Retiring My Titanfall Mech (and Xbox One)

Dave Zatz —  April 5, 2014


After recording my first flawless victory, in terms of K/D ratio, and frequently landing the top spot in Hardpoint gameplay, it’s time to retire my Titanfall mech. As you probably know, Titanfall launched a month ago as the first, big exclusive Xbox One title and the game is also notable by forgoing a single player campaign, offering only online combat. In fact, its release finally compelled me to pick up the Xbone One via Titanfall bundle on day one.

In terms of gameplay, the Titanfall controls are mostly spot on – I’d say pretty close to flawless when playing as a human and generally very good when strapped into your mech. Available weaponry is well balanced, although as with most shooters, snipers will be frustrated when they’re taken down at range by a mere assault rifle. And satchel charges do supersize damage – including usage as a more effective grenade. Back to sniping, I generally prefer to creep (versus camp) in first person shooters, but Titanfall is designed to keep you moving and that style of gameplay doesn’t really work here. With that in mind, my typical loadout was the R-101C Carbine or C.A.R. SMG, both scoped, along with the previously mentioned satchel charges (in conjunction with Dead Man’s Trigger – think CoD’s Martyrdom). And I spent way more time running and gunning in human form, versus mech – which are surprisingly vulnerable and ineffective when not under your direct control.

Much has been made of Titanfall’s human double jumps (and wall running/hanging), opening up the environment in the vertical. However, I’ve been parachuting from Call of Duty or Bad Company titles since 2006, and games like Shadowrun and Lost Planet have taken us there before. And, speaking of Lost Planet, that title also featured mechs. So Titanfall is definitely derivative. But in such a way (graphics, control, gameplay) that it exceeds perhaps all of its predecessors. But, with my in-game success and flakey free month of Xbox Live Gold shortly coming to an end, I’ll be packing up the Xbox One until the next amazing release – be it game or console software update.

6 responses to Retiring My Titanfall Mech (and Xbox One)

  1. If I find the motivation, I’ll write a bit on the Xbox One in general. Motion controls are worthless, voice is decent (when it works), TV integration with TiVo Mini leaves a whole lot to be desired, the Metro interface has gotten out of hand, etc.

    More on Titanfall, The non-player characters who populate the world are a very nice touch, and probably a testament to Xbone’s processing power, changing the dynamics slightly and making it all feel more alive. Burn Cards are an interesting way to provide occasional weapon and ability upgrades, without cluttering the regular loadout options with a thousand choices – and many too powerful for regular usage. But in practice, for whatever reason, I rarely bothered managing and using them.

  2. I use the burn cards in every match. Usually two or three of them. They can be invaluable. At least for me they are.

  3. I wonder if burn cards are used at a higher percentage in game styles other than Hardpoint – I could see the the super running ability being very useful in Capture the Flag and the amped firearms good in Attrition and Pilot Killer for example. If the unlimited frags regenerated quicker, I might have used them. ;) Speaking of modes, why no lone wolf? Hm.

  4. 87% of the matches I have played so far have been Hardpoint. I’m at level 5, Gen 3 right now. There were many burn cards that were useful for me. And there were burn cards that were not useful that I discarded.

    Running ability comes in very handy in Hardpoint. It allows you to get to the locations much faster which also allows you to get more points. That was one of my favorite burn cards. I would typically get MVP when I used that card.

  5. I was definitely not a fan of the game. The 6vs6 feels too empty, but it doesn’t help that I have only played in one full match. The matchmaking at least on the PC is severely broken. I tried playing this weekend since the beta matchmaking was released and all three matches I was put in a match on the side that was down 150 points and only had 10-30 points remaining in the match.

    This game could have been really good, but it is easy to tell the PC was just another port with no real effort put in. We are still waiting for a patch to fix the bugs that were reported in the beta.

  6. Since they opened up the new matchmaking to Hardpoint, i think every match i’ve been in has been close. I’ve been in 200 matches total now. With 90% of them being Hardpoint. But i’ve only been in a handful with the new matchmaking.