The game for which most “next-gen’ers” were waiting for, has arrived. Developed by the brilliant fellows at Respawn Entertainment and published by Electronic Arts and made solely for the Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC comes (some are saying) the game of the year – Titanfall. With its incredible pace and acrobatic movement scheme this next-gen shooter will surely leave us speechless, and fellow gamers. It has!!!
Titanfall’s story is an interesting topic of discussion as there really isn’t one, not one that is clear atleast, there isn’t even a true campaign as this game is all about the multiplayer and pitting your skills against the rest. Which is hearing complaints from, nobody, anywhere ever. However the “gist” of it is, you play as a “Pilot” a highly skilled operator of the future of combats Titans, robotic (Transformer like) walking tanks, to take on enemy teams armed with similar metal packages of awesomeness. Titanfall’s lack of a clear story mode honestly doesn’t seem to affect anyone, gamers knew what to expect and Respawn delivered. Teams fight to destroy each other in seemingly apocalyptic battle grounds for kills, points and territories.
All of the above may sound to someone who is not aware of Titanfall as ordinary and just “another shooter” but I assure you it’s not. The customisation coupled with brilliant “parkour” moves and tactical abilities that the pilots and Titans have make this a shooter like none I’ve ever played. The parkour moves you may have seen in “Brink” or even “Mirrors Edge” but here in Titanfall land this actually works and the use of wall-running actually plays as a tactical advantage rather than some gimmick. What’s even better is that through all the obvious handwork put into player movement and environment design nothing seemed to be lost on the basics such as visuals, level and weapon design and the essence of all FPS’ the actual gun-play itself which I was sure to have suffered.
The level/map design was very impressive. From a design point of view, designing maps that have players that can double jump and run across walls can be so much more difficult then designing maps for players whom can only sprint. So seeing some amazingly beautiful locations that were as incredible to look at as they were to play I didn’t think was going to happen. But it did. The maps work brilliantly well, whether you’re blasting around in a Titan or gracefully scaling the building and ledges to gain tactical advantage. The maps range from baron desert landscapes, to enclosed city locations giving players the chance to adapt on the fly to the game type and its location.
What I found most intriguing which I can’t recall seeing anywhere else was the use of AI (Artificial Intelligence) within the multiplayer itself. The fact that at times it was hard to tell if you were shooting at a player-piloted-pilot or just a computer controlled enemy was interesting as it allows for newcomers to join in the fun and not feel like they’ve played for nine days without a kill. Having said that I must say the AI is absolutely zero help to either team so the term cannon-fodder really holds reverence in this game but all the same was very cool to see it put into play.
Having AI really helps the game modes feel more intense, from a simple Attrition mode (death match) where the only goal is to kill everything that moves, the AI suffers a devastating blow from all players as they are wiped off the map like insects. With other game modes such as “Hardpoint Domination” which resembles a “King Of The Hill” mode. Respawn has brought something radically different to the table with a Titan only mode known as “Last Titan Standing” where players battle one another only using a combination of three Titans. Some are quick and light weight, where others pack a huge metallic punch with incredible weaponry and gadgets. I would have to say the coolest tool I’ve used in Titanfall so far would have to be the “Vortex Shield”, a Neo type ability which allows the player controlling the Titan to catch bullets and missiles before detonation and fire them back at the enemy with devastating effects.
What people say when speaking about this game often fail to mention is the actual logistics of the gameplay within the Titan itself, from calling it down and watching it fall from the sky like a meteor to punching another Titan square in its jaw, playing as these mechanical beasts is so satisfying. Where we would usually see these kinds of machines as some kind of power-up for one player that totally unbalances a game, Titanfall expertly plays teams off against each other using these as tools for victory.
Visually, the game is fantastic, is it amazing by Xbox One standards?, in my opinion, No! However I think the visuals are great. The Titans and Pilots look great, however some of the more “nitty-gritty” textural stuff like fire and grass could look better. However it really doesn’t take away a dime from the gameplay. The guns, the explosions and the Titans really do look fantastic and this helps give the game some real depth and atmosphere which I think is vital in a game with no solid “campaign” mode. The environment always looks pristine whether your jumping from a mile up in the air down to the battle ground, wall-running or blasting through walls in a Titan the environment just looks spectacular, the visuals almost need not explaining, the game looks fantastic and the level of detail is inspiring.
What is certainly worth a mention is the weaponry. In Titanfall you will never fail to find a fun and creative way of destroying your enemy. Whether its mounting an enemy Titan to rip apart its crucial components or firing homing missiles from a distance killing things in this game is just good fun. There is a huge arsenal of rocket launchers, combat riffles, pistols, shotguns, grenades, sniper riffles and anti-titan weapons. So please experiment with different combination and you can pull of some amazing kills with some fantastic weapons.
I tend to be a bit OCD when it comes to sound, by that I mean everything from the soundtrack to the menu loading times and the in game sound effects. Titanfall ticks all of the boxes, when that Titan falls from the sky you, your neighbour and the neighbours dog is going to know about it if you play on any half decent 5.1 sound system. The music throughout the game gets more epic towards winning and more intense towards an imminent loss, something which again gives depth and atmosphere to any game and to Titanfall it is very much the icing on top of a very large, metal cake.
The key features to this game may be obvious to some but i’m going to explain them anyway. At the top of my and every other humans list is the player movement, parkour has and always will be cool, and to be able to do this in a game where the players who master it conquer all is just plain awesome. From wall-running to mounting enemy Titan’s really take Titanfall to another level that just hasn’t been done (properly anyway) ever before. Second on my list is the “in -Titan-play” personally I have never played a game where taking control of a machine of this kind seen in Titanfall has been this much fun, not only that it actually works whether it’s showering the enemy with missiles or mechanical fisticuffs the playability of the Titans are fantastic. Another key feature would be the weaponry. The arsenal you get to take to the battle field is amazing, the combination of futuristic grenades to huge anti-titan missile launchers. The weapons in Titanfall are so much fun. Specifically speaking of the “Smart-Pistol”. This little gem makes using a one-handed weapon so much more interesting than the usual use of a pistol being a secondary weapon. The “Smart-Pistol’s” auto locking feature allows for a casual gamer to jump in and have a lot of fun with this title. One feature that makes this game unique is the lack of a campaign as it allows for the development team to make the multiplayer perfect and shows the confidence shown by the developers to release a game solely based on the notion that teams of players will play these modes and be satisfied enough with their ninety dollar game. One feature that is definitely worth a mention is the lobbying system, not many multiplayer games on the Xbox One has made use of the classic lobby system making it brilliantly easy to play with friends allowing for ultimate teamwork to be used to destroy the opposition.
All in all Titanfall has lived up to the hype, from wall-running to being flung out of a Titan close to combustion this game is incredibly fun. I think it is a good insight to what is to come later in the game with DLC and also what is to come on the console. As Titanfall is an Xbox and PC exclusive it will be great to see what other exclusive titles come out and how Titanfall DLC keeps the game competitive in six months time and then in 1-3 years before the inevitable sequel. I enjoyed this game and continue to enjoy it I hope to see everyone with an Xbox One get this game and play it as it is just a great title with amazing features. Definitely a must buy.