E3 2014: Battlefield, Call of Duty Franchises Prove First Person Shooters Appeal

LOS ANGELES (TheStreet) -- The second full day of Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2014 brought even more fervor to the Los Angeles Convention Center, as the world's biggest gaming convention rolled on.  With gamers from across the world in attendance, lines extended from almost every company booth, especially for two of the hottest and most anticipated titles, the latest in the Call of Duty and Battlefield franchises, as first person shooter (FPS) games represent some of the highest selling games ever.

Coming from two of the industry's biggest names, Activision (ATVI) and Electronic Arts (EA), these FPS games show how important successful franchises are for these companies, and that's partly reflected in their share prices. Shares of Redwood City, Calif.-based EA have risen 54.8% year-to-date, while Santa Monica, Calif.-based Activision is up 20.5% since the start of the year, both far outpacing the broader S&P 500.

Both companies are bringing new chapters to their heavy-hitting FPS games, yet it appears that the Activision-produced and highly sought-after Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare may take the crown, at least from initial impressions.

The 11th installment in the Call of Duty series, Advanced Warfare is a newly introduced storyline, focusing on the advanced exoskeleton worn by the animated shooters. Set in the future, the armed forces have disappeared, and have been replaced by factions of violent military contractors led by Jonathan Irons, voiced and acted by Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey (who was brought in to develop and build his own character).

Advanced Warfare is perhaps Activision's best version of the touted series. Advanced Warfare's details are stunning, with all new sets of weapons and suits for its characters. Typical of the COD series, the game is wrought with bloodshed and violent images of shooting death. Activision consulted with former military contractors and actors were brought in to mimic battle movements of the soldiers.

Despite the depth of the in-game graphics, the audio is perhaps the richest part of the experience. Previewed in surround sound, the games' weapons, character voices, vehicle movement and environments reverberate through the body. One can make the case that the higher the audio, the more enjoyable the game experience is.

After three years in development, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is set for release on Nov. 4.

Not to be outdone, EA followed with its sequel to the popular Battlefield series, with Battlefield: Hardline. The game is the eleventh chapter in the Battlefield series, which debuted in 2002.  Set in the present, the game focuses on the character of Nick Mendoza, a rogue SWAT officer out for vengeance across the country. Previous versions have had a more military style feel to them, but Battlfield: Hardline is moving into a "cops and robbers" story.

The most anticipated of the Battlefield games in recent memory, Hardline is a fast moving, loud and violent FPS that will satisfy the most seasoned gamers.

Weapons range from military arsenals to standard police equipment. Guns seem almost life-like as bullets pop off the screen. As with Advanced Warfare, the games' audio is perhaps its best asset. Explosions ring through players ears and bullets fired are some of the loudest in modern game play.

Battlefield Hardline is set for release Oct. 21.

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--Written by Chris Ciaccia in San Francisco and Adam Leverone in Los Angeles

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