I talk about Titanfall more than most that have played it. I think the game is just great. With tens of millions purchasing Call of Duty games and an additional group that had become jaded with the franchise’s penchant for same-yness, I figured Titanfall would be a slam dunk hit, at least within the confines of the Xbox One. Developer Respawn is composed of former COD team members, but they strove to do something different with this game. The influence is there though. It FEELS like a COD game. A COD game that people wanted but never got from Infinity Ward or Treyarch up until then and even still to this day. A shooter with a COD foundation but also with real verticality to its maps, parkour to take full advantage of those maps, and the ability to call down massive mechs and switch on the fly to and from boots on the ground and robot bad assery.
The game’s release wasn’t without it’s issues though, namely that Respawn didn’t feel the need to include a single player campaign. Well, a proper one at least. Having the player jump online and play multiplayer matches with a few sound bytes of story thrown on top doesn’t really qualify as a campaign. The game was lambasted for this, and rightfully so. A lot of people felt like they were getting half a game. They were probably getting more like 2/3 of a game given that COD campaigns tend to run only about 6 hours, but still. The single player component is important to many gamers including myself, and a total omission of it is a bad trend to set.The multiplayer shines in my opinion though. If you can get past the general backlash and focus on what the games DOES have, you’ll find that it’s incredibly entertaining. Some still don’t like how big the maps feel when you’re not in a mech, but aside from that possibility you’re going to really like this game if you enjoy online shooters. I haven’t even touched on the fact that even in the face of a dwindling community Respawn still released three sets of DLC maps and, take note, actually kept adding modes after the game was released. Like, a lot of modes. This game was technically sound with a developer that legitimately cared about it and wanted to make it better. Unfortunately the lack of a campaign was its death nell, along with exclusivity hurting its reach and many players simply not willing to entertain the possibility that there might be another good console shooter out there not named Call of Duty or Battlefield. I still maintain to this day, and will continue to do so, that if the game was made by Treyarch and titled COD: Mech Wars, it would’ve been hailed as the first fresh FPS game in years and sold 10+ million copies. The optics just didn’t allow it under these circumstances though and again, no campaign.
The thing is if I felt like Titanfall got a bad rap before, that feeling has been exponentially more prevalent lately. Why? Because I feel like the worst thing that this game did was not the exclusion of a campaign mode, but that it was the FIRST notable release to exclude a campaign mode.
I think at this point everyone realizes that Star Wars: Battlefront could’ve been much better. The game’s review scores were decent to good, but not as high as some would have hoped. Also, just recently EA confirmed that the game was purposely released incomplete to coincide with the theatrical release of The Force Awakens. But back to the game’s release: it sold like crazy. Lack of modes, microtransactions abound, and…….surprise surprise…….no campaign.It’s not a great example though you might say. It’s got the Star Wars name attached to it, and developer DICE has a good track record with Battlefield so it had some things going for it in terms of sales numbers, but ultimately the game was a disappointment and regarded as such. Okay, well how about this game:
Everyone is going insane about Overwatch. It’s unique take on the FPS genre is making serious waves. I mentioned on the podcast how I appreciate the game but it’s just not for me, but regardless of my thoughts it’s the biggest thing in gaming right now. PC and console gamers alike are diving balls deep into this game and not coming up for air any time soon. There’s already at least one 10/10 score given to Blizzard’s latest vision. Also: no campaign.Forget numbered scores and let’s just focus on what those scores mean: Each individually put together give you at least an idea of the general consensus of the game. Picking apart each one is silly. I think it’s safe to say that on the whole Overwatch is highly regarded though. Despite it not having a single player component of course.
So why is it okay for certain games to have glaring omissions when they launch but not for others? Are we putting too much emphasis on a developer’s past work, to the point where we just completely gloss over any mistakes or laziness? Are we buying too much into hype? Are we just unwilling to leave our comfort zones when it comes to what games we spend our money on?
What do you think? As always, the answer lies somewhere in there. At least partially. Whatever the case it seems like Titanfall was the shooter that has (pun incoming) taken a bullet for those that would follow it. It makes you wonder what companies can get away with after one game suffers enough from a fatal flaw, but warms everyone up to it at the same time.