For the last year, Internet fanboys have been twisting each other's proverbial nipples in an attempt to ascertain which game is superior: Battlefield 3 or Modern Warfare 3. And, like most Internet-based disagreements, it's largely idiotic gibberish. But in this case, it also seems like almost everyone is completely missing the point. So, in an effort to get the entire Internet onto the same page, I'm just going to say this and get it over with: you people need to stop obsessively comparing Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3.
The point that everyone seems to be missing is that both of these games are attempting to accomplish fundamentally different goals. Sure, they're both military-based first-person shooters that contain the number 3 in their titles, but the similarities pretty much stop there. Modern Warfare 3 is a fast-paced, console-centric shooter that downplays teamwork in favor of drop-in/jump-out gameplay. Whereas Battlefield 3 is a large-map, PC-centric shooter that emphasizes teamwork and vehicular battles.
However, since the internet seems to be looking for an objective guide to the Battlefield 3 vs. Modern Warfare 3 argument, lets take it by the numbers.
Hands down, Battlefield 3 wins the graphics competition. In fact, Modern Warfare 3 isn't even in the same league, and anyone who tells you otherwise is blinded by his own infatuation (or is literally blind). Battlefield 3 is the best looking game on the market right now, period.
However, BF3's win comes with a major asterisk: only a small fraction of players can actually experience BF3 at its highest graphical quality.
Anyone who purchases a copy for their Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 will experience graphics that are on par with Modern Warfare 3, and players who purchase the PC version need a pretty powerful rig in order to crank up the fidelity. And even if their rig can technically handle it, there's no telling whether or not BF3 is going to run correctly once everything is said and done.
Side note: It's probably safe to assume that most of the people who are touting Battlefield 3's graphical prowess haven't actually seen it with their own eyes. So, technically, they shouldn't even be able to use this argument.
Winner: Battlefield 3
The single-player campaign is probably the one and only area that has a solid foundation for comparison, and this is only because EA forgot what makes BF3 great and attempted to simply emulate a Call of Duty title.
Infinity Ward has a well-established reputation for high-quality single-player campaigns, and even though Modern Warfare 3's campaign is more Michael Bay than Martin Scorsese, it still manages to remain compelling throughout. By contrast, Battlefield 3's single-player campaign is monotonous and disjointed.
However, as I mentioned in my review, if we're judging BF3 based on the single-player campaign, we're using the wrong metric. See, aside from the Bad Company series, EA hasn't been in the habit of even including a campaign with their Battlefield titles. So, technically, it's more of a quirky little add-on than an actual feature.
Still, MW3's campaign is far better, albeit too short.
Winner: Modern Warfare 3
Both Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3 shine in the multiplayer arena, but this is where the differences between the two are truly accentuated. For instance, Battlefield 3 is built on its 64-player games, meticulous gunplay, teamwork, and intense vehicle battles. Not a single one of these foundational traits is found in Modern Warfare 3. In fact, it would probably be more appropriate to compare Battlefield 3 to a game like Tribes 2 or Halo than a Modern Warfare title, but this comparison wouldn't make for a very insulting forum post. So, I understand why the fanboys have drawn their lines where they have.
Modern Warfare 3, on the other hand, incorporates fast-paced matches, cartoonish weapon play, perks, and maps that have been designed with very specific horizontal and vertical choke points. All of these things are foundational to MW3's personality, but completely absent from BF3.
Obviously, we're not really comparing apples to apples, here.
I'm not exactly sure why everyone is bent on forcing a comparison between BF3 and MW3 based on its military setting. Are we going to spend any amount of time debating Skyrim vs. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword because they're both fantasy RPGs with "Sky" in the title? Are we going to compare and contrast Grand Theft Auto and Need for Speed because both revolve around driving? Probably not.
I think EA did themselves a disservice by asking people to place Battlefield 3 into the same category as Modern Warfare 3. Obviously, they wanted the added publicity that comes with taking on the biggest entertainment title in history, but each game was meant to attract a very specific type of player, and they both hit their respective marks with relative precision. Sure, we could keep trying to compare the games categorically, and one might inch its way into the lead, but that would be completely ignoring the likes and dislikes of each individual player. No objective scale can truly measure the success or failure of two games that were built to meet entirely subjective needs.
So, even though both of these games have some thematic similarities, continuing to make a constant stream of comparisons is missing the point. And if you're one of those people who are constantly trying to find an excuse to twist the other camp's nipples, you might be the reason that gamers have the reputation for being antisocial jerks.
Overall Winner: Draw
By Josh Engen
CCC Contributing Writer
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*