Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield 3 and Everything Wrong With The FPS
Finally, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 has hit the streets, and predictably, the latest iteration of the juggernaut first-person shooter series is seeing record sales. I’ve written quite a bit up to now comparing Modern Warfare 3 to another huge military shooter series’ latest, Battlefield 3, and now that both games are out, we can finally make the best qualitative analysis about them.
So here it is — the final verdict in comparing BF3 and MW3: They’re both great.
And they both suck.
Whether you’re a fanboy for Battlefield or Call of Duty, it’s impossible to deny that both games have multiplayer offerings that are basically solid-gold fun. No matter what you think about CoD, you can’t log into a game and start capping guys and claim it’s not good — there’s a reason this is the biggest-selling franchise in the industry. Modern Warfare 3 delivers high-octane action from the second you enter a game to the second it ends, and even if you hate the community and the rampant 14-year-old demographic that seems to dominate its lobbies, the game itself is highly polished. It might be an incremental update from the last entry in the series and last year’s Call of Duty: Black Ops and Modern Warfare 2, but that doesn’t mean the framework isn’t incredibly solid. And Modern Warfare 3 packs enough that’s new to take Call of Duty forward in a way that makes it worth diving in yet again, even if we’re all still craving more significant steps into the future.
Likewise, Battlefield 3′s multiplayer is just as good, and for many, even better than what Modern Warfare 3 offers. After the significant amount of time I’ve spent with both games trying to find lines of comparison, I can confidently assert that claims that one game is “better” than the other fall to players’ personal preferences about the kinds of shooters they want to be in. Battlefield 3 could be consider a deeper, more deliberate take on the military shooter genre. It offers huge maps and vehicles, and in general it takes more work to be good at. Its class system and map size make it more strategic (but often slower and more reliant on camping), and its game types demand that it’s more team-oriented.
DICE also knows what it’s doing in terms of mechanics and levels of polish, and despite something of a horrendous launch both on PCs and consoles, the game has some incredibly solid multiplayer on offer. Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3 online are just plain fun. These are two games that are basically on even terms, and simply offer different takes on the same experience.