Now before any panties are bunched up, this isn't going to be a rant about how I hate Titanfall and/or how broken it is. In actuality, I found the game to be quite fun, (although lacking features due to the beta) and virtually bug free. I can also easily see this game being very popular and likely receiving good ratings across the board. However, seeing as though I'm not a CoD fan, (in fact the last time I enjoyed CoD MP, was back when they were still set in WWII) I approached this game with a bit of skepticism, and the comparisons I found in my hours spent with the game, are as such:
Titanfall plays similar to CoD, but it doesn't "feel" like a CoD game - if that makes any sense... It shares the same overall formula - similar gun mechancis and damage scales, similar gamemodes and gameplay mechanics, even the aesthetic is similar, but the extra layers it adds, like the Titans or the movement system, etc. somehow allows it to differentiate itself enough from CoD to still remain its own game, rather than just "CoD with mechs." Now, as I stated, I have not spent extensive time with CoD MP, but based on what I have experienced or seen/heard from others, that is my synopsis on it. Throughout my play session, I did happen to run into things that seemed to stand out, that I personally had a problem with.
1. Damage scales - Overall, I feel the TTK (time to kill) should be increased. It seems like in a game of this pace, being able to drop opponents as quickly as you can, feels self defeating. It's pretty much, "who sees who first wins," which should feel familiar to CoD fans, and is also one the things I don't like about those games. However, although I feel firefights should should last longer, (or have damage scales that allow for firefights to ever happen in the first place,) kills didn't feel cheap or unfair.
2. Epilogue - The "Epilogue" at the end of matches just seems entirely unnecessary. Not only does it add a "one life only" element to gamemodes where it isn't needed, it doesn't actually have any effect on the outcome - the losers still lose, and the winners still win. It just seems like a waste of time in an attempt to make the game feel more dynamic. I can understand this type of mechanic making sense in the MP campaign, but in the traditional MP modes, it just feels unwanted and cutting into the time that could be used for counting down for the next mission. Perhaps if it offered things like “Partial Victory” for losers or “Total Victory” for winners, it might actually have more of an incentive, but as it is now, when the Epilogue began after each match, I just found myself sighing and thinking to myself, “is it over yet?”
3. Burn Cards - The burn card system in Ttianfal essentially works like perks for your pilot. The problem is, they seem utterly pointless, with too much risk vs reward. They only last until you die, so you could use a really good card, and then encounter some BS (which happens a lot in games) and lose it before you ever even had a chance to really use it. This could easily be due to my dislike for “gambling” in games, and am more a fan of straightforward mechanics – this is what you have/get, this is what it does, and this is how long it lasts, with no strings attached. In this regard, I don't think it is too much to ask that the cards last the entire match, (perhaps only being able to choose one instead of three) regardless how many times you die, and are then "burned" after the match ends. The burn cards did however seem to offer a fair amount of variety in what they did, and nothing really seemed to be really OP.
4. Tactical Abilities - I don’t have a problem with the abilities themselves, but rather how they operate, specially their usage/cooldown. The abilities cannot be cancelled, that is, if you active your Cloak or Stim, you have use it until it drains completely, rather than being able to cancel it when you no longer need i. This seemed to be more of problem with Cloak, where you might want to enter a building cloaked, and then find out there were no hostiles, and not being able to de-cloak until the ability completely drained. I don’t know if this was a balance decision or simply personal preference, since I’m not really sure how a player could abuse them if they were able to cancel them out. They would still be draining the ability, and would still have to endure a cooldown, even if it wasn’t as long. It just seems like by not offering this feature, it takes away from some of “tacticalness” of the tactical abilities, and instead makes for a feature that can make players reluctant to use them.
5. Rodeo - The Rodeo feature in Titanfall allows for pilots to ride on the backs of enemy titans and shoot at their “brains” to take them down. It is a cool idea for allowing pilots to counter titans, but it seems remarkably simple, and that is the problem. There is no QTE or any special maneuvers you need to perform in order to mount one these hulking, metal beats - just jump on top of or close enough to one, and the game automatically situates you on top of it, and then automatically initiates the animation of opening the hatch to access the titan’s “brains.” At that point, it’s just point and shoot (with your primary or secondary weapon – using your anti-titan weapon will kill you.) Although this is easily countered by the fact the pilot is exposed to enemy fire this while time, and by using things like Electric Smoke or even getting out of your Titan and dealing with them yourself, it seems like the whole process could be more involved/engaging, and not as autonomous as it is now.
As stated, my time with the game was overall enjoyable, and as a whole, I find it to be pretty solid, but even the best games are not without their flaws, and these are five that stood out to me. I will be picking this up on March 11th on Xbox One and (hopefully) having a blast with friends, so for those also anticipating this game, "prepare for Titanfall!"