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Battlefield 2042 vs COD Vanguard: Which is best?

We compared the two biggest FPS titles released in November 2021, pitting Call of Duty: Vanguard against Battlefield 2042 to figure out which game is better.
Since the arrival of first-person shooters in the early 90s, the genre has seen some arguments between fans, for example, the first scuffle began with who is really the "father" of the genre as two of the biggest names in the history of shooters were available for everyone less than two years apart.

A wide section of the community side with Wolfenstein 3D, released in May 1992 and it is, technically, the first FPS in recorded history. Others, including me, side with Doom, even though it was released about 18 months later. Doom was the catalyst that really grew the genre’s mainstream acceptance, which is the reason why today those games are played by millions all over the globe.

Of course, everything evolved into better and bigger franchises like Halo or Counter-strike and with the recent release of Battlefield 2042, we can open a new chapter of discussion as to who takes the victory between the newest EA child and another giant of the industry: Call of Duty: Vanguard.

Battlefield 2042 vs COD Vanguard: Visuals and maps

COD Vanguard VS Battlefield - Vanguard 1
COD Vanguard introduces field mechanics that make every match feel completely different. (Picture: Activision)

We will go over the main structure of each game and other key aspects in order to decide who takes the crown as the best FPS game released so far this year. The first thing we are going to evaluate is the look and feel that both franchises have to offer.

Both developers offered stunning first looks and pictures of Call of Duty: Vanguard and Battlefield 2042 during their pre-release phase and now that we have been able to play both games, we believe that the latter is the one that drops a little bit more in visual quality compared to what we saw pre-launch. 

Of course, we understand that for BF 2042, fitting over 250 players in a match takes a toll on the graphics but Vanguard really takes advantage of having a Campaign mode that just takes some action sequences and visuals to the next level and boosts the impact generated in the spectator while enjoying a well-written story.

As to the actual battlefields (pun intended), BF 2042 continues to offer colossal scenarios which enhance the authenticity of a war for our matches while Vanguard sticks to flatter, more linear maps although the new object/damage dynamics lightens the monotony of the arenas a little bit.

It is really hard to define a winner solely on how they look, yet Vanguard does enjoy the advantage of the campaign mode we mentioned earlier.

The “Specialist” battle

COD Vanguard VS Battlefield - Battlefield 2042 2
Battlefield 2042 really exploded the idea of roles within the combat zone. (Picture: Electronic Arts)

It has been a curious coincidence that both franchises picked to go with a role-defined team mechanism that offers a speciality to each member of the squad.

In Vanguard, we go through that dynamic within the campaign mode as we get to know the background of Arthur, Lucas, Wade and Polina and how their unique abilities made them worthy of being part of Vanguard´s Elite Operators.

Unfortunately, we only get to see and use these specialities during the Campaign mode as the multiplayer experience doesn’t offer difference between operators beyond the vanity of a skin.

Enter BF 2042, where the Specialists make you play a completely customizable experience every single match and really take advantage of their unique abilities that range from being a recon expert to a skilled medic that plays a vital role for your team. All of the weapons are available for every operator which creates a combination bonanza before every match.

In-game experience

COD Vanguard VS Battlefield - Vanguard 2
COD Vanguard seems to have figured the Zombies mode formula to start, but the updates should step things up a notch. (Picture: Activision)

Now that BF 2042 is officially on the market, we have enough gameplay footage and experience to make a fair evaluation of how the game stepped things up a notch from previous editions of the franchise.

The game focuses on three multiplayer-focused modes: All-Out Warfare, which focused on large-scale team battles with modes such as the fan-favourite Conquest, Hazard Zone, which offers a more focused and strategic mode and finally Portal, which takes the word crossover to its maximum letting us experience weapons and maps from other editions of the franchise within the revamped shooting mechanics and cadences of BF 2042.

Vanguard on its account, has that campaign mode we already talked about, along with the other well-loved multiplayer modes that we have enjoyed in the past like Team Deathmatch or Domination and even though they twitched their weapon system to allow a bigger attachment capability, the game sometimes feels like Activision is using the same blueprint with different names.

It is really hard to take sides here as each game continues to execute what the franchise already does well like the COD Zombies mode or the Vehicle focused battle in Battlefield while taking further steps to improve the gamers' experience which is the main focus of the FPS franchises.

Battlefield 2042 vs COD Vanguard: Our verdict

COD Vanguard VS Battlefield - Battlefield 2042 1
Enjoy massive battles and destruction in Battlefield 2042. (Picture: Electronic Arts)

Call of Duty Vanguard has already taken some collateral damage because of their story mode while the refurbished Zombies mode still feels a tad incomplete as it awaits its first content season arriving in the early days of December.

Battlefield 2042 seems to have a double-edged sword on its hands with the Portal game mode as its infinite possibilities could become the bug and glitch back-door that really tarnishes a great gaming experience.

It would be really cliche for us to tell you that this comes down to a preferred style of FPS as both have their unique swagger but I believe that having such a wide variety of modes beyond the multiplayer experience really give an edge to Call of Duty: Vanguard as you will enjoy it with or without your friends.

Nonetheless, Battlefield 2042 does have enormous potential, with a refreshed gameplay experience and broad customization options that could prove us wrong in the upcoming weeks as the game is still fresh out of the oven.

 

Make sure to give a look at our dedicated section as we will bring you everything you need to know about every Call of Duty and Battlefield including news, loadout tips and more.

Feature image courtesy of Activision and Electronic Arts.