Titanfall on the Xbox 360 is…really good

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Well done, Bluepoint.

For a while, we;’ve suspected that the ported Xbox 360 version of Respawn’s Titanfall was going to be pretty bad. Hit with delay after delay, and ported by a primarily PlayStation-focused developer, all signs pointed to the port being underwhelming. I’m happy to report that we were completely wrong.

Yes, the Xbox 360 can;t hit the same sort of framerates as the Xbox One or Pc versions, nor does it look as good – but for the most part, it plays exactly the same, giving those console who’ve been hesitant to jump in on the new generation of consoles the same core experience.

In its tech analysis of the port, Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry came away impressed, saying the chaps at port-factory Bluepoint Games have exceeded expectations. Of course, there are some pretty big differences when it comes to resolution – but Bluepoint’s been pretty clever about the whole thing.

“The Xbox One version ships at 1408×792 with 2x multi-sampling anti-aliasing – a sub-native presentation for a console aimed at the era of the 1080p display. There are few surprises with the Xbox 360 version, which adopts a strategy similar to the Call of Duty titles on older Microsoft hardware. There’s a 1040×600 native resolution here, backed up by 2x MSAA. It’s a set-up that allows Bluepoint to cram the framebuffer into the 360’s 10MB of eDRAM, effectively allowing it to use the hardware anti-aliasing for free with no performance penalty.”

As for frame rate? It’s uncapped, mostly hitting above 30, sometimes even hitting 60 – but the inconsistent framerate leads to pretty nasty screen-tearing. Thankfully, Bluepoint were pretty smart about it, offering gamers the option to lock the game at 30fps, reducing screen tearing, at the sacrifice of faster input response.

“By default, the game ships with an unlocked frame-rate – but capped at 60fps. In effect, the game is constantly tearing unless not much is going on, whereupon it locks at 60fps – this occurs for pretty much the entirety of the extended initial training, but sees considerable variation in-game. This is clearly the preferred default from the development team, and offers the fastest-possible controller response at the expense of consistency – both in terms of input lag and frame-rate.

If the screen-tear, inconsistent frame-rate and varying controller response is too much for you, Bluepoint has offered up an alternative – the ability to lock frame-rate at 30fps. This all but eliminates screen-tear and introduces more consistency to the controller feedback but does so to the detriment of overall frame-rate. Each mode has its advantages and disadvantages and it’s good that gamers can choose what suits them.”

Digital Foundry even says that “There are times when the game feels uncannily close to the Xbox One version.” what they’ve managed to do on ten year old hardware is pretty commendable stuff.

In summary, after a day with the Xbox 360 game, the big takeaway here is that this is Titanfall, and it does appear to be feature-complete on the older console. With just one tenth of the available RAM and far less capable silicon, it’s safe to say that Bluepoint Games has more than exceeded expectation.

The big take away here, if you’re so inclined, is to conclude that there’s really no need to go “next-gen” just yet. Yes, you’ll have a smoother, shinier experience on the Xbox One, but the 360 version will keep you just as entertained. Pity it’s not being released in South Africa then.

Read  The BEST Splinter Cell game is now backwards compatible on Xbox One

Here’s a comparison from the fantastic chaps over at Videogamer.com

Last Updated: April 9, 2014

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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