This article was originally published as my first user blog post on Game Informer.
Hello! I would like to thank you for stopping by to read my first blog post. Before I begin, I would like to clarify and establish what I’ll be talking about. One important thing to say would be that my title is somewhat misleading. No, I’m not going to compare Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3’s attributes (i.e. graphics, gameplay, etc.) and say which game will be superior. Besides, it would be childish to do that because the games aren’t even out yet. Instead, I’ll be trying to explain this explosive BF3 vs. MW3 debate that has erupted in the past few months. As long as I can remember, I don’t recall there being a more fierce argument over two FPS games. So you may be asking, “What is with the greater influx of people bashing CoD and rooting for BF this year? How come many think MW3 will be terrible while BF3 will deliver? Black Ops is a great game; why do a lot of people despise it?” These are a few questions you may already know the answers to, but I’ll try my best to answer them for you if you don’t know. And don’t worry, I’m not one of those extremists that’s been saying “B4TTL3F!3LD 3 FtW! m0D3rN W4rF4R3 3 !$ G0!Ng DoWn!” I actually love CoD; I’ve been a huge fan of the franchise for years. Since I suppose I can be considered a “fanboy,” I thought it would be appropriate for me to talk about the debate going on right now. Why? Because I’m looking forward to BF3 a lot more than MW3.
Do you remember the hype for BO last year? It ended up being the biggest entertainment launch of all time. Of course, that’s no surprise for a game with the name “Call of Duty.” I was among the millions of excited fans waiting for the game. I’d kept up with the latest breaking news, watched leaked multiplayer videos, and was dying to play some zombies. I also remember saying “adios” to Modern Warfare 2 the day before BO’s launch as my friends and I played our last epic match (yes, we played MW2 until the very end). Well, the day finally came…the day I failed my driver’s test…oh, and the day BO came out. Ha, me failing that test left me feeling disappointed. Come on, I was expecting to pass it as part of that awesome day! Anyway, after this bump in the road, I was looking forward to some BO to cheer me up. At first, I was having a great time. Over the next few weeks, I finished the campaign (which was awesome) and played zombies (which easily met my high expectations). But we all know the biggest part of any CoD is the multiplayer. So it should be the best part, right? Well, after a month of playing it I began to realize something; I wasn’t truly having fun. During the majority of my time playing multiplayer I found myself complaining about my deaths and loses rather than smiling and reveling in my kills and victories. I was somewhat like this when I played MW2, but never had I been so serious, bored, and frustrated while playing multiplayer until BO came out.
I’m sure you feel the same way it, or you may find what I’m saying common and stupid. If you’re in the latter, you’re probably thinking, “BO is one of the greatest FPS multiplayer experiences ever. It’s fun, has a lot of replay value, and is the most balanced multiplayer yet. It bores you? How could you not like it?” It’s true; I do not like BO and do not have fun playing it. However, I do agree that BO is a great game it can be fun. Wait, so I’m saying BO is boring and fun at the same time? Okay, let me try to explain. Simply put, everybody has different opinions about every game in existence. Take, for example (I’m naming a random game here), Darksiders. A lot of people disliked the game for its unoriginality, which heavily copying God of War and Legend of Zelda. On the other hand, many praised the game for blending these two gameplay elements together. This is the case with BO. There are two different opinions from two different groups. Those that say BO is boring, and those that say it’s fun. I already said it’s boring, but I think I can also say it’s fun because I had fun with past CoD games (like MW2 and WaW). Since BO is so similar to its predecessors, I can technically say that I’ve had fun with it in a different form. All of this means that I think I can speak for both groups. Okay, let’s start out with the boring perspective of BO.
Have you ever heard of the Vietnam expansion pack for Battlefield: Bad Company 2? It’s the same exact game as BC2, but it’s in a different setting. This is the case with CoD. Ever since CoD4, every CoD title has felt like a repeat in a different setting. Now that I’ve said this, I should explain why I loved WaW and MW2. I thought CoD4 was a revolutionary FPS; it is one of my favorite games of all time. Since it was so good, I was fine with WaW playing exactly like it. The successful CoD4 multiplayer formula used with WaW was great, and zombies was an ingenious idea on Treyarch’s part. This not only fed my “CoD energy,” WaW filled it to full capacity. When MW2 came out, that energy was overflowing, but it was getting a little stale. By this I mean that two years of practically the same game was starting to wear on me a little. Still, MW2 was a great CoD that offered loads of fun for a while. However, somewhere around the middle of 2010 MW2 was getting pretty old, whereas past CoDs were fun until the very end.
Yes, I said earlier that I played MW2 until the very end, but that doesn’t mean I was having fun with the game itself. I kept getting on MW2 because it was much more fun to talk and play with my friends than play by myself, which was becoming boring at that point. Since I also wanted to have fun playing by myself again, I hoped that Treyarch would somehow bring fresh, new changes to BO’s multiplayer while still retaining the general identity of the CoD multiplayer we’d come to recognize. Evidenced earlier, these hopes I had for BO were not met. Every CoD kept me holding on until the next replenished my CoD energy. With BO, I’ve cut off the energy supply due to overdose and for another simple reason: it’s stale; boring. Wait, hold on. You may be wondering why I’m so blind. How could I not be aware of the emblem creating tool? Or the new additions to the create-a-class system? Let’s not also forget CoD points, theater mode, and that BO has the most balanced multiplayer to date! Man, am I just being extremely picky about how I want the multiplayer to be? Are changes and new additions like these not enough for me? Am I being unrealistic? I’ve deduced that there is only one explanation for why I don’t like the multiplayer even though it is the best yet; a simple answer to this problem that’s been repeated multiple times so far…I’m just tired of CoD.
