Titanfall: Expedition Review
Titanfall: Expedition is the first of three planned expansion packs for Titanfall. It contains three maps, titled Runoff, Swamplands, and War Games, which were specifically developed to mix up, and amplify elements of Titanfall’s gameplay. Each map has its own individual strengths and weaknesses, ultimately resulting in a decent package that could revitalize your love of the game.
Runoff is by far the weakest of the three maps in Titanfall: Expedition. The map is much smaller than the others, including maps contained in the base game. There is a water channel running down the middle of the map, and multiple buildings off to each side. Combat can take place anywhere on the map, but if you find yourself down in the middle channel then you are probably about to die.
The restrictive nature of having a smaller map does mix things up a bit. Navigating the map as a Titan is a definite change of pace for Titanfall. You still feel like a powerful entity, but if you aren’t in one of the few open areas then you can get rodeoed by Pilots pretty easily. Playing Last Titan Standing on Runoff showed the map’s strength though, by making these usually long games of cat and mouse into a more frenzied flash of action. Ultimately, Runoff is pretty weak, especially in the aesthetic department. Dull orange and brown areas stand in stark contrast to the varied environments of other Titanfall arenas.
Ultimately, Runoff is pretty weak, especially in the aesthetic department
Swamplands fares much better and changes up the Titanfall formula by adding gigantic trees to the mix. These trees can be used for parkouring across the map quickly and efficiently. The simple difference of being able to run on the outside of a round surface adds some strategy to the usually stale parkouring paths of Titanfall. Getting up high into the trees and jumping nimbly between them before dropping onto an unsuspecting Titan or Pilot will surely be some of the best moments on this map.
Other than the trees Swamplands is similar to any another Titanfall map, which isn’t a bad thing. The paths between Hardpoint, and CTF objectives are all well implemented and lead to conflicts with the other team on a regular basis. If you know the map well you can make it from one objective to another without ever touching the ground, which is always a fun thing to do. Titan fighting plays out in a familiar fashion, but the trees above your head will lead to the occasional surprise Pilot on your back. Having to weigh these elements to decide on your strategy is exactly what Titanfall is all about.
War Games is my favorite map of the bunch, almost entirely due to its unique aesthetics and how it incorporates the world into its gameplay. The map is based on the training missions that began everyone’s Titanfall experience. The entire match takes place in the same simulator where you first learned the basics of Titanfall’s gameplay. Small details like how the announcer knows what generation you are, and how sections of the map are copied from other areas. Some parts of War Games are clean and Tron-like while others are dirty and glitched out. It all comes together to form the most interesting Titanfall environment available.
The design ideas that underpin all of Titanfall: Expedition are best represented in War Games
Aside from the aesthetics, War Games still excels. Parkour paths litter the map, and lead to well designed areas that create interesting conflicts. Areas like the inner tower, where two walls allow Pilots to get up high and wait for Titans to stroll through create unique strategies and allow for varied gameplay. Hallways that aren’t big enough for Titans, creating escape paths for unlucky Pilots keep the action going. The design ideas that underpin all of Titanfall: Expedition are best represented in War Games.
What is missing from Titanfall: Expedition is also noteable. There are no extra gamemodes, burn cards, or other additions. This could easily be used as a complaint, but considering Respawn Entertainment has decided to give these things away for free to all players, I feel like it would be wrong to criticize this choice. The biggest issue with Titanfall: Expedition is that it splinters the playerbase, causing you to have to go into specialized and less populated playlists in order to fight on the new maps. If there were also separate gamemodes in the package then that splintering would be even worse.
Whether Titanfall: Expedition is worth buying or not will largely depend on how much you want to play more Titanfall. Two of the three maps are well-made and perfectly designed to leverage the unique features of the game, while the third is decent enough that I didn’t feel like quitting whenever it was coming up next. If you are even remotely interested in continuing to play Titanfall then these three maps will help keep you playing for a while. But, if you have grown tired of the basic gameplay elements of the game, then nothing here will change your mind.
- Available On: Xbox One, PC, Xbox 360
- Published By: Electronic Arts
- Developed By: Respawn Entertainment
- Genre: shooter
- US Release Date: May 15th, 2014
- Reviewed On: PC
- Quote: "Titanfall: Expedition adds three maps that enhance the Titanfall experience, but adds nothing for those who are already tired of the game. If you just want more Titan vs. Pilot action then this is perfect for you, but all others should keep an eye out for the free updates coming from Respawn."