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Titanfall Xbox 360: Bluepoint delivers a solid port

Wednesday, 9th April 2014 11:41 GMT By Dave Cook

Titanfall Xbox 360 is out now, and Dave Cook’s been getting stuck right in. Has Bluepoint Games delivered a worthy port of the Xbox One original, or is the last-gen edition a fool’s errand?

titanfall

“This week’s North American launch came with little in the way of fanfare, and the fact that the press had no prior access to the last-gen build sent alarms bells ringing.”

This isn’t a total re-appraisal of Titanfall. For my full, final gameplay impressions of the Xbox One build, go here. We have included a screen comparison between both builds below.

It was rather worrying to see EA holding Titanfall Xbox 360 close to its chest. This week’s North American launch came with little in the way of fanfare, and the fact that the press had no prior access to the last-gen build sent alarms bells ringing. With all that secrecy you’d think the publisher was trying to hide something dire; a grievous error even. Had Bluepoint Games dropped the ball hard? You’d be forgiven for thinking so.

In actual fact the game is surprisingly good. The graphical drop is notable in places and it’s prone to glitches that I’ll cover in some detail further on, but first let’s actually address the long period of radio silence. This really confused me for several reasons, and I think chiefly, I suspected what most of you did; that EA had a weak build on its hands and it was trying to keep anyone from seeing it prior to release.

That’s wrong, and I get that if you take a staunch business approach to this then yeah, fair enough, it makes sense to divert attention when you have a weak product on your hand. But you’re not stupid. You all sensed something was up, and I feel that had EA just shown the game via the usual preview channels and trailers then that sense of distrust and trepidation around the Xbox 360 version wouldn’t have emerged.

We’re now living in a time where – despite all of the NSAs, GCHQs and Facebooks in the world – transparency is actually becoming an acceptable value in the video game market. Look at Kickstarter, with its clear-glass view on the development process, where prototypes and early builds are routinely shown to let backers see where their money is going. Steam Early Access is doing this as well, although with some questionable price tags attached.

I’d never advise anyone to buy a game without first consulting either a review – if they trust reviews at all of course – trying a demo or asking people they believe for an opinion first. But it’s clear that many people buy games without that prior knowledge because they do get sucked into the hype machine that we in the press admittedly help to perpetuate to varying degrees, and they buy a game on day-one off the back of the industry’s message. You’re not made of stone, after all.

So imagine if you bought Titanfall Xbox 360 after all of the silence and the no-shows, only to find you’d just dropped £45 on a terrible game. You’d have every right to be livid. I’ll repeat again – the build is fine, so that leaves me to believe one thing; that EA and Microsoft wanted to squeeze as many Xbox One sales as possible before unleashing the last-gen edition on the world. That, and we’re now in a new financial year, and it’s clear that both companies will get off to a flying start thanks to the game’s last-minute delay.

Dwelling on it for too long would be to detract from the solid porting job Bluepoint Games has delivered in Titanfall. It’s the same team that created Metal Gear Solid HD Collection a few years back, and it did a fine job there too, so I was never worried about the team’s ability as such.

Titinfall_360_training_room_6

“I can do all of the same things I could in the Xbox One version without the game failing, or having it slow to an unplayable crawl.”

The first thing I noticed when jumping into the game was the 1GB optimisation install, which was quickly finished and before I knew it I was in multiplayer, doing all the things I’ve been doing in the Xbox One build for a few weeks now. There are no content sacrifices here, and when you consider that the player caps are the same – and from what I can tell this also applies to the AI grunts – then the amount of polygons and models on display at any one time is actually quite remarkable.

I’ve seen a pack of four Titans in a brawl on the Lagoon map, with its lapping waters and swaying foliage without any slow-down whatsoever. That’s impressive, even if the frame-rate did stutter at several points, along with a degree of lag. I’ll chalk the latter up to day-one server load for now, and I’ll keep an eye on it over the next few weeks, but by and large the net-code held up fine. There were also a few instances where bombs and bullets caught in my Vortex Shield didn’t appear, and some movement glitches saw my avatar moving strangely.

That’s hardly game-breaking, and the point is that I can do all of the same things I could in the Xbox One version without the game failing, or having it slow to an unplayable crawl. Granted, there were moments where the machine groaned under the strain, and textures understandably didn’t hold up as well. There are jaggies, blurry objects and noticeably less aliens swooping around the Boneyard map. I still noticed the big four-legged beasts roaming across the horizon, much to my surprise.

There’s just so much going on in this game that with all the explosions, shell casings and pieces of broken mechs flying around it’s no joke, and further underlines Bluepoint’s ability. Simply put, this is the same game you’ll find on PC and Xbox One but with an inevitable drop in visual quality.

