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I have been an avid Call of Duty (CoD), Battlefield and Halo fan throughout the years.
I’ve been playing CoD since CoD 3 and have been playing almost all the games since. I also have sunk in a lot of time in Battlefield 1942 and most of the iterations after that, with the exception of Battlefield 1 that was released in 2016.
I also have been playing a lot of Halo since its debut, and I thoroughly enjoyed a trip down memory lane when Microsoft decided to release the Master Chief Collection for the PC in 2019.
So, I got really excited earlier this year when I realised that CoD, Battlefield and Halo were going to release their latest iterations of their games this year. And, naturally, I anticipated that I would have a lot to play and enjoy from each of these franchises' newest offerings.
Boy, was I wrong and disappointed. Out of CoD: Vanguard, Battlefield 2042 and Halo: Infinite, I can only recommend the last to be purchased if you really want to have a good time.
Let’s do a quick review of each of these games.
Call of Duty: Vanguard
CoD: Vanguard brings the franchise back to its World War II roots, much like CoD: World at War and CoD: World War II.
Let’s start with the campaign. It’s boring, repetitive, and the story doesn’t allow me to care for the characters that much.
I managed to finish the campaign in 6 hours, and don’t get me wrong, the campaign is…..all right.
It just didn’t have anything memorable for me to shout about that hasn’t been done before, except for a stealth sniper mission which I really loved, but that was the only highlight of the campaign for me.
The gunplay is undoubtedly top-notch Call of Duty-style, but that’s about it. If you are okay with spending that much money for a B- World War II style story, by all means, go ahead.
It’s not bad, but it’s also nothing much. Just don’t expect 2019's CoD: Modern Warfare remake-kinds of shock and twists.
The multiplayer is also all right. There is nothing here that hasn’t been done before. In fact, the menu and gun customisation really feel like it’s a carbon copy of Modern Warfare remake’s system.
The maps are fun, but it gets old pretty fast, especially if you’ve been playing Modern Warfare remake and Black Ops: Cold War.
The only new gimmick that is new in this series is the fact that you can choose 3 modes during matchmaking; Tactical, Assault and Blitz, which allows you to change your lobby size depending on which mode you choose.
Tactical allows for a smaller lobby size of 6v6, Assault increases the size to 10v10 or 12v12, and Blitz increases it even further to 24v24.
Activision also included a Zombies mode in this title, and I would say it is the weakest mode of all, especially when you compare it to the Zombies mode from the other games like the Black Ops series.
There are barely any easter eggs, the gunplay is just repetitive, and it just felt a little too easy. I’ve played it for a total of three Zombies games and managed to complete most of the objectives and exfiltrated the map.
I’ve not done that successfully for three games in a row in Zombies mode in other Call of Duty titles, so that pretty much sums it up on how easy this mode feels.
All in all, CoD: Vanguard just felt like it’s another entry to the series that doesn’t add anything to the tried and tested formula.
There were no risks taken, and if Activision didn’t send a code to us at Yahoo Gaming SEA for a review, I am not sure if I would have spent my hard-earned cash for this experience.
When the trailer for Battlefield 2042 was released, it gave Battlefield fans a lot of hope and hype.
It was a game that promised us dynamic weather and map changes, a lot of verticality, and tons of avenue to do cool things in game.
Then the beta for the game came out, and it left a lot of us worried. The gunplay was broken, enemies were clipping into buildings, the dynamic map changes weren’t there and there were a lot of quality-of-life problems in the menu and settings in game.
Fast forward to the release, it was no different from the beta.
Many of us hoped that something would have changed in the final release of the game, but no, it never happened.
Players were still clipping into buildings, parachutes were still stuck to the player models, gunshots do not register when you fire, and hovercrafts can hover over almost anything.
The Specialist system in the game also tries to imitate CoD’s implementation of it, with having special abilities that only those specialists can have.
The problem with that? Everyone can carry around a rocket launcher to shoot planes and helicopters out of the sky, and you don’t need a special class to do that.
If you want to, you could even shoot a helicopter or tank down using a normal rifle, instead of using a rocket launcher.
The old Battlefield class system only allowed certain kinds of classes to carry weapons that could take down tanks or helicopters, which is balanced because you would need to have a certain class of some kind to fight an armoured battalion. But in this game, you'd barely survive a minute on the battlefield (no pun intended) if you decide to pilot a tank or a plane.
DICE recently released a patch that aimed to fix majority of these issues, but I could barely find anyone in the SEA region to play with anymore.
This resulted in me closing the game after playing two matches after the patch. While it did look like the update improved things like bullet hit-registration, it still felt a lot like the clunky day 1 experience I had with the game.
The fixes are getting there, but it does feel like the game is already dying.
Oh, you are wondering about the campaign mode? Nope, this game doesn’t have one. Yes, I paid S$100 for a game that doesn’t have a campaign mode, and has a broken multiplayer.
I definitely can say that Battlefield 2042 is one of the worst purchases I’ve made this year.
First things first, Halo: Infinite has a free-to-play multiplayer.
For now, the gameplay of the multiplayer seems alright. I do enjoy the multiple game modes it has to offer, and my utmost favourite is definitely Oddball, where you and your team has to gain possession of a ball for the most amount of time per round.
There are also other game modes available to play, like Slayer, which is your conventional Team Deathmatch mode.
Gunplay is great, movement in the game feels true to the Halo series, and it just works. Nothing really stands out at the moment, but given that this is a free-to-play mode, I feel like everything works pretty fine, especially when you do not have to pay to win.
One thing to note, though, if you do decide to buy the game’s battle pass — the experience points earned per game is pretty meagre, forcing you to play a lot to level up.
It isn’t as bad as when the game was launched, but it still feels like it is a grind.
Halo: Infinite also has a campaign, which you will need to pay for if you want to experience it.
But it is definitely worth the money (to me at least).
Halo: Infinite's campaign mode is set in an open-world, very much akin to the Far Cry series, and it does the job beautifully.
If you are a sucker for those kinds of games, this is an instant buy. The gunplay in the campaign mode feels smooth, the open world is massive, the grapple hook feels awesome to use — it really felt like I was playing a new age DOOM game in an open world, since Master Chief can be considered as badass as DOOM guy in many ways.
Some enemies from the previous series also make a comeback, which is a trip down the memory lane.
All in all, without getting too spoiler-y, the campaign is definitely worth your time and money, if you are an avid Halo fan. Even if you aren’t and want to use Halo: Infinite as a stepping stone into the Halo universe, it is a very good game to do so.
TL:DR? Spend your money on Halo: Infinite’s campaign mode, if you really need to satisfy your shooter cravings out of these three titles.
If you are looking for a good multiplayer shooter, well, I would still recommend Halo: Infinite’s multiplayer mode, but only because it is free-to-play.
Dominic loves tech and games. When he is not busy getting headshotted in VALORANT or watercooling anything he sees, he does some pro wrestling.