With the recent release of Titanfall, Respawn entertainment's FPS, many are quick to jump on the back of a Titan and ride it all the way to the second star past midnight....or something. However...with Loadout you have a game that promises many of the same game concepts in a free to play package. So which is the right game for you? Let me stress now: Both games are fun, amazing games in their own right, and I'm not being down on either of them.
Apples to apples
First you may say, but these games are totally different!
I'd argue they both:
FPSshooters with an emphasis on teamwork *thanks for the correction, guys -Furbs*
- Use vertical progression to unlock new weapons
- Use a complex amalgam of movement and level design to create incredibly fluid parkour style map traversal.
- Have similar game modes(deathmatch, point capture, etc.)
But yes. Let's just get this out of the way now.
Game with the most Titans:
It's true, the Titans in Titanfall are fun. You cruise around blowing stuff up. People can ride on you. There's no denying that Titanfall definitely wins in the, "Games which have Mechs and are made better by them"
Although I wish my mech could jump or fly....:(
Titanfall has your usual mix of Shotguns/rifles/sidearms/grenades. There is a nice mix and all of the weapons felt good and balanced when I played. With different burn cards you can increase the stats on one of your weapons for a round or a life and this adds some element of "more interesting than CoD" to the mix (I think, CoD didn't have burn cards did it?) Add in the Titans and you've got a great mix of possible loadouts. You can have a shotgun wielding pilot who hops in a railgun shooting Titan that goes nuclear when injured. The kits and unlockable weaponry keep things fresh and interesting. Weapons are unlocked based upon completing challenges, and also via getting XP to level up.
Loadout takes a page from Borderlands and has a near infinite number of guns. Every gun part can be customized. Loadout eschews reality in favor of Quake style rocket launchers, or beam weapons that set your enemies on fire. A rifle that fires three round burst shots of health. If you can imagine it, you can probably create a reasonable facsimile in the weaponcrafting section of Loadout. Whereas in Titanfall where guns are awarded via vertical progression, in Loadout all parts must be purchased individually using the games in game currency "blutes." Blutes are earned via performance in matches and importantly, cannot be bought with real money. There's no pay to win model here. In addition to guns, you can also buy equipment such as shields, grenades, or turrets. As there's only one equipment slot you have to be choosy about what you put in there.
While Titanfall is definitely a step above recent entries into the FPS genre, taking a realistic approach to weapons I found them all a bit stale. I want more than just, shotgun, sniper rifle, smg, and sidearm - no matter how OP that sidearm is smartgun. With the ability to create seemingly endless guns (and also naming them - there's nothing quite like getting the prompt, "Press E to pick up, "your nose"") loadout lets you play with a shotgun, rifle, etc. But it also allows you to fire a rocket that splits into 8 smaller rockets that light your enemies on fire. The customization in Loadout exceeds that of Titanfall and ultimately leads to a much more satisfying array of weapons.
Using Origin to create a party and join games was relatively painless even if I balked at having to use a non steam UI for my game. Teams were comprised of six people and matchmaking did an...OK job at finding people to play with. Typically there would be several people who were at least 5-10 levels higher than me. I don't know if this evens out later on but the games never felt too unfairly matched despite the level disparity.
In terms of the community, while it's still early, I've yet to encounter anyone too abrasive yet. The worst I got was one guy called me a, "Fag," because I warned people that I wasn't that great at the game. But overall, most people have been respectful and have been fun to play with.
Loadout's UI is kind of a mess. Like Titanfall the game uses a non Steam UI, in this case a proprietary UI that is baked into the game. I didn't care for this especially considering the game released on Steam. It feels like a wasted opportunity not using the Steam UI. Instead everyone has to create a new username and be added by their friends. Teams are 4 per, and creating a party was relatively simple once I got past the, "Add everyone to a new friend's list," part. Matchmaking is pretty good wherin I win about 1/2 my games. The game will autobalance teams between matches which is a good and bad thing. It's a good thing because it means that you're always getting the fairest match possible. It's a bad thing because it can swap your party member to the other team. If you could have a party of 8 this would be absolutely no problem as you'd still be playing with friends. However, the game limits your party to 4 which really hurts overall. The matchmaking is a little buggy as well - sometimes dropping you into ranked games from casual games. If you leave a queue of a ranked game you are penalized with a 5 minute inability to play. Also worth noting; there is no voice chat implemented yet. This is pretty surprising considering this is something I take for granted in most any multiplayer game released.
The community has also been surprisingly nice. Most people will say, "GG" after the game and I've only played one game so far with a guy who wanted to be aggressive after he died repeatedly. Granted, I may not have helped by dancing over his dead body.
While Loadout's matchmaking seemed to be a bit better at keeping the teams fair at all times, Titanfall just had a more streamlined, start to finish, experience. Loadout's 4 person party limit also was a real pain in the butt as was it's lack of voice chat implementation.