Is it a deal-breaker? Well, that all depends on how important visuals are to you, but the graphical dip didn’t phase me and the final package doesn’t look largely out of sorts against the Xbox 360 builds of Battlefield 4 or Call of Duty: Ghosts, two games I felt failed to excite in the presentation department. I’d call this a triumph for Bluepoint, but then again I’m already invested in Titanfall thanks to the Xbox One build. Will newcomers be so kind at first pass? Well, that’s for them to decide.

Disclosure: to assist in writing this article, EA sent Dave an Xbox 360 copy of Titanfall.

Screen comparison:

Titinfall_360_training_room

Titinfall_XB1_training_room

Titinfall_360_training_room_2

Titinfall_one_training_room_2

Titinfall_360_training_room_6

Titinfall_one_training_room_6

Titinfall_360_training_room_5

Titinfall_one_training_room_5

Titinfall_360_training_room_4

Titinfall_360_training_room_4

Titinfall_360_training_room_3

Titinfall_one_training_room_3

Titinfall_360_training_room_7

Titinfall_one_training_room_7

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21 Comments

  1. Obernox

    Great read. I gotta say, it looks damn impressive on 360, and most likely would’ve eaten some of the Xbox One sales if released the same day.

    BTW, The Borderlands Pre-Sequel is legit http://www.ausgamers.com/features/read/3429259

    #1 8 months ago
  2. Dave Cook

    @Obernox Thanks :)

    Yeah we saw Borderlands yesterday. AusGamer broke the 1pm embargo, which was annoying. Our piece is live on the homepage now.

    #2 8 months ago
  3. OlderGamer

    Not just Titanfall, but this is the difference that I have noticed across pretty much every game I have played on PS4 and XBO, almost nothing between this gen and the last one. I own a PS4, WiiU, and XBO. Nothing on any of them that couldn’t be done as good or near as good on PS360 systems.

    Titanfall is not an amazing game(graphicly or gameplay) on XBO. Not in my opinion. And the hype was way too high for the game(yes I own it). However it would seem from initial feedback there is so little difference between the xb360 and the xbo, the purchase of the xbo is unjustified. Prolly the xb360 is a better purchase tbh, I can’t play the game off hours on xbo due to the lack of players. I am guessing that more people will play the game on xb360.

    On the whole, like Titanfall, the next gen feels like a flop to me. Everyone wants a next gen, but what we have just doesn’t feel like a next gen to me. Same games, very slightly better lighting and textures. Oh and 400usd+ hardware. It is early still, and I have high hopes for a few games down the road like Destiny(but again Destiny will be cross generation and multiplat). Right now, I can tell you fence sitters and late adopters, to just wait. Don’t be in a rush to spend your money. If you are going to spend, PS4 > XBO. IMO, no fanboy shit. But the “Free” PSN+ games help. the better selection of indies help. And some of the microtransaction laden offerings(Forza5, Crimson Dragon, and Killer Instinct I am looking at you) are just baffling and a poor show. In the end tho, imo, nether the PS4 or XBO are worth the money right now. If you like Nintendo Franchises, WiiU is worth the money(it costs less and has more/better games). If your not a fan of Nintendo flavored games, don’t buy that either(it has next to nothing from 3rd parties).

    ….still waiting for the real next gen to start.

    #3 8 months ago
  4. OlderGamer

    @Me

    ” And some of the microtransaction laden offerings(Forza5, Crimson Dragon, and Killer Instinct I am looking at you) are just baffling and a poor show.”

    Speaking of XBO of course.

    Plus one for an edit button.

    #4 8 months ago
  5. Michael Ireland

    @OlderGamer I think you’re shortchanging Killer instinct in this case OG, as it can be bought as a complete package at a fairly reasonable price if you don’t want to buy parts of it individually.

    Everything else I can agree with for the most part. The problem is that the hardware is just too underpowered to be futureproof, especially the Xbox One. The PS4 has a little more breathing room, but this tech is going to start feeling outdated very, very quickly.

    It’s not enough of a power jump to justify the generational leap, but that’s just an unfortunate consequence of a market that is absolutely failing to make a profit. They HAD to make the hardware less powerful to recoup the cost.

    #5 8 months ago
  6. Legendaryboss

    As expected Bluepoint Games have delivered an impressive port on old hardware and have “exceeded expectations” for the most secretive port of the most hyped release of the year so far. Hidden right up until release to squeeze every bit of Xbox One sales.

    #6 8 months ago
  7. Dave Cook

    @Legendaryboss Is that Bluepoint’s fault?

    #7 8 months ago
  8. Legendaryboss

    @7
    Its someone’s fault and it is not Bluepoint. MS & to a lesser extent EA are the ones at fault here, that was implied at the last sentence.

