There are many in the community that believe that the modern shooter is a stale and overused idea. That being said, companies have not stopped pushing them out, and this will continue through the foreseeable future. The next generation of consoles have two major headliners contending for the coziest spot on the ash pile. These two titles would be Call of Duty: Ghosts, and Battlefield 4. Ignoring the complete bias I have toward this subject, this article will primarily cover the pros, cons, and changes that these two titles will possess. Hopefully from this, an educated decision can be made by you, the consumer, as to which title you will buy.
We start off this next gen rat race with Call of Duty: Ghosts. Backed by Infinity Ward, this shooter will be the latest in the long running Call of Duty title gambit. Infinity Ward has made the Modern Warfare set of CoD’s, while Treyarch made the Black Ops titles. Each of these companies brought to the table, a distinctly CoD feel, but with a different take all the same. Since Ghosts will be done by Infinity Ward, let’s talk about the Modern Warfare set, shall we?
The Modern Warfare set sports a continuing storyline centered around various characters that lead you through the scummiest parts of the world. The fact that the storyline continues through these games is a major asset to the titles. Players felt invested in the characters, knew their personalities, and felt more feeling for them when they inevitably kicked the bucket. The story mode for these games were top notch, in my humble opinion. With the new title though, the story has been dropped in favor of a completely new set of characters that they’ve promised will be even better than the last. The company has enlisted the help of Stephen Gaghan, the writer behind movies such as Traffic, which won an Oscar. This is good news for the storyline of this dirt encrusted romp fest. But this isn’t entirely why one would buy this is it? Most of its draw will most likely be the multiplayer…
Yes, this is Call of Duty. It has one of the largest gaming communities ever seen, built around its multiplayer aspect. At this point, not a lot of information has been released concerning the multiplayer, but if you have ever played a Modern Warfare title, you will most likely know exactly what to do in Ghosts. From what gameplay I have seen, which is admittedly not much on multiplayer, the maps, lighting, and general graphic feel of this game has been vastly improved from Infinity Ward’s last installment. I will probably link a video that has comparisons so that you may see for yourself. Customization has been vastly improved. No longer will you be just a guy with a random pool of skins that are assigned to you upon spawning in. everything down to the head will be customizable. Another feature new to Ghosts will be the introduction of dynamic maps. The new maps will be destructible, and will react to player decisions. The footage showed logs rolling off of a hillside, and a telephone pole falling on a car. Infinity Ward states that this will change the flow of combat through the maps. Flow of the battle will also change because of new player driven abilities such as vaulting low laying walls and sliding along the ground to avoid gunfire.
All in all, Call of Duty: Ghosts looks like a good story with a quick style multiplayer with enhanced customization. Borrowing successful ideas from other multiplayer setups such as vaulting from battlefield and sliding from crysis, will provide even quicker play. These are the changes, and the good. Now, let’s get to the bad.
The bad side is, this is a Call of Duty game. Modern Warfare 3 was received well, upon its launch but was instantly mired in poor map design, predictable gameplay, and what seemed to be a copy and pasted feel from Modern Warfare 2 with a few more bells and whistles. Ghosts is shaping up to be the exact same. Sure, the story will be different, but that’s not the major pull of the game. Oh yes, dynamic maps, Skorche, what about those? Sad news for the CoD fanboy, the Battlefield series of games has featured dynamic maps from nearly their inception, and they do it better, and on a larger scale. Nice try Ghosts, no cigar. What about movement? Well, as already mentioned, vaulting has already been implemented by Battlefield. As far as sliding goes, it was available to use in Crysis 3, which I’ve played. And upon that experience, sliding hardly ever got used. It was used as a gimmick at best. This may add to the copy and pasted feel even more.
Its Battlefield 4 time. What does it bring to the chopping block? For a start, Battlefield games followed the same sense of timing that the CoD games did. Battlefield, instead of Black Ops, had Bad Company, which was a more humorous take on the Battlefield realm. Also like CoD, DICE, the developers of Battlefield, aren’t going with another Bad Company as is the pattern. Nope, they are introducing Battlefield 4.
