Battlefield 3 V.S. Modern Warfare 3

Posted on November 23, 2011

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World war three is in full swing. The fate of the modern world hangs by a delicate thread with the mighty Russian army on one side, and the Western World on the other. From Paris to Kabul, from New York to London, the greatest war in the history of man threatens to throw the world into a nuclear apocalypse. Your comrades and countrymen fall by the dozens by your side, and all that stands between the enemy and your beloved homeland is you.

This is Modern Warfare 3. Or… maybe it’s Battlefield 3.

Battlefield 3 Game Poster

At any rate, the same war zone now spans multiple games, and loyal fans are battling to the death to compare the two. From comparing minute details to debating the entire core of the games, the argument is growing more and more heated every day, especially as rumors of fourth editions are now surfacing. Professional critics with bought-out opinions have shielded themselves from the mud flinging, while still giving the blockbuster games generally positive reviews.  The actual players of the game, however, have shed an entirely different light on the matter.

First of all though, let’s take a look at the games starting with Modern Warfare 3. Some of us remember the launch of MW2 in late 2009, which marked the biggest entertainment launch in history, surpassing TitanicThe Dark Knight, and its former highest selling video game Grand Theft Auto IV. Some of us remember the game and how it played; its innovations in weapons and kill streaks paved a new path for first person shooters, or FPS. For the time, the graphics were crisp and fresh, and the gameplay was even more so.

Now, fast forward two years to 2011, and virtually the same game is on the shelves under a slightly different title. If you’ve been itching for a remake of a two year old game on the same game engine, then look no further. The story, which looks to be produced, directed, and written by Michael Bay, picks up right where MW2 left off. It contains ridiculous missions such as storming a medieval castle, to invading a diamond mine, to storming a knock off of the Burj Al Arab. Back to back. The multiplayer is seemingly nothing more than a map pack for the original, which some modified weaponry and kill streak structure. It’s extremely hard to see how the game is any different toBlack Ops a year before, or Modern Warfare 2 a year before that. And yet the game still broke sales records, and received generally positive reviews from typical critics, praising the game for its “new” content, and polishing the multimillion dollar franchise. The actual players of MW3 scored much harsher, with a standing score of 3.2 on Metacritic, pushing the game developers to beg for people to give the game positive reviews via Twitter.

So now let’s take a look at its biggest and only competition: Battlefield 3. BF3 received generally positive reviews much like Modern Warfare, however received much more positive user reviews, standing at an unusually high 7.5 on Metacritic. The story is also quite ridiculous, however holds a sense of authenticity to the feeling of war. From long range tank battles rumbling into the outskirts of small Iraqi cities overrun by militia, to chasing down potential nuclear terrorists through the streets of Paris; the story has its incredibly tense moments, to its frustrating and anti-climactic moments. However, for me, the compelling factor of the story wasn’t the plot; it wasn’t the characters, or even the action. It was the brand spanking new Frostbite 2 engine. The crisp graphics and excellent face recognition pulled me into even the most boring of moments, such as sitting in an office or strolling through a dusty alley way. However the cornerstone of the game was the multiplayer. Vehicles ranging from tanks to jets, jeeps to helicopters, from boats to IFVs, they all add to the tantalizing effect of an actual warzone, as opposed to the typical Call of Duty backyard skirmish. On top of that, massive lobbies filled with up to 64 players make for intense firefights on maps triple the size of those found on Modern Warfare. However, it’s not without its flaws. Large maps make for buggy terrain, and huge game types call for a low frames per second rate (30 FPS for BF3, 60 FPS for MW3.), and the console game suffers from huge cuts back from the PC version. (The player cap is set to 32 players on console)

So here are the results, with an entertainment giant re-hashing the same game every year since 2007 going toe to toe with, a growing, unique, and fresh force in the generic first person shooter world. At the end of the day, it all comes down to the players’ opinion. Personally, as a person who has played both, I very obviously throw my hat in with Battlefield. The basic idea of team-based warfare accompanied by a proverbial cornucopia of vehicles makes for a much more compelling experience than the same-old, same-old battles of Modern Warfare. While the typical game reviewer can praise one game for its “if it ain’t broke” attitude, and can praise another for its fresh and new ideas adding variety in the genre, the typical gamer wants more. And the user scores reveal this. Activision can’t continue to sell the same game every year; someday the money train will run out. And while Battlefield is a definite contender in the first person shooter market, however it’s not without its flaws.

As for my personal scores, I give Battlefield 3 a 9/10. And I give Modern Warfare 3 4.5/10.

Reported by Ian Siepker

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Posted in: Reviews