Titanfall Should be Offered as a $30 Downloadable Title


Now before everyone’s presumptuous nature involuntarily bubbles up, I might as well get this out of the way: Titanfall is one of my most anticipated titles of 2014. Respawn Entertainment has created something special. A shooter so different, yet oh-so familiar, imbibed with the Call of Duty heart of perfect controls, satisfying gunplay, rip-roaring action, all wrapped up in an AI and mech-filled battlefield –  March cannot come soon enough.

So what’s the point of this article? Well…Titanfall, in spite of all of its offerings, feels like it should be released as a $30 downloadable title instead of a full-priced, standard Xbox One game. Why? Read on…

1. Multiplayer-only

We’ve heard all about Titanfall being a multiplayer-only title complemented with single-player elements, and at least for me, I have no problems with it whatsoever. In fact, even if Titanfall was being developed with a separate single-player mode, I probably wouldn’t even touch it until a month after release. Multiplayer is my domain, and usually the only reason I purchase games in the shooter genre. If I’m paying anything over $30, the game better have a single-player mode, and a few other extras (co-op, etc.) to keep me busy after I get tired of blasting all the guys who intimately know my mother. But a title that’s multiplayer only? Even with a number of modes, the multiplayer-only stigma doesn’t go away, especially at a $60 price-point.


Halo Reach, released in September of 2010, had a meaty single-player (which could be played solo, or co-op’ed with 3 others), Forge mode, Theater mode, and a weighty multiplayer mode – all for $60.

2. Gameplay

6 vs 6 multiplayer. Even since the news came out earlier this week, this topic has been discussed ad naeusum. 6 vs 6 multiplayer, in spite of the developer’s insistence that the player count was necessary to have the right balance of gameplay and chaos, still seems like a small amount of human-controlled players to throw into big multiplayer maps, even considering the AI and mechs thrown into the mix. Even 8 vs 8 would have done much to quell some of the distaste certain fans are feeling. Almost every other multiplayer shooter has player counts that go beyond 6 vs 6, aside from a few exceptions like Gears of War, Counterstrike, and others.


Lower player counts are usually featured in games with more tactical and slower-paced gameplay e.g. Counter Strike, Gears of War, etc. Titanfall feels like more of a frantic experience like Call of Duty, Halo, and Battlefield.

3. Other Downloadable Titles have Offered More for Less

Warhawk, SOCOM confrontation, Gotham Knights, CounterStrike Global Offensive, Battlefield 1943, and others have offered the same content (or even more) for a lower price-point; more bang for the buck, so to speak. The developers of these titles realized that a lack of a single-player experience, and focusing on a multiplayer experience would be better served to their players at a lower price-point. So far, we haven’t heard of anything about Titanfall (dedicated single-player-esque system, co-op modes, etc.) that would add some actual meaty content – enough to justify it being the same cost as a full-priced standard Xbox One title.


Warhawk has 32 player online multiplayer, replete with vehicles, vertical gun-play, and big maps.

4. Graphics

The graphics on Titanfall are pretty good, but not ground-breaking. The game apparently runs on a highly modified Source engine from 2001 (echoes of the id Tech 3 engine and Call of Duty series arise), it can only support 6 vs. 6 human players from the start, and can only output at 720p, though at a promised 60 frames per second. All these setbacks, in spite of the claim that the game will be utilizing cloud technology (another topic all together) to help with processing power, don’t help much in convincing the masses that this game will be the pinnacle of next-gen shooters. It almost seems as if the graphics engine and the lower player count was restricted to accommodate the lowest common denominator of the 3 platforms Titanfall is being released on – the Xbox 360. If the title were developed based on the Xbox One, or even the PC as the main platform, the story might’ve been very different, but catering gameplay and processing capabilities according to the weakest system out of the 3 is like trying to reinforce bunker walls with cardboard.


Even Portal 2 runs on a highly modified Source engine from 2001.

5. Launch Day Growing Pains

Let’s not forget the multiplayer growing pains that other titles have gone through (Battlefield 4, Sim City 4, etc.). Respawn could test the netcode for months on end, but until the title is tested after release in the actual waters of online multiplayer, a plethroa of things could go wrong (albeit, fixed after a few days to a week I’m sure). So since Titanfall is a multiplayer-only focused title, and the happenstance it goes through initial launch/connection problems, gamers could be left with a coaster for a couple of days, with no other offline modes to fall back on during the interim. At least other games have offline options that people can enjoy, like single-player, horde mode, etc. while developers attend to multiplayer issues.


Let’s not forget the issues Battlefield 4’s multiplayer is still going through.


As a downloadable, lower-cost alternative, Titanfall would probably be an amazing experience. But as an ultimate $60 shooter centerpiece for the Xbox One…not so much. Imagine Halo 5 coming out later in 2014. Same pricepoint as Titanfall, but (and I’m talking here considering the historical offerings of the previous Halo games) with a meaty single-player story solo or co-op, Forge mode, and a deep and engaging multiplayer experience; there’s just no comparison between the two – unless Titanfall goes for that magical $30-$40 price point. Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments below.

*The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not reflect SpawnFirst as a whole.