BF3 vs MW3: The Difference is in the PC

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mcdoomington
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BF3 vs MW3: The Difference is in the PC

Postby mcdoomington » Thu May 26, 2011 2:50 pm

Awesome Ars Technica article about the next BF and COD games.

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2011/05/modern-warfare-3-vs-battlefield-3-the-difference-is-in-the-pc.ars

There are two notable war games coming out this year, and they both have the number three after their names. We're finally able to talk about the Modern Warfare 3 content Activision showed the press at its pre-E3 event, and our enthusiasm for the game is rather muted. The thing is, the trailer for Battlefield 3 arguably makes the game seem like more of the same, and we've been much more enthusiastic about that game in our coverage.

Why is that? This is the first time you'll catch me using this word myself, but it's bias. That bias is based on tastes, not to mention a platform preference many of you may share: my love for the PC as a gaming platform.

How the games are shown

EA and DICE go out of their way to stress that the lead platform for Battlefield 3 is the PC, and in fact the player count will be higher on the PC than it is on the console version of the game. The PC version of the game is also the one shown to the press. Battlefield 3 is the first game in years that had me checking out hardware reviews in order to upgrade my computer before its release. It looks that good, and it has been a while since a publisher has felt comfortable showing the press a version of a game that can be described as aspirational. If you have a godlike system at home, the Frostbite 2 engine is going to take advantage of it.

In contrast, Modern Warfare 3 doesn't have a lead platform, although we all know that Activision barely cares about the PC versions of its games. We certainly won't be getting dedicated servers, DLC will likely go straight to the Xbox 360 after Microsoft opens its wallet, and that's that. When it comes to the house that Kotick built, the platform importance in order is 360, then PS3, and then way down at the bottom is the PC. This makes sense from an economic position, and while I understand that it's the job of the company to make money, as a PC gamer, that attitude hurts my battered soul.

The multiplayer

While we don't have many details on the Modern Warfare 3 multiplayer yet, Activision is a conservative company that doesn't like to monkey around with a successful formula. The teams are going to be small, the game is going to be ultra-competitive, and things are going to rapidly devolve into min-maxing teenagers who will call you an ethnic slur if you don't have one of the agreed-upon loadouts for the best destruction. When I play Black Ops these days I feel like I'm punishing myself. With players that already know where to go and what to do, the game often feels like players picking between a limited number of already-effective strategies. It's just not my thing, and I know many of you feel the same way.

We already know that while the console version of Battlefield 3 will be limited to 24 players, the PC version will support servers with up to 64 players. That's not a small skirmish anymore, that's a war. And since we're playing war games, this is the way it should be. The squad mechanics will return from Bad Company 2, although likely with some updates. If you stick with your friends and support each other by picking the right classes, you'll go far. This is not a game for lone wolves.



Heck, I'm not even that good at Bad Company 2. One of my favorite ways to play is to use cover effectively and heal teammates as a medic. The gameplay is slightly slower, more deliberate, and the more distinct classes combined with vehicular support mean that Bad Company 2 is a game that's much more friendly to new players, with many more roles to play in the fight. I've seen new players try Black Ops and quickly grow discouraged, especially with the aggressive nature of the community. Bad Company 2 is much more welcoming, and teamwork isn't a plus, it's expected.

Yes, I'm talking about games that exist now, not the two sequels that are the subject of this article, but I would be shocked if both games don't offer similar online play to their predecessors with the addition of a graphical update and a few tweaks.

That's the other reason Battlefield 3 has my attention: I can see what the engine is doing. The environments will feature massive destruction, and the animation of the soldiers is almost uncanny. It's immediately noticeable from a graphical perspective, and the physics updates will impact the game. Watching the Modern Warfare 3 presentation left me squinting as I tried to see what's new in the engine. Where are the big updates? We may see them later, but that's something you need to put front and center when you show a game for the first time.

A matter of personal taste

So again, many of these things are personal taste. I enjoy gaming on the PC, I enjoy a more team-based, strategy-oriented experience with vehicles and distinct roles that all feel different to play, and dedicated servers with high player counts are attractive. One of these war games will deliver what I like in action games, and the other is Modern Warfare 3.

It's unlikely that EA will ever outsell Activision in this area, but popularity doesn't equal quality. I'll buy both games, but six months after launch I'll likely only be playing one of them. I'll let you guess which one.
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Re: BF3 vs MW3: The Difference is in the PC

Postby Nimrod » Thu May 26, 2011 7:22 pm

Here here, I think I agree with him completely on the whole style of game play and which is my preference.

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Re: BF3 vs MW3: The Difference is in the PC

Postby rossonius » Thu May 26, 2011 7:48 pm

mcdoomington wrote:A matter of personal taste

So again, many of these things are personal taste.


Exactly! You either have good taste, or bad taste. :D
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Re: BF3 vs MW3: The Difference is in the PC

Postby J3ST3RM4A3 » Thu May 26, 2011 11:01 pm

Damn Ars, good read.


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