Titanfall - Review

Author: Marco Mottura
Date: 2020-03-03 22:57:14
Titanfall has been discussed far and wide for almost a year, starting from the very moment in which the debut title of Respawn Entertainment made its very first appearance closing - decidedly with a bang - the amusing pre-E3 2013 conference of Microsoft . From then on, Vince Zampella and his Titans remained on everyone's lips for months and months, between rains of awards (over 75), enthusiastic previews and excellent feedback from critics and audiences, for what turned out to be the first true must buy of the new generation of consoles.

In the well-deserved absolute uproar and in the stunning media exposure, there was no lack of space for a real mystery concerning the Xbox 360 version of the product, announced at the same time as the other yet kept under the utmost reserve for an immemorial and if not even senseless time. No screenshots, no videos and no declarations regarding Titanfall X360: the only information available remained until a few days ago only the indication of the developer, Bluepoint Games (Texan team formed by exiles of Retro Studios specialized in conversions, already responsible for Ico & Shadow of the Colossus Collection, of the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, of the God of War Collection and of Flower PlayStation edition 4), as well as Respawn's exhaustive commitment to guaranteeing an experience that lives up to the original.

The puzzle deepened further a few weeks after the official release of the game, with the surprising announcement of the one month delay of the smoky old gen version: officially motivated by not well-defined reasons of quality control and by the need to take some '' of extra time for the completion of the work, the postponement triggered a series of hypotheses on the web at the limit of the conspiracy, between those who imagined self-boycotts for marketing reasons and those who hypothesized insurmountable difficulties in the process of converting to less performing hardware .

At this point, little talk and speculation matter in any case: the Xbox 360 version has finally arrived at its destination, and it is now possible to discuss how the gigantic Titans are doing with a platform spread in the homes of millions of users, but also released in the now distant 2005. The first detail to be specified well concerns the nature of the contents of this "old gen" edition: all the modes, maps, weapons and skills seen and appreciated on One and PC make their appearance here too, making the X360 version virtually identical to the others.

As you can easily guess, the key however lies in that adverb, "virtually", certainly not chosen by chance. If on paper the ingredients are exactly the same as those used in packaging the exquisite recipe offered on the reference machines (by the way, I refer you to my review of the title in the Xbox One version for all the insights of the case, with three super analysis pages detailed!), the controller result in hand cannot certainly be said to be unchanged, for an experience that in spite of the apparent similarities and manifest good intentions ends up losing something on the street.

Provided that Titanfall certainly did not shine for technical realization even in its main incarnation, with its more evident Achilles heel represented precisely by the visual quality (between questionable polygonal complexity, slightly dated effects, rough textures and a bizarre resolution of 792p at 60 frames per second with some occasional drops in the most excited moments ...), it is precisely in the performances that the main defects of the game are found once again, unfortunately at this round not without some impact too much on the still admirable gameplay .

With some Titans on the screen and in some maps, it is the drops in framerates that really look titanic.

Despite the initial impression of familiarity and apparent loyalty in porting, the generational leap has in fact brought with it some inevitable sacrifice: the already questionable quality of the textures has been further lowered, the resolution has been reduced to about 600p and yes unfortunately not exactly occasional aliasing, screen tearing and texture loading problems. In short, despite the "evolved" origin, Titanfall on Xbox 360 is certainly not a joy for the eyes, and it will hardly be remembered as one of the highest points touched by the Microsoft console.

A separate discussion regarding the fluidity, an authentic painful note of the matter. The game comes with an unlocked framerate that stands at around 45 frames per second: although it differs perceptibly from what has been experienced on One, the feeling of fluidity is good, and the feeling all in all pleasant (even in light of the already mentioned graphic impasse). It's just a pity that as soon as things get a convulsive minimum - that is to say very early and very often, in the bombastic large-scale war of Titanfall - even sensational slowdowns take place, with devastating declines that cannot fail to have important repercussions on playability (starting with from the aim, undoubtedly more complex to manage if the framerate becomes an additional obstacle to be taken into account).

However, all is not lost: the 30 hz option intervenes to save the game in the corner, inserted by Bluepoint Games in a highly providential way (even if guilty hidden like any item among the various menus!). By activating the aforementioned mode, the framerate at 30 FPS is strictly blocked: in this way the average fluidity obviously lowers, but the annoying drops referred to previously disappear completely. Of course, this is an obvious compromise (the idea of a subjective shooter at 30 frames per second could horrify purists of the genre, and in the first place I would not be excited by a similar perspective ...), yet the stability the whole proves the element to be preferred if you want to opt for the Titans in the Xbox 360 edition.

The question at this point, however, arises: how much can a halved framerate affect a title like Titanfall? Given that there is no universal answer to the question - a lot depends in fact on the sensitivity and tastes of each one - from a lover of fluidity even at the expense of graphics, I would have to reply "enough". Honestly, it will also perhaps be because of the habit of the Xbox One version, but the battles between Militia and IMC at 30 frames seemed much less reactive, less snappy and less tasty to see (and especially to play). Which, for a video game that is based largely on speed, shots and accelerations like this, does not seem to me a little.

MODUS OPERANDI
I played Titanfall thanks to a code kindly made available by Electronic Arts. Knowing the game perfectly (the tens of hours spent with the Titans on Xbox One don't lie, and my third generation level 27 is authentic!), I limited myself to testing the X360 version for about 3/4 hours, completing the campaign mode as IMC and then dedicating myself to some free matches, until I reach level 20. My war experience on X360 ends here, but will continue for much longer on Xbox One.