Black Ops 2 vs. Medal of Honor: Warfighter – A Not So Heavyweight Battle
There was a lot of smack-talk between publishers Activision and Electronic Arts last year as two of the biggest first-person shooters of the year, Battlefield 3 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, went head-to-head. Although there is not another Battlefield game scheduled for release this year, that hasn’t stopped EA reps from taking a few shots at the upcoming CoD Black Ops 2.
Upon seeing the reveal trailer earlier this month, Electronic Arts global product manager Kevin O’Leary tweeted that Call of Duty Black Ops 2 looked “tired” and that perhaps it should “take a year off and rest.”
One reason for the suggestion could be that EA does have another FPS slated to come out this year called Medal of Honor: Warfighter. It is a direct sequel to the recent series reboot which came out in 2010, Medal of Honor, and will once again have multiplayer developed by EA Digital Illusions CE and single player developed by Danger Close.
Back in the day, Medal of Honor was the FPS franchise. Then Call of Duty came along and stole its crown. EA had big expectations when they revived the series in 2010 but the new Medal of Honor game received only average review scores from critics (the PS3 version was rated highest with a 75 aggregate review score on Metacritic. The Xbox 360 version has a 74 and the PC version a 72). It didn’t sell nearly as well as Call of Duty, either. According to numbers from VGChartz, Medal of Honor moved roughly 5.3 million copies worldwide across PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 combined. Compare this with the first Call of Duty: Black Ops which was released in the same year and has sold about 26 million copies worldwide on the same three platforms.
Medal of Honor: Warfighter is being developed on the Frostbite 2 game engine – the same one used by Battlefield 3. Black Ops 2 is being developed on what is being called the “Black Ops 2 engine” which is actually just an improved version of the same game engine Treyarch and Infinity Ward have been using for years. There is a good chance that Medal of Honor: Warfighter will look graphically superior to Black Ops 2. Considering the original Black Ops didn’t look all that amazing visually to begin with, it probably won’t matter much in the long run.
It is fairly clear that Warfighter won’t provide much competition for Black Ops 2 though it might serve as a fun distraction for fans waiting for the Call of Duty game to come out. Warfighter is scheduled for release in North America on October 23rd while Black Ops 2 won’t be released until November 13th. My advice? Wait on getting Warfighter until the first wave of review scores is in. Better yet, wait until the game gets a price reduction which most likely won’t be too long after release.