Titanfall – The Hype Vs Reality

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By Patrick Toworfe – 3rd April 2014
Titanfall – The Hype Vs Reality

It’s been a few weeks since Titanfall launched and players have been wall-running and Titan punching to their hearts’ content since then. The game had a fairly good launch on both Xbox One and PC, with a few hitches that needed to be worked out, which Respawn Entertainment is fervently aiming to solve. Now the game has finally dropped, the pre-release hype train is over and everyone can see the game for what it truly is. There are a lot of reasons why the hype and fanfare for Titanfall’s launch may been been a bit overkill and players have expressed several reasons why. Titanfall is an amazing game, but the hype and reality of a video game are two different things.

Let’s start off with the very obvious glaring topic; Titanfall as the ‘COD-killer’. For months since the original E3 trailer of Titanfall, gamers had already crowned the game the inevitable ‘COD-killer’, believing that the game would put Call of Duty to rest upon its arrival. This line of thinking is somewhat convoluted and problematic, but it was a view shared by many people, something which you’d hear a lot from YouTube commentators, game journalists and more. The other side of the coin was the camp of people who believed that Titanfall looks like ‘Call of Duty with mechs’, claiming that it’s just like a glorified COD DLC that adds giant robots, whilst the core gameplay remains the same. Whatever the reason, people had enough to fuss over when it came to Titanfall.

What’s puzzling is why people would want the ‘death’ of a game series at all or how they could believe that one video game could bring about such death. The motivation behind it isn’t without some validity, since several gamers are exhausted with the Call of Duty series and don’t want anything more to do with it. The simple solution to this would be to just ignore the series, since at the end of the day it’s just one video game series amongst thousands of others, but as it turns out this seems to be impossible for people. In their defense, they have every right to despise the series for their own reasons and can easily favor any new game over it, that’s up to them. However the problem starts when you begin to measure the success of a game on the downfall of another.

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If we judged every MOBA on whether or not it can topple League of Legends or DOTA 2′s popularity, then we’d always be disappointed when the game fails to do so. It wouldn’t be fair to Smite if we only liked it based upon it managing to defeat League of Legends, as it ignores what makes the actual game good, irrespective of how it performs next to its competitors. Similarly, assuming that Titanfall would ‘kill’ Call of Duty or any other FPS for that matter was a very illogical thought to have. It’d be nice to think that the game series we don’t like can just go away when a new game we favor arrives, but the reality is another story. So while Call of Duty’s status in the gaming community is a polarized one, it’s hard to imagine Titanfall has done anything at all to jeopardize the series as a whole.

Part of the issue with the hype surrounding Titanfall is that it often had less to do with the game and more to do with creative wish fulfillment on the part of the gamers. Some wanted Titanfall to usher in a wave of innovation, others wanted it to kill COD, others wanted it to set the standard for all FPS, and so on. People believed that this was the first ‘truly next gen’ experience from watching the trailers alone but as time went on and we saw more of games like The Division, this idea got called into question, even more so when the game entered the resolutiongate conversation. Because of these varying views and expectations, many weren’t looking at the game for its own merits and upon purchasing it, have expressed concern at it not living up to what they wanted. The multiplayer campaign has severely polarized the fanbase, with many claiming that it’s bare-bones and badly done, a missed opportunity for a game that actually has very interesting lore.