A few years ago EA/DICE released Battlefield 3 and Battlefield 4 as their preemptive attack on the hearts and minds of modern combat FPS gamers. This move was largely in response to the Call of Duty Modern Warfare regime breaking all sorts of sales records and taking a huge number of gamers hostage in their fast paced and crispy arcade-style shooter.
That’s also where the similarities and battle between games stops in its tracks.
Battlefield 4 came out in late 2013 and still has a base of over 60,000 gamers across consoles and PC. Call of Duty releases a new game annually through one of three developers and they are widely considered the preeminent shooter when it comes to gaming these days. Where COD continues to try and freshen up a game with jump boosting and wall running, Battlefield continues to refine gameplay and tighten up on the stability of their online experience.
A lot of gamers jumped into the imaginary mosh pit of COD vs. BF a few years ago when the developers seemed to be at war. It was like they thought they had to choose sides. As time has passed and gamers grew into their habitats for shooter preference it became clear that these games weren’t at war directly from a gaming perspective. While they were certainly at war on the corporate end of EA vs. Activision they were on different planets otherwise.
Call of Duty has a more crisp feeling to its controls and handling. I compare it very much to Halo in this regard. You aren’t going to feel much recoil in the control or screen presentation – ever. It is also much like Halo, focused on maps that are largely centered on infantry based combat. Halo does have its fair share of vehicles, etc… and we will stop the mentions right there.
Battlefield has always felt slower and a bit more difficult to master when it came to aiming and firing weapons because almost every weapon felt different from recoil to carrying speed to aiming in general. Battlefield is closer to a simulation than Call of Duty will ever be. It isn’t a good or bad thing… it is just a fact.
That is why we are looking back to Battlefield 3/4 and now forward to Battlefield 5. It is my hope that Activision will release another crappy iteration of Ghosts and I will be able to save $60 to put towards the premium edition of Battlefield instead. This is because when it comes to
Battlefield and Call of Duty it will occasionally result in Battlefield versus a crappy COD game.
As for Battlefield Hardline, Medal of Honor War Fighter… etc… well, COD had my time and money during that time. Personally, I’m tired of booster jumping and wall running.
Granted… I’m also an OG when it comes to gaming, so maybe I should set aside my bias.
Now that the autumn rush for shooter games has come to a close and we are firmly in the doldrums of the gaming year there is a serious question that must be asked as we get closer to not only new consoles… but closer to the limit many gamers have for lacking creativity.
Whether you are playing Call of Duty, Halo, Battlefield or even Gears of War. You are most likely playing a game with a 2, 3 or 4 after the primary namesake. This is a problem on many levels and the obvious issue stems from the idea of pumping out sequels more regularly than Hollywood can push out another Saw movie. As for the other issues signifying the agonizingly slow death of shooter games – here are a few:
Fans Are Getting Bored – The entertainment industry has one primary component to making money and that is paying customers who are actually interested in what is being offered. Call of Duty was able to grab an entire generation of gamers with new styles of playing a shooter – primarily the online component. Halo snagged the XBox crowd with a great story and then some of the most successful multiplayer experiences ever put on a console. They still sell in the millions when release day comes, but gamers are slowly finding their way to other titles than the popular COD series especially. This isn’t to say that the sales are bad for COD or Halo, but the idea that a cash cow will last forever does not make a lot of business sense.
Desensitized – Killing people isn’t as fun or novel as it used to be. We have witnessed so many tragedies on TV it is becoming rather difficult to surprise anyone. Some thought that blood in Mortal Kombat was too much ‘violence’ but now, years later – MMA is being pumped up like the Roman gladiator battles. We have had shootings at numerous schools over the last 14 years. Why is it that within a few weeks… and sometimes days – we are already moving on to something else? The answer is simple – we just aren’t shocked anymore. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 had a section where you shot up an airport full of civilians. Black Ops 2 lets you butcher enemies with a machete. We have fatalities in Mortal Kombat and execution moves in Gears of War. Violence is old hat… it is expected and desired like someone’s morning coffee fix.
Poor Parenting and Little Kids – When I reached adulthood and started paying bills I started to notice a few things had changed in terms of my view of the world. The first was that I had become crotchety and easily annoyed by nonsense (which I think had been in my persona long before adulthood, FYI). The second was that I couldn’t stand what I viewed to be a sudden change in parenting and discipline of children. I will save you the ‘back in my day’ comments and leave it at this – if a game is for ages 17 and up, otherwise known as being rated M for ‘Mature’… your CHILD should not be playing it. Not to mention, if they are on a microphone talking to other gamers around the world – you might want to listen to the language they are hearing and using outside of the game sounds and in their headset.
