Reports on who won that battle vary. Some claim Unreal stole the show, but others maintain that Quake III was better (and it was). Posterity seems to have ruled on the side of Quake III (see Quake Live and the XBLA re-release),but one thing’s certain: Unreal won the war, largely because id couldn’t be f***ed to develop another Quake game. On the other hand, Unreal Tournament 3 butchered pretty much everything that Unreal had going for it, so I guess a dormant franchise beats the crap out of one that’s been dragged through so much horse s*** that no one wants to associate themselves with it anymore.
With both of the former champions in a coma thanks to their developers not giving a s***, and the genre having largely transitioned to consoles, it would be eight years until the next great battle took place, and ironically, no one would know there’d been one at all until it was over.
If you haven’t guessed yet, I’m talking about Halo 3 versus Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Much like Quake before it, Halo was the reigning champ, and Call of Duty, while a solid series, was the newcomer. But they were very different games. Halo was a sci-fi shooter, with the most competitive play you could find on consoles with a skill based ranking system. It also offered an amazing (if finicky) map editor called Forge, a campaign with co-op for up to four people, and a ton of Easter eggs and unlocks that added replay value to the campaign and cosmetic options so you could pimp out your Spartan into that bright pink killing machine with a unicorn avatar that you’d been dreaming about since Combat Evolved.
Call of Duty 4 was a modern military shooter, a fairly rare thing at the time (Hard to believe in hindsight, right?), that featured a short, highly scripted single-player campaign, and a pretty barebones multiplayer mode, at least compared to Halo 3’s. There was no co-op, no competitive ranking system, and no map editor. No, instead, Call of Duty focused on player progression. Kills got you killstreaks. Get some kills without dying, and you could call in abilities, most of which could get you more kills. The more kills you got, the more experience you got. Get enough experience and you’d level up, unlocking more guns and abilities known as perks, which you could use to edit the ****s you spawned with. Of course, all of this made the game incredibly unbalanced, but who cares?
If you’d said in 2006 that the next Call of Duty would oust Halo as the biggest FPS franchise, people would have laughed at you, but we all know who won now.
Fast forward 4 years: Call of Duty is king of the industry. It is the best-selling game Every. Single. Year. despite the ridiculously unbalanced multiplayer, the stupidly short campaign, and rehash after yearly rehash. In fact, it is so successful that Activision has 5, count ’em, 5 (Infinity Ward, Treyarch, Beachhead, Sledgehammer, Raven)development studios that do nothing but make Call of Duty. But the educated among us know that Call of Duty is s***. We want something different, something better.
Enter EA, who wants a slice of that big ol’ FPS pie, and so this year another of the great FPS battles begins: Call of Duty vs. Battlefield. And the fanboys are off and running.
“Battlefield 3 will save the genre!”
“Modern Warfare 3 will sell better!”
“Battlefield 3 has better graphics!”
“Modern Warfare 3 has better controls!”
And the debates go on, and on, and on. But what I want to know is, “Who gives a f*** anymore?”
I mean, f***, don’t you people ever get tired? Aren’t you tired of playing games with zero creativity, and on-rails campaigns? Aren’t you tired of killstreaks and unlocks, and perks and using the same goddamn guns over and over and over? Aren’t you tired of fighting against terrorists and Russians and Russian terrorists and plots that play out like they were written by a conspiracy theorist who’s been locked in a closet for the last 20 years and doesn’t realize that the Cold War is over?
I mean, compare these two pictures:
Would you be able to tell the difference between these two games if you didn’t know which was which? Aren’t you tired of this being all the FPS genre is? You’re telling me this s*** is going to save this industry? Have you lost your f***ing minds? Deus Ex, RAGE, Bioshock Infinite, and Prey 2 look like much better games. Or f***, at least they look interesting. I mean, at least there the developers had to try and use their brains to *gasp* create something original.
I mean, I get why PC gamers care. They’re in it for the graphics, pure and simple. Battlefield is going to push their rigs. They’ve haven’t had a game like this in 4 years, and they want it so bad that your practically have to wipe the drool off your screen after reading one of their posts. At least, I hope that’s drool. As for console gamers, I don’t why the f*** any of them would care. They’re getting a gimped game that probably won’t even play well.
When I look at these games, I don’t see that much difference. I don’t see any creativity on the part of the developer at all. I don’t see a worthwhile campaign. I don’t see a multiplayer game that’s giving me something new. Sure, Battlefield fans will pull the vehicle card and the “B-b-but Battlefield takes more teamwork than Call of Duty!!!” card, but the former doesn’t matter and the latter just means that all your teammates are headed in the same direction at some point in the game. And Battlefield fanboys, have you forgotten how much Battlefield openly apes Call of Duty now? Did you play BC2? Because I did. Do you really think EA wants to alienate the gamers who got into Battlefield off of that game, considering how well it sold? Remember the last time a FPS game series started on the PC, made some console spin-offs, and then merged the two together for the third installment?
How about now? Had you managed to bleach that out of your brains yet?
So what is so special here, people? All I see are two generic modern war games that, going by the histories of their respective series and their publishers will: Have terrible hit detection, unbalanced gameplay (see BF2, BC2 and MW, MW2), no mods tools on PC, a ton of DLC and other s*** that we don’t want (Oh, hai CoD Elite and Origin), and little developer support because within a year, both publishers are going to try and sell you a new version of the same game under a different name (The next Treyarch CoD and the next MoH). And to top it all off, EA has announced that they’re going to release a Battlefield game every other year, too. Sound familiar?
So remind me again what the f*** the difference is here besides pretty graphics (which don’t mean s*** at the end of the day), some teamwork, a large player count (which doesn’t mean s*** period), and some vehicles, because I’m not seeing it.
If Battlefield 3 is the savior of the FPS genre, let’s just take it out behind the shed and do what needs to be done now, because this is f***ing pathetic.