Updated Thu, Feb 20, 2014 by Lewis B
The last thing I wanted to talk about before I get onto my biggest gripe with the game, is the the Burn Card concept and I must admit, I absolutely love these. Basically, as you play through a match and accessible at level 7 you unlock cards which you can equip before a match begins. These disposable cards are designed to bridge the gap between high and low level players and they provide experience boosts, improvements to your pilot or a significant jump to the power of your weapon. Once you’ve used a card, it is disposed of permanently and will only last as long as you’re alive. The flexibility comes in the fact that if you’re clever, you can equip Burn Cards that allow you to mix up your play. For example, I tend to roam with an upgraded Smart Pistol because it’s so good for killing groups of Spectres but when I’m in a pinch, I’ll equip an alternative Burn Card weapon if I need a change or tactics. Although you burn through them quickly (no pun intended) they are also easy to unlock. It’s a clever system and one I’m really glad to see implemented.
Up to now then, it’s all pretty rosy. A couple of niggles here and there with the AI controlled bots being make or break for some players. The main problem I see with the product however, is the fact that it’s disposable, a relatively selfish play experience and offers absolutely no team work. If you want to be nothing but a lone wolf and shoot people in the face, Titanfall is perfect. If you want depth outside of your own improvement, it really is lacking. Unlike Battlefield, Quake Wars or Team Fortress 2, Titanfall offers no incentives to work together. The lack of a class structure (regardless of how loose) where players have some form of role would have done wonders for the game and yet instead, all we’re left with is everyone being Rambo.
Loadouts make little difference to the way you play and have no bearing on any sort of role. Yes you might orientate yourself to a spy-like style of play (complete with cloak and silenced pistol) but it’s all inherently pointless when brute force is the best method. What I think Respawn should have done is something similar to Battlefield and had 3 class types that you customise, but within those 3 would be unique tools and skills. The intention behind this would be to create a cohesion so that players could work together: repairing Titans, hacking outposts and keeping pilots alive. Without this framework, it feels somewhat dated and shallow
There is of course nothing wrong with a good old fashioned shooter and shooting people in the face with a hulking Titan doesn’t get boring too quickly. My concern however is the fact that Titanfall will be compared against its competition and for me, at this stage during Beta, its lack of teamwork as a requirement is very worrying. As someone who adored Battlefield 2142, I still think it stands head and shoulders above Titanfall for depth, map design, sound and team work, but it’s unquestionable that Titanfall appeals at the heart of the Call of Duty faithful.
Stay tuned for further updates when we get our hands on more maps and modes.