It's no secret that the PlayStation 4 is dominating the Xbox One in sales, though this may change by March 2014 if Electronic Arts and Microsoft have something to say about it. All eyes are on Titanfall as the first big breakout hit of the next generation, but sadly for PlayStation 4 owners it is exclusive to the Xbox series of consoles and the PC. The gaming press and gamers everywhere are highly anticipating Titanfall, with some even calling it the next big thing for the first-person shooter genre. But is it?
Titanfall is currently undergoing testing with an Alpha build and a small number of testers; look hard enough and you can find videos of Alpha gameplay before they get pulled. While Alpha testers are loving the game, some common complaints about the game are the 6v6 gameplay or the graphics and AI not living up to next-generation standards. Without having played the final version of the game, it's hard to comment specifically on gameplay or graphics so this article will take a more overall look at Titanfall and it's impact on the PlayStation 4.
Why Titanfall Could Push The Xbox One To The #1 Spot
1) A Strong Pedigree
Titanfall is being developed by Respawn Entertainment, a studio comprised primarily of the developers that made Call of Duty such a massive success. In fact, those who have played the Titanfall Alpha have said that the game feels like an extension of that game, which is to be expected. It is this pedigree that could make Titanfall the next billion dollar franchise; after all, the members of Respawn Entertainment made Call of Duty one of the biggest franchises in gaming, whose to say they won't make lightning strike twice with Titanfall? With the Xbox One being one of three systems to get the game on, it would be the logical next step for anyone who loved first-person shooters, especially old school Call of Duty games, and wanted to get a new system.
2) Titanfall Is Something Fresh
At first glance, Titanfall may feel like "more of the same" but the emphasis on mobility, thanks to jetpacks and parkour, and giant robots, thanks to Titans, looks to add enough subtle difference to the genre to make the game seem fresh. Battles start on foot but quickly escalate to giant mechs stomping around, quickly turning into mech vs. mech combat and foot soldier vs. mech combat. It's a fresh twist on vehicle combat and early reports of it in action sound promising. With Call of Duty sales waning, Titanfall may offer just enough change to entice jaded gamers.
3) Multiplayer Only
Often, we see resources diverted away from a game's core focus, such as multiplayer shoehorned into a strictly single player game (Bioshock 2) or a single player campaign shoehorned into a game that is primarily multiplayer (Battlefield 3). Respawn Entertainment is trying a new approach, which is eschewing any single player gameplay from Titanfall in an attempt to focus just on multiplayer. The game will have a story, which will be told through multiplayer battles, but the developers have stated that most gamers don't bother to play the single player story in first-person shooters anyways so it makes sense to focus all the attention on multiplayer. Will this make for a stronger multiplayer mode? That's what Respawn is counting on.
Why Titanfall May Not Tip The Scales In The Xbox One's Favor
1) It's Being Published By Electronic Arts
By now, you've surely heard of all the problems plaguing Battlefield 4, such as poor multiplayer connections and lag. While some of the blame can be attributed to Battlefield 4's developer, DICE, the majority of the problems can be attributed to the game's publisher, Electronic Arts -- the same publisher Respawn is using for Titanfall. Electronic Arts is no stranger to botching multiplayer games, with the notorious SimCity releasing right before Battlefield 4. If Electronic Arts blows it once again by not preparing for a massive launch or rushing the game, Titanfall will be DOA before it even gets out of the gate. Instead of the Xbox One's crowning glory, Titanfall will be just another crash and burn for Electronic Arts.
2) It's Too Much Like Call of Duty
While Titanfall's developer pedigree and similarity to Call of Duty could definitely help it, as new players will flock to it and quickly adapt to the game, it could also serve as the game's downfall. Call of Duty's sales are in a downward spiral, with each new game selling less than the previous version, showing that players are growing sick of it. Are they sick of Call of Duty itself, or in how the game plays? If it's in how the game plays, Titanfall looks to play similar and, in some cases, looks similar, which is no surprise as the developers behind Call of Duty are behind Titanfall. If Titanfall can't differentiate itself enough outside of "Call of Duty with mechs," Titanfall may not be the system seller that Respawn, EA and Microsoft are looking for.
3) It's Multiplayer Only
There is still a strong contingent of players who prefer single player campaigns in games like Call of Duty and alienating those players will undoubtedly hurt sales. In addition, if Titanfall doesn't catch on like Microsoft and EA are hoping it will, player count will quickly wither away and with a multiplayer only game, this is a kiss of death. If Electronic Arts blows the launch and cripples the multiplayer base, not having a single player mode will come back to bite Electronic Arts in the ass because what are players going to play while Electronic Arts sorts out the multiplayer issues? At least with Battlefield 4, the single player mode was available during the game's rough multiplayer launch.
The Future of Titanfall
Even if Titanfall ends up being a smashing success, only the first game in the series is exclusive to the Xbox and PC platforms. Respawn has stated time and time again that future iterations of the franchise will hit far more platforms, including the PlayStation 4, so it's worth keeping an eye on how the first game is doing.
Do you think the PlayStation 4 is missing out by not having Titanfall? Do you think Titanfall is the Xbox One's killer app and the game that will help Microsoft dethrone the PS4? Let us know in the comments PS4 Experts readers!
Article by - Joshua Phillips
Insert Date: 1/21/2014