I love soda, and one specific soda I’m fond of is Mountain Dew. Let’s say I decide to have a different variety of Mountain Dew every day for every time I eat lunch and dinner. After a few weeks pass, I’m starting to get sick of it. No matter which kind of Mountain Dew I drink to try and keep each day’s beverage as different as possible, I still can’t stand the familiar taste of Mountain Dew. The soda I used to love has become something I dread to consume. This random analogy I gave can be applied to the way I feel about CoD. I love it, but too much of the same thing has taken it’s toll on me and you (if you share the same perspective). Hear me out, if you say BO is a boring game in and of itself, I bet this is the reason why you think that. Honestly, there is very little I can find that makes BO a terrible/boring game if I think about it fairly. Still, if there are things that make it boring/terrible to you, please explain why in the comments below; I would like to know why. Despite the fact BO is a great game, I guess I don’t like it because it “failed to innovate.” The formula used for multiplayer isn’t broken, it’s just been overused in my opinion. Treyarch stayed with it because there are millions of people that still love it or are starting to. This brings me to the short summary for those that have a fun perspective of BO. If you still have fun with CoD, when did you start playing it? Maybe about 1-3 years ago? Do you fall in between these years? If so, I think this is why you enjoy the multiplayer. It’s still fresh and new to you because the formula you love has been used in a different setting each year with small new additions (like pro perks, the emblem creator, and so on). I was just like you; I loved this too. But since I’ve been playing CoD for more than four years, I’m sick of it.
By now you’re probably starting to get the main point of this post: why I and thousands of others are moving on to BF3. Did you watch E3 a couple of weeks ago? If you think BO is boring, what did you think of the demo for MW3? Already, you and I have a pretty solid guess that it will be another CoD in the repetitive cycle. So far, it looks no different from BO or MW2. In fact, it just looks like a massive expansion pack of MW2 (kind of like that BC2 Vietnam expansion pack I mentioned earlier). Despite this disappointing outlook so far, I’m still getting the game. Ha, Why? I never said throughout this post that I didn’t like the extra modes of CoD (campaign, spec ops, etc.). The extra modes in MW3 aren’t enough to keep me entertained as long as the multiplayer would, but I still think the game will be worth the purchase to play these things. On the other hand, I think I’ll be plenty entertained by everything in BF3. The action seems intense and realistic, there seems to be many new additions and elements added to the gameplay, and it looks like a big barrel of fun. This is why BF3 is more interesting and promising than MW3 to me; it’s making fundamental changes while retaining it’s general identity. When I see BF3, I know it’s BF.
At the same time, it looks different in many ways from its predecessors. How so? This is something that’s hard to explain. I can only say that when I see BF3, it looks unique compared to past BF games like BC2. MW3 appears to be doing nothing like this so far. However, this is very understandable. From my knowledge, the fan base of CoD has skyrocketed ever since the release of MW2. Millions of new fans have convinced Treyarch, Infinity Ward, and Activision that they should stick with the same formula because, apparently, many people like it! A lot of the old fans are giving CoD up, but that won’t stop the behemoth franchise from failing. It’s constantly drawing in new players while losing a small minority of old fans. So if the multiplayer were ever to interest an old fan like me again, I want to see a “new and improved recipe.” A “Mountain Dew” that tastes like good old Mountain Dew, but at the same time tastes new and different. The big problem is how to do this with a game. Honestly, I cannot provide an answer for this. However, I do believe that it can be done. There is a pretty slim chance this will happen with MW3, so let me offer up another simple solution. Just take a break. Really, I think taking some time off from playing the multiplayer might result in the same fervent desire to play it again later on. Sadly, this solution probably won’t work either. Since I can’t find a concrete answer to this problem, I think the fan base will continue to become annoyed by the “same CoD every year,” and new players will be wanting the same thing as the old fans over time. Eventually, the CoD franchise will slowly meet it’s decline to unpopularity and mediocrity if the repetitive cycle continues. It’ll take a while, but I think this could happen.
I think MW3 will be a great game like BO. Millions of people will enjoy the multiplayer, but many people like me won’t. I want an FPS that is fresh and new to me, and I think BF3 will be the one I’m looking for. Why is that? It doesn’t look that much different from BC2 to most people, but I’ve played the game’s multiplayer. From what I’ve seen, the art style is different, the way it plays looks different, etc. I may have these feelings towards BF3 because I’ve only played BC1 and BC2. This is also probably the reason why it seems new to me. Who knows, maybe BF3 won’t be as good as I think it will be. Maybe it’ll feel like a repeat of BC2 when I play it for myself. I’m only predicting and hoping that BF3 will make me a happy FPS multiplayer junkie. I’m just about wrapping up, so I’ll end by saying that both MW3 and BF3 will be great games to different people. For the “recruits” who still enjoy CoD’s multiplayer, have a great time playing MW3…it’s time for the “veterans” to march on.
I hope you’ve gotten a decent view on the whole BF3 vs. MW3 debate from my perspective. I’m sure I’ve sounded contradictory on a few points (believe me, it was very hard to write this), but that’s what the comment box is for. Post below if you like, and thanks again for stopping by!