Archive for the ‘Xbox One’ Category

Prefacing this op-ed with this. Out of the three in the podcast, I am probably the most indie game sound. I play a lot of games that aren’t played by tons of people and I’ve quite a few indie games under my belt. I love some of them. The reason I’m posting this blog is the heavy influence the new consoles seemingly have on indie games. I don’t think this is a bad thing, just really skeptical on it. For one huge reason and I’ll get to that in this blog.

Let me preface all of this though by saying that there are some great indie games out there. From the behemoth, giving us Battleblock Theater, Alien Hominid, and Castle Crashers to the creators of Journey of which the game’s soundtrack was nominated for I think a Grammy. There are some great indie games out there. And it’s not a bad thing that the new consoles are focusing heavily on it. Because some of these indie games really deserve more love. But then there are the ones that make me skeptical for this big indie push.

And those indie games are the ones I’ve seen on Xbox Live Arcade. Hopefully you being here you know a little about me. Knowing that I used to be a huge “Xbot” which is a term used by my buddy Kyle that basically means I played a lot of Xbox games. I was basically an Xbox fanboy. So I’m ranting a little bit. What I’m getting at is I had an Xbox 360 and it took over a large portion of my life at that time. I was seemingly always on it. I had nothing better to do. And there are a lot of times when you just get bored of playing the same game over and over and over so you got to find something else to do. At this time I had nothing else to do but play video games. I know sad right? So I went on to the Xbox Live Arcade area. Which was basically the area where all the indie games were at. And there is some crazy stuff in that area. Stuff that really shouldn’t even have been allowed to be on a console. I’ll use a game called Monkey Poo Flinger as an example.

So the premise of Monkey Poo Flinger is you are a Monkey, in a zoo, throwing your monkey poo at patrons passing by. When you do this you earn points and you earn enough you move on to another stage, unlock certain things, stuff like that. The just of everything that are in a lot of games. Kind of like a horde mode that’s a full on game that only costs about a dollar. The problem with all this is the concept. Again I say you are a monkey, in a zoo, flinging poo at patrons(young children, old men and women, and random people in general just wanting to visit the zoo and have a good time) to earn points.

And the sad part is, that this isn’t even the worst of it. Of course there is a lot of creativity in a lot of indie games but there are also the indie games that really shouldn’t exist. Indie games that don’t even come close to taking themselves seriously. Of course the behemoth’s games could be classified under that genre as well and I love the behemoth. But trust me when I say there is a lot worse than just these things. And that’s a scary thought. Especially with all this self publishing talk. If it works like it does on Xbox 360. We will see more of the same. Either passable indie games that are fun for a half hour or indie games that promote near naked animated women or allow you to fling poo at patrons, or the really good ones that come once in a blue moon.

So basically what I’m saying is, all this focus on indie games is cause for skepticism and not just praise. Because even from what I’ve seen so far for the indie games on show. Octodad and such. These games far from take themselves seriously. And that’s great in a lot of cases but even the most non-serious triple A title does have moments where it slows down a little bit. I always feel like I’m alone in this sort of thing. But I speak my mind anyway. All I want is more games that know I’m going to spend more than a few hours doing which is what indie games boil down to. Even some of the greatest indie games out there, they don’t take you long to beat or get bored of. So basically just proceed with caution with all this indie news. It’s great and all that they are getting more of a focus. Some of them truly deserve it. But people shouldn’t be upset that people like me don’t care that these indie games are getting a huge focus. I personally have a ton of skepticism. And it will never ever go away because of my experiences on the Xbox Live Arcade area. I truly don’t remember if that’s what the indie games area was called on Xbox 360 but whatever.

