Shooters: Round Two – Far Cry 4 versus Star Wars: Battlefront
The shooter war doesn’t end when the mainstream-friendly, cinematic military stylings have finished their scuffle. Ubisoft and EA both have first-person contenders on the cards, and while they’re very different games, that is likely to work to their advantage in keeping them out of the familiar Call-of-duty-versus-Battlefield dust up.
Far Cry 4 has popped up very suddenly, with a short PR cycle ahead of release later this year. Rapid marketing turnaround is becoming more and more common, but it wasn’t that long ago that Far Cry 3 was still a thing, and so this one’s come as something of a surprise. Then again, given Far Cry 3’s huge success, it’s no surprise Ubisoft wants another one out the door, and it’s certainly not an inconceivably short turnaround.
Is it going to be Far Cry 3 with snowier graphics and some slight improvements to the gameplay loop? Yes, it almost certainly is. Is that a thing people want? Yes, it is. Assuming Ubisoft brings a trailer as bombastic as Far Cry 3’s point-of-view sex scene, this one will blow the roof off.
It won’t have long to settle though, because Star Wars: Battlefront will take it right back off again. This is one of the best-loved Star Wars gaming properties of all time, and there’s a lot riding on it. EA has to justify Disney’s faith in it, and handing the keys to the castle to DICE is a solid decision. Yes, Battlefield 4 launched as a mess, but it’s still a pretty terrific game (and getting better all the time), and the studio is easily big enough to absorb this second project. Look, if you had to put any developer in the world in charge of a multiplayer shooter, without the Call of Duty brand attached to it, who would you choose? (Yes, yes, alright, but imagine Valve said no, because it would.)
Star Wars is big business. Battlefront is big business. DICE is big business. We can hear the cheers already.
Verdict: double TKO, both champions secure a belt.
Next: Some incredible RPGs are headed to the show this year.