Call of Duty vs. Battlefield: How Gamers Ruin Both… and Gaming
When competition ruins appreciation
by Michael Gilbert
© 2013 Michael Gilbert
This shooter is realistic because head shots kill people in one shot, this racer is awesome because my Camaro sounds really loud (just like Dad’s—for those of us with dads that have Camaros), this Mario game is fun because it makes funny sounds and I laughed my ass off (LMFAO for you more apt readers).
We also make comparisons based on games we did or didn’t like before.
Halo is better than Quake because the graphics are better, or, for a more ignorant comparison, World of Warcraft is the worst game ever “’cuz only nerds play that game. YOLO. Swagg.”
But what we fail to do is recognize the smaller accomplishments that actually construct a game’s ‘personality’, as I like to call it.
Something that comparing a game to another simply just can’t do.
Call of Duty vs. Battlefield
Call of Duty and Battlefield.
Most conversations today focus on pitting the two against each other. The thing is, both EA/Dice and Treyarch/Infinity Ward/Activision are multiple companies in the same market.
Competition is where money comes from, so with that in mind, think about this.
Why should you sit around contemplating what series is better, arguing with one another and setting up entire websites for one or the other, when in reality you’ve probably got all the games of both the series sitting next to your console or in your games folder on that gloriously over-expensive Alienware of yours?
Isn’t it ironic?
Many of you now are going “they make fun of Call of Duty in Battlefield” or “Call of Duty is still better because I can 360-no-scope” like many of you still will.
The thing is, these games weren’t released in the beginning of their franchise as rivals in the series.
They were both just shooters with different interpretations of style and intensity, until the great “pop culture” of multiplayer got involved.
This is a veil of ignorance developed by all of you maxed level 1337 pros that are so “good” that your word becomes law.
Sadly, even though your contribution and dedication is why this field even exists, you have been the ones to develop this illusion of expectation that has made titles throughout the entire market so controversial.
There comes a time when as a gamer you have to put down the controller (gasp—but what am I going to do?!) and think for a minute about these games separately.
Many of you notice these things, but you don’t recognize them. You start to focus on things that make you “play better,” in which case Call of Duty’s motion and response engine takes the gold, but it starts to get to a point where everyone is running around like the wascly wabbit spraying around every corner with fully automatic everything.
That’s not just it though.
Call of Duty is not just a multiplayer game, but it seems like it because the only way for these companies to make everyone happy is to help them shoot each other.
So for all that time you spent becoming tenth prestige and saving those quick scope killcams without ever playing the campaign, who are you being fair to?
Battlefield’s storyline sadly goes without mention in most reviews these days.
A terrible disappointment to the authors and designers behind the infamous “Bad Company” (cue Five Finger Death Punch cover).
They killed bad guys, tried their luck at stolen gold, and even saved the world in a similar fashion to our good friends from the S.A.S.
But most of the people who will, or never will, read this can’t even name the protagonist you play as in any of the three installments released thus far.
What the hell?
All I have to say to this is: What the hell, people?
You are missing out on the greatest development that has come to games since the black and white days: storylines.
Books, movies, and myths have evolved into interacting stories at your fingertips for wonderful fun and great times and you let human competitive nature get the best of you and these companies.
Yes, you’ve given them their money.
Many of these people are still businessman; however, they’re also artists, looking for appreciation of their own masterpiece.
Without taking part in the entirety of games, just these two series of the many, you have single-handedly as a modern community ruined the positive purpose of playing video games.
We have not only pitted ourselves against each other in competitive nature, but these great games as well.
Not everything in gaming is about winning.
There is an experience waiting inside every one of those cases, downloads and cartridges.
There was a golden age when multiplayer consisted of you and your three best friends laughing and pulling silly stunts on Starfox, the wonder passing hours on end crying and wishing through every fantastic moment in any of the Final Fantasy games (except maybe XIV, but no one’s judging), and the first time we jumped the Leap of Faith for the Creed.
There are still bad games, don’t get me wrong, but they aren’t bad just because other games are “better.”
Every game is a different game, and each one holds the ability to capture you and steal your time for your enjoyment.
Not everything is a competition, and video games (in general) aren’t an exception.