For the last few weeks twitter has been alive with hints and speculation prior to promised releases of information about the two big FPS titans: Battlefield and Call of Duty.
Battlefield developers have recently taken a sabbatical, delving into street warfare with Visceral’s cops vs robbers title: Battlefield Hardline; then went full on sci-fi, taking the helm of one of my most beloved franchises: Star Wars Battlefront, and absolutely nailing it.
Call of Duty on the other hand have had more progressive changes, moving on from Ghosts in the near future to Advanced Warfare then Black Ops 3 in alternative, more distant futures: introducing new and crazy tech, global catastrophes, and cutting edge gameplay mechanics.
Call of Duty had the first say, confirming leaked data about ‘Infinite Warfare’, and the remaster of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. The trailer for Infinite Warfare was good. It showed some new and interesting things including space warfare, and introduced a more perilous position for the fictional world. We were introduced to what looked like the main antagonist, as per, and shown a BUNCH of robots, which made my heart sink a little. Some small part of my wanted Infinity Ward to go crazy and take a leaf out of Mass Effect’s book with aliens and such, but maybe there are some needed changes afoot. Missions will be given at the central command area (a ship in space) which can be explored, like a hub area. I’d love if you could actually choose optional intel missions, less scripted search and collect missions to augment the story and the fictional scenario created.
Battlefield 1, yes you read right, Battlefield 1’s reveal was an answer to so many questions and problems with todays FPS genre. We haven’t had a full Battlefield title since 2013, and we haven’t had a good FPS set in the world wars since Call of Duty: World at War (2008). Gaming social media has been pining for a new world war title for over a year now, and with the reveal of ‘Battalion 1944’ from Bulkhead Interactive, we got an incite into the direction of the genre. More recently Battlefield 1’s reveal has taken to the forefront of FPS ‘fashion’, leaving the post modern/futuristic games with trenchfoot. The trailer itself looks incredible despite being a lot shorter than Infinite Warfare’s, and at last we are getting something different! Biplanes, Browning machine guns, old style tanks, trench warfare, all beautifully captured in the Frostbite 4 engine, it’s the dream.
Battlefield AND Call of Duty, or Battlefield VS Call of Duty?
With the split in directions, can Battlefield and Call of Duty really still be called direct competitors? Battlefield’s foray into the past may not be for everyone, and with modern FPS games favouring more futuristic settings and fast paced combat, maybe it has been separated into a different sub-genre. Not everyone likes Battlefield, and not everyone will have wanted a title set in World War 1. The recent craze in Arena based shooters is exciting, and something that Call of Duty is far more in tune with. So are Battlefield developers taking a risk doing something new? Or are they acquiring a niche in the market, to win over players and change the direction of the genre entirely. Battlefield developers have made it less of a CoD vs Battlefield rivalry; it has pitted itself against the genre at large. I think this is fantastic though, it introduces that missing variety the genre has been missing.
I mentioned that Infinite Warfare was revealed with a Cod 4: Modern Warfare remaster, and if that hasn’t got you excited then you’re too young to remember it. Modern Warfare is where CoD became big. It was the innovator, and I’m frankly shocked they never did a remaster before now. The catch however, is that you can only acquire the remastered game by buying the Legacy Edition of Infinite Warfare which is £69.99. There is absolutely no way of buying the games separately. Now I can see why they did this. Infinity Ward may not have wanted their games to be an either/or product, taking the limelight from their new game, but this marketing strategy is seriously flawed. Instead of letting the player decide what to play, they are locking the remaster behind a wall, similar to a micro-transaction. It may not be a huge thing, but compared to Battlefield’s promotional moves it looks tragic.
Battlefield devs recently announced that all DLC from Battlefield Hardline AND Battlefield 4 will be periodically released, for free, in the lead up to Battlefield 1’s release. An absolute love letter to Battlefield fans everywhere. This is almost a 12 days of Christmas approach , and in return they get much. Not only will thousands of players return to play the DLC, but by putting their games on offer, it boosts franchise sales, bringing in more people into the fan base. I know this being I myself fell victim to the honey coated sales technique, buying Battlefield 4 from Xbox One (only £8.25!!). The amount of fan service on display here is heart warming, and certainly puts Call of Duty strategies to shame.
Battlefield developers took a bold leap moving away from the mainstream, however it’s clear that they listen to their fans. Polls all over the place have shown that people are hungry for a new direction, and I admire Battlefield for making something a bit different, once again. Although I loved CoD 4: Modern Warfare, that ship has sailed, and with a £69.00 price tag just to play it again I can’t see any justification in it. That being said though, CoD promotional material normally coaxes me into buying their game, every year.
In conclusion though, my money is definitely on Battlefield 1, but that is only my opinion. You will all undoubtedly have different opinions which I’d love to hear.
Thanks for Reading!