it's worth noting that the internet is usually harsh towards Call of Duty titles. Ghosts currently sits at around 2/10 according to user score on Metacritic, but this is nothing new as the internet enjoys hating on CoD. Battlefield 4, on the other hand, has been a little more fairly received, with an average around 5.5/10 according to users.
Browsing sites like NeoGAF and Reddit, it's not uncommon to come across threads or posts that bash both games, but it's Call of Duty usually on the harsher end of comments. Video clips pointing out glitches and even exact same scenes played out are rampant among social media, but again, that's not uncommon. We saw that with Modern Warfare 3 and Black Ops 2 and look how well those sold.
So who is the winner?
Depends on what we're taking into account really. Are we taking reviews, sales, or user reaction? And are we taking reaction according to the internet? The point is, there's tons of factors that can contribute to the overall success or failure of a game.
In my personal opinion, Battlefield 4 is the better overall game, but I have no doubt that both games will sell tremendously well in their lifespan. Sales may not necessarily reflect the "better" technical game, but I don't think investors care much about the behind-the-scenes work. They want results and no game delivers better than Call of Duty.