News this week: Titanfall & Dark Souls 2 launch in Guildford
On Monday night it was a tale of two games. In one corner, the massively hyped futuristic first-person-shooter from Respawn Entertainment, the team that popularized the military shooter with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 in 2009. In the other corner was Dark Souls 2, the newest installment in the absurdly difficult fantasy game franchise created by Japanese game developer From Software.
At 11 o’clock, there were less than 20 people. It was clear that the simultaneous launches of Titanfall and Dark Souls would not be breaking any launch records. The lineup at the parking lot entrance to Guildford mall steadily increased as midnight approached. Half the people in line were there to buy Titanfall, the other half would be heading home with Dark Souls 2.
Some people waited in silence, others struck up a conversation with a friend. Two people sat in camping chairs at the front of the line and a trio of friends ordered pizza from Domino’s. It was interesting mix of gamer demographics. “Titanfall appeals to North Americans because North American gamers are very competitive,” said Tim Eftoda, a gamer waiting in line for Dark Souls 2.
A hardcore gamer, Tim was an avid fan of Dark Souls and was looking forward to playing the sequel. “I want to play in a different world again, one that’s more aesthetically pleasing.” Tim explained that the Dark Souls series was perfect representation of dark fantasy. “Dark Souls felt very visceral,” he said. “It breaks the mold in a lot of ways in how it tells the story.” Dark Souls was the spiritual successor to 2008’s Demon’s Souls and was one of the most critically acclaimed games of 2011.
Despite the success of the series, Dark Souls 2 has been mostly overshadowed by the media coverage and massive advertising campaign of Titanfall, which won over 60 awards at E3 2013 and is one of the most anticipated games of the year.
Unfortunately, gamers who bought Titanfall couldn’t enjoy it for long. The online-only multiplayer first-person-shooter experienced a major hiccup when Microsoft’s online gaming service Xbox Live went down Tuesday. Xbox Live Director of Programming Larry Hryb, better known as “Major Nelson” tweeted about the issue.
Xbox Support tweeted later in the day that Xbox Live was back up. However at the time of writing this article, according to the official website, the core services of Xbox Live are still limited.