The sales pitch for Respawn Entertainment‘s brand new series Titanfall is easy enough to decipher: giant mechs thrown into combat with jetpack-wielding soldiers. That gameplay is enough to attract even casual gamers’ attention, but if you’re setting your sights on Call of Duty-level success (the unspoken goal of publisher EA, at least) then the hardcore crowd must find the product satisfactory.
And no subject can be more divisive or hotly-debated among shooter fans than the implementation of sniping. Various gameplay videos and demos have shown that the titular Titans are as deadly from a distance as they are up close. But now Respawn claims that while snipers may eventually prosper, the experience will be a very, very different one than usual.
The claim that Titanfall would be something truly different from Call of Duty has been part of the game’s marketing since it was announced, so when the topic of a sniper rifle being available for player was brought up on the company’s forums, one Respawn employee – going by the handle ‘scriptacus’ – put fears to rest:
“Sniping is in the game, but due to how the game plays it’s a pretty different animal than you’ll find in your run of the mill modern military shooter. Quick scoping and no scoping are ineffective.”
Yet another member of the development team, known as ‘glutinous,’ chimed in to support his colleague’s claim that CoD players used to wielding a sniper rifle with potentially game-breaking precision would be in for a surprise come launch day:
“I concur with scriptacus: sniping is a strange beast in this game. Hitting targets that are parkouring all over the place is quite different… I’m still trying to figure it out.”
‘Quick scoping’ or ‘no scoping,’ for those unaware, involves players wielding a sniper rifle to compile kills not by aiming down the scope, but either firing immediately after the scope’s crosshairs appear on screen, or simply firing without the aid of a reticule. While the method has become quite common in the Call of Duty series, it is still seen by many as an exploitation, removing the need for potent snipers to keep their distance – a balance the developers intended.
It would seem that Respawn has made close-range, one-shot precision kills a rare occurrence thanks to their speedy traversal and range of armored mechs (will snipers be less effective against the Stryder, the Ogre, or the Atlas?). But if will take time for snipers to formulate a new strategy, they’re certainly not alone.
The developers concluded their contributions to the discussion by teasing that the more surprises they keep for players to enjoy once the game releases, the better. Even so, this clarification is just one more trope of modern FPS’s that the development team seems intent on tweaking. Even if it isn’t their outright intent, it appears that building a shooter around both hulking robots and sprinting pilots means a traditional form of long-distance kill just isn’t possible.
Only the finished game will prove how true these claims may be, or whether they’ll be as evident across all platforms. Even so, the dominance of the Call of Duty series on Xbox 360 means even the most frustrating gameplay habits will be tough to counter. Perhaps the developers have lessened the challenge by leaving the PlayStation community out of the fight (for the first game in the series, at least).
Are you happy to hear that quick scoping may be less common in Titanfall‘s multiplayer, or does the developers’ reasoning have you concerned at how many gameplay conventions will be rendered outdated? Sound off in the comments.
Titanfall launches in spring 2014 on the Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC.
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