This year, the two heavyweights of the first-person shooter genre will once again face off against each other, in what absolutely no-one is calling The Fight of the Century.
There could possibly be a third dog in this fight - Titanfall 2. Aside from the fact that this would make my boxing references unsuitable, it is not yet a proven quantity. Titanfall had a great debut; winning numerous awards at 2013's E3 and gaining largely favourable reviews upon release. Most of the criticisms levelled at Titanfall were due to the lack of content. With no single player campaign, few multiplayer game modes and a dearth of available weapons for both Titan and Pilot, it could quickly get stale. Respawn Entertainment attempted to remedy this with extra maps and game modes but it was a case of too little, too late. If it really wants to compete in the pro circuit, it needs to take a win from one of the undefeated champions (and that devastating left hook in the third round brings us firmly back into the world of boxing).
I can't out-gun an 18-year-old with lightning-fast reflexes; my reactions are slower than an underwater Tai Chi instructor on his day off.
It may seem like I have nothing but disdain for these shooters, which isn't true at all; Titanfall 2 appears to be ticking all the right boxes. The inclusion of a single player campaign is a huge plus, whilst more Titans, weapons and customisation options can only be a good thing. The beta boasted the freedom of movement and feeling of speed that was a highlight of its predecessor.
Modern Warfare 2 was the very first online game I played and I fell in love with it instantly. Since then, Call of Duty's visuals and audio have vastly improved and the gameplay is tighter than ever. The franchise that introduced me to the world of Xbox Live - and, unfortunately, the unwanted discovery of my mother's apparent licentious carnal activities - will always have a place in my heart.
The Battlefield 1 open beta felt immediately familiar, in a good way. The weapon handling was pleasantly meaty and was fairly well suited to the era in which it’s set. I found that the air vehicles were, predictably, impossible to control with any degree of accuracy (not that it dissuaded me from jumping into one with gusto at any given opportunity, much to the detriment of my squad, my team and the overall war effort. These things aren't cheap, you know. Others managed to swoop around the heavens like metallic birds of prey, obliterating anything in their path. They were clearly trained pilots, like every other team I've faced.
The reason for my seemingly apathetic outlook has nothing to do with ennui or oversaturation. It's age. I don't mean that I get tired of reading about the promiscuities of various family members through a collection of numbers and letters that, when pronounced phonetically, sound like actual words. No, this is about my reactions, or lack of them, if you want to get technical.
As a 30-year-old man (or as close an approximation as I can manage), I can't out-gun an 18-year-old with lightning-fast reflexes; my reactions are slower than an underwater Tai Chi instructor on his day off. When playing the aforementioned twitchy shooters I can be, at best, a middling team member and, at worst, the shithead who keeps crashing all the planes.
My current shooter of choice, as some will know, is Rainbow Six: Siege. A much slower paced game where tactics and strategy often trump reflexes and reaction time. If you can get the drop on someone, you don't need to be fast, you just need to be there. Shooting someone in the back may not be honourable, but if gets my team a plus on the scoreboard they don't mind and neither do I. Even playing a supporting role can provide your squad with enough of a leg up to get the win, regardless of your shooting prowess.
This leisurely, methodical approach allows me to consider my actions and succinctly discuss tactics with my team mates. If things don't go quite as planned there's often enough time to change tactics on the fly and formulate a new plan, safe in the knowledge that I won't ambushed by 16 snipers whose sole purpose in life is to perforate me, multiple times.
So, that's why you won't see me on the battlefield in any of this year's big shooters. Now, get off my lawn!