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Titanfall (PC) impressions: Frenetically fun robot violence -- when the servers work

Hayden Dingman | March 12, 2014
I could probably write my Titanfall review right now. I've played about fifteen hours of the game, all-told. I've finished most of one of the multiplayer "campaigns," though everyone left our server before we completed the whole run. I've ranked higher than the beta's Level 14 cap. I've killed some people. I've killed some robots. I've run on some walls.

Stories are surprisingly hard to follow when you don't really know who any of the voices belong to, and it's even worse when parts of the story happen during a match, rendering it almost impossible to pay attention to whatever thin plot points Respawn is trying to convey.

It's bad, as far as I'm concerned — distracting at best, obnoxious at worst. But you have to play through the campaign twice to unlock all the Titan models.

Online-only obstacles
And let's talk about the issues I encountered on the PC — namely, tons of server errors. I got into the game prior to retail release and was already hitting dreaded "Retrying server connection" errors mid-match. And not just once in a while, but every fifteen to twenty seconds. Everyone would freeze in place, my screen would gray out as the game attempted to reconnect, and then we'd all lurch forward again. On multiple occasions I died.

Then when the game launched at 9PM Pacific, the servers basically collapsed. Multiple "retrying connections" again and even three flat-out crashes-to-desktop. It's not exactly a surprise — this is launch day for an online game. However, that's why I don't feel comfortable giving this game a score yet.

When Titanfall works, it's phenomenal fun. A bit thin on content, especially since the "campaign" is a letdown, but a great update to the Call of Duty action-shooter formula.

When Titanfall works.

I'm hoping to put in a lot more time this week, so look for a review later on if the servers stabilize. Until then, standby for Titanfall.


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