Titanfall, the once-Xbox exclusive Call of Duty-like sci-fi mech shooter (try saying that while drunk) was a good game – not a great game, but a ‘good’ game.
After spending many an hour blasting my way through humans, AI-controlled grunts and towering war machines alike, I came to one conclusion – there’s considerable room for improvement in the Titanfall formula, and with rumours of Titanfall 2 on the horizon, here’s what I want to see in the next title.
Making Titanfall initially an Xbox One exclusive may have helped Microsoft sell a few of its big shiny black boxes, but it also curbed the game’s potential audience considerably. Plus, as the Xbox 360 version was essentially identical (the graphical downgrade wasn’t all that noticeable, trust me…) there is definitely potential for a cross-platform release.
So, with Titanfall 2, I fully expect – and demand, as I am of the PC master race and the proud owner of a PS4 – that developer Respawn Entertainment will make the next game in the series a multi-platform title. Plus, with a money-grabbing publisher like EA distributing the game, multi-platform is pretty much a given.
Such a move will not only open up the IP to a wider audience, it would allow the developer to make use of the competing systems’ more powerful chipset, ramping up an already good-looking game to new heights.
Wider selection of Titans
While Titanfall’s three Titans offered just enough variety to keep things interesting, I’d like to see a far, far wider selection of metal behemoths available to trample enemies with in Titanfall 2. How about some four-legged, gunned-up walkers with the power to level city blocks, or some tracked, high-speed scout Titans with ridiculously long sniper rifles?
Granted, I sound like I’m heading down the Armoured Core route here – or possibly even the dreaded Chromehounds – but variety is the spice of life, and more mechs is always a good thing.
Staying in the same vein, Titanfall 2 could take a leaf out of the excellent Hawken’s playbook and throw in a little customisation for both Titan and Pilot – incidentally, go check out Hawken if your mech itch needs scratching, it’s pretty good.
I’d like to see Titans with personalised paint jobs, control interfaces, weapon skins and the like. Granted, later patches for Titanfall allowed gamers to adjust the Titans’ AI voice, but there is plenty of scope for customisation– just make additional options earned through kills please, Respawn, not microtransactions, and save the gaudy gold-plated rifles for Call of Duty fans with too much disposable income…
One of the main complaints many critics and gamers had with the original Titanfall was the very limited number of human players on each team. Granted, the inclusion of AI bots (and massive bloody mechs tramping about) made each game an intense fight for survival, but there was definitely a lack of human opposition to be found – especially on some of the larger maps.
An argument could be made that six-vs-six is enough for Titanfall, given the sheer speed, freedom of movement and differing combat styles going on, but it is the duty of any good game developer to turn it up to 11 in their sequel title – so let’s up the player count.
10-vs-10 or more would only increase the intensity and enjoyment gamers will garner from the Titanfall experience – and imagine the pitched battles of 20 Titans on the field at the same time. That would indeed be a sight to behold!
Drawing a leaf from DICE’s book, I’d like to see the battlefields of Titanfall strewn with destructible scenery. Although the first game boasted some excellent multiplayer maps (the one featuring a shanty town built around a crashed battleship was a favourite of mine), I’d of liked to be able to blow holes in the walls, or simply plough through them in my armoured behemoth.
Such a design choice (although horrendously difficult to engineer, I’m sure) would add a whole new approach to fighting in Titanfall. Groups of Titans levelling buildings to get at one another as pilots sprint along collapsing walls would lead to some tremendous, heart-pounding action, and the gradual destruction of a multiplayer map would require quick-thinking and initiative to adapt to.
Plus, who wouldn’t enjoy the sight of an Ogre Titan punching its way through the hull of a spacecraft to get at the cowering grunts inside.
A single-player campaign
Although billed from the start as a “multiplayer-led experience”, the original Titanfall suffered the critics’ ire thanks to its lack of a coherent single-player campaign. Despite its excellent production values and top-notch intro video, the exact ‘ins and outs’ that saw the Militia resistance go up against the IMC in the battle for the Frontier were basically drowned out by the sound of battle.
Attempting to cram a story into the tiny intro sections of certain multiplayer maps and then having named characters yacking over the fast-paced action simply didn’t work – and a game with the pedigree and success of Titanfall deserves a proper storyline to hold it together.
By all means adopt a Perfect Dark Zero approach – have other players take the role of weaker, nameless drones in a primary player’s campaign mode – but include an actual single player please, Respawn. I want to know what happens next, and I know thousands of gamers around the world want to know too.
What would you like to see in the next Titanfall? Leave a comment below.
Article written for Pass the Controller.