Whenever I talk to jaded gamers about playing games like Call of Duty, Halo or any other online shooter they usually tell me that the game is too fast. While I agree that online First Person Shooters (FPS) are rather fast paced you also shouldn’t let this stop you from playing the games you’d like to enjoy. As we get older we tend to lose a lot of our quick ‘twitch’ reflexes (especially in gaming). Look at athletes or any other person that relies on their physical abilities early in their career only to have to switch to a more cerebral approach later on.
For those of you that don’t have the ‘reaction time’ for some of your favorite games, it might be time to come to terms with the fact that you are ageing. It sounds almost comical from a gaming perspective but really there are many more tactics and strategies that can help your performance than the twitch reflexes you have lost (or never had).
Plan Your Movements
Even if you have to think about your movements in a calculated manner for each match you are probably thinking more than any of your other opponents and therefore – gaining an advantage. It isn’t that someone with fast reflexes doesn’t think but they tend to operate in a more instinctive fashion. The benefit you gain from planning out your attacks is that you actually work out multiple potential problems as you advance. A prime example of this can be found in the following clip from the movie Sherlock Holmes –
Know Your Speed and Stick To It
Nothing can screw up your gaming ability more than playing out of your element. If you have an opponent in Madden that prefers to play a no huddle offense and leave you grasping for time outs or hopeful incomplete passes you shouldn’t stoop to their level when you get the ball. Slow the game down, take your time with every snap and adjustment (we will have a full feature on how to do all these things in Madden 13 over the next week).
Always make it your mission to play ‘your’ game. It is vital for you to take every opportunity to make your opponent think and sometimes overthink everything they are doing.
When playing a game like Call of Duty there are often only two types of players in a team deathmatch setting: Campers and Rushers. Campers hate to be forced out of their favorite spots and rushers hate having to stop and slow down to kill a well placed camper. It is really the ultimate conundrum when it comes to gaming and it can provide you with the ability to create a third type of COD player… a hybrid of camper and rusher. We will call it a Cramper.
One of the videos I posted back in April shows you the best of both worlds –
Need Some Help Developing Your Gaming Identity or Game Speed?
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Today the NCAA decided to pass down a punishment on Penn State that would essentially cripple the football team and university for years. It does raise a question about how much video games should or shouldn’t reflect what happens in real life. For instance, in NCAA 11 and 12 you will notice that teams like USC and Ohio State are given terrible ratings as far as Championship Caliber and Coach Ratings matching those of Luke Fickell (eventhough they aren’t really those coaches… riiiight).
Now we are in the midst of a USC team coming off of a ban, an Ohio State team starting a one year ban and last but not least – Penn State. In NCAA Football 06 you would have to deal with players violating team rules and all sorts of things that brought real life situations to the game. Why have these things been taken out of games this generation?
Madden NFL Football doesn’t have late hits, real-time injuries or even contract holdouts. Are sports games being held to a different standard somehow? We have shooter games that allow for some of the most gruesome actions to take place but when it comes to sports titles we can’t have late hits or concussions? We can’t have bowl bans or shady recruiting? We can’t have team rules violations by players that have questionable motivations?
You can’t say we never had these things before… we did… but now they are gone with the winds of political correctness or some sort of false societal demands.
While playing most first person shooter games online there is usually one strategy that can almost guarantee better results in Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch – working the perimeter.
As you will see in the corresponding video, there are a few different matches that will exhibit the best aspects of working the perimeter in Modern Warfare 3.
The first thing you must do is make the conscious decision to actually work the perimeter. Cast away all desire to run out into the middle of the battleground and take out everyone. You are now ready to move on with step two.
Silenced weapons are the second necessity you must focus on. The idea of this is simple – you don’t want to give away your position on the map for enemies. Also, make sure it is your weapon of choice because it is vital for you to find comfort in your weapons as well as the strategy. My weapon of choice is the silenced MP7 with kick reduction for more effective middle and long-range attacks as well as its fast rate of fire.
The third step is using cover effectively. You must plan out your movements in order to stay alive for the longest possible time while still being an effective player. This means determining whether the cover you use can be shot through (certain metals, woods, etc.) or penetrated from above (predator missile or other kill streaks that come from the air). While having cover is a necessity, you must also stay mobile in case you must backtrack if outnumbered or outmaneuvered.
By the time you figure out how to best navigate the perimeter of each map you will become a much more effective player in this regard. While there are always going to be exceptions to this strategy it remains highly effective.