Titanfall: single-player gaming in a multiplayer world

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A multiplayer game with single player aspirations, is Titanfall the must-have Xbox One experience that EA Games and Microsoft are saying it is?

When the Xbox One was unveiled, Microsoft’s original vision for an always on-console created such a backlash that the IT giant was forced to radically alter the machine prior to release. It seemed that the world was not yet ready for an internet dependent console gaming experience.

EA Games copped a similar bit of flak with their online only SimCity. The game’s city-building fans demanded to be able to play what is essentially a persistent multiplayer game in an offline single-player mode. Despite their initial reluctance, EA have recently announced that SimCity is getting an offline patch.

Both these gaming powerhouses have now joined forces with Respawn Entertainment, a new developer founded by the guys originally responsible for Call of Duty, to bring us the multiplayer-only Titanfall.

Cue the whinging legion of single-player gamers.

The Call of Duty games, famous for their incredibly fun multiplayer modes and even EA’s own Battlefield 3 and 4 all come complete with a single-player experience. The decision to go multiplayer only with Titanfall is a bold move indeed.

As Titanfall enters the public beta phase in advance of its release on PC, Xbox One and Xbox 360 next month, more and more players are now able to experience the game that is being heralded as the Xbox One’s killer app.

Titanfall is a multilayer only sci-fi first-person shooter. Players fight one another as both gun-wielding infantry that can climb up and wall-run along buildings to get to vantage points, or from within huge, powerful Titan mechs. The game runs at an unrelentingly frantic pace as you’d expect from a multiplayer game of this type.

But what about gamers that prefer the more narrative driven and paced single-player experience? I asked this question of Abbie Heppe, Respawn Entertainment’s community manager.

“There’s a mode in the game that’s called campaign multiplayer where you play as both sides. You are shown the story of each one.

“You are going to have characters that are going to be with you for the entire narrative. Each map has a different mission which tells a different part of the story. There are introductions and outros that show you escape and characters that are going to give you context and narrative throughout the entire thing as well.”

As well as the game’s single-player styling, Abbie also told me that Respawn has gone to great lengths to accommodate players that may not be the most skilled with a rifle. They believe that players are going to get longer in the game, avoiding the spawn-death-spawn-death situation that can often occur if players are not intimately familiar with the game map. The developers hope that this and Titanfall’s vertical gameplay, courtesy of the parkour skills of the pilots when out of the Titans, will provide a gaming experience that will entice even the most skeptical single-player gamer.

The PC and Xbox One Titanfall beta is now available. The game comes out for Windows PC and Xbox One on 14th March in New Zealand with the Xbox 360 version arriving on the 28th.

 

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