If Dark Souls II Is "Hardcore," What's Titanfall?

It's a question of terminology, really. What's your definition of "hardcore?"


This one word has generated countless debates in the realm of video game culture. Obviously, the biggest issue is that it's a very subjective term; nobody can agree on an exact definition. That being said, regardless of your definition, chances are, you will label the recently released Dark Souls II as a "hardcore" title. In other words, only the core gaming crowd will be interested.

"I'll bet you every penny I own that the majority of people who buy Dark Souls II won't buy Titanfall, and vice versa."

Now, that's probably true. But what about the other massive launch in the first part of March? What about Titanfall, which is receiving similar critical acclaim? The reason I ask is because I happened across an interesting conversation in a local GameStop:

"Dark Souls is for real gamers; Titanfall is for kids..."

This is how that conversation began. As there weren't many people in the store, it wasn't difficult to miss. Now, stereotypically, the individual who said it ranked about a 9.7 on a 10-point nerd scale. His debate partner probably only measured a 4; social clichés aside, the conversation itself caught my attention.

The Titanfall supporter said it was ridiculous to say that just because the game is a shooter, it's for the casual crowd. He admitted that Dark Souls II is definitely a product for the "hardcore," but it doesn't make any sense to say that no hardcore gamers will play Titanfall.

The Dark Souls supporter countered by saying:

"I'll bet you every penny I own that the majority of people who buy Dark Souls II won't buy Titanfall, and vice versa."

His argument was that the two games are too drastically different, that one "type" of gamer would play one but not the other. The Titanfall supporter didn't believe this for a second.

What IS "hardcore?" What IS Titanfall?

The interesting part about this is that despite all the subjectivity and personal opinion, it seems we can all agree that Dark Souls is a "hardcore" game and franchise. Okay, so if we can do that, can't we extrapolate a little? Is it too absurd to say that if you're interested in Dark Souls II, you likely won't have any interest in Titanfall?

Furthermore, the Call of Duty contingent is all about Titanfall for several reasons: Firstly, the developer is Respawn Entertainment, formed by ex-Infinity Ward bosses Jason West and Vince Zampella. Secondly, CoD is most popular on the Xbox platform and, at least for now, Titanfall is only available on Xbox 360 and Xbox One (and PC, but no PlayStation platforms). See, a common belief these days is that CoD really is just for teen boys; hence, the transference concerning Titanfall.

However, Respawn's game definitely isn't "just another Call of Duty." It offers a relatively refreshing form of multiplayer entertainment, and that's no small feat. It may not be revolutionary in the strictest sense of the term, and the bottom line is that you're still running around shooting things, but it's hardly a rehashed FPS.

Will you play both games?

That's a big question. Are you planning to play both games? What about people you know? If you agree that Dark Souls II is "hardcore," what do you have to say about Titanfall?

Published Mar. 12th 2014
  • Blasphemy_8533
    I play both Dark Souls and Titanfall. Chubbs Mcneckbeardthatwouldmakeaturkeyinsecure needs to get a grip on reality. BOTH games are amazing. Visually and gameplay both are amazing. Just because they made everything powerful in Dark Souls doesn't really make it special or "Hardcore" by any means. You beat your face off the keyboard/controller enough times and you will beat the game (yes dark souls was that EASY). At least with titanfall I play against people who have a brain and aren't simplistic A.I that can be beat by running in circles. You want action/fast paced mech fps-Titanfall. You want a game that is gonna take some time to beat because you're not a overly-avid gamer- Dark souls.
  • Juniper_4903
    I, and the only other person I know who bought either, bought both Titanfall and Dark Souls 2. Both of us loved both too.
  • James_4413
    Seeing the comments here I can say that most of these people that rant about FPS games not being hardcore are idiots: FPS can be very hardcore depending on how you play them, as they are competitive. Also not hardcore games are as good as hardcore games, they just serve a different purpose. Most of the time, when one just came back after a hard day of work and wants to CHILL, one playes a non hardcore game. It just depends on mood. I am gonna buy Dark Souls 2 PC and already own Titanfall (and love it). And before dissmissing games or gamers for not being hardcore, try finishing Super Meat Boy and earning The Kid. BOOM!
  • James_4413
    I finished Dark Souls in NG++ and I'm gonna buy Dark Souls 2 (for PC, when it comes out). But I also bought Titanfall PC and I LOVE it! They are both excellent games.
  • rune_7570
    I was told that the first one supposed to be really hard, but it was pretty easy to me. Games aren't hard core, most aren't even challenging anymore unless you go online against real people. Its mostly about gamer skill and game mechanics. The only games i have a hard time with are the ones with bad mechanics, such as camera issues and the occasional game with overzealous QTE's. "Hardcore" in itself is a bad term, the definition changes between groups. Games are games, challenging to some, easy to others. Once I get some cash I'm getting Dark Souls 2, I'll hope its actually as challenging as its hype makes it out to be, because the first one sure didn't live up to the hype.
  • obliviondoll
    I'm an active core gamer. If I didn't have budget concerns getting in the way, I'd have both games. I enjoyed Brink, and Titanfall offers similar parkour-based combat gameplay along with giant robots, which I've been a fan of since playing BattleTech when I didn't even own a computer. Dark Souls 2 is awesome just because From Software (I'm more into Armored Core than the Souls games, but that's beside the point).

