I Don't Want to Play Titanfall, I Just Want to Watch - o_JMan240_o Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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I Don't Want to Play Titanfall, I Just Want to Watch

“Titanfall” is the latest, greatest video game hype machine, but I don't care about it.

I'm no stranger to extending popular games an apathetic shrug. I'm not a huge fan of what Nintendo makes, so new releases from them don't particularly excite me. I don't care about the “Metal Gear Solid” games, and I probably never will. Nothing Blizzard does even makes a blip on my personal radar - in fact I don’t particularly find anything they’ve done entertaining at all.

What I find intriguing about Titanfall in comparison to all of the rest of the series I shrug off, however, is it’s something my 20-year-old self would have immediately run out and bought. I grew up watching “Gundam Wing” in the ‘90s. I adore the idea of giant robots, and almost anything mechanized in a similar manner. Titanfall is everything I should love.

While I could see myself getting excited about “Metal Gear Solid,” it would take some work and several games to get hooked on the world. I feel like I could slide right into “Titanfall” though, like investment would be a given if it just fell a little more in line with what I like today.

I love what I’ve seen of the world surrounding the game's battlefields, and all the detail packed into them. I love the cobbled-together nature of the maps and mechs. I’m certain I would love a more laid back game set in that universe. It’s hard to explain, but the aesthetics of Respawn’s debut are wrapped around something I would rather sit back and watch. It’s something I’m interested in, but strangely not something I’m interested in playing.

It’s been a while since I was truly invested in competitive online play. Even while “Battlefield 3” was relevant, during which time I was volunteering effort to a “Battlefield” fan-site, I felt as though I was having fun inspite of the game. By the time “Battlefield 4” released late last year I was spending $60 to see if the spark was still there. It wasn’t, unfortunately.

Over the past few years I’ve seen my well of gaming partners dry up. I’ve lost touch with people I played with towards the end of high school and start of college. As my semester schedules shift, my free time has stopped matching up with people I met at local game stores during midnight launches.

After changing my course of study, I watched the computer science majors I bonded with over a mutual love of video games slowly graduate and take jobs which now occupy much of their gaming time. I now rarely speak to people who were once all but guaranteed to sit down for a night of running-and-gunning.

Competitive multiplayer has also become a source of frustration for me. Being forced to play alone and suffer through the shifting tides of uncoordinated teams aggravates me. Every little hiccup, whether it be someone with a bad connection or people using poorly balanced weapons, makes me angry to an unhealthy extent. The fun is gone, and I don’t trust the people who inhabit the space anymore.

It doesn’t make any sense for me to buy “Titanfall.” As much as I love the idea, it’s wrapped in a design I haven’t had fun with for a while. I can’t justify spending $60 on a game I’ll likely only play a handful of rounds in. A game that will ultimately just cause me displeasure.

I don’t think “Titanfall” is bad though, quite the opposite. I'm also not avoiding it out of some counter-culture desire to hate what's popular. I love Respawn’s decision to take a concept which piques my interest and plop it down in a space which I might, on a bad day, say I loathe. I’m excited to see where it goes, and how the game impacts the industry. I’m excited to watch people play it and hear them gush about it.

I might even say I’m more excited to sit back and examine the game. The part of me providing the type of motivation needed to pursue a computer science degree in hopes of working on games - the little voice in the back of my head driving me look at the medium with a critical eye even though I get nothing back in return - is screaming about how cool the things “Titanfall” inspires will be. It’s curious, and as a result so am I.

It just so happens my interest in the game didn’t intersect with a desire to actually play it, and I think that’s kinda cool. Not every game needs to be something I would like to play, and I don’t have to play every game to enjoy what it brings to the table.

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