Titanfall 2 released on October 28 and as it turns out, it's pretty good. The long-awaited sequel to the original #Titanfall has added a single-player campaign and made slight adjustments to the beloved multiplayer.
The First Titanfall Took The FPS To A Whole New Level
The market had been very much dominated by #Battlefield and Call of Duty. One of the creators of #COD, Vince Zampella, was let go from Infinity Ward. Zampella then filed a dispute of royalties against Activision following his termination before going on to co-found Respawn Entertainment. Fast forward two years after the release of the original Titanfall, and its follow-up has been met with little criticism from fans and the gaming media.
But Does It Stack Up To Other Sequels In The FPS Genre?
First, a little background. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare released in 2007 on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. While game reviews are not always subjective, no one knew what kind of response #CoD4 multilayer would be met with. Within its first week, a little over 600,000 units were sold in the United States, and after 10 weeks around 2.5 million were sold, with weekly sales dropping from 605,000 to around 80,000. Even in 2016, CoD4 has sold just over 23,000 units.
Many fans attribute the success of this game to the fact it was an in-depth multiplayer. Before CoD4, online gaming was still being experimented on with games such as Counter-Strike and World of Warcraft on the PC, but the upgrade system hadn't been figured out yet. CoD4 laid the foundation for modern shooters and the online play that comes with them. The balancing of the perk system while keeping the weapons in check was finally figured out in an online shooter.
After the release in 2007, Activision announced it would be annualizing the Call of Duty franchise.
Between #Treyarch and #InfinityWard, one game would be released from either developer every year. Even when World at War was released, in two years it sold around 15 million copies, which was disappointing by CoD standards. The next year, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 released and through its life has sold more than 27 million copies and earned Activision nearly $1.1 billion as of 2016.
While Call of Duty Was Dominating, Another Game Was Picking Up Steam
#Battlefield had always been a game that seemed to be a second thought to the CoD monster that Activision had created. Electronic Arts wanted a piece of the #FPS pie that was now nearing $2 billion a year in sales. Battlefield: Bad Company released at just the right time. It added a different mechanic to the campaign, and virtually everything was destructible during the gameplay. Battlefield games have always been more a simulation shooter rather than the arcade style that some gamers preferred.
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 released in 2010 around the same time as Call of Duty: Black Ops. It went back to where very few shooters had been: Vietnam. The brutality of the Vietnam War has good cinematic value, but that value is yet to manifest in the video game world yet. But Black Ops was different. It nailed the adaptation and instantly became a fan favorite in the CoD franchise.
Modern Warfare 2 Is Regarded As One Of The Best FPS Sequels Ever
In Hollywood, sequels have a stigma of not capturing the magic or charm of the original. One fine example is Dumb and Dumber. The first movie is regarded as some of Jim Carrey's finest work, while the movies after that didn't quite live up to the first. Many times, the video game industry has suffered similar issues.
So How Does Titanfall 2 Stack Up To Shooter Sequels?
Quite simply, I'm a fan of games not being broken at launch. When Titanfall 2 was announced and we got to dig more into the game at E3 2016, I was pumped. Seeing as how games like Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Battlefield 4, and Grand Theft Auto V all had multiplayers that were broken at launch, Respawn seemed to quietly demand that never happen. The studio announced a tech test, in which a server test and gameplay tweaks would be taken into account while fans provided live feedback to the developers. The fans took this notion to heart and began tweeting their gripes.
From the minute I turned the tech test on, I knew this game was going to be stupendous. The movement felt seamless, the grappling hook was a great addition, and the game felt balanced. The Titans felt easier to manipulate and as if they were once again an important component of the battlefield. The moment I turned the tech test off, I remember thinking to myself, "I don't care if this game gets delayed, just make it great. I'll wait however long it takes until it's perfect."
Titanfall 2 is the best sequel to a shooter, but it can't always be that easy to wear that moniker of "the best." It jumped on the success of the first game and built upon the foundation its predecessor had laid. Respawn didn't only nail an incredible game, but took fans' advice and made sure to listen to what they felt the faults were. Minor adjustments made the game what it is today, including the single-player campaign portion of the game. The mark of any great developer is knowing when to admit it could make changes for the sake of betterment, and not having the ignorance to force a product onto its buyers that they're not happy with.
Respawn created a universe that I can't get enough of. The studio created a path for developers to follow when designing a game. Ultimately, gamers will play the game and invest their hard-earned money into a product, so why shouldn't they have a say in how the game feels and plays? I'd like to thank Respawn for putting all the effort into creating something that's easy to love, play and dig into for hours at a time. I truly believe that Titanfall 2 is the best sequel to a shooter since #MW2 and have no reason to believe it's going anywhere anytime soon.