It’s important to remember that most of the people complaining about the "small" size of Titanfall's 6-on-6 player count have never played the game, and many are suffering from a lack of understanding of what Titanfall is and what it’s trying to do.
I can't speak to the game's launch or the overall package that will be offered when it's released in March, but I've played Titanfall for a number of rounds at a number of events, and the game is amazing. It plays just as well as it looks, and it looks much better than most of its competition.
There's a reason why other developers and industry folks lined up before and after the PAX show floor was open in order to play. The game is special.
Part of the reason the game is special is that everyone in a match gets to feel like a hero. There are NPCs to harvest and second objectives to worry about, and everyone has access to a Titan.
So it's not just 12 players running around each map trying to win each match; it can be up to 12 mechs doing the same or, more likely, a combination of infantry and Titans mixing it up. The game already feels busy, well-balanced and hectic. You get the sense of being in a much larger conflict. The sense of scope that you're worried about losing is more effective in Titanfall than it is in games with twice the player count.
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People are also used to the fact that it takes human players to fill a game, and it takes a bit for another interesting fact to sink in: The Titans themselves are characters. They don't sit idly by if you're not inside of the hulking beasts; you can place them in an important area and have them guard that point on the map.
The Titan will patrol a small area and engage targets as needed. Or you can tell the Titan to simply follow you around, firing at enemies as they appear. Suddenly you have 24 "characters" on each map, blowing the living hell out of everything in sight. Titanfall has a flow and feel that is different from most games of its ilk, so judging the player count based on how you play games like Battlefield or Call of Duty is pure folly.
We complain that gaming is filled with releases that all look alike, and then we complain when something comes along that changes that formula. Six-versus-six combat in Titanfall isn't nerfed, it isn't small and it sure as heck isn't limited. It's the game that Respawn set out to make, and it's important to either wait to play it before judging, or take the word of someone who has already played it: It's amazing.
This is going to be a big release, and if it works as advertised at launch, EA and Respawn will have a massive hit on their hands. The player count is right where it needs to be.