Titanfall Is Being Marketed Like The Next Halo And Might Be Just As Overhyped
That’s quite a loaded title, isn’t it? I actually sat back and took a deep breath immediately after typing it out. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m slightly afraid of where this might go.
See for those of you who don’t know me that well, I’m not the biggest fan of the Halo series. In fact calling me ‘not the biggest fan of the Halo series’ would be like calling Jeremy Clarkson not the biggest fan of Piers Morgan — if you’re not a fan of old British men with immense hatred for each other, suffice to say it’s quite the understatement.
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I’ve never enjoyed the Halo series and I’ve always held the opinion of it that it is severely overrated to the point of being embarrassing watching gamers worship it. And they truly do worship it. I remember many years ago, going onto a forum and reading the comments about this newly released game called Halo 3, and in it one of the commenting gamers stated that it was an alright game and they enjoyed it well enough. The very next thing that happened was a torrential downpour of abuse the likes of which I have never seen on the internet — and I was around when 2 Girls 1 Cup was first a thing.
Looking at how gamers treated Halo 3, where you could not simply call it ‘alright’ but rather had to worship it as the holy grail of gaming (or: Half-Life 2) led me to calling it Halo Jesus; something that was actually echoed in an old Sarcastic Gamer Podcast, for those who remember that. That’s not some anti-Christian insult or something but rather the easiest way to describe the ridiculous levels of worship the game received and for what, continuing a series? Finishing the fight?
The Halo series is only as popular and well-selling as it is, to coin a phrase from the inimitable Jim Sterling, because Microsoft told you it would be before they launched it. And so we’re clear, before we go any further I just want to state that I played the first Halo, Halo 3, Halo: Reach and sampled some ODST so I’m not just talking out of my ass here. Okay? Cool? So where was I? Ah yes, Microsoft told you Halo would be popular and it sold like hotcakes thereafter.
They created that marketing buzz. They made you want to play Halo. Why? Not because it was a good game and not because it put grenades on the bumpers, forever changing the way first person shooters on consoles were controlled, but because they plopped a character named Master Chief onto a game cover and told you that if you don’t play this game, you’ll be missing out. And gamers went apeshit.
Now after a conversation with Azhar I start to see the same sort of thing going on with Titanfall, which was recently in closed beta and saw a lot of people getting a chance to go hands-on with the game. Fair enough, right? Closed betas tend to draw some attention to go with a game and Titanfall is being marketed as the killer app for Xbox One. But if I may shamelessly post a tweet of mine from the weekend with a quote from Jim Sterling, once again:
“Do you want to talk about Titanfall while we’re on the subject of things people won’t shut the fuck up about?” – @JimSterling 2014
— CaViE (@CaV1E) February 22, 2014
People went on and on and on about it. And you know that Microsoft were rubbing their hands together and seeing the dollar-signs while all of this was happening. Especially after all the recent news about developers Respawn working together with Microsoft to fix the Xbox One and make it the perfect console for FPS gaming. The perfect console which is now also cheaper with Titanfall, more on this news later. With Titanfall it’s clear that Microsoft are targeting the millions-large Call of Duty crowd on a new generation of consoles.
Thing is, what exactly does Titanfall have to show off here? It’s pretty much a one-trick pony, right? It has the really cool parkour-infused first-person multiplayer with mechs, sure, everyone loves parkour and mechs, but after that, then what? I mean, how long will it last until the novelty wears off and people start playing other games?
You know at least 343 Industries, when they took over from Bungie, realised that Halo couldn’t just be about the multiplayer and added in a kick-ass story as well. But what, again, I ask you, praytell, does Titanfall have once people are in need of a break from the multiplayer action? It’s pretty much only going to satiate the Call of Duty crowd and, newsflash, the Call of Duty crowd are already more then satiated.
The net result of this is that I now have one less Xbox One title that I’m looking forward to, and I don’t even like exclusives. As if last time around wasn’t bad enough when I only really had Gears of War and Fable games to my credit. Now I don’t even have the Xbox One killer app because every time I look at it, I think of Halo and I think, “When this game comes out it’s going to get 10/10 everywhere and then in six months from now nobody will be playing it anymore, except for those hopelessly addicted multiplayer gamers,” and I have to say it sours my already most indifferent feelings towards this game. Sorry, I’m not a fan of mechs.
Overhyped? Another case of gamers going apeshit? I guess you can decide for yourself, depending on whether or not you’re keen on it. In the meantime, I’ll ‘stand by for’ better, less aggressively marketed games. The Witcher 3, for example. Eeek!