    Could have been more clear, tho.

    #8 8 months ago
  9. Dave Cook

    @Legendaryboss It’s just when you linked my “exceeded expectations” line to “most secretive port of the most hyped release of the year so far.”

    Bluepoint deserve commendation for its work, not to have it marred by association to the cover-up.

    #9 8 months ago
  10. Legendaryboss

    @9
    I have commended them twice on here for their 360 port of Titanfall and their other quality ports elsewhere. However the fact that it was a secretive/quailty port, with an agenda by MS and EA in mind without footage revealed on day one.

    Their work was shoved to the sidelines by EA & MS and kept secret to achieve an agenda. That cover up and work went into association the moment 360 hit the web. Nothing is Bluepoint’s fault thats just how it is.

    #10 8 months ago
  11. dazedonthemoon

    @OlderGamer
    Didn’t play Second Son did you. That game was incredibly beautiful. No way even close to possible on last gen. A game free of jaggies as big as that is an amazing thing… Lighting affects and weather? Wow factor

    #11 8 months ago
  12. dazedonthemoon

    Plus it’s a general bad idea… To look for the “next gen” with games that are released on last and next gen systems. You won’t find “next gen” on titanfall and watch dogs and probably not even Dragon age and Destiny. They have to be essentially the same game on both gen. It’ll be awhile till we see lots of next gen only games because people want to milk money at any cost.

    #12 8 months ago
  13. orangedrone

    I’ve played them both. The 360 version is trash compared to the Xbox One version. Resolution is less, framerate is less, texture detail is barren, colors are washed out, controls feel sluggish & less responsive, AA is just gross w/ jaggies everywhere, and the sound effects are noticeably reduced quality/clarity.

    It’s NOT the same experience at all. I was soo distracted by the way it looked and played (and sounded!) that I couldn’t get a single kill. The original Gears of War that released back in 2006 blows this game away graphically.

    The 360 version almost looks more like an original Xbox game than a 360 game. Very poor, very bland. Hard to look at on a nice HDTV. Maybe it would look passable on a very small HDTV or old school CRT. But, yeah, it’s that bad people. Now.. if you had never played it on the One then yeah, you may appreciate it more on the 360.. but, still it’s heavily lacking even when compared to existing 360 games. Hurts your eyes bad.

    Sure it’s an accomplishment that they were able to get this game running on the 360 but, little else.

    #13 8 months ago
  14. OlderGamer

    @dazed, nope. Not yet. Still waiting on gamefly.

    #14 8 months ago
  15. OlderGamer

    @orange….over selling it much?

    I mean really the xbo version isn’t exactly a masterpiece. I heard pc was nice to look at..don know, didn’t play pc. But it should be better, it is a pc.

    #15 8 months ago
  16. orangedrone

    @OlderGamer Nope.

    #16 8 months ago
  17. dazedonthemoon

    @OlderGamer
    Don’t think you’ll be disappointed

    #17 8 months ago
  18. s3ltzer

    Based on the screenshots of this article, basically the main difference is that the XBOne version has the sharpening filter applied to it, and the 360 version does not. Obviously, there is a hardware difference between both consoles, but Bluepoint did a TERRIFIC job on TF360. They did such a good job that Microsoft knew this could harm XBOne sales (since so much is riding on TF’s success for the XBOne. Hence, MSFT decided to pay out EA (or part of the original contract) to delay the 360 version, since the gameplay is still there. That’s why it was delayed, and that’s why there was an embargo on all TF 360 media.

    Pretty crappy move by Microsoft towards consumers.

    #18 8 months ago
  19. s3ltzer

    @orangedrone LOL Easy tiger, don’t pop a vein. You sound insecure about your XBOne purchase. Don’t worry, you’re not the only one MSFT has conned into an XBOne.

    #19 8 months ago
  20. orangedrone

    @s3ltzer The differences are HUGE. You can’t base anything on screen shots.. certainly not a final opinion. The game looks like barf in motion. Any of those motion-less screen shots easily looks better than the game really does. The jaggies in this game are insane. And what’s up with that huge install (Optimizing HD etc) when it almost looks like stuff in the game is missing texture entirely?

    #20 8 months ago
  21. orangedrone

    @s3ltzer So, ok no matter what anyone says people like you are going to resort to your OWN opinions/speculations about the game and then go so far as to project them on me.. as if they are secretly mine too?? What? For real. I’m talking about the differences between Titanfall on the Xbox 360 compared to Titanfall on the Xbox One. Not the console. Save your XB1 hate overtones for another topic. Don’t knock it just cause, you don’t have it.

    #21 8 months ago

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