[Update: read Respawn’s clarification regarding match sizes here!]
Multiplayer is such a huge part of gaming in today’s business. Games with a strong focus on online multiplayer are often the top selling games year round, leading some publishers to think that it is an essential part of every game. After all, it’s these titles that top the PSN and Xbox Live charts and encourage replayability and DLC purchases.
In the wake of a new and further online centric console generation with the recent releases of the PS4 and Xbox One, we have even begun to see more triple-A games that are multiplayer only. Titanfall is a prime example, with Respawn Entertainment trying to blur the line between single player and multiplayer experiences.
With a game that is so focused on its multiplayer matchmaking, some fans would have expected massive fire-fights between soldiers and titans spanning a huge numbers of players. If you count yourself amongst those people, prepare to be disappointed. Many of those enemies and friendlies in Titanfall matches aren’t actually other players.
According to the game’s co-creator Vince Zampella on Twitter, players can only expect 12 people on each map at any given time. When asked, he tweeted:
For players who put a lot of time into games like Battlefield 4 (when it is working) where the game allows 64 players on a map at any one time, they will be used to much bigger match-ups. For Titanfall to only have 12 players, accompanied by AI, it may seem like a drastic step down at first glance, especially considering that the game has been one of the poster boys for showcasing the power of the new generation.
It is important for gamers to realize that Zampella, who is partially responsible for forging Call of Duty‘s addictive multiplayer experiences, said that it was the “best balance” for Titanfall – something that’s even more complicated to optimize in a game that features foot soldiers and infantry inside of giant mechs with heavier weapons. This decision doesn’t appear to be borne out of limitations, but instead out of play testing and feeling that it provided the best dynamic in a match. While bigger battles make for exciting war like battlefields, smaller matches can be better teamwork driven skirmishes. That could well be the thought process here.
There will still undoubtedly be those who feel ‘bigger is better’ – especially with mechs involved – and be disappointed that one of the most anticipated titles on the new-gen will only have a 12-person capacity. With game modes tied to certain maps and set to be filled with other AI characters to increase the scale of any given match, some may just not get the satisfaction of taking out computer controlled players as they would human ones.
How do you feel? Do you feel more at home on huge battlefields or in smaller fire fights? Are you disappointed with Respawn’s player cap? Should there be a mode that supports a massive army of players? Let us know below.
Titanfall launches in March 2014 on the Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC
Source: Vince Zampella