Checking in on Titanfall

Titanfall has been out for the Xbox One for over a month now. It was discussed after the first week on the podcast but now is a good time for an update. A series of patches and server changes have been issued in attempts to improve the experience. Some of the things added, like private matches and color coding party members on the mini-map, were obvious things missing. And the way they were described seems to indicate time just ran out, which continues to indicate that this game was very unfinished when it was released. The good news is that Respawn continues to add these things to the game via patches, instead of making people wait for the next version of the game. Here is a breakdown of what's good/bad about it's current state.

The Good

This game is still very fun. It's fun in a way that Call of Duty hasn't been in a while. It has its frustrating moments, but the de-emphasis on stats and scoring makes a huge difference. Originally the lack of a personal scoreboard on-screen, or a more prominent display of points earned for objectives and kills seemed to be bad. But the more time spent playing this game the more it seems like this just adds to the mystique of this game just being “fun”. The lack of killstreaks makes the game feel so much more balanced and driving a Titan has gotten more fun over time1.

The inclusion of bots in normal games is a very nice touch. It really allows anyone to have a good time and potentially contribute some points to the team no matter what. It also makes the large maps feel more populated, and large maps are not a bad thing.

The Bad

The negatives fit better in a bulleted list since most of them are minor:

  • Time between games: Whoever made the decision to put so much time between games is crazy. The new matchmaking shuffles teams more and at times it feels like 3-4 minutes in between games. Senseless.
  • Lack of depth – The loadout options are not incredibly deep, and neither are the game modes. Both of these things could be improved with patches/DLC but at the moment experimentation/variety ends to quickly.
  • Regen SystemTitanfall's answer to Call of Duty's Prestige system. So many people were Regenerating with the first couple of weeks that despite the added challenges required each regen, people seem to move up very quickly.
  • No Map Voting – Despite there being 15 maps in this game, the rotation seems poor, and certain maps (Fracture and Relic) seem to show up insane amounts, while others (Training Ground and Rise2) seem to be rare. But why is there no voting? It make the map balancing at least a bit better.

Overall though, Titanfall continues to be fun. The first map pack is due out in May, and it's unclear whether it will be worth the investment with Watch Dogs also due then, but until then, this game is still tons of fun.

  1. Although the option to let it drive itself is still a nice one []
  2. Not a bad thing since this map sucks []