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Running On Walls

It might be a tad premature to predict Titanfall will be the 2014 Game of the Year (assuming it hits its projected release date), but something I am wondering about is how well the wall running feature is going to be implemented and whether this will be the next big copied feature used by similar games wanting to capitalize off of the game's expected success. Now I realize Titanfall isn't the first game in the history of gaming to use wall running. Heck, Mario has been doing it for years. But clearly Titanfall refined the feature and has been proudly showcasing it in much of the footage that has been released.

And for the record, I kind of like the phrase, Running On Walls. Sounds like a great name for a tiny little video game studio that thinks and plays outside the box and makes fun games. But anyway, back to Titanfall and this cool new feature.

I don't necessarily know if copying an element, big or small, from another game is necessarily a bad idea. But then again, I'm not the one who is creating the idea or having it copied. And I suppose it is hard to say whether an idea is ever really copied, since developers likely draw on the same inspirations to create new content. I remember several years ago during the development stages, Tom Clancy's Future Soldier touted the addition of drones as a cool new feature. But with delay after delay... before you knew it, Call of Duty and Battlefield and many other games had  drones and nobody really noticed or cared who came up with the idea first. And really, drones have become such an everyday topic in many channels throughout society...what, with the military using them as much as they do and those who protest against the military using them as much as they do, most of us are quite familiar with them without having seen them or used them in video games. Heck, even Amazon participated in bringing awareness to drones with their little publicity stunt about drones delivering packages. But I clearly remember Future Soldier boasting about it when it was being built and a lot of games after having their own version of it.

Seems like only days ago (oh wait, it was), but last year seemed to be the year of the bow and arrow. It was the topic of conversation for some of us, and Arkayde included it as an entry in the Epic Gaming Trends Of 2013 blog. Oh sure, you can find the bow and arrow weapon system in plenty of games throughout the history of gaming. But in 2013, many of the big titles like The Last of Us, Tomb Raider, Crysis 3, Far Cry 3 (and a partridge in a pair tree) included it. I doubt including this weapon in a game was intentional copying, but it did seem a bit odd it was featured in so many of the big games in 2013.

I think the year before the big buzz word was verticality - the term coined by Crytek to boast of these huge worlds that went up instead of out. They proudly showed off (and rightfully so) these magnificent cityscapes and how you would traverse up and down several stories. It was an impressive accomplishment, no doubt about it. Now nearly every First Person Shooter since features a towering skyscraper in at least a level or two. It could be the natural progression of level design, but I'm sure it didn't hurt to see someone else do it first.

Again, I don't know if these examples are actually copying, but it does seem like there are patterns and similarities between the smallest of details. But even if this is/was true, is that bad...or wrong. They say imitation is the sincerest form flattery. If other games do include wall running, should the makers of Titanfall feel proud or cheated?

Who knows, maybe nobody will notice or even like the feature...but I doubt it. In an article published by Polygon, apparently the Respawn Entertainment team outlined three goals with Titanfall - player mobility, survivability, and the merging of cinematic design with fast-paced action.

I'm no expert but I did save a ton of money by switching to Geico, and if a huge game like Titanfall says one of their three goals is player mobility - which I assume includes the ability to run along walls - I can't imagine other developers aren't going to be eyeballing fan interest and the success of how this feature is implemented. I could be wrong. Probably am. Wouldn't be the first time.

Perhaps I am looking at it to narrowly. Maybe player mobility in general will be the next big thing that others developers focus on to add to their game. That could be a possibility too. It's not really an element I've ever dwelled on or given much consideration to, but having watched the trailer over and over and over...maybe I should. It does look like it's going to be a lot of fun. I can't wait to try it.

Running on walls...coming soon to a video game near you.

Cheers.

 

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