Having just spent the past weekend testing both Battlefield 1 and the Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Beta, I have reached some uncomfortable conclusions. Uncomfortable, that is, because I am a Call of Duty fan.
And it goes something like this.
Battlefield 1 single-player is incredible. While I haven’t yet tried the Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare single player campaign, as it’s not available yet, this much is clear: It will never be as good as what Battlefield 1 offers. Call of Duty hasn’t offered up a single player campaign this intriguing since the Modern Warfare games, and the presentation is simply incredible. Forget Gears of War 4, which is a pretender: Battlefield 1 is the real thing, an epic, interactive story. It’s beautiful.
Infinite Warfare Beta is unimpressive. The COD games are a series of ups and downs, from a multiplayer perspective. So Advanced Warfare was a bust, a game with multiplayer so unimpressive I spent the subsequent year playing old COD games on my Xbox 360 instead. But Black Ops III is arguably the best COD multiplayer experience yet, and aside from a general lack of creativity in some of the map packs, it’s held up well over the past year. Infinite Warfare, as seen in the Beta, is more of the same—that is, it is very much based on BO3 multiplayer, but with only small enhancements—and it just rings hollow. It’s repetitive, uninteresting, and most of the (admittedly few) maps we’ve seen so far are pretty terrible. Obviously, I’ll revise this when the full game is out and I can access more maps and play modes, but … eh.
Modern Warfare Remastered may be better than both of them. In a good news/bad news sense, the remastered version of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare that Activision is providing with the more expensive versions of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is incredible, and reason enough to purchase the new title. The single player campaign will almost certainly be better than the IW single player experience, though Battlefield 1 is arguably even more impressive. But if Modern Warfare’s multiplayer holds up to the original, and of course it will, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare may very well emerge as the gotta-have-it military shooter of 2016. Which, again, is both good and bad.
Battlefield 1 multiplayer is … weird. My son texted me on Saturday, excited by the Battlefield 1 multiplayer experience and its huge 64-player matches. So I gave it a shot, but it still has that weird old-school Battlefield vibe, with mostly huge maps, lots of running over empty ground to rejoin the battle, and, curious in 2016, old-style server browsers. I will keep trying, but I’m going to spend more time with single player first. And I haven’t been able to say that about this kind of game in … several years? At least.
I’d still rather play Black Ops III. Given the available options—Modern Warfare Remastered multiplayer won’t arrive until November when Infinite Warfare ships—my favorite mulitplayer shooter right now is still Black Ops III. The game is just so well balanced, and it feels and looks better than Infinite Warfare Beta. (For now. Again, we’ll see how/if things change for the final release.) But when forcing myself to try and enjoy the other games, I kept wanting to return to BO3. Granted, some of that is familiarity, and some is that it has the game modes I prefer. But part of it, surely, is that BO3 is just the better multiplayer experience.
If you’re in the Infinite Warfare Beta, you have until 1:00 pm ET today to player. After that, the servers gets shut down, and we have to wait about a week and a half for the full game to arrive. Surely, I can finish Battlefield 1 by then.