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How inconvenient: Titanfall on Xbox 360 looks perfectly fine

Footage has emerged of the Xbox 360 version of Titanfall, as reported by CVG News. And my professional opinion is that it looks… well, fine, actually. In fact, it looks a lot like Titanfall. You know, the one that Xbox One has been pinning so many of its hopes on. It’s not clear whether the game is laggy or the video capture is imperfect as this isn't the highest-quality capture I've ever seen on YouTube. But the point is, it’s recognisably Titanfall. Observe:

Now, let me be perfectly clear: Xbox One's version of Titanfall is excellent. Sure, its frame-rate is a bit flaky and it doesn’t run at 1080p, but the game is fundamentally extremely fun and everyone likes it very much. The GamesRadar UK team even plays it at lunchtimes. Sign of a good game, that. When we play it because we want to, it must be good.

But that’s why I suspect it’s going to turn out fine on Xbox 360 too. The concept behind Titanfall is strong regardless of next-gen power. And after all, Bluepoint Games' 360 version reportedly has all the 6v6 multiplayer, Titans, Burn Cards, rockets, shields and everything else the ‘big’ version has. The only real difference is that it runs at 30fps and upwards, as opposed to Xbox One which runs at 60fps (and downwards).

That 30fps could have an adverse impact on how well the game plays, due to every press of a button taking twice as long to be reflected on-screen. OK, I've simplified that a little. There are other factors too that make it not quite that cut-and-dried (like frame buffers and upscaling and what-have-you), but that’s the basic idea.

Case in point: Call of Duty would be worse if it ran at 30fps because it demands quick reflexes to react to an enemy threat in the blink of an eye. But with Titanfall, I doubt it will affect the game as much. The Titans’ movements are slow enough that they don’t demand laser-fast reactions necessarily. A commanding use of cover, spacial awareness and mastery of the dash control are of much more use to a Titan pilot than a twitchy trigger finger. And as for the on-foot combat… well, it won’t be as slick as Call of Duty, but it will be the same for everyone.

The simple fact remains that this 360 version (apparently) is Titanfall. And it’s been conveniently overlooked by Microsoft’s advertising department because they’d probably rather it didn’t exist. They want to secure as many sales of Xbox One Titanfall bundles as possible, not champion the fact you can also buy the same game on a machine you already own.

There’s nothing wrong with that strategy. But maybe there is something wrong with a last-gen version existing at all. Personally I don’t think we should be seeing last-gen versions of new-gen games at all any more. Watch Dogs, Assassin’s Creed… I just want the new-gen games to be as revolutionary as they should be. If there’s any suggestion that multi-generational development is holding back a game, it’s a bad thing for the industry. And if a next-gen showcase can be run perfectly well on the previous generation hardware, there's something wrong somewhere.

If Titanfall turns out to be every bit as enjoyable on 360 (or, god forbid, better), then let’s be honest: why should people upgrade to next-gen? It’s Xbox One’s biggest game. Ideally, you shouldn’t even be able to buy a PC version, let alone a 360 version. But I bet the 360 version will sell more, even if it has a higher RRP, which apparently is the case in some areas.

The 360 version has already had a two-week delay to ensure Bluepoint could “put the finishing touches on the game”. Well, it can’t be delayed forever. It's out tomorrow in the US and Friday in the UK. It’s too late to cancel… we’re about to get Xbox 360 Titanfall. GamesRadar has not been sent a copy to play, which is unusual. Normally, that means a game isn't very good. But in this instance, I bet it's because it is.

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30 comments

  • joey-fanstar - April 8, 2014 12:55 a.m.

    I am soooo mad. I just bought titanfall for 360 and I can't play it because I have a 4 gigabyte xbox 360. I just don't understand why I need an xbox 360 hard drive. Those things are 130 bucks; that's like paying a preposterous 200 dollars to play titanfall. This is ridiculous. I should be able to use any hard drive to play this game, like I have with countless others. I have a 32 gigabyte flash drive that works with my xbox and it should be able to play this game but the damn thing just flat out won't let me play unless I have a 250 gigabyte xbox or one of microsoft's overpriced xbox hard drives. Does ANYONE out there in the gaming world have any way around this? Please help. I've been waiting forever to play this game.
  • airen-edebiri - April 8, 2014 6:56 a.m.

