With the unveiling of next-generation console games at E3 2013, one trend some gaming tech heads noticed simmering in the background is the emergence of shooters that run at 60 frames per second. This could be the most legitimate competition Call of Duty has ever faced.
A game’s frame rate is the main factor in the feel of its controls. The higher a game’s frame rate, the quicker its controls respond to the player and the tighter and more tactile they feel. It’s why most fighting games, racing games, and music games run at 60fps as opposed to most other games which usually run at 30 in order to get better-looking graphics.
The Call of Duty games are almost the only shooters that run at 60fps on the PS3 and Xbox 360, with the standard being 30. Infinity Ward and Treyarch have almost acted like it’s their trademark in interviews. This is looking to change: Battlefield 4 will run at 60 on the PS4 and Xbox One, so will Titanfall. 343 Industries thought it was a big enough deal to come on stage and make an announcement out of the next Halo game being the series’ first entry to run at 60 on a console.
If any of those games, or any other shooter does one day manage to have an affect on COD going into next-gen, I don’t think it will be Battlefield. It’s just too different from COD.
People who choose COD typically say that other games just don’t “feel like COD.” The controls and frame rate are definitely a big part of it (even if most players don’t realize it), but it’s also about the design of COD’s multiplayer. The maps are small, the guns have low recoil, everything’s tailored for players to spawn, get kills, die, and respawn as rapidly as possible. Battlefield on the other hand requires players to take things slower and work with teams across larger maps with higher palyer counts. Just look at how the central mode of COD is Deathmatch while Battlefield’s central mode is Conquest.
Probably none of these games will dethrone COD in the near term. Infinity Ward has already said they aren’t fazed by a 60fps Battlefield. Furthermore, Battlefield 4 and Titanfall are still probably going to run at 30 on the current-gen consoles, and at first most people are probably still gonna buy the current-gen versions of those games.
If a change does come though, it might start around fall 2014 when we see Treyarch’s next game, Halo, EA’s next shooter, and maybe some other competition (DOOM 4?). By then games will have fully transitioned to next-gen hardware and we might see a full reshuffling of the deck similar to what happened around 2007.
I’m just saying: every console generation there seems to be a shift in what the most popular franchises are. COD took the console shooter crown from Halo which you could argue got the crown from GoldenEye.