Titanfall – The future is an online multiplayer plot?

I seem to be in the minority these days that buys an FPS for the plot first and foremost, which in my mind is sad. I remember the days of the story being the primary driver behind buying a game, and while it was inevitable that multiplayer and then online multiplayer became higher and higher in importance, I never really thought there would be a day where single player campaigns would be removed altogether. The reason given by Respawn Entertainment for doing Online Multiplayer only is that the Chief felt that it tied up too many resources and personnel to create campaigns that only a limited few play.

I’ve recently gone through the campaigns for Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty: Ghosts, and I think that I always perform better on multiplayer after a few initial missions on single player, to get used to the small parts of each game, such as the responses, the movement, crouching and of course shooting. You can tell a lot about a game by the way it tells a story, by the way it unfolds the plot and by how it tries to engage you. To think that we could potentially lose this game mode is crazy.

Now, Titanfall is being hyped up a lot. Kailios, in fact, delayed getting a Playstation 4 because of how much he wanted Titanfall. We’ve all seen the critics view of the game, with its record breaking 6 E3 Critics Awards, as well as surpassing 60 Game Awards before its even been released. The fact that it could have won so many of these back in August and September, when the game wasn’t even marked as ‘Feature Complete’ shows just how much the gaming world thinks of this, and surely shows how much faith Microsoft has in this project already, whether that turns out to be a safe bet or not is yet to be seen. We all know that the game is going to sell millions of copies, lets face it, its one of the most talked about games on the next gen/current gen, without any disrespect to the other games.

Watching the trailer and gameplay footage, it’s not hard to see why people are looking forward to this so much … but it still leaves me thinking how this online multiplayer plot will work. The speed and movement in the game combines the style of Mirrors Edge with the shooting and intensity of a Call of Duty game. The more people I talk to, the larger the number of people who play these shooters mostly for the multiplayer combat grows, so perhaps by merging the story into the online multiplayer, we’ll see more caring about the details in the franchises and about the little things that make up the stories. In Titanfall, I’m guessing from the video, we’ll see that when you have to pull out of areas, there’s an actual impetus on reaching the ship evacuating the area and it actually meaning something, rather than taking as long as you want to reach the point. The Crew, an upcoming racing game, has already been set as online at all times, but despite there being a Single Player campaign, said to last up to 20 hours, the single player mode will not be seperate from multiplayer, as people can join your campaign,  friends and randoms, if you so choose. This seems to be in line with the latest Grand Theft Auto Online and what Destiny will be – I’ll use the term they coined – in being a “Shared-World (shooter)”. This seems like what the Next-Gen’s going to be aiming for, more and more, a shared world, which you can semi-achieve in Dead Rising 3, where, if you set your campaign to online, random players can drop into your campaign at any point.

Initially, I’ll freely admit I wasn’t fussed about the announcement of Titanfall, but more and more I’ve began watching the game and looking forward to its release. I think the success and reception of the game by players will play a huge part of what happens to the future of story plot lines – I understand that it ties up a huge chunk of resources and personnel’s time, but there’s nothing quite like completing a story for me in gaming. But, then again, the feeling of completing Left for Dead on expert with friends was amazing and this was an online-multiplayer story, so who knows, maybe I’ll grow to love it.

  • klarax

    i always prefer single player games. Story is usually focused 🙂

    multiplayer does nothing for me. always gets tedious and i stop playing.

    • Couldn’t agree more! I love that I can do what I want, when I want. If I really like a particular mission I can play it over and over. Multiplayer loses its longevity once you’ve played the same maps too much; which often occurs very early on.

      • jb225

        I also totally agree w/ you guys. Great article by the way. The only kind of mp I’ve ever enjoyed is old school couch co-op, Online Multiplayer killed this feature, I’m only hoping that it doesn’t also kill off single player campaigns entirely. I’m all for gamers enjoying and having the kinds of games they want to play, but story is very important to me, and anytime you introduce someone else into a story it always pulls me right out of it. Also, the argument of games as Art v. Entertainment effectively ends when story & campaigns do, at that point, gaming is only a sport. Sure, Journey was able to pull off both, but let’s face it, that will most likely be the exception to the rule. At the end of the day I wouldn’t be too worried about it if it wasn’t for the stealth inclusion of drm through making games even semi-online experiences, which might be an attractive idea for publishers & developers in the coming generation. Hopefully Titanfall does well and everyone interested in it gets to enjoy the game, but I also hope its not at the detriment to a good old fashioned single player game. As far as Titanfall’s story mechanics, I really couldn’t see it reaching much beyond a prompt from a talking head at the beginning & ending of a match, but like you said, it could potentially draw in a crowd to storytelling in gaming that wouldn’t otherwise care, if that’s the case then I say bring it on, whatever ensures the health & breadth of variety in gaming is all good for me personally.

  • klarax

    i always prefer single player games. Story is usually focused 🙂

    multiplayer does nothing for me. always gets tedious and i stop playing.

    • Couldn’t agree more! I love that I can do what I want, when I want. If I really like a particular mission I can play it over and over. Multiplayer loses its longevity once you’ve played the same maps too much; which often occurs very early on.

      • jb225

        I also totally agree w/ you guys. Great article by the way. The only kind of mp I’ve ever enjoyed is old school couch co-op, Online Multiplayer killed this feature, I’m only hoping that it doesn’t also kill off single player campaigns entirely. I’m all for gamers enjoying and having the kinds of games they want to play, but story is very important to me, and anytime you introduce someone else into a story it always pulls me right out of it. Also, the argument of games as Art v. Entertainment effectively ends when story & campaigns do, at that point, gaming is only a sport. Sure, Journey was able to pull off both, but let’s face it, that will most likely be the exception to the rule. At the end of the day I wouldn’t be too worried about it if it wasn’t for the stealth inclusion of drm through making games even semi-online experiences, which might be an attractive idea for publishers & developers in the coming generation. Hopefully Titanfall does well and everyone interested in it gets to enjoy the game, but I also hope its not at the detriment to a good old fashioned single player game. As far as Titanfall’s story mechanics, I really couldn’t see it reaching much beyond a prompt from a talking head at the beginning & ending of a match, but like you said, it could potentially draw in a crowd to storytelling in gaming that wouldn’t otherwise care, if that’s the case then I say bring it on, whatever ensures the health & breadth of variety in gaming is all good for me personally.

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