It’s the age old question of which game series is better, Battlefield or Call of Duty? Both have their merits, and each have their flaws, and over the years I’ve spent plenty of time playing both series. At different points in my gaming life I would have told you that either are my favourite games. A few years ago I would have said that Call of Duty: World at War was the best game I’d ever played, a year before that I would have said the same about Battlefield Bad Company 2. Though, I must admit, of late I’ve been leaning towards Battlefield 3 over any of the recent Call of Duties. But, I’m going to try to be unbiased and, rather than tell you which one is my favourite, I’ll list five reasons for each series as to why it’s the best on the market – after that, it’s up to you.
Call of Duty
Call of Duty 2 was pioneering in its time, and is still a fantastic game to play. To be perfectly honest, it’s my favourite game ever in the history of ever. Literally ever. I can’t really remember why exactly, all I can remember is that the multiplayer was incredibly fun and the campaign was revolutionary. It was probably because it was the first ‘next-gen’ game that was a heavy hitter. But it’s still a fun game to play, and it will be difficult for any Battlefield title to knock that memory from its pedestal.
When it comes to online game modes, Call of Duty has the upper hand. It’s online multiplayer may not be the best in some aspects, but its choice in game modes is second to none. Classics like ‘Capture the Flag’, ‘Team Death-match’, and new additions such as ‘One in the Chamber’, help keep online multiplayer feeling fresh when it could easily feel stilted and one-dimensional. Not only this but there are some maps which have quickly become cult classics, such as ‘Nuketown’, ‘Firing Range’, ‘Dome’ and ‘Terminal’, which all sit in the ‘fond memories’ section of an avid gamer’s mind.
Local games and split screen co-op play is a great addition to any game. Being able to set up a couple of TVs with a few mates and their games consoles is a pretty good way to spend an evening. Especially if you add in a few beers and some pizza. But this is something that Battlefield is sorely missing, it’s a pretty anti-social game … when it comes to playing with people in the same room, that is.
Nazi Zombies – that is all. No, seriously, Nazi Zombies has to be one of my favourite game modes of all time. Killing waves upon waves of undead Nazis was an inspirational move, it’s just a shame that the original brilliant simplicity of ‘Der Riese’ and ‘Nacht Der Untoten’ have been replaced with the unnecessarily complicated array of tunnels and tombs in maps like ‘Moon’ and ‘Mob of the Dead’.
The campaign (even though it’s pretty repetitive each year), it’s still damn good. The story is always interesting and exciting and the characters are always memorable – Captain MacTavish, Captain Price, Ghost, Sergent Reznov and, of course, Woods, who could ever forget them?
Where Battlefield really excels is in its online multiplayer, which, in truth, absolutely destroys Call of Duty. It’s bigger, it’s smarter and it’s much more fun. It’s bigger because the maps are almost three times the size than even the biggest COD map and the games can have up to 24 people competing against each other. It’s smarter because the games are more about tactics than running around spamming the trigger; it’s about team work and decision making, and blowing shit up. And it’s more fun for all of the above, games feel less frustrating and the level of reward is tenfold when you and your squad win it together.
Everything explodes! Literally everything; walls, ceilings, the floor, trees – entire buildings can be leveled and forests cleared. There is no game more exhilarating than Battlefield. You can be charging through a building when, (after some tactically placed C4s are detonated), it will come crashing down around you – giving you just seconds to escape, or be crushed in the piles of rubble and steel.
Unlike Call of Duty, you can drive land vehicles such as trucks, tanks and quad-bikes and fly air vehicles such as jets and helicopters online. This will often lead to two different battles raging at any one time, sometimes even three. Tanks will pit themselves against tanks and jets will fight helicopters, all for supremacy of the map. It’s the only game series that you can take a second to look up and watch a dogfight soaring above you before you continue with the battle on the ground.
Battlefield gives you a different experience every time that you pick up the controller. There is no other game in which you could be casually running towards your objective, only for your peaceful stroll to be ruined by a crashing jet, or helicopter. Only in Battlefield will you see a jeep strapped full of C4 be ghost driven towards a tank and detonated on impact. Only in Battlefield will you call for a helicopter extraction only to watch the pilot take a direct rocket hit and career into the ground in a ball of fire and tangled metal. Only in Battlefield can you fly a jet past a helicopter, bail out and fire an RPG at it as you free-fall from a few thousand feet. There are so many more ‘only in Battlefield’ moments, and if you haven’t experienced any, then you are sorely missing out.
Finally, in online multiplayer each class has its own job. The assault class act as medics, the support as walking ammo drops, recon as vehicle and infantry spotters and the engineers as vehicle destroyers and repairers. Each squad will have its own job and each member of the squad is responsible for safety of their men. So, expect valiant charges across the field of battle, C4 in hand, to destroy a tank, or charges through fire fights in order to revive a downed comrade – the different class systems really helps cement a feeling of camaraderie, you are a band of brothers.
As a multiplayer experience Battlefield beats Call of Duty hands down, but when it comes to single player campaign experience, Call of Duty is hard to beat. So, I guess that it depends on what you want in a game, if you’re all about longevity and online multiplayer, you would be a fool to overlook Battlefield, if you want the occasional online game and a campaign that is tried and tested (or if you only like games based on how many zombies they have in them), then Call of Duty is your port of call. Personally, I’m a Battlefield man – but who knows, what if Ghosts outdoes Battlefield 4? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.