Review: Two elite first person shooters square off for the lion’s share of the market

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By Zach Redwood
Broadcast Editor

For video gamers, there are thousands of choices when it comes to which game to play. There are even fewer choices when gamers have to decide which gaming console he or she would rather have.

In recent years, a very popular genre of games, first person shooters (FPS), has had a choke hold on the gaming market. Two divisions have carved a niche out for themselves in a very synergistic way.

Call of Duty (COD) and Battlefield (BF) both launched their inaugural games in 2003 and changed the way people think about playing online multiplayers.

Before the two games launched, multiplayer games like Quake, Counter Strike, Unreal Tournament and massive online multiplayers like World of Warcraft, gave players the chance to coordinate as a team during online matches.

What was different about these games was that they were more fictional than factual. That left the door open for two FPS juggernauts to start what became one of the most popular genres of video games, Theater of War.

This season, the two franchises have launched their latest installments: COD Infinite Warfare (Nov. 14) and Battlefield 1 (Oct. 21). The two games have sheer differences, which leaves consumers wondering which game to buy. In the past, COD has been king of the FPS. COD was the best-selling game in 2013, 2014, and 2015 with its continuous release of different themed games.

The last three games from COD have been Ghosts, Advanced Warfare, and Black Ops III. All three games are set in a futuristic time period. In the latter two games, the user has a mechanical body suit that allows them to thrust around the map as well run on walls and other surfaces.

The newest game, Infinite Warfare (IW), is set to take place in space and bring 360 degrees of movement into the multiplayer experience. For the most part, the game will be “boots on the ground,” but some maps allow the player to imagine what warfare might be like if he or she were to duke it out on space stations all over the solar system.

Infinite Warfare features Combat Rigs, which are suits that the digital soldiers wear. The suits are similar to an Ironman suit from the popular Marvel movie. Players are given a choice between six unique combat rigs that each allow the user to play a different role.

Warfighter is an all-around beginner class that focuses on assault rifles, attacking, and midrange combat. Using a trait called combat focus, players can double their score for that given life.

Merc gives the player a slight advantage on defense being loaded with extra armor. Merc also gives players a slight speed boost as they continue to score points.

The Phantom class is set up for long-range snipers that want to hold off the enemy from a distance. With the ability to mark enemies on the team radar and go invisible, the Phantom class has a ballistic electromagnetic projectile launcher that packs a punch.

Next is the FTL (faster than light) class, which is made for players that always seem to be on the move. A signature slide and can be used to avoid gunfire and change position while running and gunning around the map.

The Synaptic class is outfitted for players that focus on sub-machine gun and melee play. Another run-and-gun class, the synaptic class packs a trait that gives a boost of speed to the user.

The final choice is the Stryker class. Stryker packs rocket launchers, shotguns, and leans toward the defensive style of combat. This class provides drones and anti-aircraft systems that destroy enemy projectiles as well as aircraft.

A video game being “realistic” is a trait that some gamers hold to the utmost purity. The premise of IW alone should hint that the game would not be the most realistic.

Taking a step in a new direction is something that consumers have seen the COD franchise do consistently. Sales of past games have shown that people love the games no matter what. The interesting question is are those same consumers willing to remain on COD’s side while they try yet another headstrong venture into an exhausted environment.

When something like COD has been on top for so long, its only natural that other people and companies will try to replicate or challenge its dominance. BF has been the only game in recent years that has actually given COD a run for its money. Gamers that have grown tired with the COD franchise have ventured over to BF hoping for something a little more realistic.

In BF1, the game is set during World War One (WWI). Instead of going the route of the futuristic warfare, BF1 has gone the opposite way. Tanks, planes, trucks, and even horses are some of the “futuristic” weaponry that BF1 incorporated into its game.

One of the major draws to BF compared COD is the ability of the landscape and architecture of the map to be destroyed or manipulated by players. Users can drive a tank right though a building, or throw a grenade and take out an entire wall of a house. Compared with COD, which does not allow landscape to be destroyed, BF1 gives the user a much more engaged and graphic experience.

During gameplay, users are shipped onto a WWI battlefield and given the option to choose between four classes that all have different abilities.

First, the Assault class uses close to medium range weapons like trench and shotguns as primary weapons. The assault class is also outfitted with anti-tank grenades as well as dynamite to destroy enemy strongholds.

Next, the Medic class gives the chance to be the squad’s very own Hawkeye. Cue the “M*A*S*H” theme song. The medic class has the ability to heal and revive fallen squad members. The class is equipped with a medical crate that can be thrown out to help wounded squad members, bandages that can be thrown to a single squad member, a rifle grenade that can be fired at the enemy, and a syringe that works to bring fallen squad members back to life.

Then there is the Support class, which is geared toward re-supplying teammates with ammo and laying down support fire while taking objectives. The class features an ammo resupply crate for other squad members to use and an artillery mortar strike that is very accurate and easy to use.

Last is the Scout class. This class is for sniping and setting eyes on the enemy team. The scout has an exploding tripwire that he or she can set up in doorways as well as a small sniper shield that one can set up to hide behind while sniping.

Both games have draws that make them attractive to different players. Over the holiday season, they will both hold up as two of the top games. Players will no doubt have fun playing either of them, but choosing which one, if not both, will be the decision for most users.

Players who love the modern warfare factor in his or her games will gravitate toward IW. While players who might be ready to take a step back on the warfare timeline, might favor BF1.

In the coming months, the two games will become very popular among gamers. The choice between the two will be the question that many parents and children alike will have to make.

Both Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare are available on PC, PlayStation 4, and XBOX 1. They are both rated M for Mature and look to be the holiday season’s top two grossing games.

 

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