Written by Troy Benedict Sunday, 30 October 2011 05:00
I'm amazed at the seriously impassioned competition amongst gamers for two of the holiday's most-anticipated warfare titles: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3.
Both at work and online and while catching up on the latest video game news and gossip, there are two distinctly polarized groups, like the hardcore rivalry between extreme fans of two sports teams. "You're not picking up Call of Duty are you? That one's going to be garbage! Go with Battlefield 3!" "Battlefield 3? I wouldn't touch it to save my life after the steaming pile that was Medal of Honor. Call of Duty is the game to play!"
I don't recall a rivalry filled with such fervor since the days of NFL 2K and Madden during the late 90s, early 2000s. It seems that if you're into online competitive gaming, you not only have an opinion on the matter, but it's a very strong opinion.
I was even surprised to see a little feud popping up between Activision and Electronic Arts. And the whole "Above and Beyond the Call" tagline jab that Battlefield 3 is using in its promotional materials.
Me, I really don't care. Okay, that's not true -- I do care, but I don't really care which one is the better game. They both look like a lot of fun, especially with the action shown with footage from the single player campaign -- they both look like enjoyable summer blockbuster movies in a kind of way. Then again, I enjoy my games much more casually than others do. Being a parent, it's not easy to be able to dedicate a lot of your gaming time to any one game in particular -- especially one that rewards scores with new perks and higher levels. Case in point, back with Modern Warfare 2, I logged a total of 30 minutes of online play. In the same time it took me to do that, one of my friends racked up over 24 hours. And this was only days after the game's release.
I can understand why people feel the way they do. For the folks at work who have taken a hard stance on this debate, it all comes down to each series' legacy, and how they dedicate their time to play these games. Those who are rooting for Battlefield 3 have had serious issues with the multiplayer of previous Call of Duty games, like issues with being griefed from other players racking up impossible kills because they're taking advantage of unpatched glitches. One gamer I know hates the Bad Company series and still holds the debacle of the Medal of Honor reboot against Electronic Arts, like a wound that won't heal.
My good friend who is very passionate about his distaste for Call of Duty buys maybe a handful of titles a year. So when you invest in a few titles a year and one of those game sucks, that disappointing game really stands out.
I can only imagine that the rivalry will only continue to burn brightly as the release for Modern Warfare 3 approaches quickly.
It's almost as if the whole holiday console war doesn't matter this year -- where, traditionally, all of the enthusiasts for each console throwing out exclusive titles claiming that their system will have the better releases -- it's all about which first-person modern combat game is the better title.
I'm excited to try them both out, but I can certainly wait a couple of months for the dust to settle, and see how this whole rivalry plays out.