There's an argument to be made that players don’t need real peril to fuel the fiction behind their multiplayer games. Who cares why the men are fighting? The MOBA arena in S2’s Heroes of Newerth follow-up, Strife, is strictly for training purposes. And Titanfall’s War Games map is - well, you can probably guess. A virtual mission simulator. It’s assembled from abstracted pieces of Angel City, Rise, and Airbase Sierra.
War Games was the first map concept Respawn came up with for Titanfall’s post-release DLC. They imagined it as an abstract space filled with digital artifacts and colourful lighting - and more importantly, easily readable battle spaces and wallrun paths. A “parkour playground”.
The map’s hardpoints are the themed areas, taken from other existing Titanfall maps. The middle tower comes from Rise, the Militia side from Angel City - and each brings their own playstyle over from their parent map. Some of these areas will visibly “glitch out” during play.
The buildings in between will maintain the Portal-on-a-budget art style of Titanfall’s training mission rooms - purposefully smooth and featureless. And, it turns out, provided Respawn’s designers with an opportunity to place wallrun paths “wherever they needed them”.
“After running around the training mission looking for inspiration, I realized the colored force fields could make a fun wallrunning panel,” wrote designer Jason McCord. “These are found throughout the map and sometimes stretch across long distances, above battling Titans below.
“These are meant to be obvious paths to help encourage players that haven’t embraced this new way of traversing maps. Because of the environment, we even used arrows to help guide players where we wanted them to run.”
The resulting map provides a lot of “fun traversal options” for pilots - and clutter-free killing zones makes titans equally as competitive.
War Games is one of three maps to be included in Titanfall’s Expedition Pack, which is beginning to sound a bit essential. What do you lot reckon?