I was elated to get access to both the Battlefield V beta, and the Call of Duty Black Ops 4 beta when they went live this year. Truthfully, I was more excited for Battlefield due to being a fan of the series in general. I was excited about Call of Duty because it looked to be getting ‘back on track’. I figured I’d throw my thoughts on the two out there and decide which one I’d rather grab.
I remember playing my first Battlefield title back in the day and loving how it felt to play. The title was Battlefield 2142 and took place in a rather snowy future, with giant warships hovering above the destroyed Earth. I couldn’t get enough of it. My first Call of Duty title was of course on the Xbox with Call of Duty Finest Hour. But it wasn’t until Modern Warfare that I really became interested in the series.
Let’s start with Call of Duty Black Ops 4’s multiplayer beta.
I have already talked about the multiplayer beta previously, and also the new Battle Royale Blackout mode; but I feel like there’s some more to touch on. After the beta experience for the first time in year’s I’d had urges to jump back into any previous Call of Duty title and just lose myself in online matches. Whether this feeling was from reigniting a lost love, or just to fill the void of enjoying Black Ops 4’s beta, I don’t know.
Black Ops 4 does feel like it has really brought itself back from where it lost itself with flying soldiers, and futuristic settings. In fact, WWII was the only recent title I’ve enjoyed in recent years because it was back to boots on the ground gameplay. The problem was that it just didn’t feel as action-packed as other Call of Duty titles.
While it still feels too fast-paced for me the majority of the time, Black Ops 4 still felt enjoyable and the multiplayer community seems to have matured. A change from the years of being screamed to go and fuck yourself by some loud-mouthed prepubescent. Maybe I’m getting lucky and finding decent matches now?
The other thing that impressed me with Black Ops 4 was how it held a steady 60fps, even in Blackout. The graphics look as they always have, a touch flat, but detailed, and the performance was fantastic. There were occasions in which it started to stutter around a lot of smoke, but that’s normal for my PC.
With Battlefield, the graphics blew me away with every release. I’ll never forget that feeling of watching that building fall down in Battlefield 4. The squad system was always something that appealed to me which made Call of Duty feel too much like every individual player is a war hero going it alone. The focus on teamwork in Battlefield by separating a large team into small squads worked wonderfully. Throughout the matches, you’d see various squads moving around the map tactically.
Black Ops 4 does feel like it has really brought itself back from where it lost itself with flying soldiers
The Battlefield V beta was everything I was expecting with some glaring issues I had imagined would crop up. The formula for the game basically remains unchanged with some fancy new features added to gameplay, such as allowing players to build fortifications and the introduction of fully destructible buildings. The maps felt just as big, the weapons felt just as clunky, and the chat system was filled with people shouting “PIE” for some reason in a few matches. (I later learnt this was some “protest” against the word, “White” being banned.)
The larger map size in Battlefield titles does, of course, make the pacing a lot slower than Call of Duty, but it feels just as chaotic thanks to sixty-four players raining bullets everywhere. The trouble is that some matches feel exhausting, especially in the new Grand Operations mode where it feels even more lengthy as it spans across various days.
The larger map size in Battlefield titles does, of course, make the pacing a lot slower than Call of Duty, but it feels just as chaotic thanks to sixty-four players raining bullets everywhere.
There were times where I was spending half my time laying on the floor bleeding out, which happens far too much. Not only that but it takes a painfully long time to just kill yourself in that situation, making you more eager to get back into combat. It kind of felt like EA DICE were trying to force you to make use of their new buddy revive system by leaving you squirming long enough that someone might come across your dying body.
The big issues for me were PC related. I played both Call of Duty and Battlefield V on the PC. Call of Duty felt wonderfully optimised on high settings and I had no issues using the Battle.NET client for launching. Battlefield however not only had crashes related to graphics but also server issues. Also running Battlefield V on Ultra led to performance issues which were fair enough as my PC couldn’t handle it, but when the game crashed and refused to reload unless I reinstalled…that was annoying. More reason to grab it on consoles I guess!
Annoyingly I was going to end this article by stating what title I prefer, but after writing all the above I’ve realised it comes down to what type of mood I’m in. Some days I want to play a shooter that feels quick and meaty, so I’d go for Call of Duty Black Ops 4. Other days I might want a more realistic, epic shooter that takes time to complete one match, in which case I’d go for Battlefield V.
As a final choice though, and to give an outcome, because I enjoy photo modes so much, and because I enjoy the more realistic approach, I’d lean to Battlefield V. Especially with it’s advanced Spectator mode. However, I’m hugely confident that these two titles are the best in their series going by the beta impressions.