So that’s all I have to say on the matter. Big reason I posted this was because I missed out on the podcast this week for multiple reasons and they briefly talked about it on the podcast and I feel my bit needed to be said. Indie games no matter what can be quite the experience. Good or bad. Thanks for reading All Star, if this is your first time here and you haven’t listened to the podcast which is doubtful then I advise checking it out. Anyway have a very beautiful rest of your day and PI

-Ryan

Advertisements

In a recent Reddit AMA with Xbox Corporate Vice President Marc Whitten, the Xbox One was revealed to not need the Kinect to function. This comes after Microsoft changed its DRM, indie publishing, and always-online policies. They have done this for a myriad of reasons, including community backlash, pre-order figures, and their main competitor’s policies. This can be viewed as a good thing or a bad thing, and there are reasons for both. I view it as some of both. Here are my reasons:

The Good

The most obvious upside to Microsoft changing many of the policies of the Xbox One is that gamers will now be able to do many more things than they were previously going to be able to do. These include being able to share used games with friends, not having to check in online every 24 hours, and being able to disable the Kinect without the system turning off or not running.

Changing Policies Because of Community Feedback

Changing Policies Because of Community Feedback

Not having to check in with the internet every 24 hours allows people that have bad or no internet connection to be able to use the Xbox One without it turning off. Before, many people were complaining about this everywhere on the internet, and Microsoft responded. This will allow offline play for people with bad connections, save for a one-time update when the console is first turned on. This could bring back some people who were going to switch from the Xbox 360 to the PS4 because the PS4 doesn’t have to connect, but Microsoft did their best to patch up some of those relations.

Another positive to the Xbox One’s changes is the repeal of the used game DRM. After all of the complaining, Microsoft changed this as well. There was going to be a strange restriction for used games that was explained only in a nebulous post by Microsoft and the full details were never completely known. However, this has all changed. There will be no used game restriction for Xbox One games now, satisfying displeased fans. This, as well as the offline play, will bring some people back to the Xbox One that otherwise would have switched to the PS4 because they didn’t agree with Microsoft’s policies.

Indie developers are also affected for the good due to Xbox One’s policy changes. Indie publishing was something also left vaguely explained by Microsoft before announcing the inclusion of self-publishing to the Xbox Live Marketplace. In fact, many indie developers were clamoring for self-publishing on both consoles. The PS4 had announced it at E3, and the Xbox One followed up in a post later. This will spotlight some games that would not have received any attention otherwise, making talented developers more inclined to develop a game for either console for the chance to be spotlighted.

They Unite!

They Unite!

Finally, the Kinect sensor no longer needs to be connected for the Xbox One to work. This will silence people complaining that it will be watching at all times, spying on whoever is in front of it. Once again, this was a major turn off to people comparing the two consoles, although the Kinect is still boxed with every Xbox One. This will also turn the Kinect into a useful object instead of a nuisance for many people. Many games will come to Kinect seeing that it is with every Xbox One and instead of having people look at it angrily as it would be always on, it would become something that good games use properly and people would have fun with.

The Bad

As is common with positives, negatives are always somewhere close by. The Xbox One policy changes isn’t an exception to this. The positive changes for gamers hurt Microsoft as a company with its reputation and possibly even its relations with other companies.

Due to the fact that Microsoft is so fickle with the Xbox One’s policies, my main negative for the policy changes is the respect for Microsoft lost from many people over the course of all of the changes. With the inconsistency of the messaging for Xbox One’s policies, there is no way to tell why Microsoft chose to implement those features in the Xbox One and what the positives were. All Microsoft said was that something was in Xbox One. There was no statement whatsoever on why those things were good for the gamer. Instead, many people’s views on the console were plagued by the small minority of people complaining on the internet and calling Microsoft the worst company in the world because of a business decision that was made.

While the decision was eventually made to overturn these policies, the inconsistency in messaging and in the product as a whole gives off a feeling of unconfidence for their product. It seemed as though Microsoft were playing it by ear to see how the console was received, as they explicitly said that they “may change its policies, terms, products, and services to reflect modifications and improvements to our services.” The fact that they said this so clearly in the article explaining the DRM policies makes it seem like they weren’t sure whether or not they wanted to go ahead with these policies. That is something that, in a console “war” like the one between Microsoft and Sony, is unacceptable. They should be able to announce their product and its services with confidence and sell it by saying why everything on the console is great, even the ones some people don’t like, and why it is necessary for the next generation. Sony has done this, and, even though the consoles are now fairly even, they have won over a seemingly large portion of the Xbox fanbase solely due to bad messaging for the Xbox One’s policies.

A Perceived Lack of Confidence

A Perceived Lack of Confidence

Along with the major negatives, the policy changes have a few smaller downsides that have been either overlooked or not spoken about by Microsoft.

