Every year autumn comes, the leaves fall, and the sky threatens snow. Every year hundreds of thousands of people miss out on the quaint changes of nature because to them it’s a different season. It’s the season of competition.
This year seems to be the most competitive in games yet, as two names synonymous with popular gaming today came out with their latest and greatest sequels. Battlefield 3 was released Oct. 25, and, preceded by dozens of nominations for best multiplayer, best graphics, and best game of 2011, it had a lot to live up to. As a direct sequel to the 2005 installment, Battlefield 2, there have been a lot of people waiting for this game. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 came out Nov. 8, and within 24 hours sold 6.5 million copies in the U.S. and the U.K. alone.
A direct sequel to 2009’s Modern Warfare 2, the game picks up exactly where the second left off. Battlefield and Modern Warfare have been compared in their past few installments on several aspects, such as how realistic it sounds, graphics, and gameplay. Battlefield has always been commended for its graphics, sound, and realism. The newest game does not disappoint, as designers on the forefront of modern games have been working for two years to develop a completely new engine for Battlefield 3.
The creators of Battlefield at DICE said in the past they felt too “limited” with their old engine, so for the new game they started from scratch. Frostbite 2, their new engine, boasts “next generation technology for current generation platforms,” with advances in destruction, scale, rendering, audio, and animation.
Destruction was something Battlefield has been known for, and with this new engine, DICE can literally create the largest building in the world in its studio, and then tear the entire thing down. In Battlefield 3 almost everything is destructible, which makes every single game different. Need to get to an objective? Why go through a door with a dozen enemies on the other side when you can simply blow up a wall and make your own path?
Is there an enemy sniper in a tower pinning down your team? Blow up the spire. Destruction makes for new ways to deal with the oldest problems in first person shooters. The graphics are incredible, from the war-torn streets of Tehran, to a park in Paris, to the subway in New York, everything looks beautiful. With the new engine, the lighting is incredibly realistic as seen in the game. Dust gets kicked up and is illuminated by shafts of light peaking through windows, flashlights are blinding in the darkness of subway stations, and fluorescent lights flicker ominously in back alleys in a falling Tehran. The multiplayer is flat out addicting. Every weapon has about 12 attachments and with 100 ranks in multiplayer, there’s a gargantuan amount of unlocks available. Online, for consoles, the games run twelve versus twelve, and for PC a whopping 128 people playing in a single game. The game focuses around squads of four, where there are medic, support, engineer, and recon classes to choose from. There are limitless combinations to the setup people can run. An absolutely incredible game, Battlefield 3 is available for PC, PS3, and 360. Switching now to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, the similarities between the newest and the last Modern Warfare are staggering.
The menu and game modes offered are bafflingly similar, with an embarrassingly short campaign, somewhat revamped spec ops and the always-formulaic multiplayer. The spec ops was similar to the last version but with a new mode, called “survival,” meant to rival Black Ops’ ever-popular zombie mode. Endless waves of enemies attack the player with a short amount of time in-between meant to rearm. It isn’t a bad game, first and foremost.
Weapons level up to unlock attachments and camos. These small changes are the biggest differences between this addition and its predecessor in the series. There comes a point in a franchise’s life where the developers should be asking themselves, ”What else can we do?” There are two options at this point: one can either strive for more, challenge one’s franchise to make more, to try something new and exciting; or one can fall into mediocrity, working to pump out a new title every year because they know their product is addicting and people will buy it. Call of Duty’s decision unfortunately seems to have fallen into the latter category. There are some new gadgets, some new guns, and bigger moments, but that’s really it for the new category.
The campaign felt exactly like its predecessor, only shorter. Overall however Modern Warfare 3 feels incredibly repetitive, a sad realization to the hype. However the game itself in playability is only dependent upon the gamer.
Augustus Stahl can be contacted at email@example.com