By now you should of heard of, played or at least seen footage from Respawns global sensation Titanfall. It was met with widespread critical acclaim and has been championed as a new era in First person shooters. However, Titanfall does have it’s shortcomings and I’m not talking about the lack of campaign mode. The lack of campaign mode can be forgiven as we are in an era which puts multiplayer gaming first, however, the list of problems I present to you are unforgivable.
1. Lack of game modes
There are literally 5 game modes, whilst this may be acceptable to games which focus on single player and have a tacked on campaign, Titanfall is a multiplayer only title. The ones included are OK but relatively standard and offer nothing new. Generic playlists like Hardpoint (domination) and Capture the Flag are decent but offer nothing new. Last Titan standing is a bit more unusual but is largely ignored. The other two are basically Team deathmatch, which is a tired playlist which is slapped on to add to the number of modes. I expected more, I didn’t get it.
2. Those damn bots
The bots offer very little, in fact you could be standing next to them and expect not to be killed for a long time. They are a worthless addition which attempts to keep things interesting but they simply do not. They are more a nuisance and attempt to keep the games flowing, the problem is the maps are generally too big for 6v6 so they are intended to be a stop gap until you find a Titan or pilot. They also promote tactics such a bot farming, the process in getting easy kills to boost your score in Attrition. They are useless and seem tacked on, almost as if the developers created the game and realized the maps where too big in comparison to player count. Poor effort.
3. Lack of Customization/Weapons
Call of Duty has its critics and rightly so, but at least it offers longevity in terms of weapons and customization of weapons/loadouts. Titanfall has a very limited amount of weapons for Pilots and even less so for Titans, meaning things can become stale very quickly. You can’t personalize your character beyond being male or female, there is no option to change the color scheme of your Pilots attire of your Titan either. The game is extremely bare bones and at a similar price you could argue that Call of Duty and Battlefield offer much more for your money.
4. Lack of Ranking System and Leaderboards
Want to play with players on a similar skill level? Well you’re out of luck. Want to check out your global ranking and compare your stats to your friends? No option here. Hell, you can’t even view other peoples statistics. This should be standard in all multiplayer games, I understand the need to try and control cheating but not even having basic options like what I’ve said above is ridiculous. Each game becomes as meaningless as the last, if you win then great, if you lose then there’s always next game. It’s an endless cycle of meaningless games and your performance has no impact of the game at all.
5. Where is Free For All?
Free For All once ruled online FPS gaming back in the early days but it’s noticeably absent here. The game lends itself to Free for all because of it’s chaotic nature and this could of been a real winner. If the player limit is capped at 12 then I’d rather be playing 12 player FFA then generic team based games. The removal of bots and Free For All added would make me care about Titanfall more than I do. I’m guessing it would conflict with the rather crappy ‘campaign’ and story that goes with it but there are still a hell of lot of Free For All players around, don’t ignore us Respawn/EA.
6. Lack of private lobbies/offline play
This is probably the most surprising in my opinion. The lack of ability to play custom games is a huge fail in my eyes. This is basic stuff and for a ‘next-gen’ title this is embarrassing. Not everyone wants to jump in to matchmaking and face random people. Custom lobbies added longevity to a lot of games, some people never even entering matchmaking. This coupled with the lack of campaign obviously means there is no offline play, meaning those extra controllers you just bought are completely useless.
7. That ‘campaign’
I have said before that Titanfall does not have a campaign, that is not strictly true but I choose to not even class it as a ‘campaign’. It’s basically a mixture of the gametypes available with some guy narrating over it. You get to see a few cut scenes of gameplay that actually looks decent and shows off a world beyond the maps included that you can’t explore. I have no idea what is going on in the campaign and I feel like I’m just playing multiplayer with the addition of some random guy/girl speaking to me constantly, distracting me from the game. Does anyone even know what the hell the story is about?
8. It’s overpriced
The game retails at the same price as any retail game but offers very little for your money. Your paying for 5 game modes, an awful campaign and the level of customization I would expect from a SEGA Dreamcast game. There’s no denying the game is a hell of a lot of fun to play but it should be half the price it is already. We also have the option to choose to buy the season pass, which has no details on what it actually offers. We are expected just to pay X amount of money for additional content, which will probably be just a few maps spread out over the year until the inevitable money spinning Titanfall 2 comes out. The funny thing is that the maps are actually one of the only things done well and don’t need improving on.
9. Lack of vehicles
Beyond Titans there is nothing much else. It is basically a stripped down version of Call of Duty with Mechs. It would of been cool if we had some kind of transport when playing Capture the Flag or a few playable vehicles that genuinely were competitive with Titans. There could of been the option to call in something other than Titan, the world shown in the campaign offers so many possibilities and could of been a real creative universe but no, we are stuck with Pilots and Titans. This is supposed to futuristic, sci-fi combat but it feels like anything but this.
10. Noticeable problems
There were a number of issues with Titanfall at launch which seem to be resolved. On the Xbox One there are still chat issues. at least for me anyway. My headset will cut out in-game after a certain amount of play forcing me to enter party chat. Not that anyone talks anyway, there should of been a game mode that totally bans party chat, it’s a game ruiner which ruins the social aspect of online play.
Despite all I’ve said above, Titanfall is still a great game. By ‘great’ I mean the actual core gameplay is fun, addictive and fluid. There just isn’t enough content to provide the longevity I’d have hoped for. I assume the review scores came at a time when things where fresh and after only a few days of play. There’s a lot to be admired but much more that needs improving. I’m a patient guy but the omission of basic features at launch must mean this game was rushed to help boost Xbox One sales as it has been struggling against the PS4. Whether or not the rest of the gaming world have the patience to wait for the necessary upgrades and updates is another question.