First, as of now, the Xbox One still costs $500, because of the Kinect being packaged in with the console. This is still $100 more expensive than the PS4 and will turn off many people choosing between one or the other. To make the prices equal, the Kinect would have to be taken out of the box, although this would cause fewer Kinect games to be made, rendering it much less useful as it would be. Due to Microsoft wanting to have a Kinect with every Xbox One, they are unlikely to change this price point, although nothing is impossible.

Next, the Xbox One has been recently announced to only be releasing in 13 markets this year, compared to the previously announced 21. While Sony hasn’t confirmed an exact number of markets the PS4 will be releasing in, it looks to be more than the Xbox One. This will hinder the sales because many people are on the fence about which console to buy, and if the Xbox isn’t coming out until a year after the PS4, there is little reason to wait for the Xbox.

Finally, Microsoft have probably hurt some relationships with publishers with the removal of DRM and always-online policies. Companies like EA are known for putting Online Passes in many of their games to fight against DRM, but they stopped those most likely due to the Xbox One’s DRM policies. However, the removal of these may either make EA come back with Online Passes, as the publishers can decide on their own policies for games, or they would take a huge hit with used game sales and piracy that give no money to publishers or developers.

My View

While I have gone over some of the changes and their positives and negatives so far, I haven’t given my opinion on what I think of the changes.

Personally, I think that these changes’ negatives slightly outweigh the positives for Microsoft. After everything that has happened, the two consoles have become basically identical, with the only difference being the $100 advantage for the PS4. Microsoft, instead of giving in to the small yet vocal internet community, should have given a statement on why all of these policies are good for the console. They should have said something about Family Sharing and similar services that would have made the console stand out compared to the PS4. This would have made them stand out- give a policy that would have normally been negative and convince everyone why it’s a good thing. Instead, Microsoft has had more bad publicity than good, losing respect from many people because of the lack of confidence in its product. The console may still turn out to be fantastic, with amazing games and services; but it has left a sour taste in many people’s mouths that might not be able to be fixed.

What do you think about the Xbox One’s policy changes? Good or Bad? Let me know in the comments section below! As always, thanks for reading and PI!

-Nooch

I’m going to start by saying for the first time I’m excited for a new Call of Duty. Ghosts is looking good. Not necessarily visually but from a gameplay standpoint yes. Most likely if you are reading this you know a little something about call of duty so I don’t need to tell you that game plays always been the games strong point. But I’m excited for this new cod for the first time in a long time because call of duty has finally caught up. Adding in the peak around cover stuff, and the new mantling thing along with my favorite new addition dynamic maps, cod finally looks like its changing. But just a few things aren’t enough. There are several problems with the game considering its a first person shooter that need addressing.

One of the biggest ones being the spawning issue. A lot of times in call of duty you will spawn and die 2-3 seconds right out of spawn. Sometimes even instantly, you know it’s happened to you. And it’s one of the most frustrating things that could happen but it’s also easily remedied. At least I think it is, in a little game called gears of war 3 they had something called spawn protection. Which basically meant that when you spawned you’d be safe for a few seconds out of spawn. Like you can’t die for 2 seconds. It was a bit flawed in gears as in gears they gave you 6 seconds out of spawn in most game types. In cod I think only about 2 are necessary. That way in games like demolition where it’s easy to trap someone at their general spawn and just destroy them repeatedly the team getting spawn trapped still has a glimmer of a fighting chance. It doesn’t guarantee a win in most situations and it’s also not going to give anyone some kill streaks as its just two seconds.

And if you don’t like spawn protection they could make the spawns more team based. I’ve never really played battlefield. But I believe they have something similar to what ghost recon: future soldier had. That being a team spawn. You have X ammount of guys in one squad and Y ammount of guys in the other. Then the guys in the first squad spawn on his buddies in the same squad. But only if that person is safe. There are no enemies nearby or anything like that. Because I’ve seen it happen in ghost recon. You spawn on a teammate and then both you and him instantly get gunned down. I realize this may be a bit harder to do. Which is why I fully stand by the spawn protection. I just offered an alternative.

