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Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3: Which is Better?

The Call of Duty series has seen better times. Technically, it's still the best selling and most popular first person shooter franchise out there, but with the departure of a large chunk of the original Infinity Ward team, and reports of every Activision studio pooling their efforts to get Modern Warfare 3 out of the gate, it's easy to assume the franchise is losing steam. This wouldn't be a problem, except there's a competitor, and a pretty huge one, at that. Battlefield 3. This game has floored anyone who's watched the gameplay with it's amazing graphics, which look like they belong on a different generation of hardware. At the same time, the gameplay itself is taking a far different approach than Modern Warfare 3, with far slower pacing, less battles, and more realism. It's somewhat obvious which game won over the audience at E3, but which one is truly better, from what we've seen so far?

Battlefield 3 certainly looks better, graphically speaking. The lighting is incredible, the fire and smoke look great, the animations are smooth, the environmental destruction is great, and the textures are photorealistic. There probably hasn't been a graphical jump this big since the original Crysis. Meanwhile, Modern Warfare 3 is looking exactly like Modern Warfare 2, except grayer. Some of the backgrounds are nice and busy, but it looks rough around the edges. 

Battlefield 3 also has the better gameplay, from what has been shown.  Yes, there was a time when Call of Duty 4's gameplay looked pretty awesome and new, too, however. I think the reason that Battlefield 3 looks so appealing in it's gameplay is that it's different from the last 4 Call of Duty games, in a time when a lot of games are exactly like that. The weapons have great sound reports, the way gunfire tears apart the environment immerses you, and the recoil makes it look like the weapons pack a punch. Modern Warfare 3 has the same low recoil, quick aim gunplay that it did in Call of Duty 4, the shotgun from the demo sounds the same as the shotgun in Call of Duty 4, and the weapons have no effect on the environment. It looks the same as Modern Warfare 2, and while Modern Warfare 2 has good gameplay, Battlefield 3 is offering something different and potentially better. 
Modern Warfare 3 has a lot more variety than Battlefield 3, due to the fact it's willing to go farther with the boundaries of realism. From the footage shown of Modern Warfare 3, there are AC-130 sections, stealth missions, underwater sections, on-rails helicopter sequences, boat driving sections, car driving levels, a tank driving mission, and more. It's all ridiculous, but this does give the gameplay a lot more variety.  In Battlefield 3 you defuse bombs, destroy buildings, shoot a lot of guys, drive tanks, designate targets, and pilot a jet. That's still an insane amount of variety, but Modern Warfare 3 has more of it. Now, a lot of those sections are completely stolen from both Call of Duty 4 and Modern Warfare 2, and you can argue that so many things happening so quickly makes it all seem less valuable or important, but it's hard to argue with a new gameplay mechanic every 15 minutes. 

Multiplayer is going to be a huge part of both of these shooters, but very little has been shown of either's multiplayer component. From the little seen, however, Battlefield 3's multiplayer looks insane. The maps will be a lot more destructible, and this destructibility will be implemented in interesting ways, such as a conflict in a subway, where the ceiling can collapse at points. Or chunks of a building above you can fall off and land on your head. This coupled with the vehicles makes Battlefield 3's multiplayer stand out. Battlefield 3 has 3 confirmed game modes: Conquest (with jets), Rush (from Bad Company 2), and team deathmatch. Modern Warfare 3? No word yet other than perks and maps, but the perks look tame compared to Modern Warfare 2's or Black Ops. It's safe to assume it will have all the game modes from previous Call of Duty games, with some new Spec Ops maps. 
So, Battlefield 3 looks like the better shooter to buy this Fall as of E3 2011. The only time we'll really find out is when Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3 are released on October 25th and November 8th, respectively. Look for more news and previews of these two games in the months to come at Player Affinity. 


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