Leave a Comment

Every Titanfall article we write typically has one comment to the effect of, "What the hell is Titanfall and why do people keep talking about it?" They're fair questions.

Critics and gamers' obsession with Titanfall might seem baffling if you haven't been following the game since it was announced. On first glance, it seems like it's just another sci-fi shooter. There are many reasons why it's grabbed everyone's attention, though. Let's run them down one by one.

Respawn Entertainment
Respawn Entertainment
In 2010, Activision fired the two founders of Call of Duty studio Infinity Ward. Activision accused Jason West and Vince Zampella of insubordination, while the two alleged that Activision failed to pay them royalties for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. While battling Activision in court, West and Zampella decided to create a new studio.

In subsequent months, about half of Infinity Ward's employees resigned. No fewer than 36 of them joined the West and Zampella at their company. That new studio was called Respawn Entertainment.

The popular consensus is that the people responsible for the "good" COD games are now working at Respawn. This theory is supported by the fact that review scores for Call of Duty games began to decline after Modern Warfare 2. This isn't necessarily fair to the current staff of Infinity Ward. However, the fact remains that Respawn has a formidable reputation without even releasing a game yet.
Multiplayer Shooters Need New Ideas
Multiplayer Shooters Need New Ideas
If you want to play a competitive multiplayer shooter, your options are sandbox or arena. You can play a close-quarters, fast-paced battle like Call of Duty. Your alternative is an enormous skirmish with vehicles and high player counts like Battlefield. Most shooters can be placed along this sandbox/arena axis.

Titanfall is trying to break out of that mold. It features driveable vehicles in the form of Titans, but the matches are only 6-on-6. The maps are large but the developers didn't up the player count to fill them out. Instead, they made the battlefields feel tighter by giving players parkour abilities and supporting them with A.I. armies.

Whether or not you end up liking this experiment remains to be seen. Still, there's no denying that Respawn is trying to do something new in a genre in need of something new.
Xbox One's Proving Ground
Xbox One's Proving Ground
Titanfall could sell the most copies on Xbox 360 and look the best on PC but the Xbox One version is the most hyped. This game is the most anticipated Xbox One game to be released to date. Many Xbox One owners purchased their console with this title in mind.

If Titanfall turns out to be a great game, that's going to be a big boost in morale. It would show that even though Xbox One is behind in sales compared to PS4, the console offers something that its rival can't. Who knows how many shooter fans could end up springing for an XB1 if the reviews for Titanfall are outstanding?

While Titanfall's launch is an important moment for current and prospective Xbox One owners, it's also of interest to gamers who have no interest in buying an XB1 anytime soon. There are plenty of PS4 owners watching coverage of the game with great interest. They'd love to see the first big XB1 exclusive stumble out of the gate. Also, the PS4 may get Titanfall 2 someday so they want to know whether these sequels are worth being excited about.
Respawn's Transparency
Respawn's Transparency
It's a challenge for a new studio to launch a new IP and get attention. Respawn's reputation from Call of Duty helps but not everyone knows the backstory. The bigger reason that Titanfall is so anticipated is that the studio has been so open about their game.

Respawn made sure that gamers got hands-on time with Titanfall before launch. After showing the game to press behind closed doors at E3, they let the public try it out at conventions like PAX Prime. This year, they held an alpha test on Xbox One and then a beta on XB1 and PC. A couple days into the beta, they decided to open the test up to anyone who wanted to play. They even extended the beta by a day to give the public some extra time.

While some studios would keep their games hidden with a non-disclosure agreement, Respawn decided to be very open with Titanfall's beta. Press and gamers alike were free to share any screenshots, videos and details. When details about the full game were leaked, they didn't send out a team of lawyers. Respawn let players keep talking about their game and the result is that there are few gamers out there that don't know about Titanfall.
People Actually Like It
People Actually Like It
The upside to all the hands-on demos and public tests is that players have formed definite impressions of the game. Many of those impressions are positive.

I realize it's tempting to believe some conspiracy theory about EA or Microsoft bribing journalists. Even if you think journalists are paid off, that doesn't explain all of the Twitch streams, YouTube videos and Reddit threads. Speaking of Reddit, the subscriber count for /r/titanfall has doubled from February 12th to February 17th. The press are only a fraction of the people talking about this game.

Not everyone who tried out Titanfall enjoyed it but a lot of people did. That's the main reason that this game is getting so much buzz, and why you're only going to hear more about it as the launch date approaches.
Fortnite Is Adding Deadpool As A Skin And Gamers Are Freaking Out news 7M Fortnite Is Adding Deadpool As A Skin And Gamers Are Freaking Out Dirk Libbey
Xbox Support Thanks Gamers For Patience As Xbox Live Gets Fixed games 2y Xbox Support Thanks Gamers For Patience As Xbox Live Gets Fixed Ryan Winslett
Anthem Impressions: The Good, The Bad And The Road Ahead games 2y Anthem Impressions: The Good, The Bad And The Road Ahead Ryan Winslett