Whats up! Video games are cheaper than ever gamers should rejoice, but as more and more games are coming out we also need to take into consideration the value of our time. Does this video game deserve my time? Is it sponge worthy? I never thought I’d ask myself questions like this a couple of years ago while I was buying every game I wanted. Games are bigger and cheaper now than they were ten years ago. I thought what 2016 lacked in variety made up for in first person shooters. Yet 2016 did bring us a bevy of shooters well received by critics and gamers alike. I wanted to focus on the Big 3 that came out this fall, Battlefield 1, Titanfall 2, and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. At first I only wanted BF1, then my year long itch to play Titanfall got me to buy Titanfall 2 (I missed out on the first one). Finally with my extra life stream coming up and having already purchased TF2 and BF1 I said fuck it and bought COD:IW
As a disclaimer I want to point out I do not play shooters for single player campaigns. I have enjoyed single player campaigns but for the most part the moment I get the plastic off the case and the disc in my console (updates installed) I’m usually jumping headfirst into the multiplayer suite. At this point in my gaming career I’m a very “well played” gamer (a reader thats “well read”, “oh yeah he’s well read”). I’m not amazing at video games, I’ve played a lot of them and have been accustomed to getting used to new experiences on the fly. Often times I feel tutorials/campaign are unnecessary to get used to multiplayer, I jump in balls deep and learn from my mistakes. I figured since I am taking a look at all three games I’d put a little bit of time into each single player campaign, if gamers are upset about Street Fighter 5 not having an arcade mode then a first person shooter campaign means something to someone. What follows is a light break down of my personal opinions towards each game.
Titanfall 2 surprised me the most, I always thought the original looked very interesting and considered buying it months after it came out (I got an Xbox One later after its launch period). I was afraid the control scheme would be too complicated, not work well, and be very gimmicky. Titanfall 2 sports a fantastic control scheme and is very easy to pick up, especially once you’ve gotten some multiplayer matches under your belt. Call of Duty has always been my personal hallmark when it comes to shooter controls, the guns and hit boxes always feel perfect and fair. Titanfall 2 does its best it imitate the near perfect control feel that the COD franchise has mastered every year. Wall running and double jumping around the environments, into/onto Titans feels just as great as it is fun. Blasting away another opponent while performing a slide or wall run doesn’t feel like blind luck. As far shooting mechanics go Titanfall 2 nails it while introducing a robust control scheme that plays fast, fair, and fun.
Titanfall 2 manages to make each of its guns feel unique enough to be surprised each time you try a new one. Switching to a new gun every once in a while feels very fresh. In the single player campaign I find myself switching up my guns a lot more because they are laying around in abundance. Limited ammo forces you to switch guns wile on the run often making it fun to kit out your character on the go. The grenades are a blast to use in multiplayer matches, one of them being a ninja star that creates a gravity well that will suck in your enemies and even curve your bullets around a wall.
The multiplayer is a blast in Titanfall 2, playing with friends or solo I don’t mind queuing up for matches. The most disheartening thing I’ve noticed with Titanfall 2 is the lack of players in matchmaking pools for the PS4. I’m not sure how it is faring on XB1 or PC but I can’t imagine it doing too much better. The low player count is a damn shame, besides Overwatch this game has the best (most fun) competitive multiplayer I’ve played in years.
The maps have a tendency to feel and look boring, they remind me a little bit of PS3 era Killzone games. I’m sure it is difficult to create maps that have tracks for the infantry action as well as the titan combat. Respawn has managed to create a game where the titan combat is as fun as the infantry combat. Sometimes I can’t decide if I want all titan or infantry combat, generally I settle for modes that have both and will be satisfied at the end of a match. The pacing of a typical match in Attrition or Bounty Hunt modes is almost perfect, although Attrition could use a bit more length.
Titanfall 2's modes are all fun as long as you can fill the matches with players. It’s a shame the player count is so low, some of the modes will only have a few hundred players in them making it hard to get into full matches. A missed opportunity in multiplayer would have been some form of a horde or zombies mode. Respawn did something clever for multiplayer by adding networks to their lobby system.
