It is finally time for EA's Battlefield 3 (BF3) to go head to head with Activision's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (MW3) the most anticipated shooters of the year.
Some could say MW3 won the first battle by having the most time in the news, after a truck full of of the games was stolen in France. Indeed, one gamer's willingness to pay $1,725 to get their hands on MW3 a mere four days before the official release shows the demand it created.
Both games offer a fairly standard campaign mode notice that is campaign and not narrative, so anyone expecting a true story may be left wanting more, with each lasting between 4-8 depending on skill and difficulty. However, what the a lack for meaningful story they make up for exciting set pieces which wouldn't seem out of place in Michael Bay film.
Modern Warfare 3 provides the better solo experience, which is not to say Battlefield 3 is poor as it actually provides the best single player of any previous Battlefield title which also includes a co-op campaign, but with MW3's spec op missions (which can be played split screen with a friend) and a campaign mode following the tried and tested Call of Duty formula just give more bang for your buck if you wish to play alone.
Campaign quality is a moot point really, since the campaign mode's main purpose is to do little more than just provide a few 'whoa' moments while it prepares you for the real battle going head to head with other gamers online.
Both games do this well enough but nothing is quite the same as going toe to toe with other players. This is the real challenge, providing an arena where gamers hope to show off their skills, rank and impressive Kill/Death ratio.
Call of Duty is a franchise that needs no introduction with its addictive online being known not only by the people who play it but usually the significant other of any Call of Duty player.
With MW3 you know what you're going to get, this is a double edged sword. You get the classic Call of Duty deal the standard setting online mode with plenty of customisable options and it's easy to pick up but difficult to master style.
With the familiar tight frantic gameplay, which specialises in keeping you on your toes always busy always moving, which once you get going you can really feel like a one man army adding to the fun.
Also the usual modes reappear with Team Deathmatch and Domination (MW3's Capture the Flag mode) among the options however MW3 gets a new mode Kill Confirmed is a nice new addition where you must collect the dog tags of someone you killed for it to count towards your kill count, as well as the reinventing of kill streaks as strike packages adds a nice new mix to MW3.
Battlefield, however is a series highly regarded for its large sprawling battles which are specialised on the PC, with its smallest map being larger than MW3's biggest one.
Battlefield 3 is known for its large maps with a lot of time being used to traverse the landscape but be careful not to take a bullet to chest as you take in the view, with a lot of players dying before they even reach their destination. BF3 has a steep learning curve that those willing to take the time to master will find a truly rewarding system with each gun having its own feel, not to mention bullet drop, it is a game that will require some time and effort but mastering the weapon of your choice is its own reward.
Battlefield 3 also offers vehicles giving gamers a chance to pilot tanks, buggies, helicopters and jets just adds to the sheer scale of the battle, these vehicles even more so then the guns will take time getting used to with most people dying within moments of first taking to driving seat of a helicopter.
BF3 offers an experience like no other with destructible environments evolving maps that give you access to new parts as you destroy or fail to protect objectives, it gives a real sense of scale, modes include the standard Team Deathmatch and Conquest (BF3's take on Capture the Flag) but also a Squad Deathmatch that has four squads do battle rather than just two teams.
BF3 really specialises in a more team focused activity with each battle you needing to relay on your squad and that is BF3's aim to steer clear of what some would say are "cowboys" and have a battle of teams with each member working together to achieve a goal.
All in all both are quality shooters each offering something slightly different, so it's more down to preference, what you think you can handle or to some even loyalty, but I would recommend trying out both why limit yourself when both offer great experiences.