Respawn’s massive shooter TitanFall, coming this March, will feature ‘aim assist’ for PC gamers using gamepads. This was confirmed by the developer on Twitter, and raises some questions about how balanced the game can be.
PC gamers usually play shooters with keyboard and mouse, which gives them fast and accurate control. Console owners, with their gamepads, cannot keep up with the speed of PC players, as gamepads are slower and less accurate. This means using a gamepad on PC will put you at a disadvantage against mouse/keyboard players.
Respawn responded to a user asking if gameplay would be balanced between keyboard/mouse and controller players. Respawn replied saying “there is some controller aim assist for PC.” We already know there is no cross platform play between PC, Xbox One and Xbox 360.
This raises some concerns about TitanFall. Will there be separate PC servers for each control type? Controllers with aim assist sounds like an advantage over keyboard/mouse control, and many player will prefer a level playing field (of course, you could use a controller without aim assist, but that would be a disadvantage by choice).
Aim-assist is generally unpopular with PC FPS fans, where gamepads/controllers are seen as a simplification brought over from consoles. Developers have tried to balance play between keyboard/mouse and controller players before, either by making the former harder to aim, or adding aim-assist to controllers. Neither solution is great, and the ideal world is one where no-one is handicapped by the control system they use.
TitanFall has the potential to be this year’s best first person shooter, let’s hope that they get little details like control balance right during the beta testing, before the March 11th release date.