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COMMENT | Be Advised: it's time you gave Titanfall another chance

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
EA, FPS, Respawn Entertainment, Titanfall

COMMENT | Be Advised: it's time you gave Titanfall another chance

Titanfall is one of the best games of 2014.

No ifs or buts. On a purely objective and mechanical level, Titanfall's gameplay is impeccable, blowing the multiplayer shooter genre wide open with mobility, verticality, parkour, massive stompy robots and some of the best maps of the decade. It certainly isn't the first FPS to feature mechs and jet packs, but no game has ever managed to make these features so fluid and accessible, allowing anyone to get involved while providing veterans with a near-infinite skill ceiling as their abilities improve.

As such, I've returned to it on a weekly (sometimes daily) basis simply because it's that good.

COMMENT | Be Advised: it's time you gave Titanfall another chance

Unfortunately, however, I lied. There was an "if" and a "but," and it's a doozy, because there's no denying that Titanfall was also wicked skinny for a full-priced game. Limited gametypes and throwaway singleplayer notwithstanding, these days most shooter fans expect comprehensive customisation, deep progression systems, addictive metagame and hefty on-paper value that Titanfall just didn't provide. Coupled with matchmaking issues as the population declined, many players angrily upped sticks and never returned.

Perhaps you were one of them. That's okay. But it's also a shame, since you'll have missed out on a huge amount of major improvements, tweaks and upgrades that bulk up and flesh out Respawn's sensational shooter. Now that Update 8 is live, I'd advise you to give it another shot.

COMMENT | Be Advised: it's time you gave Titanfall another chance

The headline act of Update 8 is naturally the new co-op horde mode, which allows you and three mates to take on increasingly powerful armies of AI grunts, spectres and titans as they rampage towards your power core. Beefed-up AI, the ability for Spectres to Rodeo you and new deployable turrets make for a surprisingly stern and enjoyable challenge, while new 'stars' give you an extra progression system to work towards on all maps. Not bad for a freebie!

But it's not the only thing you've missed. The Black Market added a major new compelling core to the game, as level 50 players unlock credits to spend on new emblems and burn cards. Update 8 improves this system even further with new Titan voice packs (the Japanese Titan OS makes Titanfall feel like a sequel to Phantom Crash!) and the ability to save up to automatically bypass regen challenges, meaning that you can finally get past a particular objective that once forced you to ragequit!

COMMENT | Be Advised: it's time you gave Titanfall another chance

Personally I found that the regen challenges actually... you know... challenged me to use weapons I thought I hated in new and exciting ways, making some guns and titans I once despised a regular part of my loadout these days, but choice is good and you've got it in abundance.

Then we have the matchmaking and workflow improvements. Titanfall has come a long way since the dog days of early summer. Matchmaking is now speedy and slick, unnecessary menu steps have been excised and the whole experience now flows much more readily, without those hateful delays.

COMMENT | Be Advised: it's time you gave Titanfall another chance

And, of course, there's a lot more content. New gametypes abound, from 8v8 deathmatches to more nuanced modes. Three new DLC map packs are up for grabs -- Expedition, Frontier's Edge and IMC Rising -- all of which maintain an utterly superb level of quality and can be snapped up for £6.60 if you're an Xbox Live Gold Member! Completing challenges and metagame objectives unlock emblems to personalise your Titans. There's new ranked play, achievements, incoming gametypes and a slew of mechanical tweaks that make an impeccable game even smoother. Titanfall feels robust rather than slim.

If you haven't bought Titanfall, it's probably too late unless you find a screaming deal. Big new games are cresting the horizon, and the new metrics suggest that the player count is fairly compact to be charitable about it. But if you've got a copy languishing on your shelf, hard drive or Origin library, I'd strongly recommend firing it up and giving it another shot. I suspect that what you find will surprise you, and remind you exactly why Titanfall earned -- and ultimately deserved -- such glowing reviews.

Add a comment8 comments
Rbourne  Oct. 28, 2014 at 11:01

XBOX Gold have reduced the price of the season pass, wondering if it's worth waiting for a similar discount for the PC season pass?

JonLester  Oct. 28, 2014 at 11:11

@Rbourne: Heh, I wrote this yesterday - that season pass discount is genuinely a coincidence! I've updated the article.

I don't know if there'll be a similar Origin discount, considering that Xbox Live's subscription costs allow Microsoft to absorb a lot more, but I wouldn't be surprised to see EA running a discount once Advanced Warfare hits the ground.

Last edited by JonLester, Oct. 28, 2014 at 11:11
El Siccse  Oct. 28, 2014 at 12:56

Really love Titanfall the game. Hate Titanfall the experience. It takes me so long to find a game. It has improved lately with the new patch as it shows how many players are playing each mode. Attrition is easy to find games for. But, no word of a lie, I have spent longer in lobbies than playing the game. Thats why I will not be buying Titanfall 2.

It's a shame to hear the player base is dropping, but I am suprised it has held on to what it has this long. Especially as it's taking up 70-80GB of HDD space.
Titanfall is a luxury for people who have a lot of spare time on their hands.

Last edited by El Siccse, Oct. 28, 2014 at 13:00
Tsung  Oct. 28, 2014 at 14:01

Patch 8, is a major winner for me. Co-Op mode is a fun diversion, not sure how long that will last but still it's fun.

More importantly they have taken on board one of my own suggestions. All them worthless coins you earn when leveling can now be put to good use buying a Forged Certificate. This expensive (100,000 coins) item allows you to fully complete a challenge. Fantastic, I was able to buy that the other night, and complete the Gooser Challenge, which was proving too tricky to do normally. This ticked off the challenge, and I was able to progress again leveling, the leveling crack is back! yay!

JonLester  Oct. 28, 2014 at 14:12

@El Sisse: Sorry to hear that. I've found matchmaking to be incredibly slick as of update 6 - these days I find a game within 1 minute of entering matchmaking. Out of interest, what platform are you playing on?

@Tsung: Haha, I remember it well. In fact, that's why I highlighted that section in bold typeface! :D

El Siccse  Oct. 28, 2014 at 16:02

@El Sisse: Sorry to hear that. I've found matchmaking to be incredibly slick as of update 6 - these days I find a game within 1 minute of entering matchmaking. Out of interest, what platform are you playing on?

PC - It did improve after 6 briefly (maybe players come back for each patch) but my normal experience is get into first game quick (can be about to end), wait awhile for second full game, maybe get one or two rounds in a row then the server connection goes down and we start all over again. By the time I have played 3 rounds I am done with all the waiting. It's probably because I prefer hardpoint. Now they have number of player stats on the game I can get into attrition quickly but I prefer hardpoint.
I think more people will move to attrition for that very reason and the other modes might get killed off.
Like I said love playing the game but not enough for it to monopolise all my gaming time.

@Tsung: Haha, I remember it well. In fact, that's why I highlighted that section in bold typeface! :D

JonLester  Oct. 28, 2014 at 16:23

Ah, that might explain it. The player population is already rather low, especially on PC (I primarily play on Xbox One), and hardly anyone on there seems to play hardpoint even though it's the best freaking mode in the game.

Sorry. But I think you're right, there's a bit of a vicious circle in terms of game modes. Hopefully Respawn will use the daily challenges to entice more people onto the less popular gametypes.

Last edited by JonLester, Oct. 28, 2014 at 16:23
Exare  Oct. 29, 2014 at 00:10

Welp, you've convinced me. I've been looking fodna reason to return and this has pushed me over the edge. I LOVE this game. It's so damn good! Glad to see people are still singing it's praises and not only that the support from the devs! I'll see you online, gonna rodeo your ass!

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