February 26, 2014

My feedback on Titanfall beta and a callout to Respawn Entertainment

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The Titanfall beta has now come and gone for players on Xbox One and PC. It was great, to say the least. Addictive, fast-paced fun, and it immediately impressed me to the point that I repeated “This is definitely a Call of Duty killer,” over and over again.

Developed by Respawn Entertainment, a company that came up as a result of Infinity Ward splitting up, they should know what to do to still make a great game. Infinity Ward, before it split up, is responsible for some of the best Call of Duty games that ever existed. Which, may I add, those Call of Duty games are still the best compared to the junk that has been put out in the past I-don’t-even-know-how-many years already in that franchise.

Anyway, let’s get on with this. Respawn Entertainment and Microsoft made it seem like the beta for Titanfall that took place recently was all about making sure the servers can handle the population loads. But, the game can still use more content for release, and post-release. 

Except Respawn has already made some comments that I want to address about certain things being in the game, both leading up to release and post-release.

Excuses Already? Come on…

Respawn has already been questioned about Titanfall being able to satisfy the eSports community in any way. Their response was weak and to me just translates to “Yeah, we just want to release this game, take your money, and work on the next one.”

"That said, we have a TON of interest from the eSports community, and I know we're not going to be shipping with all the features that they're going to be wanting in the game, but we're in our first iteration," Heppe said. "A lot of the games that have developed good eSports features and the competitive community are ones that multiple iterations to get that done and to build in those things."

It’s 2014, don’t make excuses and put in some work. The same work you can put into a “future iteration” you can do just the same with improving a game post-release. Yes, I’m calling you out because you don’t need to make 20+ Titanfall games through your development life and go down the same road as Call of Duty. Like I said, get with the times.

Look at DICE and what they have done with Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4, and what they continue to do with the latter. DICE Has added ENTIRE game modes, more weapons, more maps, more customization, and even changed the main menu of their games over time. Oh, and to be clear, it has all been done post-release.

Meanwhile, publisher Electronic Arts sees a bright future for the franchise, with CFO Blake Jorgensen saying last week that the series will be around for a "long, long time."

Yes, EA, we know you are a selfish money-hungry pit that knows nothing about game development and properly keeping a single customer satisfied. You don’t need to tell us you want Titanfall to eventually become Titanfall 25.

Another big time excuse that I have already come across from Respawn (somewhere on Reddit) is about customization in the game. [Respawn] You used to make Call of Duty games, yet you have stated that Titanfall doesn’t even include a single bit of camouflage customization? I mean, I was at least hoping to change the color of Titans just to make it easier to distinguish your friendlies and party members without having to point at them in-game and see their tiny name pop up. Now that I think about it though, kind of the same ordeal as Battlefield though. But still!

One thing you definitely need to do is have a separate map and in-game color system for your party members, you know, like every other game also does. Don’t go telling me that it won’t be in the game because you’re just digging your own hole, post-release update. Ok? Thanks.
Don’t start with the excuses, Respawn Entertainment, once you release Titanfall you can continue to change the game, you’ll have time to focus on those other things you’re already making excuses about.

Oh, and I played the hell out of Last Titan Standing during the beta and I can safely say that game mode is absolutely ready to be used for competitive gaming. I played some games in that mode that put everyone on edge, produced some incredible comebacks, and there were plenty of great game changing moments that prove to satisfy competitive gamers.

On To The Exciting Stuff

Rant aside, this game is fun and addictive. Period.

That’s all just coming from playing the beta so far like everyone else. Weapons are awesome, pilots are designed like the badass you’ll feel playing as them, and jumping into your Titan never gets old in this game.

During the final hours of the beta some users dug around the Titanfall beta files and have discovered more things that sound so awesome it makes it that much more difficult to wait just two more weeks for this game.

Plenty of additional game modes will be available in the game, aside from the three beta game modes (Attrition, Hardpoint Capture, and Last Man Standing) we experienced. Team Deathmatch and Capture the Flag are just a couple of noteworthy mentions.

Fifteen maps! Click here to see them all.

That’s a lot for a game this entertaining. If I recall correctly the beta only had 2-3 maps available and I was easily entertained and the gameplay was always different.
Finally, this game has big ass monsters according to artwork and other information confirmed through the Internet. That’s crazy!

As seen in one of the Titanfall’s trailers, monsters will be part of the game’s backdrop, but some will also “walk or fly around levels harmlessly until people interfere.” There’s more, “Others will attack when you just stare at them.”

Not only do you have to deal with the AI-driven Grunts and Spectres, your enemy pilots and titans, but also big ass monsters. Loving the sound of it all!

Titanfall will release on March 11 for PC and Xbox One, and March 25 for Xbox 360.