I may have been a bit too kind to Titanfall. While it was a fantastic game, two glaring flaws have become apparent since I started playing it way back at launch week. First, there is not enough content here to justify the $60 price tag. Granted, that price has dropped significantly since launch, but that has not made this point any less valid: there simply wasn't enough at launch. I'd argue that with the last five big updates to the game, there's been more "life" injected into the title, but as it stands it's still lacking in many places. Second, technical support has been mediocre at best, especially on PC. Basic features like SLI and Crossfire have not been implemented, and performance on many maps is still poor. The Xbox One isn't immune to these issues either, but on a modular platform like the PC, it's far more noticeable.
That said, the game still gets updates. Things continue to be added to the game, and the newest map pack, Frontier's Edge, is no exception; there's no new weapons to use, no new chassis to outfit your Titan with. I've heard many say that's a good thing (it does help keep balance), but something more than just three new playgrounds would be nice to have every once in a while (I'm thinking a crossbow! Crossbows are totally in). Nonetheless, there's three new levels to poke around in (and then cause staggering amounts of damage to).
Probably my least favorite of Frontier's Edge. Dig Site takes place at a still-operational mining outpost, with drills whirring and gears cranking as you dash around the map. It's a very visually interesting map, and the closest comparison to another Titanfall map that I can draw is Relic (albeit inside of a canyon instead of having a massive ship divide either half of the map). Like Relic, there's a clear centerpiece on the map that will draw players to it, causing a lot of the action to happen in the middle of the map, rather than the outskirts (as seems to be the norm with most maps in the game).
Dig Site was my least favorite of the three new maps in that it doesn't have much flair. It's far too open in some spots, and way too cramped in others. The cramped spots sometimes feel too much, even for Pilots (and I'm very skilled at wallrunning, so that's saying something) while the open spots attract attention from both Titans and Pilots. There's a cool concept here, and the interactive elements of the map tease a theme seen throughout Frontier's Edge.
Export, or "Colony on a hill" as I've taken to calling it plays a lot like its older brother; flat and slanted rooftops provide good sightlines for talented marksmen, and plenty of buildings to clamber inside for cover dot the map as well. Verticality plays a big role in Export, as it does in many other Titanfall maps, as the sloped design of the map allows for players to cleverly navigate from the more elevated areas to the lower parts of the town. It's a familiar feeling map that has a cool daytime flair to it, diversifying itself from Colony and removing the curse of the "this is familiar" that plagued Runoff in the last map pack, Expedition.
My favorite of the three is also the most visually unique maps in Titanfall. Remember playing on Angel City and looking into the distance to see massive skyscrapers? Ever think, "man, I wish I could run on those"? Well now you can! Haven takes place at Las Vegas-esque beachside resort, with lots of towering skyscrapers and open (and closed) buildings to scamper through on your piddly little pilot feet. Visually, it's cool. From a gameplay standpoint, it's even better. The open courtyard leads directly into a massive interior complex that feels like a shopping mall without much in the way of stores. On the outside of Haven, roads trace around the skyscrapers and dot the map with futuristic cars that look straight out of Back to the Future Part II.
Maybe the best part about Haven is how it operates. It perfectly blends Titan combat with Pilot battles, providing both the towering mechs and the nimble supersoldiers with different ways to navigate the level. That's something I only ever felt Angel City and Fracture gave to players, so it feels pretty good to say Haven does it just as well.
If you're still playing Titanfall, I don't know why you shouldn't buy this map pack. There's a bunch of cool new places to hop, skip, jump, and Titanfall your way to victory on; not to mention the plethora of new stunts you'll certainly find yourself pulling off in a Titan once you call it down to start crushing those pathetic squishy humans underneath your Titan-feet. Dig Site is alright, Export is great, and Haven is the best reason to make Frontier's Edge yours.
Rhys Egner is a writer for Front Towards Gamer from Seattle. He likes comics, hates crowds, and loves gaming of all kinds.