There has been a battle raging over the last few years between the first person shooter games with two names sticking out as the leaders of the pack; Call of Duty and Battlefield. Both series are from big publishers and pull in the big numbers with every release; both in sales and in review scores. There is good reason, too, because a ton of money is poured into them to ensure that they are quality titles that the fanbase will enjoy. So year after year fans will be treated to new shooters from EA and Activision and year after year fans will argue which game is the better game. Without a doubt, Call of Duty is the juggernaut that sells the most copies of their game, but there has been a recent trend of the series sales being huge but still slipping year-over-year. Battlefield 4 could change all of that.
The games seem to remain pretty similar, with only very minor changes coming with the yearly titles. It almost feels like the bare minimum is being changed in Call of Duty games to keep the ultra-fast, smooth gameplay feeling the same. The pattern over the last few years has seen two studios trade off who releases a title for that year, with Treyarch and Infinity Ward being the two. For the longest time, Infinity Ward (the series’ creator) was known to release the games of higher quality, that was until Modern Warfare 3 was released and it became clear that Infinity Ward was having hosts of problems internally. Since the moderate failure of Modern Warfare 3, Sledgehammer Games was called into action to be the third studio working on Call of Duty titles and will be the driving force behind this year’s game.
While many of us might decry the Call of Duty games for not having enough variety or changes made to them, there are some hardcore fans who have certain expectations of the games and with a new studio at the helm, this year’s title is uncertain, the say the least. So while Call of Duty will be trying out something new this year, a pivotal year with next generation console launches, EA will have DICE once again at the helm with Battlefield, providing tried and true gameplay and the Battlefield experience in Battlefield 4.
If anything, fans of the Battlefield series have loftier expectations, something that DICE has been able to meet time-and-time again with the Battlefield series. That being said, there were some aspects of Battlefield 3 that hardcore fans saw as a betrayal, like some of the smaller maps that was focused more on close-quarters “Call of Duty” style gameplay. But, Battlefield 3 was able to provide enough of what they knew and loved to let stuff like that slide. This year’s Battlefield 4 has an opportunity to knock off Call of Duty from the top of the food chain by providing a better game, a better experience and by marketing it towards a wider group of gamers than what Call of Duty can.
So if the analysts are right and Call of Duty might keep slipping, that leaves the door wide open for DICE and EA to step in and take over as kings of the FPS jungle with their larger, destructible environments, more methodical approach to realistic gameplay and of course, the amazing vehicles in Battlefield 4.