Author: Jay-Rey (@jay_rey)
I never wrote up a review for Titanfall, but here it is: I love this game. It is one of those first person shooters that breaks the mold that Call of Duty and Battlefield have so neatly fit into since their dominance over the genre. And now you can play it for free.
Origin is starting what they call Origin Game Time. They will periodically set a game up with Origin Game Time, which is basically a timed demo. Think if Steam’s Free Weekend. The first title for Origin’s new marketing strategy is Respawn Enetertainment’s Titanfall. This weekend, you will be able to play the depute IP from the re-branded developer that was once Infinity Ward. You’ll have 48 hours to to participate in a really fun gaming experience.
After the two days is up, it will presumably go back to normal. Last time I checked, purchasing a digital copy of TF through Origin was only $40, already 30% cheaper than its console counterpart. Which is very much worth it. This doesn’t include the first DLC, Expedition, but of course you can always pick up the season pass as well.
Titanfall has gotten a bad rap for a few things:
1) No single player Campaign – While COD has been known to have very large, cinematic cutscenes, and a slightly confusing arch over the entirety of the franchise, it is still a 10+ hour game mode with its own levels, its own feel, and features not traditionally added in multiplayer (riding in vehicles, quick time events, nuclear explosions.) Instead, Titanfall lets you play through the original 15 maps as either the IMC or Militia (the two sides battling it out) with a short spoken intro setting up why you’re there, and some more voice over throughout the round to tell a general story.
The problem here is that the “campaign” is just a multiplayer game type. Mixed with Attrition (team death match) or Hard Point (domination), you just wait longer in-between maps as you listen to the characters speak with one another. You must play this online, and if you can’t find anyone to pair up with, you can’t unlock the other Titan chassis.
2) Limited weapon selection – With 10 main weapons, 3 side arms, and 4 Anti-Titan weapons, people have voiced that they feel this is too few options. They are used to having multiple attachment options (noob tubes, shotgun attachment, etc) and a large array of weapons and gear. I disagree with this point.
There are enough weapons to cover all the play styles. If you want to hang back, there are sniper rifles. If you want to be up close and dirty, there are SMGs and a shotgun. And if you want to be more well rounded, you’ve got your carbine and your rifle. There is even an LMG for more direct Titan combat. I think the game is very well balanced, and that these other additions would really be a distraction.
3) Lack of customization – FPS games aren’t like GTAO or Saints Row. You’re usually a voiceless soldier, especially in multiplayer, that dies and gets replaced. You haven’t been traditionally been able to modify your character (except for maybe Rainbow Six), except for maybe skins on your guns. For whatever reason, people felt like Titanfall should have had this option. I guess with fewer weapons, and no real campaign, players wanted something special. Eventually, you do unlock loadouts. And based on your main weapon, your character will change his or her appearance. Snipers and Stealth like characters look noticeably different, while medium range weapon holders look more similar the the NPC enemies throughout the map.You have no control over this.
It was recently announced at E3 that there will be the option to place decals on your Titan, usually connected with in-game achievements you have accomplished. I think this is a great addition that didn’t needed to be implemented. You never see your own character, so looking flashy and cool is really only an E-Penis thing. But at least this shows that Respawn is listening.
4) Matchmaking Issues – Now this is hard for me to get too, but that is because I am traditionally a console gamer. The matchmaking on PC works how it would on a consul. You select your game type, it sticks you in the most compatible lobby (connection wise) and once there are enough players, it goes. The issue with this is that many PC games don’t work like that. Traditionally, you get a server list. You can select rooms with a compatible connection, you will see the game type, its great. No waiting ten minutes for a room to fill up so you can play.
There is also a balancing issue, which is difficult in this game. Traditionally, a player is designated a level. While ultimately, this level should comment on that players skill, they traditionally only show that this person has played for a long time. Also like Call of Duty’s Prestige option, Titanfall allows you to Regen. This can reflect skill levels a bit better. To regen, you don’t simply get to a certain level, you also have to complete challenges attached to that regen level and a certain weapon. Ideally, once you have accomplished the challenge, you’re more proficient with the weapon in question. So a higher regen level player is a better indicator of skill. All of that is a long way of saying that there is no option to switch or scramble teams. So often times lobbies will seem to be lopsided.
Out of these 4 main points, my only issue is with #1. And this issues isn’t much of an issue, since I bought the game at the reduced price tag. $40 for a multiplayer only game is reasonable, considering this game looks beautiful, plays awesome, and is just super fun. Origin Game Time will hopefully allow people who have been unsure an opportunity to try it out for themselves, and ultimately want to pick up a copy, come Monday.
Have you played Titanfall? What do you think? Is this a good move for Origin? Are you going to be more inclined to pick it up after trying it out for free?