It would of been great if they had given you a brief tutorial on how Networks work right when you first sign into Multiplayer. The only way I figured it out was by listening to Giant Bombcast (podcast). When you log into Titanfall 2 multiplayer everyone is signed into the “Advocate” network, ADV shows up in front of your user handle. You can also create your own or join another one, I’ve seen IGN on PS4, and I joined Giant Bomb’s network. So now when I sign in to Titanfall 2's multiplayer I’m logged into Giant Bomb’s Network.
While in the network you have an option to invite everyone who is not currently in a match to a party to start matchmaking. This is a great feature I take advantage when playing solo and will usually get 1-2 other players to join me. I wish more developers would implement features like networks to their lobby systems. It’s a great way to make new friends and play with gamers who have similar interests.
I had a lot of fun with the single player campaign for Titanfall 2. I’ve gotten about half way through the campaign with plans to finish it. I like it for its gameplay, the story is whatever, its just fun to play. The great level design mixed with the superb gameplay had me enjoying my time with it enough to want to finish it. Respawn does some unique things for a first person shooter single player campaign. It’s always great when you get to enjoy something you never thought you would.
Titanfall 2 is a fantastic game, I’d give it a 9/10 with the lack of players in the multiplayer pool the biggest downside. I’ve seen this game on sale for around $40 on Amazon, if you haven’t yet do yourself a favor and pick this game up. The release date of this game always seemed odd to me, EA fucked over Respawn. Titanfall 2's greatness far exceeds its current player count. I find it hard every time I start playing to put the controller down, Respawn made a great game here that deserves to be enjoyed by more gamers. Titanfall 2’s entire package is an excellent game bordering on brilliant.
Battlefield 1 is the best Battlefield game to come out since Bad Company 2. I’ve played a ton of Battlefield in my time, I did skip Hardline but picked up Battlefront last year. Up front the World War 1 setting sounded so lame to me, horses, boring ass guns, however my foot is still in my mouth, salty. They did a great job using the setting of WW1 to craft a very enjoyable and entertaining game.
Battlefield 1 looks amazing while managing to add more environmental destruction than previous Battlefield entries (since BC2). I still want the ability to completely destroy entire maps in the Battlefield series. They seem intent on only letting us do it to specific portions of the maps which is a shame. The controls are all right, my biggest gripe with Battlefield after Bad Company 2 has been the shooting mechanics. The hit boxes and controls have never felt as smooth as COD or Bad Company 2, often times I find myself infuriated and cheated when having died or letting someone slip away. It has felt sloppy, enough that it sticks it out when I compare it to COD or Titanfall 2. Some people have said it’s the net code they use, I have no idea what it is, I play games I don’t make them, I know it hasn’t felt right for a while.
I found the variety of guns and equipment in this game to be sub par. A class based shooter only sporting 4 classes I expected a much more variety. I understand they have to stay in the confines of the setting they are using, but shit make some stuff up, anyone has a problem tell them to return the game and go watch the history channel. They need more ways to blow up tanks too, Dice, give us more ways to blow up tanks.
Im sure so far this mini-review has sounded negative, how can this asshole actually like this game? The multiplayer is where Battlefield 1 shines, nothing beats it when I’ve got a squad consisting of a few friends. The large scale 64 person battles that the BF series is known for is at its best in BF1. The maps and level design are great, they only have a few modes, Conquest is all you need. I do like their new Operations mode although it still feels a little unbalanced and is very time consuming. I love being able to spawn on squad mates, revive each other, and give each other ammo.
The teamwork elements involved in a standard conquest match makes a win so much more satisfying, even more so when paired with some of your best buds. Screaming at your squad mates to scramble out of a building before it crumbles or bail out of your tank before it blows is unique to BF1, no other shooter out right now currently offers an accessible yet complex experience like BF1. That may be a downside for some, generally I will only play this game when I have friends on playing it. Battlefield 1 is less of an experience when you play it by yourself.
