In seven days the team at Respawn responsible for the Call of Duty series, will be making their biggest gamble to date by releasing their freshmen effort TITANFALL. The title hits shelves on March 11th and aims to reinvent first person shooters by combining story with the online multi-player only gameplay.
The game has no standalone campaign/story mode. Instead, it rolls some of what you’d expect in a story mode into the online multi-player component of the game. It’s a decision that could reinvigorate the multi-player shooter or spell instant doom for their financial returns. You see, Respawn and indeed competing developers would argue that an increasing number of players are only interested in the online aspect of shooting games and more and more they no longer play the story modes of these titles, at all.
Because the biggest cost in making these games comes from the story mode, the devs argue that standalone story should be jettisoned all together and instead integrated into the aspect of the game that players seem to want — the online multi-player. Resources get pumped into the parts of the game that players care for and everyone’s happy.
Over the next year or so you’ll start to see other game titles that take a similar angle; chief among them being EVOLVE, the Predator vs Marines like shooter from the team that brought us LEFT 4 DEAD. Depending on the success of these titles, we may begin to see a gradual death to the bloatingly expensive to create campaign gameplay that we’ve come to expect from the likes of Call of Duty and Battlefield.
The juries still out, none of these games are released yet, but I smell change in the air — for ill or good. Until March 11th though, let’s see what fun it might be to shoot and be shot in and out of a Titan.