Titanfall: Counter to the Critics

Respawn has generated some skeptics. Here is my counter of some of the criticisms of Titanfall.

One of my colleagues wrote an article the other day expressing a negative view towards Respawn Entertainment’s Titanfall. While the article is a fun read and something you should look at, there are many points made that I would like to discuss. I want to discuss them because I feel that Titanfall is new, and may be the first true next-gen title for Microsoft and EA alike.

Stand by. Prepare for...Call of Duty?

The first major criticism many people bring up is that Titanfall is too close to Call of Duty. Respawn has kept all the “old aspects” and who cares if there are mechs present. The article says about Titanfall:

"Nothing I have seen shows me a good game at all. Everything Respawn has told us, which isn’t much, points to the same old aspects that we’ve all grown so tired of in Call of Duty. All right, so there are mechs known as Titans in the game. Who cares? If we want a true mech-combat game, Hawken just released on Steam Early Access. It isn’t a groundbreaking feature to have giant mechanical walking behemoths in your game, nor does it make you innovative"

There is some faulty logic with these statements.


First, Respawn consists of 70 developers that also worked on COD. It is no wonder that the infantry combat feels a bit like it; but is that a bad thing? Up until Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, the smoothness of the controls and movement mechanics were praised by the majority of gamers. It wasn’t until it became popular to hate on COD, years later that this “feel” was questioned. Besides, the game feels more like the shooters of yore, like Unreal Tournament, than modern-day COD.  

The question that comes to my mind is do people know that the devs come from COD? If so, perhaps this point that we see is more like a little bias?

The second part of this argument is rather easy to counter. Games like Hawken or MechWarrior don’t allow you to get out of your mech. In fact, no other mech-based game lets you get out of your mech when you want or provides as many varieties of strategies of how to use your mech. (*Editor’s Note: I know about Battlefield 2142. My point still stands.)

Titanfall's AI

The next issue people bring up is the horrendous AI. I would like to point to popular MOBAs. In games like League of Legends or DOTA 2, there are only five players on a team. The rest of your team consists of AI called Minions. In order to rank up your character, it is your job to grind on these minions to earn enough to buy your incredibly important items. There is never a time when the minions are not treated as cannon fodder. The greatest threat is always the other players.

The same concepts apply to Titanfall. The game only has six players on a team. The rest of your team consists of AI called Grunts. In order to get your Titan, it is your job to grind on these grunts to earn enough to dwindle your build timer to get your incredibly important mech. There is never a time when the grunts are not treated as cannon fodder. The greatest threat is always the other players.

Titanfall's lack of a single player mode.

Let’s take a look at the lack of a single-player mode. Titanfall is not the first game to exclude single player and go full multiplayer. In fact, some of the most innovative shooters in history have forgone the single player route. Did you know that without a game called Starsiege: Tribes we would never have had the iconic gravity gun which became popular in Half-Life 2? Guess what? Tribes was, and still is, a multiplayer only game.


(A group of Starsiege: Tribes players posing.)

That said, Respawn has promised to include a story arc that is similar to a single player experience. Please look no further than an E3 reveal trailer from last year which shows a story driven narrative.


Who would buy a collector's edition of a game that isn't even out yet?

I laugh when I see people dismissing collector editions of games. Complaining about a Collector’s Edition for Titanfall shows me that some people think there are no fans of the game and one is crazy for wanting to buy a $250 version of the game that includes a collectible Titan statue with LED lights, 190 page art book, and schematics for the Atlas Titan. Surely no one wants all of that do they?

Of course they do. I know many people, whether they are tabletop gamers, avid collectors, or just enjoy splurging a little on games that gladly pay $250 for a limited collector’s edition. I would suggest to the critics that just because you won’t pay $250 for a game doesn’t mean others won’t and to say true fans don’t exist yet and shouldn't buy a collector's edition is a fallacy. Please look at Respawn’s official forums and you will see plenty of true fans.

The question that does remain is this; is Titanfall truly next-gen and does it deserve all the praise?

To find out, make sure you read my full review when Titanfall launches March 11th.

