What multiplayer shooter should you buy?
Time and money are two things no one ever seems to have enough of. Rather than have you all blindly casting about for the multiplayer-centric shooter you'll call home this holiday season, we've done of the bit of the legwork for you, compiling details on three of this year's top shooters: Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, Halo 4, and Medal of Honor: Warfighter. All three have robust competitive multiplayer modes, so have a look, and we'll be updating this article as more intel comes in.
What map types can you expect?
From what we have seen and played of Black Ops 2, you can expect the maps to have comparable sizes and a similar feel to the previous installments. Some maps have tight ally ways for fast, close-quarters shooting, while others are perfect for sniping--with eagle-eye verticality and long corridors. The maps generally allow for more fast paced combat, with moving spawn points and relatively small arenas that drop you right into the action.Medal of Honor: Warfighter
We've only seen a few of the maps coming to Warfighter, but, so far, they seem to be comparable to 2010's Medal of Honor maps. There are more confined maps meant for the standard multiplayer modes like Team Deathmatch and Sector Control, which allow for fast-paced combat and close ranged encounters. The larger maps are generally dedicated to Combat Mission--a match type similar to Battlefield 3's Rush mode--and are broken up into sections that the attacking team must capture.Halo 4
Halo's maps are traditionally larger than the modern era shooters and also have much less loose cover spread around to accompany the more arena-style shooting. The smaller maps encourage fast-paced engagements and have bounce pads scattered across the map to help players traverse distances faster. Halo 4 also includes massive sized maps to cater to vehicle combat. The large fields and wide-open spaces take the pace of the game down a peg, but once you get into the action, you're bound to encounter some YouTube-worthy moments.
What gameplay modes are available?
Black Ops 2 sticks to the bread and butter multiplayer modes that gamers are used to, but there have been a few new additions to the series. Have a look.
Multi-team deathmatch - Tired of two-sided engagements? Black Ops 2 is allowing up to four teams to battle it out for the most kills.
Hardpoint - A brand-new game type for the series, but similar to the Headquarters game mode, Hardpoint has players rushing to gain control of a single point on the map and protect it from capture.
Domination - Two teams attempt to capture as many of the maps control points as possible.
Team Deathmatch - Everyone whos ever touched a shooter has played this mode. Two teams try to kill each other. The team that reaches the score cap or has the most kills at the end of the match is the winner.
Search and Destroy - There are no respawns. The objective of the attacking team is to detonate a timed bomb at one of the multiple bomb sites on the map. Either the defending or attacking team can eliminate all opposing players to earn a victory.
Capture the Flag - Players must guard their flag while attempting to bring the enemys flag back to base.Medal of Honor: Warfighter
There hasn't been a particularly large amount of info coming out for Warfighter's multiplayer, but we've gathered a few details on what to expect in gameplay modes.
Team Deathmatch - Every shooter needs this mode. Medal of Honor: Warfighter is no exception.
Hot Spot - Five PETN (the abbreviation to some fancy words for explosives) caches are spread across random locations in the multiplayer map. The first team to capture and defend three out of the five locations is the winner.
Sector Control - Sector Control is a domination-style mode that tasks players with capturing and holding neutral points on the map. The team that reaches the score limit by keeping control of the most capture points wins the match.
Real Ops - This is Warfighter's version of Hardcore mode. HUD elements like radar and ammo indicators are stripped away to make a more "true-to-life" experience.
Combat Mission - The attacking team must overtake multiple enemy bases in stages, while the opposite team defends those locations from dug-in defensive positions. This mode functions similarly to Battlefield 3's Rush mode.Halo 4
Halo 4 breaks up its multiplayer in two sections, competitive and cooperative. The cooperative mode is completely new and ambitious, but is seems we can also expect the same classic competitive modes to make a comeback.
War Games - The traditional Halo multiplayer game modes such as Slayer, Team Slayer, and Capture the Flag are found in War Games. Two new match types have been announced. The first, called Infinity Slayer, allows players to earn points to call down Ordinance Drops, supplying them with weapons and power-ups. Regicide places the top player in a Slayer-type match as "King." As the "King" racks up kills his value increases to other players, encouraging his opponents to kill the leader for a large bonus
Spartan Ops co-op - Spartan Ops is an episodic co-op series that follows the missions of the Spartan IVs on the UNSC Infinity. Players will be able to join with up to four friends to take on challenging co-op levels. The developer, 343 Industries, will be adding new co-op missions every few weeks with story based content that will tie-in to the main Halo storyline.
