Call of Duty vs Battlefield at E3 2014: who won? Who even cares?

Tuesday, 10 June 2014 12:33 GMT By Dave Cook

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Battlefield: Hardline both had explosive gameplay reveals at the E3 2014 conferences, and usually we’d try to determine which was better. ‘Sod that’ says Dave Cook. Both games deserve a wee slap on the back.

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”It’s like the Swiss army knife of military tech, with hovering, boost jumps, super-human strength, rocket dashing and for all I know it’s hooked up to a catheter that turns Mitchell’s piss into wine.”

KABOOM! KER-POWWW! BOOM! and all that other noise. Yes, the E3 2014 conferences did their best to whip us all into a soapy lather of hype last night, in what were arguably some of the most game-heavy broadcasts in as many years. Games out the ass my friends.

Gone were the suited executives with their bullshit marketing lines and flowery guff-speak, replaced instead by new software footage and reveals that did the talking while attempting to justify owning a PS4 or Xbox One. That’s what we needed – a reason to believe in these machines and their price-tags – and that’s exactly what we got.

In the midst of all that lovely noise we were spoon-fed our first taste of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Battlefield: Hardline gameplay, two games that both looked miraculous on new hardware. What’s more, they each offered more than just another ‘Rogue nation invades America’ or ‘America invades rogue nation’ wankery. That shit’s so last-gen man. The war’s over.

Let’s start with Advanced Warfare first as, well, it was shown first. Man those visuals. Seriously, did you see that? I got a feeling that above should silence those crying out for a new Call of Duty engine, and although I’m a fan I agree that by the time Ghosts came out those corridors were looking a bit too familiar, a bit too Groundhog Day.

”Bravo Sledgehammer for bringing this long-time Call of Duty fan back from almost not giving a shit any more. Of course, multiplayer is the big test of how this new tech has been used to shake things up.”

Now look at it. Particle effects bleeding out of every crack, lighting that shimmers off surfaces, insane facial capture and fluid animation. Say what you will folks, but Sledgehammer’s tech is a good show-piece for the new consoles, and thankfully, it looks like the gameplay’s going to match. The Exo-Suit is a big part of that.

It’s like the Swiss army knife of military tech, with hovering, boost jumps, super-human strength, rocket dashing and for all I know it’s hooked up to a catheter that turns Mitchell’s piss into wine. I also liked the very Dead Space HUD on the gun, the cycled grenade types, and that bloody drone swarm was just excellent. Imagine that as a killstreak. It’ll make the AC-130 look like a paper plane.

Bravo Sledgehammer for bringing this long-time Call of Duty fan back from almost not giving a shit any more. Of course, multiplayer is the big test of how this new tech has been used to shake things up. We’re guessing it’ll be revealed at gamescom, as it has done for a few years now. We’ll be there, eating sausages and all of that stuff. Seriously, order the Currywurst.

Battlefield: Hardline was next, and oh man did it ignite EA’s press conference. See, I really don’t think Battlefields 3 and 4 are all that different. They seemed too similar to keep me interested, plus I’ve long maintained that Bad Company 2 is still the best multiplayer DICE has produced to date. That’s just me though. People have been killed for saying less.

”It reminded me of the final fight in Warner’s Man of Steel, in which about ten zillion people die as a result of Supes and Zod’s last smackdown. Seriously, how many civilians died during that Hardline demo just so the robbers could make off with a crate of gold bars?”

Hardline is exciting because it’s a move away from that familiar story of small American squads infiltrating enemy lines in Russia or China, the almost single-handedly ending a war while thousands of their comrades fail. It’s sheer bollocks of the highest order, but Visceral’s new cops versus robbers shooter is going for something smaller, contained and focused. That’s a wise step.

The EA conference multiplayer demo was simply mad, and it reminded me of the final fight in Warner’s Man of Steel, in which about ten zillion people die as a result of Supes and Zod’s last smackdown. Seriously, how many civilians died during that Hardline demo just so the robbers could make off with a crate of gold bars? Who cares when it looks that fun?

Building collapsed, cranes toppled and sliced through apartments like microwaved cheese, helicopters let rip with mini-guns, masked men slid across the sky on zip-lines and through it all you don’t really know where to turn. This is when Battlefield is at its best; when the environment feels reactive to your presence and there’s carnage all around you.

Hardline seems so over the top that it just screams ‘FUN! FUN! YOU WILL HAVE FUN! ARE YOU HAVING FUN YET? NO? HAVE SOME MORE FUN!’ at your face until you obey it. I never really felt that way in Battlefield 4, so you can count me fully invested again after last night’s showing from Visceral.

So which of the two shooters ‘won’ E3 2014? Neither. They’ve both come away winners for daring to do different and giving us more reason to own either a PS4 or Xbox One. We all win, even though other sites will try and tell you that one beat the other, because… well, I’ve never understood that.

GAMES!

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