How do the kings of FPS compare this year?
The second weekend of the Call of Duty: WW2 closed beta has drawn to a close, and I’ve already found myself going back to Battlefield 1 to sate that team-based first-person shooter craving. Thematically, Battlefield 1 and COD: WW2 aren’t so different. Sure they’re set about 30 years apart, but the new Call of Duty is a lot closer to EA’s shooter than Infinite Warfare.
When playing COD: WW2 it’s hard not to make comparisons to Battlefield 1. Not only do they have that gritty, realistic tone representative of the two World Wars, they even share a lot of the same geography and equipment. I’ve put together this article to help those who are playing BF1 decide if COD: WW2 is right for them, or for those who caught the closed beta and have the itch for something to play until November.
Where We Fight
The primary difference between Battlefield and Call of Duty is the scope. Battlefield’s main multiplayer mode, Conquest, pits two teams comprised of up to 32 players (64 players total) each against each other to capture and hold key points of the map. By contrast, Call of Duty maxed out at 12 players at a time in the beta, and it looks like 18 players might be the most per match in the final game.
The environment I saw in the Call of Duty closed beta reminded me a lot of the locales in BF1, probably because the two World Wars occurred in roughly the same area. The map added to COD this weekend, Aachen, in particular, reminded me of Battlefield’s Amiens. The main difference between the arenas in both games is the size.
Battlefield 1’s maps are expansive, almost to the point where some of the space is underutilized. All this space gives each map a natural feel, and since the player can climb, jump, or run almost anywhere in-bounds, you tend to see a lot more unique troop movements as players jockey for control points.
Call of Duty: World War 2, on the other hand, feels much more claustrophobic. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as the tighter space plays into the more aggressive nature of COD’s gameplay. However, the maps feel more like you’re running through corridors disguised to look more expansive, and you end up with camping issues since there are always certain points of each map that are difficult to assault without getting killed.
What We Fight With
The guns are the stars of both these games, and you’ll find a lot of similarities between their respective arsenals. In fact, they have several guns in common, albeit with slightly different handling characteristics. I do have to say though; I prefer the general feeling of firearms in Call of Duty more.
In Battlefield, often it feels like you’re firing airsoft pellets at your enemies. It takes a lot of rounds to down someone in a standard match, and it seems like gunshots and explosions don’t have the “oomph” that they should. The upside to Battlefield’s arsenal is that each gun is fairly balanced in each class. Some firearms are just plain better than others, but DICE seems to want to make it to where a level 1 player should be able to take on a level 110 player. When it comes down to it, skill determines the victor of a BF1 duel more than anything.
Call of Duty’s firearms have a bit more meat to them. Whether it’s the lower health per player in the game, or just overall sound and visual design, COD: WW2’s guns feel a lot better to me. The biggest issue with this COD’s firearms is the same one that’s afflicted the series since Modern Warfare.
The more you play Call of Duty, the more you level your rank, division, and weapon. Each time you achieve a new milestone in one of these three areas you’ll unlock something. The higher level you are, the more (and more of the time better) weapons you’ll have access to. Rank up your division, and you’ll get boons like more ammo, and leveling the weapons up themselves allows you to unlock attachments to augment their capabilities.
This ends up making a gap between the equipment that a level 1 COD: WW2 player and a max level player has access to that skill alone often can’t bridge. The solution to this is supposed to be matchmaking players with those of similar ranks, but in practice, this sometimes doesn’t work so well. The full effects weren’t felt in the demo, but once the game is released, there will inevitably be some issues with lower rank players getting matched with upper rank players and getting wiped out by their superior firepower.