Now I briefly addressed demolition a while ago so id like to talk about it a little more. I like demolition. I think it along with some others are the only really true competitive game types that cod has to offer. The only problem is the spawn system in demo is broken. If your team gets trapped at spawn you lose. It’s not like domination where if you get trapped you spawn at the other end. No in demo you keep spawning in the same general area. I think to fix this you either spawn closer to the middle of the map if you are trapped or you swap. That way the team spawn trapping gets punished for it and is forced to rethink their strategy on the fly.

Continuing on with the subject of game types I’m going to talk very briefly about some things I think they need to fix in some game types. We will start with a small change to one of cods more popular game types domination. I think domination mostly plays fine as it is I just have one gripe. And that’s while you are capturing the thing and then it gets right at the end. Literally the edge of the circle and then you die and it resets. The resetting thing isn’t the problem, the problem is that you have captured the objective. It’s at the end but it doesn’t count because you couldn’t hold out for .1 seconds. If something like this happens then it should just give you the cap, or the plant in sod and demos cases. It may not happen to people as much as it does to me but its still slightly irritating when it does. Next is one that works for two game types. Headquarters and hard point. Again both these gamer types I’m a fan of. But there’s a problem with the spawn system in it. Like you’ll die and enemy team is holding the point, you spawn on the other side of the map, forced to run back and if you die again which is possible you spawn back on the other side again. And by the time you get back the next hard points coming up. So I think in games like hard point you should spawn not necessarily near the current hard point but at least a little closer to it. Same with headquarters. Make it a little more competitive.

Continuing with hard point stuff this whole section will be about it. I find blops 2 did a pretty good job at encouraging people to play the objective more. But they could do better. This suggestion is taken from a friend of mines. He literally said it last night. And this could help people like me who aren’t necessarily good at killing but great at playing the objective. In hard point if a person is standing in the hard point they continually get 10 points or something. Just something to encourage people to stay in the hard point. Because often times in hard point it boils down to someone capturing it and getting the 200 for securing it and then going outside the point and killing people. Sure it’s helping defend it but its not helping as a whole. It doesn’t force you to stay there it just encourages you to. An then my final suggestion for hard point is that hard point is basically cods take on crazy king from halo. So make it that. Make set had point locations and then make the hard point spawn at one of those locations at random. This is to prevent people from waiting at the next hard point because they know where it’s going to be. Stay at the one with your team and take the next one.

Basically I just want more teamwork out of the team oriented games. Sure it’s partly the players fault but its also the creators fault for not encouraging them to play the objective. And for those that don’t like that style of play they can play TDM.

So those were my suggestions on fixing game types and things. Now I’m going to get into other more technical I think issues. Starting with the weapon balance. Ill use the pistols in blops 2 as an example. There’s the KAP-40 which I honestly never really thought that strong compared to every other pistol. Not to say the others are bad just that the KAP-40 is so strong that it much like the AN-94 and the MSMC you don’t even need to aim at your opponent to beat them. You don’t need attachments or anything. That’s how good they are. So when you compare it to other guns in its class they all seem weaker and no one uses them as a result except for people like me who prefer a challenge and prefer not using what everyone’s using. So the weapons should be more balanced. Not necessarily in damage or anything but they should work like their counterparts. Have a risk to using it. If I’m using the MSMC I shouldn’t be firing at a guy on the other side of the map and beat him without him even hitting me. You shouldn’t even be firing the MSMC at a guy that far away. Basically what I’m saying is that sub-machine guns should be what they were billed as. Absolute beasts at close range but unuseable at long. Ok at mid. And I think the pistol should be the sidearm to counter that, great at mid, great at close, ok at long. Unless its something like the executioner which should be in the shotgun category which is to say only really useable at close range but almost unbeatable at it. The assault rifles and LMG’s I think should function almost similarly. The assault rifles being good but not great at any situation so as to keep the balance. They are beatable just not terrible. Whereas lmgs should work almost the same. Small tweaks, useable at short, good at mid, and a terror at long range. Snipers arent even a discussion. What should a sniper be doing, hanging back and basically providing long range support. You shouldn’t be able to run in to an enemy hard point with a sniper and blindfire kill four people. It shouldn’t be a thing. Also addressing if they have it weapons like the crossbow and ballistic knifes which almost no one uses. The crossbow would be useable if it had the explosion radius grenades have which is what it should have and the grenades shouldnt. Grenades are used I think as a way to clear out an area. Getting lucky to get a kill. They shouldn’t kill a guy who’s a good foot from him no matter how hurt he is. I may be exaggerating the distance just to get my point across but still.

