Thursday, April 8, 2010
Right now when it comes to tactical shooters, there are two big names everyone has probably heard of: Modern warfare and Battlefield. To anyone who doesn't play many games they probably look pretty similar. Even to somebody like myself who's played just about every shooter under the sun, you'd be hard pressed to tell them apart in some regards. After beating the singleplayer campaign and clocking a truly disgusting amount of hours in the multiplayer portions of both, I thought I'd weigh in on their pros and cons.
Which will come out on top? Who can charlie the most oscar mikes to delta? More importantly, who gives a shit? Read on to find out!
I have to admit that I was shocked by the similarities in the overall plots of both games. Russians invading the US? EMP devices? Betrayal for little to no reason? Come on guys Tom Clancy could have eaten a bowl of alphabits and shit out a better story than this. Overall I was disappointed by both, though battlefield wins this round by a small margin. The story is the least bit coherent, which is more than you could say for MW 2. Some of the humor that made the first Bad Company unique is present, but dialed back to make room for more Bro-ments and nonsensical military jargon.
All that aside, what hurts these games the most is the pacing. You barely get done running from one killbox to the next before you're whisked away to the next exotic locale. When you're constantly being bombarded with setpieces and crazy shit it starts to lose it's appeal. What makes a roller coaster so intense? It's the feeling you get being winched to the top of that first huge drop. Like a good roller coaster, pacing needs to rise and fall to keep players on their toes.
Much more similar this time around. The combat in MW 2 feels a little more tactile and arcade-y while the explosions, smoke and debris give BC 2 a more visceral feel. The controls in BC 2 are vastly improved over the first and bear much more resemblance to MW 2. Partially because of the sound (especially when audio is set to War Tapes), the guns in BC 2 pack much more of a wallop.
Sadly both seem to have failed where their predecessors succeeded when it comes to gameplay variety. MW 2 tries to mix it up a bit with snowmobiles, boats and a few other additions. None of them are anywhere near as exciting as the AC 130 or sniping mission in MW 1. Bad Company 2 also loses a great deal of it's vehicle sections, which helped the first feel a little more unique.
The destructible environments in BC 2 are great fun and add a lot to the intensity of the firefights. Sadly the destruction doesn't come into play all that often. You rarely have to demolish anything to succeed. I would have liked to see them find more creative uses for it. Overall it's a tie between the 2 as they offer slightly different twists on the same core shooter mechanics.
Next round: Multiplayer!