The Potential Pitfalls of Titanfall
Titanfall is launching tomorrow and will mark the first true entry into the next generation of consoles. The game is currently steeped in hype, and with a pretty successful beta in the can, it’s safe to say it’ll be a commercial success. Yet even with all that I find myself still worried about the final product.
We finally know that Titanfall will ship with 15 unique maps to run, jump, and stop around within, which is a pretty solid number. This was a major concern while I was playing the beta: There were only two maps, and while both of them were really fun, I wondered if Respawn could sustain that across several more maps.
**I'm going to die so many times on this one... and all other ones.**
This is an especially important facet of Titanfall since the game only exists online. The entire game will depend on the success of the maps – so even if there’s only one map that sucks it will decrease the playability by a noticeable margin. Of course there will be map packs, (it wouldn’t be a modern release without DLC) but Respawn can’t use that as a crutch.
So Respawn has said that there is no traditional campaign mode for Titanfall, making it a totally online, multiplayer game. Respawn has also made clear that there is as story in Titanfall – but will we care?
**To be fair - M. Night Shyamalan is pretty successful with no story too.**
Titanfall’s story will supposedly be woven into the actual multiplayer matches. Maybe an NPC will say or do something at a given point on a given map that will progress the narrative. The thing is that Titanfall is a pretty hectic game, in the best way. At any given point there will be explosions of mayhem on the field and you could be running on a wall dodging gunfire while a nearby titan is going nuclear. In an event like that will we really absorb, let alone give a shit, about what some NPC is saying to us? Probably not.
With no way to really pace this narrative I’m not entirely sold on the concept. The premise is promising, but for some reason I doubt anyone will notice.
Hopefully EA is Prepared
Rewind to October: Droves of fans line up to get the first PS4s and Xbox Ones on the marked. They pick up their copy of Battlefield 4, only to find that the game is about as stable as Liza Minnelli (I know it’s a low blow, but you laughed, so get over it). EA published Battlefield 4, and while some of the blame can be shared with developer DICE, Battelfield’s online functionality was abysmal, and I’m sure a lot of that can be attributed to EA.
**Above: The servers for Battlefield 4.**
Being that Titanfall is only online, it’s safe to assume some servers will be dragging come launch, but if things start crashing there’s nothing for mech-hungry gamers to fall back on.
A Variety Show
During the beta Respawn had several weapons and one of the three mech classes on display. For a beta this is fine, and I had a blast playing it in spite of the limited offerings. Walking away from it, though, I wondered how much they would have come full launch – and furthermore how the balancing would be.
**Pfft - The Matrix did this in the '90s with WAY more leather. Lame.**
Titanfall’s replayability will rest almost entirely on weapon balance and variety. If something is too powerful it could absolutely destroy every redeemable component of the game and make it no fun to play. Adversely, nailing the balance and weapon variety could elevate Titanfall to a new plateau of multiplayer gaming.
Beyond weapons, game modes are something we know little about. In the beta Respawn showed off Attrition, Last Titan Standing, and Hardpoint Domination – all of which were fun. But I found myself growing a little bored with them as the beta drew to a close. Now, this could have been because I had been playing them on the same two maps for two says straight, or it could have been that I needed something new.
Titanfall is one of the first really ambitious next-gen projects getting a release. Coming from the people who essentially defined online first-person shooters it’s easy to say that this could, in fact, be a Respawn. Then again, it could be dead on arrival.
Sound off in the comments down below and let me know what your biggest Titanfall worries are.