Published Feb. 19th 2014
  • Si_W
    Still loving Titanfall, it overtook Battlefield as my go-to shooter...
  • GA_6939
    Starsiege Tribes influenced Half life 2 gravity gun? LOL, nooo.
  • Corey Kirk
    Featured Columnist
    Actually yes. Starsiege Tribes released in 1998 and was later purchased by Vivendi Universal, which also was the distributor for Half Life 2 when it released in 2004. Both were published by Sierra Entertainment, which found itself working with Vivendi. Though there were more mergers, many of the devs at the time were working on multiple projects and often borrowed from other franchises. Borrowing ideas is a common occurrence in the industry; Marathon and Halo, Assassins Creed and Shadow of Mordor to name a few.
  • GA_6939
    But i have never seen a gravity gun or something similar in Starsiege Tribes.
    Also wasn´t Half life 2 inspired by Tresspasser?
  • Mix_6795
    dude, looks freaking epic
  • Germaximus
    Titanfall really is the start of the next wave of FPS games. The only thing that will happen next is that more games will try to get more players in rather than six vs. six. The first few "clones" of Titanfall will probably majorly suck. It's very obvious that Respawn put an incredible amount of love into this game and truly fleshed it out. And that's just from impressions of the impressive Beta which was a tiny portion of the full game.

    I played just under 20 hours of the Beta. I would have played more if I didn't have to work two full shifts in the last two days of it. =p I went from loving it in my first couple of hours to being bored of fighting bots to being absolutely in love forever. I've written several articles about the game, three of which are different versions of my early impressions. Starting with my First Impressions at http://gameversevault.com/titanfall-beta-impressions/. That links to my Second Impressions and my final impressions and why I think the bots are actually awesome.

    I went through some changes in what I thought about the game during the Beta. In the end, I think it will be what future FPS games try to copy for awhile. Destiny looks cool but it also looks like an upgraded version of Borderlands.
  • Cozomel
    Well said. The beta was amazing and had all of us raving, that was only a tiny part of the game too. Most, not all, of the naysayers are Playstation fans who are jealous or trolling as evidenced by their insecure comments. Others are people who never play and would never buy a fps to begin with, yet they try to criticize a genre they have no knowledge in, laughable. And finally, those that just don't like the game, not everyone does nor should everyone, but these are a minuscule portion of the people who don't favor the game as nearly all are in the first two categories I listed, mostly the first. There is a reason why the game is so hyped, well previews, raved about, he most wanted next gen game, most written about and covered next gen game, because it deserves it, the hype is real and will only grow as more info leaks about the full game.
  • Megaman_1470
    Destiny???Ummm HALO rings a loud bell when i see Destiny....Yes it looks like a really good game but i can bet anything is Destiny was an Xbox One exclusive Nobody would be saying that game looks good....Real Gamers are getting extinct very fast right infront of our eyes and its sad....So far there is not one real gamer in the comment section ....I feel sorry for you
  • Brian S
    Featured Correspondent
    While the story trailer does show a lot about how the story works, my problem with it is that the gameplay was faaaaaar too scripted. I know the player dying would have ruined it, but the trailer doesn't really accurately show what the gameplay is like, which is to say that in my experience, players rarely stay on the ground if they can help it. Gotta agree on the AI feature though--really, the AI is a very welcome addition for me. It makes the battles feel important and like they take place in the universe of the game.
  • Fathoms_4209
    Featured Columnist
    "That said, Respawn has promised to include a story arc that is similar to a single player experience. Please look no further than an E3 reveal trailer from last year which shows a story driven narrative."

    Here's my personal guarantee: In no way will Titanfall feel like a narrative-driven game.
  • GabrielKross
    Featured Columnist
    I just feel like it's just an average shooter regardless. Nothing really screamed out as new or made me feel like I HAD to play it. What Bunji is showing of Destiny, now that looks like a shooter I can get in to. Titanfall on the other hand is more of a meh.
  • Corey Kirk
    Featured Columnist
    Destiny does look good :)

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