ANOTHER Christmas, another round of video games vying to be number one on the lists of both children and adults across the country.
The two titles facing down this year are Battlefield 4, the latest instalment in the franchise from EA Games, and the annual instalment into the massively successful, and popular, Call of Duty franchise, produced by Infinity Ward and Activision.
Call of Duty has always been the favourite, with each instalment topping the previous year by tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars on day one release, culminating in last year’s boasting of $500million worth of sales on day one for its previous title, Black Ops 2, however this year reported sales are significantly lower, around the 50 per cent mark.
And playing the game, it’s not really a mystery as to why. Although Call of Duty is a hugely recognised brand, with a massive online community, many sceptics have always seen each release as just ‘more of the same’, and this year it seems fans are catching on. Although the graphics look pretty, the storyline is dramatic and somewhat interesting, playing out a fictional war between a South American superpower known as the ‘Federation’, and the United States as the member of an elite unit known as ‘Ghosts’, it’s also incredibly short, clocking in at around 6 hours of gameplay on normal difficulty.
This has always been one gripe with the franchise, as the ‘Campaigns’ seem to get shorter and more simple, fans aren’t really getting anything more than a glorified online shooter for their £44.99, and even that’s becoming played out.
So with this popular franchise showing signs of slowing down, what will be rushing in to take it’s place?
The Battlefield franchise was re-launched on current generation consoles a few years ago with the Bad Company series which, although popular, didn’t have the same appeal as Call of Duty, taking a more arcade-based and at times comical take on the first person shooter genre, they launched their flagship title, Battlefield, onto consoles with the release of Battlefield 3 in 2011 which became an instant contender alongside the Medal of Honor re-boot and Call of Duty.
Battlefield 4 steps the game up once again, with a fantastic storyline where you play out a fictional war in China, as, you guessed it, an elite unit. Whilst the story line lacks the drama of Ghosts, it’s much more intense and realistic, the graphic and sound quality is higher by a longshot.
Although sales are down in the Battlefield camp by around 69 per cent compared to Battlefield 3, it’s clear they’ve spent the past two years perfecting a game that puts gameplay and experience above what is essentially an interactive Hollywood-movie, and online team death matches.
So if you want an intense, action packed, destructive shooter that uses consoles, both current and next-gen, to the best of their abilities this Christmas, set your sights on Battlefield 4. For a casual, movie-like experience and tried-and-tested online system, you’ll be happy with Ghosts.