The past few weeks have seen the release of some of the biggest shooters of the year. Not forgetting the chaotic team-based action of Overwatch or the gore-fest that was Doom, Titanfall 2, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, and Battlefield 1 have been the big three shooters of 2016’s peak season.
Though all falling into the FPS genre, each one felt distinctly different, offering a unique feature that helped to build its own fanbase. However, now that all three games are out, it’s time to take a look at which one came out on top overall.
3. Titanfall 2
When the original Titanfall released exclusively on the Xbox One back in 2014, it was a mixed bag. Many were overjoyed at how great the game felt when on-foot and the Titan combat was an enjoyable mix up of the traditional FPS formula, however, its lack of multiplayer content and a single-player campaign meant that the hype soon died off and players moved on. Titanfall 2‘s release this year came to right the wrongs of its predecessor with a far more substantial multiplayer offering and single-player campaign.
Now, it’s important to note that just because it ranked last out of the three titles doesn’t mean it’s by any means a bad game. However, when stacking up against two titans like Battlefield 1 and Infinite Warfare, Titanfall 2 just doesn’t manage to hold its own. Though it featured a single-player campaign, the story as a whole was weak and at times the platforming sequences felt thrown in just to long out the already short campaign. If you’re happy to go on the roller-coaster ride it takes you on without looking too much into the finer detail then you’re sure to have a great time. Just don’t expect it to blow you away.
As for multiplayer, Titanfall 2 has built upon its predecessor’s strong foundations and provided players with even more Titans, maps, game modes and other content to keep them coming back. With its fast-paced action, exciting Titan combat, and more of everything we liked from the first time around, Titanfall 2 is a great shooter that just couldn’t quite hold the landing when it came to the single-player campaign.
2. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
Infinite Warfare faced a ton of criticism when it was first revealed. Rather than listening to the fanbase who had been screaming out for the series to head back to one of the World Wars that have been somewhat abandoned in recent years, it went in the opposite direction and jet packed its way into the future.
Despite the somewhat familiar setting, Infinite Warfare managed to do a lot of things right. For the first time in a long time, it was easy to actually care about the characters in the campaign, the story was interesting to follow, and there were some epic blockbuster moments in the campaign. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite manage to follow through to the very end with the game coming to an end just as it started firing on all cylinders. That, combined with the repetitive use of your personal space fighter (Jackal) led to the campaign feeling somewhat bittersweet. Its moments of frustration were negated by the great storytelling and interesting characters.
However, Call of Duty is a three pillar franchise with the action centering around the multiplayer and zombies game modes. Unfortunately for Infinite Warfare, the multiplayer felt a little too similar to its predecessor to really gain any merit. It was clear that rather than take the risk of changes backfiring as they did with Ghosts, Infinity Ward would play it safe and throw a new skin on a successful Black Ops III foundation.
Rounding off the trio is Zombies in Spaceland, Infinity Ward’s 80s theme park take on the popular zombies game mode. With some interesting new features such as a robot that can be built and will provide you with challenges, arcade games to play, and roller coasters to ride on, Spaceland is a wacky breath of fresh air to the familiar game mode.
By offering an average campaign, a solid if a little uninspired multiplayer, and an exciting new take on zombies, Infinite Warfare manages to provide a bit more bang for your buck than Titanfall 2.
1. Battlefield 1
When Activision and Infinity Ward looked straight ahead and blasted themselves into the future, EA and DICE took a step back, listened to fans, and returned to World War I. However, it’s the ways in which DICE managed to make Battlefield 1 feel so unique, yet authentic that made it stand out in the crowded past few weeks.
Rather than telling its campaign story from a single perspective, Battlefield 1 offers players five shorter War Story campaigns that tell personal stories and struggles as part of the greater picture. Not only did these allow for some cinematic and heartfelt moments, but they managed to retain a level of sincerity and respect for the real-life events by not glorifying these stories. Combine this with some incredible visuals and you’ve got one of the most enthralling campaigns of the year. It’s a shame it was so short, though, with all of the War Stories weighing in at roughly seven hours.
Luckily, Battlefield 1’s multiplayer maintains the series’ trend for epic scale, compelling battles with a splash of vehicular warfare in there for good measure. With the usual suspects of Conquest, Domination, and Team Deathmatch making up a chunk of Battlefield 1’s game modes, it also features a novel take on capture the flag that has both teams hunting down carrier pigeons on the map to send messages to your team’s artillery. With epic 64-player Operations matches that see you battling in all manner of vehicles across different maps, Battlefield 1 is an impressive example of how the FPS genre can adopt a much larger scale while maintaining the tense and fast-paced action.
Battlefield 1 is the complete package offering both a single-player campaign and multiplayer that have an air of authenticity about them. The campaign’s different approach to storytelling led to it feeling heartfelt and kept things fresh throughout its entirety, while the multiplayer improves and continues to build on the solid platform that DICE has created for years.