Titanfall has the following game modes:
- Attrition: Deathmatch
- Last Titan Standing: Deathmatch with the caveat that there's no respawning.
- Hardpoint: Capture 3 strategic points and hold them. The longer you hold them the more points you get.
- CTF: Self explanatory.
- Pilot Hunter: Pilot hunter is exactly the same as your standard team deathmatch. Only kills against human controlled players count, and the match ends when a team scores 50 kills or the time runs out.
It's a lot like Attrition, the only difference is in an Attrition match an AI kill = 1 point and a pilot kill equals 4. In Pilot Hunter an AI kill = 0 points and a pilot kill equals 1. *Thanks DFogz for the information*
So really Titanfall has 3 game modes, but Deathmatch has a few variations.
For both Loadout and Titanfall, respawn times in each mode except for LTS are low (a couple seconds). Death cams are available if you're into that sort of thing.
Loadout has the following game modes:
- Blitz: Similar to hardpoint - except only one point is available to capture at a time.
- Extraction: One person is the "collector" and must run around the map picking up glowing rocks and depositing them in bins. The rest of the team must try to protect them while also trying to kill the opposing team's collector.
- Jackhammer: Capture the flag. Twist being the "flag" is a giant jackhammer that has five charges of, "If I hit you it's an instant kill."
- Death Snatch: Deathmatch. When you die you drop a vial of Blutonium. If an enemy collects it they get ~50 points. If your team collects it they get ~12 points. Whoever reaches the point limit first wins.
By a mile, Loadout takes the cake. The game modes are similar but how they play out is completely different. For instance, let's look at the hardpoint game mode. In Titanfall I basically felt like I was on a carousel going from Point A to Point B to Point C, always one step behind the enemy. The maps are large and with six people on the opposing team sometimes you can go for awhile with no contact. In contrast Loadout only gives you one point to fight over. This forces giant crazy team battles. It funnels the action to one area and then says, Go for it! Or CTF. The inclusion of the "flag" as a weapon really adds a subtle twist to the gameplay. Most of the maps are pretty clausterphobic already so a melee Jackhammer is actually a very viable weapon. It's a smart move that helps to compensate for the smaller team size. While there's nothing inherently wrong with the game modes in Titanfall, I felt that Loadout just took the extra step to make each game mode unique and not just, "Deathmatch, but there's also a flag involved."
Titanfall really shines compared to most other FPS by having wall jumping/double jumping/etc. The parkour system in the game really works and while I have been unable to float around like a crazy ninja assassin, I'm certain that the ability exists and it'd only be a matter of practice and knowledge of the map layout. Maps are set up with a good mix of open areas and tight spaces so you can get your fill of leaping around as a pilot while not restricting half the map to Titans. I can't say enough about how genius the level design is in this game.
I feel a missed opportunity was the Titans. While they're certainly fun, they handle....how you'd expect. Like a giant cumbersome tank. You have two "dodges" before you have to recover the energy to perform another, as well as a shield, so you're not exactly required to be stationary, but I just felt that being in a Titan was a bit too cumbersome. You're not even allowed to jump? That just seems weird. A small bunny hop over a chain link fence here is all I'm asking. Their movement speed is also suitably slow. Again, Titans are fun, they have loads of weaponry and ordinances that make their wake of destruction a joy to behold - I just wish they had made them a little less, "realistic," feeling.
Matches typically last between 10-15 minutes.
Loadout is one of those games where on the surface you see a very basic system which quickly becomes rather complex. In Loadout you can sprint. You can roll to dodge. You can Jump. Those are your three methods of transportation. However things get tricky where if you jump coming out of a roll you can jump higher than a normal jump. If you jump right on the edge of a ramp, you jump higher. With the way the levels are designed all of this quickly comes together into a feeling of amazing fluidity. Level design is varied, although...strangely....always rocks. It seems every level is, "Rocks in a cave, rocks above ground covered in snow, a canyon...of rocks. Etc." The layout of the maps is where the level design shines. There are enough ramps, nooks, and crannies built up where you start to feel like spiderman once you get the hang of it. Combat is also heightened by this movement although I'll admit sometimes it feels like you're just trying to swat a fly and all skill has been abandoned.
Matches typically last about 15 minutes.
Overall Winner: Loadout
While a look at the scores would indicate a tie, the final piece of the puzzle is pricing. While Titanfall is 60$ and that's not bad at first glance, you're also going to be paying for a season pass or for individual map packs and that's a business model I can't get behind. Loadout is free. You can pay real money for cosmetic items or for additional weapon slots. There's no Pay 2 Win model here. Although....if I saw this I'd probably abandon all hope of ever winning. Anything. Ever again.