Battlefield: Bad Company 2 was easily one of my favourite games of last year: the large-scale multiplayer battles and expertly-paced single player campaign had me entertained for hours. Call of Duty: Blacks Ops, on the other hand, was somewhat less impressive; but I still would’ve played it for longer and – arguably - had more fun with it too.
The reason for this is simple, but it’s not the kind of thing you read about in reviews anymore: 4 player splitscreen multiplayer.
Roughly six days in every year, I get together with my brother, Reuben and my best mate, and play for the better part of the day. Modern Warfare 2 accounted for this style of play best, with a rank and unlock system identical to that used in the online component. Still, the original Modern Warfare, World at War, Black Ops and now, Modern Warfare 3 cater to that small percentage of the player population that prefers that their victims be sitting right next to them.
What do you mean: no splitscreen multiplayer?
It’s funny to think of the legends that have developed throughout our rivalry. My brother’s expertise with akimbo pistols was probably the most frustrating chapter, but there are many tales worth re-telling. There were the hours before my friend’s bucks party, where I relegated both him and my sibling to the bottom of the scoreboard with a riot shield. Or my friend’s unfortunate – though humorous – predilection for the sniper rifle against two run-and-gunners like Reuben and I. The games have provided more fun than they’re worth, solely for allowing that level of intimacy that online-exclusive multiplayer shooters (like Battlefield) are unable to provide.
Sure, you can do amazing things in the Battlefield games, and the maps are of a size that the CoD games are yet to match; but DICE refuse to cater to the online-impaired (or averse). I also would reject the argument that Battlefield maps are too big for three (or four) player splitscreen, because there are vehicles. That, and the high level of destructibility would prove to be a great distraction. Imagine scanning a vast cityscape from a helicopter, looking for a small group of opponents that are too preoccupied blowing the walls out of buildings: that would be a bucket-load of fun, in my opinion.
Still, here we are with both Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3 sitting on my coffee table. I know which one I’m going to get more out of; I’m meeting up with the boys next weekend, just to be sure.
Which shooter do you prefer? Do you still play splitscreen multiplayer?