If you are a Battlefield fanboy, and you look at these two games, (BF3 vs. BF4) you will undoubtedly see a similarity in movement styles and certain choreographed animations, such as knifing opponents. Aside from that however, most other aspects have had a major overhaul. The most major aspect change has got to be to the menus. Battlefield 3 has notoriously bad, clunky, non-intuitive menus. Everything has been rearranged for BF4. They seem to be much easier to use, with direct visualizations of changes to your character seen even before gameplay. New attachments have been added, and so have new guns, but that would probably be part of Ghosts too wouldn’t it. OK, fair point, let’s talk about class rebalancing.
Class rebalancing came as music to every battlefielder’s ears. In the current iteration, the assault class has been outfitted with the weapons that are easiest to use and cover the broadest situational use. On top of that, they are given med packs to heal themselves, and defibrillators to revive fallen teammates. It’s been a long established fact that if you want to do well in nearly any situation, run the assault class. The rebalancing hasn’t really made the assault class any worse, it’s made the other classes better, and more able to contend with this easy mode class. Recon players now are the bearers of C4, which was originally given to the support players. Now recons will see much more play time, and with a wider variety of weapons to choose from than just sniper rifles and battle rifles, they will be more balanced. Support players will be given grenade launchers such as the XM-25. This would take the place of the now moved C4, and possibly getting rid of the mortar as well, which no one really used in the first place. Engineers seem to have been largely unchanged. This is fine because they’ve always their place in the Battlefield world.
Speaking of Battlefield worlds… they are MASSIVE. You would have to have massive maps to accommodate up to 64 players (32 on each side) at one time, with tanks, and jeeps, and helicopters, and jets, and now even boats. As far as jets go, they’re in BF3, but I have yet to see them in any BF4 footage. In the current game, many buildings can be completely torn down from explosives and the like but many other things are static in the world, as in, are always there and don’t show wear and tear. Apparently, there were more things that were destructible in Bad Company 2, however I’ve never played so all I have to go on is what the older veterans say.
Sadly, if you play BF3 on console, the range of situations you will be put in is quite limited because of how ancient the consoles are. They simply do not have the power necessary to keep up the BF3 level of fidelity and have 64 players in a single server. Instead, there are only 24 players a server, which can get the job done but is really only a pale shadow of what the game could be. With the new generation of consoles, I am happy to say that this barrier has been removed. The full unadulterated game will be at every console player’s fingertips. Frankie did a wonderful breakdown of what is confirmed for BF4, I will post the video below. I will also post multiplayer gameplay from Matimio that states changes and BF4 multiplayer gameplay. These should give you a solid idea of the evolution of the title. I encourage you to watch these in the order listed so that you can have a reference of what BF3 looks like compared to BF4.
Now, I guess it’s time to talk about the down sides of Battlefield. If you wish to pick up battlefield and play it when you have spare time, or as a quick 15 minute play before rushing off to class, or going to bed, you would most likely be better off buying Ghosts. Because this game is so massive, and so in depth, it has become super labor intensive. To put things in perspective, I have played Battlefield 3, for a total of 696 hours. That is 29 days straight of play time. There are still things I have not unlocked due to challenges, and I have not hit max rank yet. Certainly, all of the weapons have been unlocked, and the gadgets, and the camouflage too, but for someone to dump that much time into a game and still have things to strive for is absolutely nuts. Battles will most likely take you upwards of 30 minutes just to finish one. I guess what I’m trying to say is that since there is so much of this game, it will take a long long time to wade through. And let’s not forget story mode. The story was not as compelling as the CoD stories were, and most likely, this one will be the same way.
So let’s recap. Ghosts will be a familiar CoD game that will be easy and quick to play, while BF4 will be a huge and in depth endeavor. If you don’t have that much time to play, pick Ghosts. If you want a well rounded, more dynamic, and more intricate experience, pick BF4. These are the two things that I want to stress the most. This little article does not cover most of what will be in either game, but it’s a start, and hopefully I’ve given you enough knowledge to make a good decision.
Thanks for reading.