We’ve officially entered into the silly season. Blockbuster releases, huge new announcements, and the all-too-common dilemma of which games to spend your hard-earned money and time on.
Except 2016 is different: while the busy September-November period is traditionally reserved for the industry’s biggest names like Battlefield, Call Of Duty and Assassin’s Creed, this year brings an unusually stacked schedule — even by this time of year’s standards — that separates major games from major publishers by only a few days.
I’m talking, of course, of Titanfall 2 and Battlefield 1, two EA-published games and multiplayer-focused shooters that are released a little over a week apart. Some argued that they would eat into each other’s sales, cannibalising the market and limiting the reach of one below the other.
Anyone that’s familiar with both franchises knows that this is actually unlikely: not only are the two games completely different in the way they celebrate and amplify the online shooter experience, they are also both of such a high quality that it would be crazy to suggest they would take time and sales away from one another.
I’ve spent more than 24 hours playing Battlefield 1 online. It’s my favourite shooter of the year, and easily my favourite Battlefield yet. Yet the prospect of dropping it for a day or two to play Titanfall 2 hasn’t phased me, and I doubt it phases EA, either. One thing I’ve noticed about Battlefield 1 is the scope of the audience: it’s as varied, inexperienced and thriving with curiosity as I’ve ever seen a Battlefield community before. Series diehards will argue that this has degraded the quality of the team-based experience, but I find it humbling to be able to jump into a team of 32 players and see such a varied skill set.
That, I’m sure, pleases EA, as does the fact the game’s launch sales were more than Battlefield 4’s and Battlefield Hardline‘s, combined. With Titanfall 2 on the horizon — it’s out now in Australia — I’m certain much of that Battlefield community will shift over to Titanfall 2, but will still maintain a sweet spot between two of the year’s best games. You would be crazy to entirely ditch one over the other.
I know what Battlefield diehards are going to be screaming as they read this: that you can’t compare the two, and that Battlefield is its own beast that can’t compare with a game as accessible and free-flowing as Titanfall. I wholeheartedly agree. And my intention is not to compare the two. Not in the slightest. But I can’t ignore the dilemma faced by so many people. On a number of Xbox Facebook groups and forums that I frequent, there are numerous discussions going on about which of the two games players should buy, and the answer is always conclusive: both.
That’s a pretty standard response from a gamer. I say the same thing. “Should I buy NBA 2K or FIFA?” My response would be that if you love basketball and football, and if you have the money spare, you should invest in both, because that’s what buying a game is: an investment. You’re spending money and taking the risk that you’re going to enjoy yourself and get your value for money back, with a surplus being enjoyment and relaxation. I know that NBA 2K and FIFA are completely different sports, and I’m sure someone is going to be thinking that FIFA and PES is a better analogy, but it’s not because they’re both aiming to offer the same product based around the same sport with the same end goal. Titanfall 2 and Battlefield 1 are both shooters, but they’re about as similar as Grand Theft Auto and Skyrim … and there’s NO WAY I’m recommending one over the other.
The problem, I know, is that money doesn’t grow on trees. Some people have to pick and choose, and that’s the dilemma that I obviously face here in telling you to buy both, as they’re both amazing. In this case, I’ll ask you a question: are you after something that is equally as rewarding as it is punishing, not to mention highly tactical and team-based; or are you after something that is fast and frantic, and a little more individualistic in its competitive drive? If it’s the former, than go with Battlefield 1. The latter, Titanfall 2. Both games share a combination of both interests, which makes the decision even harder, but if you absolutely must choose one, it’s really going to come down to whether you’d rather drive a vintage 1928 Rolls Royce Phantom, or a 2016 Maserati. I’m sure you can associate each car with the corresponding game.
If you haven’t yet given Battlefield 1 a chance, I highly recommend you do, because it’s one of the year’s best. As for Titanfall 2, critics and gamers a like so far find it to be a fantastic evolution of the original, which makes it well worth your time. With both coming from EA, and some obvious collaboration happening internally, there’s a standard of quality in both that makes them hard to seperate. So if you can’t choose and have the flexibility to to spend, there’s only one thing to say: why not both?