Titanfall and the Single Player Experience

Titanfall, which hits XBox One and the PC (via Origin) next week, is generating a lot of buzz right now. I have a pre-order down. But as the date gets closer, I find myself feeling more and more nervous about actually laying down the cash for this.

Part of the reason might be trepidation; the usual worry that a new IP might be terrible. But moreover, I’m worried that my experience as a single player will be terrible.

Titanfall is multiplayer only. However, the developers, Renspawn, have said that they will deliver a single player experience through multiplayer. Quite how this will be done is unclear; Respawn haven’t offered a lot of info on this. It seems that this would be done by pre-generated events occurring before the mission, then throwing a MP squad into the game in an attempt to complete the shared objective.

And that’s where I get worried.

See, people are jerks. Especially in first person shooters. The Greater Internet Fuckwad theory proves it. I am genuinely concerned that Fuckwads from all over the world are going to spend more time trying to ruin everyone else’s experience rather than playing nice, to the point where even people in your own squad are going to kill you because they can. Maybe they’ll police bad or antisocial behaviour somehow. I’m not sure. They’ll probably have to. Again, a lack of communication isn’t helping.

As a multiplayer game, it’s also going to rely on servers. Anyone else remember what happened to SimCity? I do. I wrote about it extensively on my Tumblr page. And I wouldn’t be surprised if it happens again. Both Titanfall and SimCity are published by EA, after all.

Also, part of it is that I’m not all that great at first person shooters in multiplayer. I can hold my own, sometimes. But more often than not, I get shot dead within 30 seconds of respawning. Is that going to be a fun way to play through a game as a singleplayer? Even with mechs, I’m not sure that it can be. Not until Titanfall is available at retail, or as a demo (Yes, I know there was an open beta recently, but I didn’t get to try it).

I think Titanfall is going to be a massive seller. But I also think its launch will be marred by server issues and fuckwads. I’m thinking I’ll cancel my preorder until Titanfall proves itself in retail. And I’d urge most other people to do the same.

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Categories: opinion

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