Finally I’d like to address some complaints to attachments. Its similar in design to the weapon balance bit. If you are using an attachment there should be a downside to using it. Take the suppressor for example, it makes you invisible on the minimap when firing, it’s harder to hear when being shot at, and I don’t even think it gives you the hit detection mark when being shot at by someone using it. And it has no punishment. But it should. It should make the guns do a little less damage at longer ranges. Every attachment should have a negative effect to it. So you can say why should I use this instead of this. That way all players are generally created equal. It’s no longer about who puts the better attachments on the better gun just who plays and aims better.

Small complaints on perks and kill streaks I’d like to address before I close the blog. There shouldn’t be perks like ghost and score streaks like the hunter killer and RC-XD which are good for one of free kills. They leave you vulnerable much like others but they dont do anything often times but get one kill unless you are lucky. An the ghost perk only prevents you from being seen by UAV. For some reason a lot of people use it. It’s a one off perk that’s relatively useless. These things shouldn’t be there. And if they are then make it so the player using them can’t die while using them. Someone calls in something like a lodestar that requires them to stay motionless till its either shot down or it’s time runs out should not be killable. He should just go off the board entirely until his streak expires. Then he respawns basically at the same place that he called it in at and his score streak continues.

Keep in mind I’m not a developer or anything so I don’t know how good these things are, how easy they are to implement or even if a lot of them are just plain stupid. I personally think they are all great ideas and if implemented could make cod live up to its millions and millions it sells every year. Don’t get me wrong cods a good game but I don’t think it deserves 14 million or something every year. I’d give each cod about a 7 or 8 on the IGN grading scale which is to say good but not great. Fun but flawed. Which I think even the biggest cod fanboy can agree on that.

Thanks for reading. If you have any further suggestions that could make cod better leave them in the comments below and also if you’d like to hear more my thoughts or ideas you can follow me on twitter @undertheh00d. Thanks for reading and have a good day!

-Ryan

My Gaming Pet Peeves

Posted: July 6, 2013 in Blogs, PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One

I recently finished Spec Ops: The Line. The game is very good. It does a lot of things with the psychology of the main character that most other games wouldn’t dare to go near. However, that’s not why I’m talking about it. Along with being a great story with overall fun gameplay, the game brought out a few of my biggest pet peeves in gaming. The difficulty spike that happens in the last two missions is incomprehensible. The game throws wave after wave of enemies after you and you have to somehow kill each and every one of them. This happens in a lot of games nowadays and it needs to stop. It shows a certain laziness by a developer just to add a final “boss” battle or just add some time on to the game’s length. This is just one of the few things that really bug me about recent games. These things are tacked on for no reason and shouldn’t be a part of any game as they take away from the total experience.

First and foremost is the problem I have already mentioned- insanely difficult combat sections. Games seem to have fallen into a pit where the last few combat sections in the game have a huge difficulty spike and are there just to add on to the game’s length. These combat sections sends waves of enemies at you with a few “heavies” and you can die nearly instantly if you are not careful. As I mentioned, this happened in Spec Ops: The Line’s final 2 missions. I died over and over again and when I finally beat it, I realized it had been almost three hours since I first started the missions. Granted, I was playing on hard, but either way, two combat sections should not equate to three gameplay hours. Furthermore, these hours were not filled with fun. I found myself becoming more and more frustrated with every death. Then, when I finally finished these missions, I didn’t feel a sense of satisfaction for my victory. Instead, I let out a sigh of relief and a bit of excitement that the past three miserable hours were finished.

Spec Ops: The Line isn’t the only game in recent memory that has done this. God of War: Ascension did this as well. One of the final combat sequences, called the Trial of Archimedes, left a myriad of gamers frustrated to the point of anger and rage. While it was eventually patched, the game still showed a huge difficulty spike at the end of the game just to add to the game’s length. Even some of the best had trouble with this sequence because of its intense difficulty and overall feeling of helplessness when you die almost instantly.

