A few weeks ago I wrote about a few games that players should take some time to revisit while waiting for the new ones to come out later this year (See here). As more new titles are releasing, I thought we should take a look at other multiplayer games within the shooter genre that would be worth playing while waiting. Like the last article, we’ll be looking at the game community, and patch updates as they have progressed.
Tom Clancy’s The Division
The Division was released on March 2016 on PC, Xbox and PS4 with record sales and quickly became Ubisoft’s most successful release to date. This was in large part to the Public Test Servers, where players were given the chance to participate in the games mechanics at an early stage. In General, players were excited about the cover and shoot game play for the third person shooter, along with the loot system promised. That, together with the intrigue of the game’s PVP area called the Dark Zone, gave players a new way of looking at loot based shooter games. People had high expectations of the Dark Zone, with the chance of killing mobs and bosses to gain gear while having to watch out for other players that could kill you and steal your hard fought loot.
But upon release and subsequent updates, players quickly noticed that the game was riddled with bugs and glitches and was highly susceptible to hackers where it became frustrating for gamers that wanted to play the game the way it was meant to be. Therefore, after posting the most successful release in gaming history, the game quickly saw a drop in player usage on all platforms. Ubisoft did try its best to fix the issues as quickly as possible with more updates and patches with more test server access, but the title could never recover.
Today, The Division is on its second year since release and has a steady amount of players, despite being a small fraction of what it once was. And as shown in the chart above, player usage does increase slightly whenever an update or patch is released. Which is why we are highlighting this game as something that should be played again.
Over the first year Ubisoft has release 3 DLCs for the game, the first of which was Titled Underground and focused on new PVE game play, the Second was called Survival and expanded the PVE section of the maps to add more chances of loot finding, and the last was called Last Stand, which added a new 8 vs 8 PVP area style of play.
These 3 were paid DLCs and were met with mixed reviews. for Year Two, however, Ubisoft will be releasing 2 patches as FREE DLCs (1.7 & 1.8), with the first of the two being released sometime in August of 2017. This update is meant to add more gear and gear combinations, and is a culmination of major bug fixes that have been implemented over the last few months.
Therefore, now might be a good time to revisit the game as it is completely different from its release date build and has really come close to what people where expecting it to be.
Warframe is a Free-to-play, third person shooter, released on March of 2013 by a small developer called Digital Extreme. So small, in fact, that they most likely have less than 200 game developers on their payroll. This title was also release on the Playstation as on of the featured free downloads on its release (November 2013) and later on the Xbox in April of 2014. Warframe is a unique game in that it is free-to-play, but it has been able to balance it’s paid sections so they are not unfair to other players. Partly because the game has no real PVP feature, and partly because the pricing of paid content compared to hours played to get the same items are not ridiculously far apart as is common in other games (See Star trek Online). Further, the game, which started slow in participation, has grown in users and actually has a solid base of players due to the fact that the dev team constantly releases updates, and more importantly, constantly releases new loot such as gear, weapons and frames that players can add to their avatars to increase stats and capabilities. Like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, this title has not really shown any major drop in usage, while actually showing increasing or steady amounts of players online.
One thing to note about the development of this game is that Digital Extreme has released updates based on user feedback at a more consistent rate. Mostly leading to a game that is directed by the players and therefore positioned to meet their needs.
The game is by all definitions a loot based system where the objective is to go through missions to gather materials to build better gear so you could play more missions and repeat the cycle. Therefore, the game has a niche market of player types that would enjoy the game style. Especially if that player enjoys games like Destiny, Diablo III or even the Division.
Warframe is an amazing game with beautiful graphic and movements that are unseen in free titles. And just giving it a try, players notice how smooth the mechanics and movements of the avatars can attract players to spend more time on the game before moving on to new releases. It is expected to have an increase in player count within the year as a “game-changing” expansion titled Plains of Eidolon is scheduled to be releases soon. This adds an open world type area with an instance holding 50 players, making it feel more like a real MMO, than an online cooperative shooter.
Titanfall 2, by title, is the second installment of developer Respawn Entertainments First Person Shooter. Yes, this game belongs on the other article, but it was so under played, I died to put it here.
Released in October 28 of 2016, Titanfall 2, published by EA games, has some solid multiplayer gameplay with the use of Titans in the middle of the match. It has features that make FPS games playable, including quick re-spawn times, smooth shooter game play, and spacial abilities that can be built on though out the match. All, in all, the title was expected to be an awesome game for the genre.
However, the game did not do so well. It posted low user counts on release and could never recover despite now adding a captain mode to round of the game.
But unlike other games that were plagued with glitches and needed patches to get better, it could be argued that Titanfall 2 was not successful because of the simple fact that it was released between 2 major titles. Battlefield 1, another EA published game, was released a week earlier (October 21, 2016) while its rival, Call-of-Duty released Infinite Warfare, was released a week later (November 4, 2016). Unfairly, the game had to complete with two of the most established titles in the FPS genre, one of which sharing the same publisher (EA). The game never really had a chance at the beginning, and therefore the potential community was never realized.
That being said, the game is still a solid pickup and is fairly easy to pickup with an existing community still. That, and the fact that the game developers release new Titans every once in a while allow the players to experience little changes in the game that maintain the level of fun that FPS titles give.
So there you have it, three more titles that are worth some time while waiting for new title releases. Some of them should be played because updates over time have made these games so much better, others are games that you might not have given a chance at first, but still have thriving online communities that make them a good option to kill time while trying something new.
Or you could check out some Betas….