    It's because your flash drive won't be nearly fast enough. If someone was using their slow, unreliable flash drive to load Titanfall, the load times would probably be so long that it would ruin the game experience. Hard drive >>> flash memory for game data files. The only thing a flash drive should be used for is game saves. You don't have to buy a 250GB drive either. Go buy one of the older 60 or 120GB drives, buy an enclosure to make it fit in your slim 360, and save money. Never ever pay $130 for a 250GB hard drive. That's absolute robbery.
  • josue-santos - April 8, 2014 7 a.m.

    buy it used on craigslist or from gamestop..... much cheaper, especially if only for one game.
  • AlexJ - April 8, 2014 8:33 a.m.

    Wait....what? I was about 5 minutes from buying this on my 360, but how much space do I need? Why can't we use our small 4GB hard drive?
  • sanityassasin - April 8, 2014 9:59 a.m.

    You can get a 320gb x360 slim hard drive for about $60. Just don't shop at the MS store, (try newegg, buy.com, ebay) I've had a non-MS X360 HDD for a couple years now and it works great.
  • daniel-william-webster - April 8, 2014 2:12 p.m.

    Umm dude. I bought brand new 250GBP off Amazon for $50 buck.
  • rook37 - April 9, 2014 3:06 p.m.

    " Does ANYONE out there in the gaming world have any way around this? " Go to your local computer store, buy a 320gb or 250gb SATA laptop drive, flash it and then pop it in your xbox. It's like $50
  • Uronacid - April 10, 2014 8:43 a.m.

    There is a disclaimer on the box. You should be angry with yourself.
  • mothbanquet - April 8, 2014 12:33 a.m.

    "Personally I don’t think we should be seeing last-gen versions of new-gen games at all any more. Watch Dogs, Assassin’s Creed… I just want the new-gen games to be as revolutionary as they should be." I think you're overestimating how revolutionary the new-gen games will be. As an avid retro gamer you should surely be a proponent of the idea that better graphics do not make better games? I would say that we shouldn't be seeing new-gen versions of new-gen games yet, and this perfectly functional 360 version of Titanfall is an example. It's easy to say "oh, but the new consoles have only just been released" but does anyone remember how Sonic Adventure blew minds when we first saw it? Yes, next-gen is supposed to be a noticeable achievement from the outset and personally, I've never been so underwhelmed before by a new console generation.
  • GR_JustinTowell - April 8, 2014 2:26 a.m.

    Absolutely, as a retro gamer of course I agree that better graphics do not make better games. However! At this stage, graphics are not improving in massive leaps like they used to. But all the AI routines, surface deformation, heat/moisture stat-retaining polygons etc *are*. They're exactly the sort of thing new games should be making the most of. But if the same game has to run on 8-year-old hardware, some of that ambition and potential has to be scaled back.
  • mothbanquet - April 8, 2014 2:54 a.m.

    Too true, there does have to be a point at which we say "okay, we're trying to run FF7 on a NES, time to move on," but working with hardware limitations can give rise to truly inventive techniques and a reliance on creative tricks to convince the player what they're experiencing is beyond their current hardware. The PlayStation's Final Fantasy games had you moving around in and interacting with FMV/CG sequences. Last-last-gen games like Shadow of the Colossus and Halo 2 were only two of a number of games that really shouldn't have been able to happen on their respective platforms. Just the other day I went back to my 'ol Xbox Original and had a bash on The Two Towers - the Helm's Deep levels still impress me to this day in their depiction of an epic, intense battle. Ah, but I've sort of deviated from my own point here. Yes, we all know graphics aren't everything but I can't be alone in thinking that we see more innovation and boundary-breaking when the developers are challenged with limitations? Great article by the way, mate. This sort of thing really does need to be brought up more often.
  • Eightboll812 - April 7, 2014 7:44 p.m.