Finally, BioShock Infinite had one of these kind of sequences near the end of the game as well. The final mission, once again, sends wave after wave of enemies after you and, without spoiling anything, things get really intense really quickly with many enemies shooting at you while you must take every single one of them out. You also must protect a central objective that can be taken out fairly easily if one enemy gets a few shots on it. Then, you must risk your safety to kill that person then probably die to a different enemy. This mission again had me restarting it over and over again. It wasn’t nearly as many times as Spec Ops thanks to some tips from a friend, but the few times that I had to start it over were frustrating as I would work for sometimes twenty to thirty minutes on the area strategically taking out the enemies so I wouldn’t die, then dying to a random enemy and having to do it all over again.

This brings up another reason why this recent commonplace in gaming frustrates me so much. The missions don’t have checkpoints within themselves. There should be frequent checkpoints within the missions or at least every few waves. I found myself defeating one of the final waves then dying and having to start all over again. The game should reward getting halfway through and only make you restart from there. You should not have to restart the whole thing and spend another half hour doing it again just to rinse and repeat until before you know it, it has been three hours and you are about to throw your controller through the TV, but I digress.

My second pet peeve in gaming is quick time events. This (and my next one) is a very common one, I realize, but it is for good reason. When a game takes control out of the player’s hands and makes you press a button in order to do something that could have been done when the player had full control. A game like the Tomb Raider reboot comes to mind. Tomb Raider was a fantastic game overall, but the first hour or so consisted of only cutscenes and quicktime events. There was little to no player control in the whole first hour. It does eventually open up, but an hour without control is way too much.

Another game that comes to mind for quicktime events is Heavy Rain. Actually, Heavy Rain was only quicktime events for action sequences. There was basically no player control except for walking around looking at things. Plus, just to add on to that, the clunky controls and overall clunky gameplay didn’t help. The quicktime events in this game, however, can be overlooked to an extent. The game relies mainly on story and so it didn’t matter if the action sequences let the player be in control because they all related to the story, and could get a character killed.

Finally on the subject of quicktime events, boss fights that use quicktime events also frustrate me. Even in a game like Saints Row: The Third, which I have gone on the record to say was my favorite game of all time, uses this throughout the game. You never get the satisfaction of actually killing the boss and instead just have to press a series of buttons to kill them. Luckily, this is overshadowed by the rest of the game, but it is still a frustration.

Next is Far Cry 3. Again, Far Cry 3 is a fantastic game. However, the two main villains have boss fights without much player control. All you have to do is press a series of buttons and you defeat the bosses. Otherwise, you just start over. This is frustrating because there are ways that these bosses could have had boss fights with the player being in control. There could have been a big shootout instead of just a quicktime fight.

My final pet peeve is another common one that you have undoubtedly heard of- escort missions. While these have been getting better with the recent releases of Bioshock Infinite and The Last of Us having a companion throughout the game that doesn’t feel like an escort, these missions still exist in gaming and never fail to frustrate due to the common stupid AI. Many times, the AI of the person you are escorting runs into gunfire or gets killed very easily and you have to restart due to their stupidity. There is no match to the frustration that comes from a failure of a mission that isn’t your fault. Games like Amy and Dead Island have escort missions and the AI never fail to disappoint. They always manage to somehow die and make you start over. Also, there is a trend now where you must cover someone as they hack some kind of computer and the waves of enemies come in right as the hacking begins and doesn’t stop until it ends, which, in many cases, takes a very long time. I hate escort missions in general. As a matter of fact, they are hated by most gamers. They never fail to frustrate. If the AI can get to a point where the escorts are smart and don’t run out in the middle of gunfire, these missions might be acceptable, but at this point, they should be taken out of games overall.

