I’ve more or less fallen out of love with Respawn’s Mechwarrior meets Call of Duty hybrid shooter, Titanfall, over the few months since its release. Most of my reasons are much the same asCharles’ experience. Simply put, Titanfall failed to hold my attention. This isn’t a total reflection on the end product as Titanfall is a pretty fun game overall, yet the kibbles and bits that keep me interested could not whet my appetite.
Part of this is due to my gaming habits whereby I’ll play a game or two to death and then quickly lose interest. The other part is that, despite Titanfall coming out swinging with a couple of neat twists on the pull right trigger and then pull left trigger genre there simply isn’t enough there.
In a recent patch, Respawn has tried to mix things up a bit to keep players coming back. Two new modes have been revealed: “Marked for Death” and “Wingman Last Titan Standing.” Marked is available now while Wingman LTS will debut a little later. However, there’s a big asterisk next to these modes meaning that they’re available for a limited time only. So act fast.
At any rate, I decided to re-enlist to see how the new mode plays.
Marked for Death is a welcome change to the traditional deathmatch style. Basically, a randomly-chosen pilot from each team is tagged “it” and needs to be killed before your team’s marked pilot is iced. This creates an intense atmosphere of paranoia when you’re tagged. It also creates wonderful hotspots for a bit of tactical thinking for each team: do you hang back and guard your teammate or do you charge forward to get the jump on theirs? The modes has only been out for a couple of weeks, so strategies tend to vary. Really, though, it’s just more localized deathmatch variant.
As with any twitch reflex game, map knowledge is a must and knowing how to deftly maneuver into a safe place can make or break your time as being marked. It’s also a markedly more aggressive mode. Marked targets are highlighted until they die, mocking your HUD in defiance. This gives you a sense of purpose that is missed from standard Attrition in which everyone kinda just does their own thing. The overall flow keeps the same speedy pace as the other modes, but the added direction makes matches incredibly fast.
However, I’m still unsure if a steady rotation of modes will keep players in the game. Titanfall doesn’t exactly differentiate itself from the CoD crowd that much. Furthermore, the new Wingman mode doesn’t seem that much of a departure from the original as it takes the same idea – destroy the other players before they kill you – except reduces the players to teams of two. I guess we’ll see how it plays in the next update.
I’m hoping that Respawn can bring in some more unique modes. I’m sure at some point there will be a CTF variant and maybe even a Sabotage mode as well. But I’d like to see more ideas to push Titanfall away from the lineup of similar titles. Specifically, I’d love for them to try out a Unreal‘s Onslaught mode or maybe even attempt to create an FPS/MOBA monstrosity. The already have the AI units, they could add in more capture points or something and make something extremely tactical and fun. They could even ape the upcoming Evolve by having four pilots take on a super buffed Titan. The possibilities are virtually limitless. If Respawn can grant new modes without additional cost on the player side, then perhaps some of those glass half full feelings about the amount of in game content could hushed.
Marked for Death and some of the other updates – like the rebalancing of weapons and some more unlocks and new cards – are giving me some trigger happy fingers. If Respawn can keep up some momentum, perhaps Titanfall will appear in my regular rotation again. Certainly, they’ve heard from the community and are thankfully responding in kind. Now let’s just see what they’re able to do with the feedback.