Co-op Winner: Battlefield 4
Had Call of Duty: Ghosts come out of the gates with fully featured co-op like Modern Warfare 3's Spec Ops mode or Treyarch's Zombies, we'd probably have a different result. But Ghost's Extinction mode is a bit limited. With only one map and one game mode in Extinction, there isn't much to keep you coming back to Ghosts' co-op.
On the other hand, if there was any reason to gather up some friends and play together it would be for the co-op experience you get from being in a fully functional squad in Battlefield 4's multiplayer. Sure, it's not co-op versus AI, and you're not fighting waves of computer-controlled enemies, but, sweet baby Yeezus, is the squad functionality a blast. It makes you really feel like you're playing with your friends, and not just hanging out in the same lobby.
Call of Duty: Ghosts: Infinity Ward changed the way the maps work from a traditional Call of Duty multiplayer match by including various interactive elements. Certain walls can be blown away to rid a sniper of his cover, you can trick an enemy into environmental traps that will have them tumbling down a cliff while inside a city bus, and some vehicles can be destroyed. If you get the luck of the draw while accomplishing your Field Order bonuses, you may even get a map sweeping nuke that will change the face of one map.
Battlefield 4: Let's see here... there's crumbling skyscrapers, maps that can become completely flooded, the ocean beach with a humongous battleship, and you can blow apart walls and chip away at cover with bullets. Almost everything on the map can be damaged or destroyed in some way. What more could you want?
Environmental interaction Winner: Battlefield 4
Take a look at the destructibility available in Call of Duty: Ghosts and put it side-by-side with Battlefield 4's Levolution (ugh, we can't believe we just said that); the difference is night and day. Ghosts' only lets you interact and destroy designated parts of the environment. Sometimes you can blow up cars. Other times, nope, can't do it.
Levolution and destructibility in Battlefield 4 literally changes the landscape of the maps. When you destroy the skyscraper in the Siege of Shanghai map, the entire area around the building becomes rubble. In Flood Zone, the street level becomes completely covered in water. Battles will ravage buildings as grenades demolish walls and bullets break apart concrete. The visual display and the gameplay applications in BF4's destruction are simply amazing.
Call of Duty: Ghosts: The newest entry in the CoD franchise is, hands down, the best looking game in the series. Characters move more realistically and the environments have more details packed into them. It's a noticeable step up from the last game, especially if you're playing on consoles.
Battlefield 4: The Frostbite engine has already given us a peek into what the next-gen hardware is capable of. In the singleplayer campaign, the characters faces are realistically detailed, debris breaks apart and flies around the screen in the wake of an explosion, and the map destructibility provides some impressive weather and destruction effects.
Visuals Winner: Battlefield 4
At its next-gen best, Call of Duty: Ghosts looks like a crisper version of a really good looking current-gen game. Sure, there are some moments in the single player campaign that make a fantastic display of what the CoD engine is capable of, but you won't be blown away.
Battlefield 4 moves into the next-generation with incredibly realistic character models, impressive lighting effects, and amazing destruction thanks to the Frostbite engine. When it all comes together, it is simply the more immersive and impressive leap in visuals from last-gen. In a side-by-side comparison, there's no question.
Call of Duty: Ghosts: The Call of Duty series is no slouch when it comes to adding new map packs, co-op modes, and other DLC on a regular basis. Surely, Ghosts will be no different. There hasn't been any official word, as of yet, that there will be map packs coming our way any time soon, but there have been rumors of new maps being in development. Lots of Ghosts DLC is coming, to be sure.
Battlefield 4: Battlefield 4 already has a full lineup of multiplayer expansions announced. Right now you can get all five expansions packs by purchasing Battlefield 4 Premium. Plus, if you opt into buying the new content early, you'll get early access before each is released, so you can start working your way to all those new weapon unlocks.
DLC Winner: Battlefield 4
This may be a category better revisited after several of the games' DLC packs have released, but so far, we know BF4 has a massive DLC lineup that you can order right now. If BF4 follows Battlefield 3's lead on DLC, there are dozens of new weapons, maps, and vehicles coming that will highlight the various aspects of Battlefield's gameplay, and we can't wait to see check it out.
Infinity Ward is still keeping Ghosts' DLC content plans behind closed doors. The developers definitely have something in the pipeline which will no doubt include map packs and possibly DLC weapons (shown in leaked images), but so far there's nothing official to confirm. So it looks like Battlefield 4 wins this round... for now.
And the FPS champion is Battlefield 4
Yes, it is definitive. From our time with both games, Battlefield 4 is clearly the better shooter this time around. Multiplayer provides a unique experience every time you jump into a match, and the technical prowess of DICE's shooter stands tall above its competitor, providing both visually stunning graphics and map-altering destruction.
Call of Duty: Ghosts, while a great game in it's own right, is simply outclassed by DICE's shooter in just about every category. If you're only interested in Call of Duty's brand of gameplay you're not going to be won over by Battlefield, but if you're interested in larger-scale battles it's 100% the place to go.
Better luck next year
Those are our thoughts on the shooter debate. Do you think we got it right? Will you demand a recount? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.