Okay, first off I need to preface this article with the fact that one of my most favorite FPS games ever in the history of FPS is Battlefield: Bad Company 2. There are many reasons behind this and I will probably touch on them in a bit. So yes I will be incredibly biased here but I am going to try to be fair as well.
Call of Duty is killing the first person genre. I know it is one of the best selling game franchises of all time, I’ve played them all as well. Something that I noticed after CoD: Classic, the gameplay has barely changed over the years. There have been a few new things on occasion but it seems so minimal.
So why do I think the franchise is holding back the genre? CoD has become almost everything I dislike about FPS games in multiplayer. In order to explain this I’ll draw comparison to BFBC2.
- CoD’s gameplay is extremely geared for single play, you may play with teammates but really all people do is try to raise their killstreaks. Absolutely no focus on the team environment.
- The killstreaks themselves are another thorn that is becoming popular in FPS games. Why players are given special advantage setting perks for doing amazing is beyond me. The balance is completely thrown off and almost negates the chances of a freak comeback by the opposing team.
- Thrown weapons: These little cheap one hit kill weapons are extremely ridiculous. A knife to the foot means instant death and on some maps, the first thing players do is lob knives or tomahawks at the enemy spawn point. There really isn’t too much skill there.
- Maps are all set up in arena-like areas, everything feels so staged when playing the other team. Holding certain choke points will allow an easy victory in a fight simple due to location.
Now, for arguments sake, let’s take a look at why Battlefield does better in these situations.
- BFBC2 is extremely geared towards team based combat. Every character gets to choose a corresponding class and each class offers offensive and support based abilities for the rest of the team. As a collector of Gold Squad pins, I know a couple things about the value of a strong team. All match types are centered around the team pulling together to achieve 1 of 3 separate goals. No Rambos here.
- Where BFBC2 lacks perks, it offers vehicles instead. While a vehicle can change the tide of combat, there are also specific ways to deal with these threats. My normal squad always carries a tracer dart gun for their sidearm. That alone has gotten us out of a few sticky situations. You aren’t rewarded with anything for going an extended period of time without dying while killing opponents, it just means you are a badass and have a good team.
- Tools impact battle quite a bit too, defibs, C4 and RPGs bolster a solid equipment loadout. Allowing you to specialize your gear for the right situation, plus we can’t forget mortar strikes.
- Choke points still exist, however the ability to literally carve a path through buildings and structures can combat some of the mess that those can get you in. Maps are expansive, with many different routes to goals.
BFBC2 is the complete opposite on many points but the point I will keep hammering home is that a multiplayer FPS game is and should always be about teamwork. The whole point of solo combat should be reserved for free for alls and single player combat, which CoD is better at.
Now, both franchises will be releasing their next installment of their games next November and for most, a line in the proverbial sand will need to be drawn. I’ll be waiting to play Battlefield 3 but when you get down to it, I’ll be getting Modern Warfare 3 as well. When I feel like playing a game with skill, Battlefield will always be there for me. :)