If you weren’t aware, developer Respawn will be holding a closed Alpha test for their hotly anticipated Xbox One exclusive, Titanfall.
Interestingly enough, those who participate in the test will have to sign an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement), which means they can’t talk about what they see. The reason? Well, maybe cause what they see is hardly indicative of the final version, and Respawn doesn’t want any inaccurate bad press.
According to a Respawn employee’s comment in the NeoGAF forums, the textures in the Alpha build are at “25% of the final game’s resolution.”
“So if you’re staring at a 256×256 texture, that’s actually a 512×512 texture in the real game. 512? That’s a 1024. It’s a huge, huge, huge difference. Especially on terrain, weapons, cockpits, hands, effects, etc.”
Obviously, this isn’t the time to formulate any judgments on the game. Testers are just supposed to test core mechanics, physics, etc.; this isn’t about evaluating the visual quality. That can come later, after the title launches later this year. It’s interesting that Respawn is holding this test, though. And to be perfectly honest, I’d actually be intrigued by the game running at a low resolution. It puts the focus on other factors.
Proactive damage control by Respawn?
Very likely. They don’t want people jumping online after testing, only to say something like, “LOL Titanfall looks like absolute crap!” The NDA might not stop someone from blabbing, and the developer acknowledges this. Therefore, in view of what might happen – especially considering the ramped up console wars – they did the right thing. They clarified ahead of time. That’s probably the right move.