Battlefield 3 vs. Modern Warfare 3: And the Winner is

martes, 6 de diciembre de 2011 , Posted by admin at 4:06

Battlefield 3 vs. Modern Warfare 3: And the Winner is

So here it is. For months, both Electronic Arts and Activision have been hyping their first-person shooter masterpieces, showing off the games at private press events and a few public ones (Battlefield 3 at PAX, Modern Warfare 3 at Call of Duty XP) and giving us details. And now both games have launched, but they’ve run into their fair share of problems, with Battlefield requiring an HD install and having trouble with servers, and MW3 suffering from Elite sign-up errors and, to some gamers, familiarity.

But the real question is, who won the fight? Well, that’s what we’re here to settle. Now, before we begin the comparison and everything that goes with it, please understand that I’ve logged a great deal of hours with both games, and am approaching this comparison with a clean slate, and no hint of favoritism. And it’s by a series of categories, rather than an overall rating, so each will be judged fairly. Now let’s go, and may the best game win.

STORY: Now, to be honest, Battlefield’s developers at DICE haven’t always been about story with their games, as they concentrate more on the multiplayer aspect with their games. EA probably demanded some kind of story arc to go with this time around, so the game would have contention with MW3. That said, it could’ve been a little better. Battlefield 3 doesn’t really have anyone that you can emotionally attach to, even over the course of the game. There are people here, and they do go through situations that, in a way, would make sense, but the emotional drive just seems to be missing a bit. Also, near the end, it does get a little ludicrous, leaving you wondering what’s up when the game reaches its conclusion. Still, at least it’s not as hokey as, say, Blackwater.
On the other hand, Modern Warfare 3’s saga wraps up in style, and that’s not easy to do considering its original creators, West and Zampella, were shown the door out of Infinity Ward a while back. Sledgehammer Games has filled the void with a story that manages to involve both familiar and new characters, and yet involve them both in a convincing, if sometimes over-the-top, battle. Makarov is still a much hateable villain, especially at a certain point where an innocent family perishes.

(Envelope pusher? Nah, because war is never easy.) And the way MW3 ends couldn’t be more satisfying. It culminates in a final battle of wills, and when it’s all over, you feel a bit of closure, compared to the “WTF” ending with Battlefield 3, even if that possibly sets up Battlefield 4. DICE did try to make a story here, but not enough of a comprehensive one. And while Modern Warfare 3’s isn’t quite perfect, it fits the bill.

GRAPHICS: Some people think this is where Modern Warfare 3 lags a bit. The game utilizes a beautiful engine, runs at a blazing 60 frames per second, and features some very impressive visual effects, including explosions and some wonderfully detailed buildings that have crumbled to pieces.

That said, it is an older engine. Sledgehammer Games didn’t have much choice when most of Infinity Ward’s resources dwindled, so it worked with what it had. Some players have complained that the game has resembled “Modern Warfare 2.5” as a result, but we still like the way it looks. Battlefield 3, on the other hand, uses a fresher engine, modified with DICE’s Frostbite 2 technology. And though it runs at a lower framerate and doesn’t nearly resemble what the PC version can do, it looks great.

The environments are well done, even if there are times the nighttime ones are a little harder to see, and the weapon effects sparkle across the screen. Furthermore, wider range areas are easier to see with what’s going on, and the close-up stuff really delivers, especially when you’re executing a brutal melee. Some stuff is a little corny (a rat, really?), but overall it’s an engine that really cooks.
Still, there is a minor subtraction to Battlefield 3, and that’s with the HD install. See, the game running on standard definition doesn’t look as good, and to get the “whole experience”, as EA puts it, you need to set up an HD install on either Xbox 360 or PS3, around 1.5 to 2 GB. On the PS3, you’d be used to it, but on the Xbox 360, it’s a minor cop-out. So, in the end, DICE has its tech nailed down, but the install hurts it a little. Meanwhile, Activision has the familiar technology, but thanks to Sledgehammer, it puts it to good use. Tie game.

AUDIO: There’s no question here – both DICE and Sledgehammer know their stuff. Battlefield 3’s environmental effects are outstanding, whether it’s a building that’s about to collapse right on top of you or bullets that whiz by at lightning speed. The explosions are noteworthy, too. But with that, Activision also delivers, with thunderous fireworks going on everywhere, great gun effects (all separate from one another) and lots of chatter on the battlefield, both from your allies and enemies.

Now, for voicework, Activision gains a very slight advantage. Where EA’s Battlefield calls upon actors who read their stuff with very little emotion (the briefing stuff is average at best), Activision has some decent voice folks at work, including the returning Billy Murray as Price (always an awesome job with him) and newcomers like William Fichtner as Sandman. They earn their stripes here. As for the music, Battlefield 3 has a better overall soundtrack when it comes to war tunes, as Modern Warfare tends to lean a little bit on the rock side. Not that there’s anything really wrong with going for the gusto, but DICE has it a little better handled. Overall, stalemate.

This feature editorial concludes on the next page, please click Page 2 below to read on and find out which game we choose as the winner in this battle of greats.


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