This summer will see the two big guns in FPS once again competing against each other, measuring their worth in blockbuster scenarios and enough explosions to act as a mating call for a wild Michael Bay. But for those of us who plan to take the fight onto multiplayer, and frag our dear, close friends, its the addition of new social networking features that has us excited. Here’s a look at how the two stat trackers compare.
The Social side of war
We’ll get to the nitty gritty of death and kill streak stats later, but for now, the lengths at which the two services go in order to connect fans is admirable. COD is going for a more direct route, featuring a section on the site where players can get in touch with various clans and friends, but the option to filter in people with similar preferences to you is mind-boggling. Type in your favourite hobby, from collecting stamps to reading the collected works of Aristotle, and chances are that you’ll find players with the same interests to play against.
Facebook integration makes these groups even more prevalent, with more infamous collections of players even showing up on the front page. Go Team My Little Pony.
Groups will also be labelled with the appropriate military designation according to their size, ranging from a 100 man group being a regiment, and going all the way up to one million players, which is obviously an army.
Battlelog hasn’t revealed too many details about their social integration, but its clear that the design so far follows a facebook template, with a little bit of twitter thrown in. Veteran status is likely to appeal to long time Battlefield players, as they’ll be given special tags and commendations for completing previous games.
So who is it for?
There’s been a lot of talk about the paid for, premium content in COD: Elite, but the free version being offered is actually quite a comprehensive program so far. Its bursting with content and is packaged beautifully, being easy to navigate and addictive to check in on. However, if you’re a competitive player who analyses everything, in order to better yourself and your team, then the premium content is going to be an indisputable part of your strategy.
Besides an edge in strategy, there’ll also be daily challenges, allowing players to compete and win prizes ranging from digital to physical.
Battlelog will have features such as a battlefield, keeping you aware of current developments and how your comrades are fairing, and also keeping track of your rivals and allowing you to compare your progress, thus aiming to make the experience more personal. Again, not too many details available right now, but we wont have long to go until we know more.
Just give us the stats man
Here’s where the two services will flex some real muscle. If you have a love for numbers that is on par with Stephen Hawking, then you’ll be in heaven. COD Elite tracks almost everything that you do in the game, deaths, kills, headshots, ratios and most likely everything else that revolves around high-powered life-extinguishers. Favourite weapons, success rate, overall ranking and achievements will feature prominently in both tracking services, similar to their previous counterparts.
COD Elite has the added benefit of including maps of your previous games, allowing you to see details and sections where you can improve and where you failed spectacularly. In fact, thats where Elite deserves some special mention. Its not just a stat-tracking service, but a feature that aims to help you improve, by offering tips on gameplay and weapons that suit your style better, recommending certain perks over others.
Battlelog is more focused on the social side, creating an experience that is more about connecting your soldier and creating a unique career for yourself, that is seen all over the world, while keeping you in touch with new squad-mates and friends. Its not so much as about improving a player, but more of a tool to create a closer community, something we’ll receive more details on closer to its launch in October.
While the two services are similar to each other, they’re at the same time filled with features that set them apart. Battlelog is going to be aimed at players who want to communicate, who want to create an online environment for themselves filled with likeminded individuals that get them, and keep their multiplayer experience fun.
Elite however, is going to be for the more serious players, the guys and girls who are genuinely interested in becoming better at the game, and earning some prestige in the process. So far, they’re both great services, and will benefit players, without drawing attention away from the product that they’re meant to promote, giving us a deeper gaming experience.
Last Updated: July 18, 2011