    "Call of Duty would be worse if it ran at 30fps because it demands quick reflexes to react to an enemy threat in the blink of an eye." I don't get this comment. COD has always been plagued (for me) by the "get shot a half second to full second after I've jumped behind cover" lag. The difference between 30 and 60 fps has no bearing on the fact that the game has a lot of built in lag. 60fps does "feel" more responsive, but is completely irrelevant when the game is taking almost a half second to show you what your enemy just did to you. Also, I think there's a gross misunderstanding of how human reactions work. Sorry Justin, I like your articles, I just think you are wrong here. Average human reaction time is anywhere from .15 to .3 seconds. A study of sprinter reaction times in the Beijing Olympics had an average of .166 seconds. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mental_chronometry) While you are suggesting that the extra 1/60th of a second advantage makes a difference, it's not even on the same order of magnitude of the reaction time of the human brain. In other words, while you are saying the .0166 difference (1/60) in having the screen update faster is significant, it actually takes at least ten times that length of time (.166 seconds) to even react to the screen update. So no, the .0166 is not significant. I beg to differ. It only "seems" like it makes a difference when in reality it does not. Case in point...put me on the system that has 60 fps, against, well, most hardcore gamers, on a 30 fps system, and I promise, I'll still get my candy a-double-s handed to me every time, lol. That's not to say that the smoothness of 60fps doesn't make it easier to aim when crap is hitting the fan, because it does. There's plenty of arguments for higher frame rate....but reaction time is not one of them ;-).
  • shawksta - April 7, 2014 6:14 p.m.

    Not necessarily. Frankly if the game runs great, then good for the potential players. Some might really enjoy it and when the inevitable sequels hits, they will have to upgrade if they want to continue and maybe itll convince them if they are still waiting.
  • Captiosus - April 7, 2014 4:37 p.m.

    "Personally I don’t think we should be seeing last-gen versions of new-gen games at all any more. Watch Dogs, Assassin’s Creed…" Funny that you mention to Ubisoft games when Ubisoft's Lionel Raynaud recently stated they intend on supporting X360 and PS3 for, and I quote, "years to come". Electronic Arts stated something similar some months ago as well. Cross-gen and separate development is here to stay for a while.
  • maskaraid - April 7, 2014 9:51 a.m.

    I dont think the issue is that titanfall is coming out on 360 (and that it will probably be close to as good as the xbox one version), i think the real issue is that they went next gen too early, the current gen systems are still very good and relevant. It's not like last generation when it felt as if the original xbox (and to a lesser extent the ps2) were done, it feel like the 360/ps3 generation still has a few more years of life left in them. I'm going to get titanfall for 360 tomorrow and will probably enjoy the heck out of it even if its not as flashy as the next gen one. Microsoft new that not everyone was going to have a xbox one and honestly i can only speak for myself but as excited as i am for titanfall it was not going to make me buy an xbox one until a year or two down the road especially since i have so many games to beat still.
  • robert-tenty-ashford - April 7, 2014 1:24 p.m.

    Couldn't agree more. Until I have some sort of massive disposable income or notice that one too many games that I pine for start coming out for the next-gen systems exclusively (Which will inevitably happen too soon for my liking) I will be hanging on to my current gen, and thoroughly enjoy the bargains that are too be had on current gen platforms! I bought 3 games for 8 quid yesterday, yum. and same as yourself, clean up all thsoe games I have yet to beat! I know that kids will go whatever is the latest thing and want all the shiny graphics, but personally as I get older, I prefer substance of a game as a whole over 0.10% better graphics etc...
  • Jackonomics2.0 - April 7, 2014 9:13 a.m.

    Next gen ain't starting for shit until Arkham Knight hits in and last gen is shafted. But Ports all around keep happening, there's that rumor circulation of brining Last of Us to PS4, and we all know Halo Anniversary for the second game is coming this year. It could be considered cynical, but Towell's right, as a game heavily advertised for Xbox One, it would've been better to stay on it. Or better yet, let people who own 360's enjoy it and then later upgrade to Xbone but then again they wont see a reason to do so. Genre basis aside I honestly argue that the Xbone's Killer App is Killer Instinct but again, Genre differences here.
  • MidianGTX - April 7, 2014 9:38 a.m.

    Oh gee... another Batman game...
  • Jackonomics2.0 - April 7, 2014 12:36 p.m.

    Doesn't really matter, it ain't for 360/PS3, it'll keep next gen in tact.
  • avedon-arcade - April 7, 2014 9:09 a.m.

    It's all money going to Microsoft which is how they see it I'm sure. And it's more dollars that Sony or Nintendo won't be getting. But in the long run that just means a more delayed adoption of the X1 for all current on the fence gamers. I was already going to wait maybe a year or so before picking up either console. (Did the same with the Wii U) And now that TitanFall on 360 is stated to look and play fine then that reinforces my decision to wait. Meaning ultimately I'm only giving Microsoft $60 and not $500.

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