Sweet fancy Moses, how did I fail to realise the Xbox One’s online system, which costs about $70 per year, is in complete disarray?
I’ve played Ghosts and Forza 5 online, but it wasn’t until last Thursday night with the Titanfall beta that I tried to join a party with other giddy-eyed previewers only to have it all go horribly wrong.
And that was before the beta was opened to every man and his dog. How badly is it struggling to group friends together now?
It was manageable with just me and one other; although I jumped straight into his game and had issues getting party chat to work, which is off by default, but no matter — I don’t really need to use Kinect or a $3 in-the-box headset to chat online.
Disaster struck when we tried to team up for a party, and team, of six people. The Xbox One continuously kicked people out of the party, which proceeded to kick them out of the game. We also had people in the party somehow moved to another game, and games crashing when someone tried to join while we were playing, both of which could suggest this horribly undercooked system isn’t compatible with Respawn’s shooter.
It probably isn’t. There’s a mandatory “get ready” update before Titanfall is released next month for a reason, and EA had its own problems with server issues during the peak weekend period. As it stands, the Xbox One isn’t a complete multiplayer-ready console. I found it easier teaming up with friends in Mario Kart DS, messing around with Friend Codes included.
Obviously, the Xbox One is online. It works, technically, once in a game, and I hadn’t experienced these issues when I was happily murdering screechy-voiced Americans in Call of Duty. But for whatever reason, the party system wasn’t finished prior to launch.
Or perhaps it was and Microsoft decided it best to undo seven years worth of progress until Respawn yelled at them and demand it be fixed; after all, until the weekend, it was the strategy for storage management, the battery indicator and USB keyboards; all basic elements the Xbox One didn’t bother with.
The good news is all of this should be fixed when Titanfall launches for real next month, along with improvements to the controller to make the analogue sticks more precise. The concerning news is, like storage and power information, Microsoft is only addressing the crippling party issues at the 11th hour and after the players, and in this case the developer, have complained.