I was surprised how much fun the air combat was Battlefront last year, it hasn’t transferred over to BF1. The tanks are slow and plodding, plenty of my friends like using them so I’m content to ride shotgun, get a few kills, then hop out to help protect them from infantry. I’ve never been a vehicle guy, my friends do have plenty of fun using them and will usually rack up crazy K/D ratios. My favorite vehicle by far is the horse, it is very satisfying to ride around and chop enemy soldiers down with a sword, I almost never use the gun they give you.
What I love about BF1's multiplayer is the in-your-face combat. I’ve always been more of a Rambo-esque first person shooter player, I love rushing in meeting my challengers face to face rather than picking them off from afar. The maps are designed for this kind of combat, especially in conquest mode I love being amongst the most contested point. Control points in conquest are usually comprised of trenches and bunkers so you’re not getting picked off by proned assholes hiding away on some bullshit corner of the map.
Anyone who plays shooters with an in-your-face attitude will be rewarded with good scores and wins most likely, which is a fair trade off. Too many people rely on K/D ratios to determine if someone or a team is good, in the case of BF1 that isn’t the only factor. I’ve been on winning teams where almost the whole team was either 1:1 or a negative K/D ratio, while the other team had its top 5 players with a K/D well over 2:1. More shooters should reward teams that play together like BF1. It gives players a chance to feel like they’ve contributed to a match even though they didn’t merk a bunch of fools.
The intro you play for BF1 is one of the single coolest gaming moments I’ve had in a while. It changes up what an intro/tutorial is now in my mind. Dice managed to innovate in an area often overlooked by many developers. I don’t want to get into details about it and spoil it, you are forced to play it upon loading up the game and many of you will find it impressive.
I loaded up the single player campaign first because I was so jazzed by the intro, I felt like I was in for something special. I was immediately let down trying out the first Italian mission set as an armor clad soldier carrying a giant machine gun, too boring and slow for me. I got bored and switched to the first British mission which has you as member of a single tank unit like the movie Fury. If the movie Fury hadn’t come out this might of seemed cool to me but it felt like a watered down version of the movie. The graphics were all very impressive in both of the missions I played, but the gameplay for me wasn’t there. It wasn’t enough to hook me like the intense combat in the multiplayer portion of the game. This is my least favorite campaign of the Big 3, BF1 doesn’t need it, it can stand on its own with its multiplayer.
I would be content with BF1 only shipping with 64 person Conquest mode. I would never feel cheated, shit I would even pay more for the game if Dice said we’re gonna spend all dev time on Conquest. It says a lot to me about the strength of a game’s core experience if I feel that I’d only need one mode from a competitive multiplayer shooter. Conquest is that good and has not gotten old since the original Battlefield 1942. The rest of the package I couldn’t care less for, although the intro/tutorial was fucking amazing. If you buy this game you will want to buy it for the large scale 64 person conquest matches. Best enjoyed with friends who like having a mic on, the experience isn’t the same for me otherwise. When the stars align (friends online playing BF1) this is my favorite multiplayer experience. Titanfall 2 gives it a great run for its money with its fresh take on the FPS genre but I have had more fun playing squadded up Battlefield 1.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
I haven’t enjoyed a COD campaign this much since Black Ops 1 or 2. I did not buy the remake of MW 1, there are too many good games coming out now I don’t need to buy and play through every remaster. The biggest problem with the COD franchise right now is over saturation, we don’t need a new one every year. I would love to see Activision use the COD franchise in different areas, they tell great stories and always have the best shooter mechanics.
The COD franchise always plays fluid and fast, rarely have lag in online matches, and almost always pushes out an interesting single player campaign. This is the one exception for shooters where I almost always play through the campaign. I want to see Activision use the COD franchise to craft a Battlefield experience, with their shooter mechanics they have nailed down they could beat Dice at their own game. It would also be cool to see a third person/squad based version come out, they could get away with releasing a different style every other year.
