Titanfall 2 Developer Says That He Would Sacrifice Visual Fidelity For Gameplay Experience

Which is just something that I wish the rest of the industry would come around on.

Posted By | On 21st, Nov. 2016 Under News | Follow This Author @Pramath1605

Titanfall 2 (4)

There are some developers who understand the primacy of gameplay feel and experience when it comes to making video games- Nintendo, of course, are the primary candidates here, always emphasizing how their games play over how their games look (to the extent of even downplaying the tech in their systems). But there are other developers who understand this all important point, too- the primary point of a video game is to be  video game, which means that how the game plays is the most important bit of it all.

Not Respawn, however. The developers of the just released excellent Titanfall 2 seem to understand that how the game feels as you play it is far more important than putting more pixels or lines on your screen. Speaking to Glixel, Respawn CEO Vince Zampella revealed that the studio focuses on gameplay over all else.

“It’s just that we focus on it,” he said. “We make decisions based on it. Our animations are interruptible by movement. Some games have animations that you have to wait for them to finish before the next movement that you’re doing. So the movement feels sluggish and sloppy. On screen, to somebody who’s watching you play, they might think that looks slightly better. But it doesn’t feel right. It feels like you’re playing in molasses.”

Zampella drove the point home, stressing that he would easily sacrifice visual fidelity and graphical acumen if it made the game play better.

“I would sacrifice visual fidelity for gameplay experience. It has to feel good. It has to play right. It has to be fun,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s in first person. The Star Wars game is a third-person action game. It’s going to be more about the character and their experiences. You can see them and identify with them a little differently than you can in a first-person game where it’s all about seeing it through your own eyes. But it still has to be about feel and fun.”

I absolutely agree with him- a beautiful looking game that plays poorly isn’t going to have any staying power whatsoever (just ask Ubisoft what happened with Watch Dogs, or Warner Bros. about Batman: Arkham Knight). It needs to play well enough that players find it fun to return to- that’s the secret formula to success, but one that most game makers, sadly, still can’t wrap their heads around.

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  • Old Skool

    I really like this studio and they made an excellent shooter and I’m enjoying it very much. I just wish EA would’ve gave Titanfall2 a spring release date to rake in much more sales like it deserves in order to see aTitanfall3.
    Also, I wish Dice would follow Vince’s views on gameplay over visuals because BF1 on PS4 runs like crap half the time with frames dipping down to the 30’s in Conquest. I want stable frames then resolution after…….

    • TPoppaPuff

      I agree about Tf2 and I agree with your sentiment about gameplay over graphics, but new Battlefields will never run at a locked 60 and it’s not because of the visual fidelity. The truth is the consoles are incapable of handling the CPU side of things in Battlefield. And while it’s incredibly impressive that they’re even reaching for 60 over 30fps a game like Battlefield simply can not run on current hardware or any hardware that isn’t expensive. The Battlefield signature chaos is computationally expensive. There’s a LOT of physics going on in the game, there’s a ton of players, there’s a bunch of players and the maps are HUGE. It’s just too much for the game to handle all at once. And they do have a resolution scaler built in so it does try to compensate as much as possible, but what the game is asking of it is too much on the CPU side. If the game ran at 720p those frame drops would still be there with little difference (maybe 1-3 frame difference at most on those heavy drops). The only way to get Battlefield to run at a locked 60 would be to shrink the maps, severely cut the player count, severely limit the vehicles, lose the destructibility, and about a dozen other cuts that would need to be made. And at that point, it’s not even the same game.

      I was just playing BF1 earlier. I know all about the framerate drops, but I also realize that it’s basically the price you must pay in order to have the true Battlefield experience on console. And with that said, you should consider a Pro if it’s that much a concern to you. I play on a 1080p monitor and I can tell you the difference is immediate. The game looks way way cleaner and it runs a lot smoother, usually a good 10 frame difference during dips. Between BF1 and Titanfall 2, they pretty much have justified the $250 cost by themselves. My only wish is that Battlefront and Battlefield 4 would have received similar upgrades because those games could certainly benefit as well.

    • Old Skool

      You’re right. And i just upgraded to the Pro today. Just waiting for all my games to finish downloading and installing.


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