Following the release of Overwatch earlier this year, three premier first-person shooters are ready to violently battle for your time and attention this season. Each of them belongs to a significant IP with massive publishers backing them, resulting in significant discussion across social media and forums.
We've had the opportunity to play Battlefield 1, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, and Titanfall 2 to great length. The truth is that each has its own selling points. Let's go over what you need to know about these big shooters when making a purchasing decision.
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Release Date: October 21st, 2016
- 64 Player Multiplayer - Battlefield 1's large scale battles are unequaled. There's a true sense of chaos on the battlefield as players break up into groups and target various objectives. There are tanks, biplanes, and even zeppelins to be commanded resulting in a war simulation of sorts.
- Classic Setting - World War 1 is rarely seen in AAA video games, and what EA DICE has created is something that feels fresh and exciting. Its early 20th century firearms and equipment will be a change of pace for many gamers who have become used to the futuristic shooters that more recently have dominated the market.
- Impressive Technology - The Frostbite engine supports destruction of buildings, objects, and terrain. It's more than just visually impressive, as it affects gameplay directly. For example, when a zeppelin is shot down from the sky, its frame will alter and deform the map below. This is by far the most technologically advanced game in this comparison, capable of utilizing the latest PC hardware.
- Tactical Gameplay - The game modes and squad systems of the game emphasize teamwork and communication oriented play. For players, who want to do more than just head into a multiplayer game and lonewolf, it's a cut above the competition in what it can offer.
Who Should Buy This Game: Battlefield 1 is best for consumers who want something different in a year packed with sci-fi themed shooters. It's not only the most distinct FPS of 2016, it is the most technically astonishing, equipped with an upgraded Frostbite engine that will test the capabilities of even the most powerful PCs. It has a good campaign, but the real winner is found in its multiplayer. Consumers who enjoy employing teamwork are likely to find Battlefield 1 more fulfilling than its competition, as it makes an effort to support rich tactical gameplay.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Release Date: November 4th, 2016
Preview: 4.0/5 - "Completes 2016 with a bang"
- Co-Op - If you regularly have gaming friends over, then this might be the game for you. Infinite Warfare will include a co-op Zombies mode. Its competition can't say the same. It will supposedly feature a "new storyline with unique gameplay features and mechanics", a welcomed change.
- Epic Campaign - Infinity Ward has emphasized the single-player portion of the game in its pre-release material. It's for good reason, too; Infinite Warfare appears to have a memorable campaign that stretches from the Earth's surface into sub-orbit where space ships battle in zero gravity. It's flashy and backed by superb performances.
- eSports Presence - Call of Duty has a long history of being the most popular competitive FPS outside of Counter-Strike. If you want to take the game seriously and get great at it, while watching pro matches in-between sessions, then this is the game for you.
- Modern Warfare Remastered - One of the most well-received FPS games in history will be bundled with select versions of the game. Although this has caused controversy, it will ultimately be a major selling point that increases the value of your purchase.
Who Should Buy This Game: Call of Duty is a tried and true franchise that fans know what to expect. Those who have enjoyed prior releases are unlikely to find Infinite Warfare abrasive, as it sets out to achieve similar goals, albeit with a new sci-fi setting to mix things up. It is likely to have the most complete campaign of the three, and will include co-op, which should be considered by those who may not intend to stick to multiplayer. It also boasts a tried and true formula that has won gamers over on an annual basis, with the largest community and eSports presence of these three titles.
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Release Date: December 2016
Review: 4.0/5 - "A Successful Sequel"
- A.I. Opponents - Although considered a negative by some hardcore gamers, the way Titanfall and now Titanfall 2 include A.I. opponents in multiplayer game modes has perks. It not only allows players to gain some momentum even when struggling against other players, but ensures that multiplayer matches don't feel as frustrating.
- Acrobatics - This is the most action-oriented game of this comparison. Not only does it have double jump and hover, but there's a grappling hook, fast-paced movement, and wall-running. For shooter fans that prefer less realistic shooters, it stands out as having the most appealing gameplay.
- New IP - Battlefield and Call of Duty have been around for more than a decade. Some consumers have played so many hours of these games that no matter what the developers try it's never enough. For them, Titanfall is a great change of pace. It plays similar to Call of Duty, but has flavor of its own that deviates successfully.
- Titans - Piloting mechs is the most outstanding feature of Titanfall. The Titan system is the ultimate evolution of the killstreaks that Call of Duty pioneered many years ago. They not only have a wonderful presence, but they feel powerful and provide tremendous moments of climax, showcasing fantastic explosions as they face off.
Who Should Buy This Game: Titanfall 2 serves best as a place of respite for consumers who are tired of Call of Duty, but admire its gameplay style. It feels similar, but has interesting gameplay elements like A.I. mixed into the multiplayer environment and Titans instead of Kill Streaks. It feels rewarding and consistently delivers entertainment for a wide range of people, not just those who compete at a high level. It also has a remarkable campaign that has won the hearts of many gamers, shocking many who were expecting a tacked-on experience. In effect, it's a similar purchase to Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare with some deviations to make it not feel like a copy cat.
The Bottom Line
If you're a console gamer looking for a smooth 60 frames per second experience where you can hop into the game and quickly shoot enemies, I'd recommend Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare or Titanfall 2. Between these two games, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is a more complete package. It will include a copy of Modern Warfare Remastered, co-op, and likely a much more memorable single-player campaign, boosting its play value tremendously. Meanwhile, Titanfall 2 is a good choice for Call of Duty multiplayer fans that want to try something a little different and desire a thrilling campaign. If nothing else, its mechs are a joy to pilot and set it apart in a big way.
Battlefield 1 is the game I personally enjoy the most of the bunch. Part of that might be because I'm a PC gamer; Battlefield 1 is in a league of its own on PC where it benefits from powerful technology that has been optimized for the latest hardware. It also has a wonderful alternate World War 1 setting that is a nice change of pace from the sci-fi themes of recent years.
The good news is that each of these three games are fantastic. There is a shooter for everyone this season, and the only mistake you can make is in buying the game that your friends aren't playing. Check with your buddies, and evaluate your choice from there if the decision isn't clear.
Watch our video comparison here.