3 Bad Things and 3 Good Things about Titanfall

It seems like everybody has been talking about Titanfall since it was released back in March. Created by 'key developers of the Call of Duty franchise,' who now make up Respawn Entertainment, Titanfall promised to deliver fresh yet familiar gameplay to a very saturated first-person shooter market. It succeeded in some ways and fell short in many others. Here are three good things and three bad things about Titanfall.


1) The bots are simply too stupid.

There has been a lot of conflicting opinions from gamers about the bots in Titanfall. Some like them and some hate them. I believe that adding A.I. grunts and spectres into the game was a good thing because it keeps a constant sense of action in each match when otherwise the maps would be way too big and empty for six on six gameplay.

So why does this fall under the 'bad' section? Because the A.I. is way too stupid. Has anybody EVER died to a grunt or spectre? They literally stand there looking at you as you shoot them or melee them to death. The ease in which you can mow down waves of minions becomes a problem when you consider that killing them actually is very useful to your team. Killing minions not only decreases the build time of your titan, but in game modes like Attrition they actually count towards the overall score. You get one attrition point per minion kill. You get four attrition points per player kill. Therefore, four minions is equivalent to killing an actual person. It's not unusual to see people with twenty to thirty minion kills per attrition game. That's like five to eight free kills!

Considering how large of a role minion kills can play in the outcome of a match, they should have been made more dangerous. Minions shouldn't do as much damage as an actual enemy pilot, but you probably shouldn't be able to blindly charge at them like a wild bull without worrying about dying either.

2) Burn cards

Burn Cards are seemingly a good idea on paper but in practice there are a lot of problems with them. First of all, it makes no sense that your burn card deck being full would force you to miss out on any cards you earn in the next game. Why not have it so that if your deck is full, after the game you are immediately compelled to discard cards until you are down to the maximum deck size? This would allow gamers to continue to earn all of the burn cards from each game and then pick and choose which ones they want to keep. Maybe someone with a full burn card deck completes a challenge which gives them a really rare burn card. They shouldn't be punished by that card completely evaporating because their deck got full before they earned it. They should be able to pick a lesser burn card to discard instead.

The burn cards themselves are kind of a stupid system when you think about it. Some of them are just plain overpowered. For example, there is one burn card called 'Map Hack' that gives you active radar showing the location of everybody on the map at all times. That is obviously quite powerful. But did the person who activated this burn card actually do anything in that specific game to earn it like a killstreak in Call of Duty? No. They could technically activate it at the start of the match and go into that game at a huge advantage over you. That's not fair.

Another issue with burn cards is that they only last for one life and then they are gone. When someone kills you, it cancels your current burn card and they get an XP bonus. True this somewhat offsets the overpowered nature of some of them described above but it also makes players hesitate to ever use their best ones because once you use them, they're gone forever. In the back of your mind is always the idea that maybe you will need this card later when you're really in a jam and it's better to not to waste it. Then you just end up never using it at all.

3) There's not enough customization.

When you look at recent Call of Duty games, there are dozens of weapons and each weapon has a mess of different sights, performance tweaks, and attachments to go with it. Not to mention all the various perks for your soldier. Titanfall has a fraction of this customization. There are only ten different primary weapons. Of those, only one of them is a fully automatic assault rifle so if that is your style of play you have some pretty slim pickings at your disposal. Each gun has a few different styles of sights, which is typical, but then there is only one or two 'mods' for each gun as well. Most of the mods are just the same things for every weapon, too (suppressor and extended magazine). This doesn't allow for very much weapon customization between players and oftentimes you will just see everybody using the same one or two guns.

Another problem here is that using a suppressor is pretty much mandatory. Since the game is only six on six, people are constantly trying to sift through the bots to find other players to kill. If you ever shoot an unsilenced weapon, you give away your position on the minimap and enemy pilots are going to instantly flock to like bees to honey. Shooting any gun without a silencer quite literally starts a countdown until you get shot from behind.

Your options are severely limited in terms of titan loadouts as well. Like the pilot weapons, titan weapons only have one or two mods. Not many people bother to use any of the titan weapons other than the 40mm cannon and the XO-16 chaingun so you'll be seeing most people wielding one of those two guns. The ordnance weapons are literally just different variations of the same weapon – four different types of shoulder fired missiles. Really? Anybody that has watched an episode of any Gundam anime could come up with a few additional ordnance weapon ideas. How about some mini chainguns that pop out of your chest plates like Heavyarms from Gundam Wing? Or what about a side mounted flamethrower that is really useful against enemy pilots and minions? An idea for another tactical ability could be sending out an active radar pulse that shows only enemy titans or some sort of generator that disrupts the radar of enemy titans similar to a counter-UAV.

The lack of customization in this game is really its biggest flaw because every game has the same weapons, the same loadouts, and the same titans. It just gets boring after awhile. There's no variation. How many hours can you just keep playing the same thing over and over?

Posted: 13th May 2014 by Alexander Hinkley