The game came out March 11 and here’s my quick Titanfall review for Xbox One two weeks later. Talk about a laggard! Feel free to drop a Titan on my head! Although the delay was partly because I got hold of a Hauppauge PVR Rocket so I can finally do some video uploads again (I used an old Hauppauge component cable recorder before for my 360). While you Yanks down south had it available last year, we timid Canucks just got them now!
I have some Attrition videos in 1080p below…. don’t forget to switch the video quality setting. As a side note, I’ll also post a Hauppauge PVR Rocket review tomorrow.
You’ve all heard and read the hype…. Believe!
One part Call of Duty, one part Unreal/Quake, one part your favourite arcadey mech game. Add it up and it is fun, fun, fun!
I’m not going to bother rewriting or cut and pasting the details from my old beta impressions post, but if you want to read more about the controls and such go there. I’m sure you know all about the nitty gritty stuff already.
- The more I play the game, the more it resembles a spruced up 360 game
- Mostly solid frame rate at 60 fps most of the time. But some lousy screen tearing and stuttering can occur
- For character models, the animations can be good sometimes, but don’t expect any kind of accurate physics to them. Players slide everywhere, can do karate kicks from way out and there is no customized skins except male and female
- The artwork is excellent. It’s sci-fi, but the colours are lush
- Overall, ok visuals. Not next gen at all, but serviceable
First the Bad
- The Campaign (two sets of nine matches) is total filler. You play some Attrition or Hardpoint matches with some background storyline and in-game cutscenes tossed in. Who cares. But if you want the Stryder or Ogre Titans for your custom classes you have to slog through them. Set aside about two hours for each side. I wanted the Ogre so I had to
- Limited number of modes (though Respawn said free modes are coming)
- No custom class renaming, nor visual adjustments to player models
- Terrible lobby waiting. 90 second intermissions, loading a map probably takes 2-3x longer than Call of Duty and flipping in and out of menus can often make you stare at a “Connecting….” pop up box
- The team you play with is static. So teams don’t get mixed up the next match (talk about pure luck, Respawn just added a new matchmaking beta choice in the lobbies. It helps sort players and readjust players)
- No lobby leaderboards
- I don’t play every day yet there’s been a few times the entire servers go down for everyone
- In the stat screens, they need to add a best winning streak counter. Last night I joined a random lobby and we must have won 9 or 10 in a row!
- Hard to tell which enemies are AI or human. You can tell by the way they move or react and by the tag name, but by that time it may be too late. I’d rather focus on the human player than less threatening AI. There may be three enemies in the distance. I shoot one that says “Spectre”, but if I knew the other guy was called “SniperAzzWholeXXX”, I’d go after the asshole instead. Not physically, but digitally. And when I mean digitally, I mean in an online shooter way…. lol
- The boggy frame rate can be poor at times leading to jumping gameplay
- Burn cards are a great idea, but it just seems sloppily put together in the menu. Fanning through 20+ cards is a chore. You should be able to automatically junk or avoid cards you don’t want. I never use sniper rifles, so getting sniper cards is useless filler for me
- Some of the text is hard to see and I play on a 60″ plasma. Have fun trying to read the challenges recap screen after a match!
- The most refreshing change of pace in a shooter in years. Endless years of companies making WWII then modern military make this game smell like roses by default
- The servers work great. Although I mentioned above there were a few times the servers were down en masse due to maintenance, the game plays flawlessly when it works. No P2P hosts rage quitting, no “migrating hosts” which works only half the time, no finnicky P2P connections which some reason doesn’t work. It just works smooth
- A fast paced game which suits run and gunners more. But even campy guys like me enjoy it. Although you can’t camp like a claymore infested rat, you can still play from a distance using a Carbine (like me)
- Wall jumping and double jumping give you freedom to move and evade, but not too much. Since the game still has a typical 3-4 bullet death like Call of Duty (maybe Titanfall is more like 4-5), it’s not like you can whimsically jump away from death knowing you can absorb 15-20 bullets like some old school shooters
- Maps are bigger, have lots of vertical and some have underground tunnels making them feel right. Not too big, not too small
- The AI grunts are fine in my books. They help give kills, while also giving a sense of a larger scale battle happening. The different skill sets of the AI help mix up the action. While Grunts are worthless, the Spectres in groups of 3-4 can hold their own
- The auto-turrets give good variety. They aren’t overpowered at all. If anything they’d skew to the weaker side of effectiveness, but can deal out damage. They are not like sentry guns in Call of Duty where if you are lined up to one you are basically dead. I’ve been killed by enemy pilots many times hacking one and done my share of killing someone trying to take one over
- Respawn made the right move increasing Attrition mode to 300 points. 250 was a tad short
- I think Respawn made the right decision on how Titans are called in. Everyone gets one at three minutes max. If you do well killing and such, you get to call one in two minutes. Some burn cards let you call one early. It gives everyone a chance to have fun, but surprisingly they are not as dominate as you’d think. Since there are so many Titans later in the match, a good player can easily get overpowered by two less skilled players double teaming him. Titan weapons are not too effective against pilots as the splash damage isn’t great for most arms and pilots can jump to safety or cloak. It’s sometimes easier just to sprint up to someone and squash them
- Lots of stats. I’m a stats whore. Love the fact they show overall k/d and vs. human player (pilot) k/d
- When a match technically ends, you still have time to either escape or kill off the escapees. This part is fun too. It’s hard to make it safely to the ship and also pretty hard to take it down…. almost too hard!
The Old Guy in Me
Tired of Call of Duty? Tired of Battlefield 4? Tired of that second rate modern military game where everyone uses AK-47s and M-16s? Want to play a game that has some resemblance to them, but goes back to old school sci-fi settings and fast paced action? Get Titanfall.
The best Xbox One game I’ve played so far.