Is there multiplayer progression?
Almost every shooter in the current generation has a character progression system in place, and the holiday releases are no exception. See how they compare below.Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
Gaining experience points in-game will earn you unlocks you can add to your loadout and Scorestreak options.
10-point customization system - Black Ops 2 features a brand new way to customize your loadout. The player loadouts are now based on a ten-point system. Weapons, perks, attachments, and equipment cost one point to add to your loadout. Any perk, weapon, attachment, or equipment slot can be left empty, meaning you dont have to equip anything that you wont use.
Scorestreaks - In addition to unlockable loadout options, players will unlock new Scorestreak bonuses upon leveling. The former Killstreaks from previous games have been changed to Scorestreaks in Black Ops 2. After selecting three for your loadout, you'll earn them in-game by getting kills, claiming capture points, and basically doing anything to assist your team in winning a match to rack up Score. Once you achieve the required amount of score for your respective Scorestreak, you are able to unleash one of the skills on your fellow gamers.Medal of Honor: Warfighter
Warfighter will also include a progression system that works as it did in Medal of Honor (2010), and it allows you to unlock new weapons, attachments, and equipment by earning experience from kills and capturing objectives
Similar to Black Ops 2's Scorestreaks, Warfighter's Support Actions provide combat bonuses when players reach a specified number of points for racking up kills and completing objectives in a match. The most recent multiplayer trailer for Warfighter has confirmed the mobile Mk19 Grenade Launcher, a Blackhawk Helicopter that becomes a mobile spawn for your team, and the RQ-7 Shadow recon drone as Support Actions.Halo 4
What type of weapons will you use?
Black Ops 2 will feature a variety of (near) future prototype weapons and advanced variants on modern era firearms. All weapons fall under the typical categories of handguns, shotguns, assault rifles, sniper rifles, light machine guns and launchers.
Where Black Ops 2's weapons really stand out from other shooters is in the attachments. The new additions include an X-ray scope, Target Finder scope, long barrel (for increased accuracy), and a Millimeter Scanner, which allows you to see stationary targets through solid objects.Medal of Honor: WarfighterHalo 4
Thanks to Halo 4's setting and the new Promethean enemies, there should be more than the standard UNSC, Covenant, and Brute weaponry available in multiplayer (the exact multiplayer weapon list has yet to be announced). In addition to the return of the Battle Rifle and DMR, we're hoping players will be able to get their hands on the Promethean Incineration cannon, Scattershot shotgun, fully automatic Suppressor rifle, long-range Lightrifle, Boltshot pistol, and Binary Rifle in multiplayer.
Will there be vehicles?
Outside of earning Scorestreaks that allow you to control unmanned drones, and man the guns of an attack helicopter and other aerial behemoths, you won't be able to pilot or drive your own vehicles in multiplayer.Medal of Honor: Warfighter
Vehicles in Warfighter only provide support functions in the form of mobile spawn points and attack helicopters.Halo 4
Will there be post-launch DLC?
As of now, we know that those who pre-order Black Ops 2 or drop the big money on the special editions, will receive the Nuke Town 2025 map. Post-launch, we expect that regular DLC map packs will be released that include both Zombie maps and competitive multiplayer maps as has been done with previous Call of Duty releases.
Activision has also been teasing Call of Duty: Elite 2.0. It's said that the current subscription service--which allows subscribers early access to DLC content, among other perks--will be receiving an upgrade. Details on what those upgrades entail are not available as of yet.Medal of Honor: Warfighter
Developers, Danger Close, have already announced the first DLC content that will hit Warfighter. The Zero Dark Thirty map pack is a tie-in to Sony Picture's Zero Dark Thirty movie, and will feature two Middle East multiplayer locations that were suspected hiding places of Osama Bin Ladin.
Warfighter will most likely keep the trend of 2010's Medal of Honor and release regular DLC updates including additional game modes and map packs.Halo 4
That's all folks...
Be sure to check back for more info on the biggest multiplayer shooters coming out this holiday. We will be updating this article as more information becomes available, including announcements on upcoming maps, modes, weapons, and everything else.
Which games are you looking forward to the most this holiday? Do you already know which shooter you will choose over the others? Let us know in the comments below.