Games can frustrate. They can glitch, freeze, or otherwise not work. These things happen. However, the things that frustrate me the most in games are the things that are put in on purpose by the developers. No game should have an impossible final battle or a quicktime event boss fight. A few QTEs here or there are okay, but we should try to avoid them altogether. The final battle issue should be addressed because all it does is add a few miserable hours on to a game’s length, but it takes away from the total package. Finally, escort missions are awful, enough said. No game should have it whatsoever until we have AI that is smart enough to handle it. However, we are not at that point yet and they should be taken out. Overall, I have a number of things in games that frustrate me. I have been mad at numerous amounts of games. They all had something that should be addressed. From insane difficulty spikes to stupid AI, something was always wrong. However, most of these games are fun. Spec Ops: The Line is a game I would recommend to most people. These things are overall fairly small things in games that should be fixed. They can take away from the total package, but rarely enough to ruin it entirely.

So how was it? What are your gaming pet peeves? Let me know in the comments section below. As always, thanks for reading and PI!

-Nooch

Respawn’s newest shooter that they showed off at E3, is called Titanfall. To start, I liked the look of Titanfall. I do think it looks kind of fun. But that’s not enough for me. I’ve seen so much praise for this game. Seeing it winning best of E3 awards and what not. Best Xbox exclusive it deserves, maybe. But far from best overall. It has extremely glaring issues to me that may or may not be problems to other gamers. And in this opinion blog, I will address them.

So I’m going to start with the smallest of problems. The graphics. They look decidedly next gen. But that’s not what I’m referring to. More so to the color scheme. For me, being a colorblind gamer graphics and colors don’t typically matter to me. I’m not fully colorblind yet. Currently, I can’t see reds and blues. They come up gray to me. In this game I don’t see a color scheme. All I see is gray. Everything comes up gray, maybe only to me, because maybe the entire stage was made up of reds and blues. But I’m told that what I was seeing was the actual color scheme of the game. To which I say: ‘Wait, Killzone got bagged on for only doing colors like brown and stuff, yet Titanfall gets praise for only gray?’ I think the graphics are a huge problem. I still play shooters like Call of Duty and stuff, despite not being able to differentiate friend from foe. Typically the game has other colors in the background and enemies look slightly different from the people on my team. If everything is gray and everyone looks the same, how am I personally supposed to know the difference between friend and foe? I know this is a small portion of a problem for most people but for me it’s critical. And if I don’t see more color, I can’t even buy Titanfall.

Now I’ll move to some bigger issues. Starting with the new single player campaign. I used to love online games. I’ve grown out of that because most people online have a bit of a superiority complex. And if I do play online, I just mute most people…typically even people who sound friendly at first. Chances are that sometime soon, they will say something that is meant to be something along the lines of ‘I’m better than you at this.’ So, I play online games less and less. Titanfall is online only. You can’t play it alone. So where’s the interest for a person like me? Or how about a friend of mine like Kyle, who only really plays single player games? The answer is simple: there is none.

This obviously means it’s an ‘always online game.’ For those that were complaining about the Xbone possibly having ‘always online,’ this is an issue. If you don’t have Internet, you can’t play Titanfall. If you have a failing internet connection, why would you even try? So, if you were one of those complaining about that, then Titanfall isn’t the game for you.

The biggest problem that I think many people are completely overlooking is, again, the no single player issue. Respawn has said it themselves, that they are trying to ‘blur the lines between single player and multiplayer.’ They’re calling it ‘a multiplayer game with a singleplayer experience,’ meaning there will be moments where the game has (for example) a ship falling out of the sky towards the overall battlefield. Here’s where I’m going to compare Titanfall to a game like Brink. Tell me how well that turned out? Very few like to play ‘objective’ in shooters. There WILL be objective in Titanfall. It’s confirmed. They have to encourage you to play it. They have to get so much right and it’s so hard to do that. If one thing falters, the whole game fails. Again, I think Titanfall looked good. But, it has to be the best at absolutely everything, since in reality it’s doing so little to be great from the start. You may be saying to yourself, ‘Well we don’t know much about this game yet so how can you say these things.’ Simply put, I’m basing everything here off of what I’ve read and seen. And everything I’ve listed seems legit.

Go ahead and leave a comment below if you have a thought on anything I said above and feel free to elaborate on it, if you so desire. I’m really interested in seeing why people believe this game deserves the praise it’s getting. If you want, can follow me on Twitter: @undertheh00d. That’s two zeros and not two O’s. I’ll talk about relatively anything. Thank you for reading and have a good day!

-Ryan