Both Call of Duty and Battlefield are as prestigious as they are ambitious, and it's incredibly rare that you'll find a game from either side that lacks in quality and presentation. Thanks to both sets of devs, the two first-person shooter platforms have managed to clasp a foothold on the apex of stardom. And yet, the question of which side ranks slightly higher remains the same as it did over a decade ago.
What is Call of Duty?
Call of Duty has been passed around several times since its 2003 debut, meaning more hands have touched it than the vast majority of its first-person shooter rivals. That said, each passing entry has managed to embellish the snowball that is its universally acclaimed multiplayer module, making it one of the most popular platforms on the market.
Of course, where most players would see Call of Duty as a multiplayer series, others would praise it for its war-themed campaigns, all of which have toyed with different historical conflicts. What also gives it that extra oomph is the Zombies mode which it holds close to its chest. When all meshed together, Call of Duty becomes an all-round package of the highest excellence. A benchmark for the genre is another question, though many would suggest otherwise.
What is Battlefield?
Battlefield is a first-person shooter saga that dates all the way back to 2002. Cast with a harsh focus on the World War, its timeline has told a generous amount of rich and immersive storylines, all of which have gone on to feature powerful conclusions that test the very fibre of your morality.
Like Call of Duty, Battlefield takes great pride in its online multiplayer counterpart. Although sharing similar concepts, both sit in different ballparks when it comes to maps, weapons, and pre-match loadouts. Take the time to fully understand the nooks and crannies of EA's dearly beloved, and you'll clock the originalities that set it oceans apart from its rival.
Which War Are We Fighting Again?
It's clear that both factions are capable of laying the foundations for an award-winning first-person shooter series. And to be fair, it doesn't take a genius to know that. However, where both sides know the ins and outs of the niche they gravitate toward, they do also encounter one or two issues when trying to land something different. Say, for example, a war based around the year of 2042. Sounds great on paper—but does it land?
Both Call of Duty and Battlefield know the World Wars. Each faction has finessed the formula, and we're not about to get greedy and make them switch the ingredients. Battlefield, in all fairness, knows the historical quarrels better, whereas Call of Duty knows modern warfare. That said, we'd happily shift into either gears, because it's not as though neither of their respective devs fail to understand what makes a good game better.
Minus Call of Duty‘s flesh-rendering Zombies mode, its gameplay actually stays true to a serious tone. Battlefield is no different, and it's clear both experiences only wish for you to immerse first, and ask questions later. Sure, the comradery between soldiers in arms is often heartfelt and off-the-cuff, but its action is nearly always compelling and creative.
It's hard to compare the two when you know full well both series have engrossing gameplay mechanics. From reloading a weapon to sprinting to cover—both charm the player with high-octane visuals and mind-blowing audio. And so, it comes down to a matter of opinion over which type of war you like fighting. Because if it's mostly stealth you're after—then it's Call of Duty for you. But if it's balls to the wall bullet mayhem that you're itching for—then it's Battlefield, all highway.
Although you could easily argue that Call of Duty and Battlefield's player base is predominantly multiplayer-oriented, it doesn't for a second mean neither series are incapable of dishing up a great campaign. And while you will struggle to find a story mode on either side that breaks the six-hour marker, you will be pleasantly surprised over just how much one can cram into an alloted period of time.
Call of Duty, on one hand, can deliver near-perfect stories set in modern times. This has been proven in Modern Warfare, tenfold. As well as its band of returning characters, it definitely stands on its own two legs—with or without its multiplayer counterpart to support it. Battlefield, on the other hand, is more focused on the online world. And while you do find a campaign here or there, you're never usually around long enough to get into it. Before long, you find yourself slumping back to the lobbies, itching for a quality story that didn't end after the prologue.
Of course, multiplayer is what makes the cogs keep turning. And we'd be lying if we said neither franchise has made a single dent in the online market. Because the fact is, when all's said and done, both have enormous player bases, and it's unlikely either will drop the ball anytime soon, either.
It's hard to compare the two when both offer an equal amount of quality experiences. Maps are vastly different, loadouts are special in their own sort of way, and each experience relies on one communal effort that utilizes every tool on the workbench. And so, with that said, you just can't discard one in favor of the other, especially when both have something convincing to say.
The Final Verdict
It's hard to find a Call of Duty player that will speak badly about Battlefield and mean it. And the same applies for Battlefield players, of course. The matter of fact is, when it comes to war games, these two factions share a lot in common, and it's those very commonalities that have helped define the genre of which they proudly represent.
We can't say for certain which of the two is the better choice, because it's a matter of opinion. Gameplay-wise, each has a lot to offer, more so with their multiplayer worlds that they only continue to embellish. But if, for whatever reason, you are looking to cut through the online platform and dive straight into a riveting story—then you're best place is with Call of Duty. Multiplayer lovers, well—you know where to go.
So, what's your take? Do you agree with our verdict? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.