Currently it is “cool” to hate on Call of Duty, do something different! Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare controls perfect like every other COD game. The precision and fluidity is there, it “shoots” the best out of Big 3, it controls well too, I’ll get into the multiplayer controls in a bit. The single player portion of the game feels as good as ever.
The guns and equipment in this game are standard COD gear, after having played so many COD titles it would take a lot to surprise me, this doesn’t mean that the selection is bad. The guns and equipment are as precise as ever, they did introduce guns with dual firing modes ( a sniper that changes into a sub machine gun) which is a neat twist. The guns look as cool as you might expect in a sci-fi FPS setting, although they didn’t feel as sci-fi as I thought they would. They could have innovated a little bit here, in the end they stuck with what they know and there is nothing wrong with that because they do “shooting” the best.
The multiplayer for COD:IW was my least favorite of the Big 3, the movement controls felt much better in Titanfall 2 than they did in COD:IW’s multiplayer. The wall running/sliding in COD:IW felt slow and plodding, like wading through a swamp when compared to Titanfall 2. Even with the sluggish movement COD:IW shooting is still top notch.
After so many titles I am getting tired of COD’s multiplayer format. Activision needs to change things up year over year in a bigger way than they currently are. Multiplayer matches are filled with little excitement and I rarely found myself wanting to keep playing. COD:IW offers plenty of modes and a very high player count which will you give you much more variety and ways to play than BF1 or TF2. The zombies mode is fun, but it feels rehashed, this is the first year I’ve seen Activision put out back to back zombies mode. Compared to last year’s zombies the new one is much more accessible and could help in getting new players interested in a mode that has such a steep learning curve. Bro you even pack-a-punch? The multiplayer package isn’t terrible and could stand on its own.
My favorite part of COD:IW was the single player campaign. I almost played through the entire thing and am currently on the last mission. They let you choose your own missions as you go, completing side missions unlocks new guns and upgrades for your soldier. This is an area they could expand and make more in depth in future installments, and is actually something I would look forward too. Want speed reload? Go blow up this cruiser and you unlock that perk for your soldier. It was a unique take on rewarding players for exploring more of the game. The space ship battles were fun and it was cool to switch up between standard mission types and flying your ship, you also had plenty of missions that incorporated both elements.
The story telling in COD:IW is excellent, I found myself wanting to play for the fun gameplay as much as the story. The pacing of campaign is what I liked the most and found it hard to stop playing at times. The characters were decent, John Snow was a let down. My favorite robot companion of the year was Ethan, even better than BT from TF2. The gameplay combined with the story/characters made COD:IW my favorite single player campaign, although TF2 was a close second.
The entire COD:IW package offers the most game for your buck. It’s not the best at everything but is filled with the most content when compared to TF2 and BF1. The shooter mechanics are flawless and they pieced together a great single player campaign. The multiplayer feels stale and makes up a big part of the COD:IW package. I wasn’t excited to continue playing multiplayer matches. What could Activision promise next year to convince me to purchase my tenth (give or take a few but since COD:MW/COD4) COD game in a row?
My time spent with the Big 3 was not a waste, there is definitely a specific gamer each game would be a perfect match for, even two of them. You could get away with purchasing BF1 along with COD:IW or TF2. I wouldn’t recommend purchasing both COD:IW and TF2 especially if you are planning to devote time to multiplayer as they are similar experiences. Titanfall 2 has the best overall package when compared to BF1 and COD:IW. If you are looking for a fresh take on the FPS genre and enjoy single player as much as multiplayer you wont be disappointed with TF2. If you only like playing online and have friends to play with I would recommend Battlefield 1 for its large scale battles, active player count, and focus on team coordination. If you want a good single player package I would give Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare a nod, it had the best campaign out of all 3. Multiplayer does make up a bulk of the content in COD:IW, it isn’t terrible either but when compared to BF1 and TF2 it is in 3rd.
- Best Single Player - Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
- Best Multiplayer - Battlefield 1
- Best Overall Game - Titanfall 2
What does everyone else think of the Big 3?
Eat | Drink | Game
Update - Titanfall 2 is on sale