    I'm part of an active gaming clan which started off based in Assassin's Creed, and several of our members have both games. I know plenty of other gamers who have played and enjoyed both games. Pretty sure there's a decent amount of crossover for the two games in the non-elitist portion of the gaming community.

    That's not to say that Titanfall is a hardcore game. But it is a game that appeals to plenty of hardcore gamers as well as being playable and enjoyable for casuals.
  • Ashley Gill
    Associate Editor
    CoD 6.0 with mecha -- oh wait, "titans." Guffaw.

    Anyway, any FPS with aim assist can't be considered hardcore by longterm FPS players. But those players are greatly overwhelmed by, well, FPS players who only have experience with CoD and Battlefield. So, really, who cares.
  • LeroyGankins_5426
    Look at my handle. Gank. I'm a moba addict who invested in Titanfall. Do I consider myself a hardcore gamer, naturally. I definitely think it depends on the person. I hve a group of 6 who already are planning on organized Titanfall games. Both games appeal to hardcore gamers, Dark Souls may have more hardcore gamers, but as stated by another user, this isn't just another CoD...
  • Josh Westbrook
    With the hype that both games have gotten, I don't think that the term hardcore applies. Titanfall will sell bazillions of copies, and DS2 will sell more than DS1 or DeS. This will indicate that they both will reach a wide audience. (In DS2's case, a WIDER audience than DS1). But truthfully, who cares? Isn't it really all about whether or not you as a consumer likes a game and not about the chest-thumping of being in the "hardcore crowd"?
  • Fathoms_4209
    Featured Columnist
    Well, would you say hype and hardcore go hand-in-hand? I mean, some of the most popular games on earth (Candy Crush, for instance) would hardly qualify as "hardcore." But maybe you mean hype among the core gaming community...?
  • Saurian Dash
    Titanfall is the video game equivalent of a Hollywood popcorn flick, it's a Micheal Bay movie. Dark Souls is more like a really passionate independent movie, a love-letter to the medium.

    I've always viewed hardcore gamers as people who are deeply into the gaming medium. These people understand game mechanics, they can quickly pick apart the way each game plays due to their understanding of the core components which are present across the various templates and mechanics sets used in each genre.

    The difference I feel between hardcore gamers and casual gamers is the acceptance of abstract concepts. Hardcore gamers can easily adapt to completely abstract rulesets and behaviours within a game system, casual gamers care more about how accurately a game emulates a real life activity.
  • Corey Kirk
    Featured Columnist
    Just out of curiosity, what do you call people who buy and play both? Myself and several others buy and play both types of games and have fun with them either way.
  • John_1877
    Titalfall is casual, just like all other FPS' out there atm! There is nothing hard core about it; point, shoot, die, respawn, do it all over again - same crap over and over, casual as it comes.
  • Christian_3740
    Different gamers buy each of those games. People who like to be patted on the back and made to feel as if they are doing well buy games like TitanFall. People who seek out challenge because it's hard, and because they want to overcome challenges buy a game like Dark Souls II.
  • obliviondoll
    Seems like you're assuming it's impossible to sometimes enjoy mindless fun if you like an in-depth game. I guess that's why games like Metal Gear Rising always fail, because they cater for the ones who like a challenge with their harder difficulties, while also making it easy to get instant gratification as a casual on the easier difficulty levels. Prototype does it as well with a handful of brutally hard bosses interspersed with plenty of free-roam areas where you can just run around causing havoc with minimal risk to your own safety - especially near the endgame when you've unlocked a lot of extra abilities.
  • Venisia Gonzalez
    Featured Columnist
    The problem is that too many people have WAAAY too many definitions for the term hardcore. The only definition I can see here that would apply is for the extreme brutality and difficulty in the Dark Souls series, with that Titanfall wouldn't qualify.
    I for one am a player who purchased and played Titanfall, while I'm patiently waiting to purchase Dark Souls II for PC. Simply put... I PLAY BOTH and so do many other gamers I know.
    Yes, they are two completely different games but who cares. They can't be compared to one another because of it, yet they're both deserving of their praise. I love my FPS and I love my action RPG PERIOD.
  • Fathoms_4209
    Featured Columnist
    Yes, but you're a core gamer. That's the question: If you weren't, would you play Dark Souls II? Probably not. If you weren't, would you still play Titanfall......?

    Perhaps. ;)

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