The battle of the FPS heavyweights is upon us.
Coverage is already slipping back into that stale mix of shaky economics and groan-inducing social media analysis. In case you’ve missed it, let me catch you up: Battlefield 1 had the YouTube likes and, therefore, has won outright. Won what, you ask? Why, the battle for all-consuming commercial success, of course!
That’s why this isn’t an article about who will win in the fight for sales. Asking me about that stuff is like asking a squirrel for its opinion on the D’hondt Method; I don’t have the capacity to know or, indeed, care. Frankly, when both games look set to rake in piles of lucre roughly equivalent to the GDP of Malta, I’m sure shareholders on either side will sleep soundly in their 24-karat gold crypts.
What I do want to discuss is the one area where both studios have excelled themselves. The most riveting, keenly fought competition in this whole turgid saga.
Which is the sillier title?
It’s a toughie, that’s for certain. Having pondered relentlessly for what must have been a few minutes, but what seemed like a few more minutes, I believe I’ve successfully discovered who has the sillier name. Before that though, let’s look at the comprehensive arguments for each side.
As someone well accustomed to prolonged bouts of abject creative failure, I understand the despondency that must have been festering in the writers’ room when they decided to cut their losses and settle for ‘Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare‘. As each member, languid and dejected, raised their hand in a unanimous vote for the new title, scattered waste-paper baskets were full to the brim with the crumpled notes of previous suggestions.
‘Call of Duty: Lotsa Shooty’
‘Call of Duty: Unending Machismo’
‘Call of Duty: Would You Just Look At All This War?!’
In all seriousness, Infinite Warfare is the exact title that a jumped-up prick like me would use when attempting to satirise the bravado of the series. It’s the Mitchell and Webb ‘the football is officially going on forever’ sketch of the gaming world.
I guess you could argue that it shows an ambitious progression for the franchise. You had Modern Warfare, which was all modern with its modern guns. Then there was Advanced Warfare, which was all advanced with its advanced lifeless representation of Kevin Spacey. Now we’ve got Infinite Warfare, which will presumably be all infinite with a literally infinite campaign mode instead of the usual four hours.
Remarkably, people have defended DICE by claiming that this title is not at all silly. That’s fine, you’re allowed your opinion, but if you don’t consider Battlefield 1 to be a silly name, you’ve got a lot of soul-searching to do with regards to what you believe silliness entails.
We’ve got less to analyse here, as there’s really just an instinctive silliness to Battlefield 1. It’s never a good sign when, in response to pre-release leaks, people are actively questioning the validity of a title while taking the whole ‘Alternative Timeline WWI’ thing in their stride.
You had Battlefield ready to go. Good old, normal old Battlefield. It wasn’t taken. Instead, you made a silly choice. Not necessarily a bad choice, but a silly choice.
It’s a close run thing, but the Completely Arbitrary Award for Silliest Name goes to…
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare!
There was a hair’s breadth in it, but COD snaps up the prize mainly because speculating on rejected names is immensely fun. I’ll now be doing that for the rest of the article.
Call of Duty: Interminable Bang Bang
Call of Duty: Many Deaths
Call of Duty: Non-Stop Trigger Pull-A-Thon
Call of Duty: All’s Warfare in Love And War
Call of Duty: So Much War, Difficult To Summarise
Call of Duty: Deadly Decimating Destruction Danger
Call of Duty: More Duty, More Calls
Call of Duty: Conflict Divided By Zero
Call of Duty: Warry McWarface (I will also accept Call of Duty: Infinity McInfiniteface)