No doubt you’ve all had a good old look at both Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, and Battlefield 3 over the past couple of days, and you’re probably aware that these two super-size-games are hoping to cut the others’ throat. We’ve finally seen some more revealing gameplay-focussed clips from MW3 and B3 has bamboozled us with more sexy live streaming footage, but who’s clocking the big boys at this stage? Who has swayed your favour in their direction?
As I await comments from our lovely readers I’ll share my personal views for you now. Battlefield 3 made jaws drop, crying babies quietly stare, and every other video game look like their textures had been painted on by chimpanzees with no arms. The Faultline trailer sequence was literally stunning, and it immediately upped the standard of this year’s expected military FPS battle. It wasn’t just the fact that the Frostbite Engine 2.0 could provide rippling shafts of photo quality light and all its visual wizardry, but also because the whole setup felt a lot more ‘grown up’ than anything we’ve seen before.
The eerie silence is nothing new in the genre’s wider canon but the top notch military communications and dark soldier banter alongside the beautifully/hauntingly believable play through set pieces dimensionalizes the gritty and deadly approximation of real life warfare. Let’s face it, the trailers were more like short films, the immersion levels were through the roof and we weren’t even playing it. That’s videogame evolution, and it’s magical to witness it happening.
Then we turn to Modern Warfare 3, the new instalment in the biggest console franchise on the face of our hungry planet. The ever rolling mountain of hype and the brand power behind the words ‘Modern Warfare’ alone are enough to pretty much guarantee several million copies fly off the shelves in the first week, and yet here we are once again attentively watching the curtain being pulled up from the next game, and we recognize the signature ‘CoD touch’ instantly.
Now that alone could be interpreted as either a good thing (reliable, identifiable franchise that stays true to its winning formula) or a very bad omen…it’s more of the same with a different lick of paint on it. While the CoD IP is mostly notorious for its ridiculously huge multiplayer, neither B3 or MW3 have blown the lid off their online functionality, but yet B3 has already seduced millions of gamers with its snippets of campaign footage. What has what you’ve seen of MW3 done for you?
In all honesty (remember this is just my personal take, feel free to disagree) MW3’s gameplay debut was one of the biggest anti climaxes of the year. Infinity Ward countered accusations that MW3 was going to be running on an already dated game engine, by explaining that the whole thing had been fortified and upgraded to match new expectations, and while MW3 didn’t look particularly ugly, it didn’t deliver that visceral ‘wow’ either. The sad truth is that gamers will almost definitely be comparing B3 and MW3 side to side, and in my opinion B3 made MW3 look like a cheesey Hollywood action film. Everything suddenly looked like it was made of plastic and it underwhelmed the whole reveal.
The stuff they were showing off on E3’s stage felt like it had all been done before. We know that Infinity Ward are not the same studio they were two years ago, and EA are already storming ahead of the franchise that normally dominates the market, capitalizing on this potential weak point in Activision’s long long winning streak.
Also for those of you who haven’t heard: Bobby Kotick (Activision BIG dude) wanted to play Battlefield 3 at E3 and was refused entry. 1-0 to EA?