Titanfall is the first game from former Infinity Ward head honchos Jason West and Vince Zampella. After leaving Activision in rather spectacular fashion just a little over four years ago, they formed Respawn Entertainment and set about making the next generation of first person shooters.
The feeling of empowerment you get from calling in your very first Titan is a wonderful thing, it’s quite literally a game changer.
Gameplay in Titanfall will be instantly recognisable to any of you who have played one of the numerous Modern Warfare titles over these past seven years. Running around a futuristic landscape in control of your pilot (on the face of it), is no different to controlling a faceless grunt in CoD’s numerous online modes. However, when you press jump – which if Super Mario has taught us nothing else; it’s if you can jump once it’s, always worth pressing jump again just in case. In that instant you are flying (albeit not for very long) if just used on its own, but combine this ability with being able to run along walls and jump from surface to surface and you’ll find yourself in a sharp free running experience. Finding new ways of scaling heights and covering great distances in a very short space of time, not only looks awesome but enable you to sometimes get the jump on the opposing team.
The meat of Titanfall (of course), is its online modes. Teams of six battle it out in games of Attrition; a traditional Team Deathmatch, teams compete for the greatest kill count and bot kills are counted. Pilot Hunter is similar to Attrition, but doesn’t count bot kills. In Hardpoint Domination, the object is to capture and defend areas of the map. In Last Titan Standing, players begin the match in Titans and have a single life, also the self explanatory Capture the Flag mode.
Standard online battles are made of six human controlled Pilots, along with numerous and continually spawning bots which in certain game modes count towards your overall game score. Bots are a necessary addition as the maps are very large and with just twelve human controlled players running around, these would feel rather empty. These bots come in two variants with your basic grunts; who are very easy to kill and the slightly more powerful spectres who require a little more fire-power to take out of the game. Spectres however can be hacked and made to fight alongside your team, which is a very nice little touch.
Then we get to the Titans, oh boy these are a lot of fun! Coming in three different varieties, all with differing play styles you can choose from – Atlas, Ogre and Stryder. All of the models have slight nuances to them, for instance they all have differing Titan finishing moves. Orge for example chooses to rip of the opposing Titan’s arms before smacking them over the head with the gained limbs. Calling in your Titan is a true thing of beauty, looking up to the skies to see it appear in a explosion before crashing to earth with a crushing thud. If any opposing team member (or even Titan) is in the landing zone it will be crushed under the weight of your incoming mech, adding to your kill total and always raising a smile. Titans are protected by a forcefield for about 30 seconds, which protects the player-pilot as well as killing any rival team member trying to get the jump on your war machine.
Witnessing two Titans going at it is a glorious site, with numerous rocket attacks along side mini-guns and electrified smoke. As a defensive measure, all pilots carry a Anti-Titan Weapon which can be used to take down titans but only after extensive attacks. Another way to take down a Titan as a pilot (and my personal favourite) is to jetpack up to its head, ripping out the shield barrier , shooting the holy hell out of its internal workings and causing to it to explode! Leaving you being shot up miles into the air.
As you’ve most probably guessed multiplayer modes are a lot of fun if a little samey, but hopefully future DLC will add more variety with new modes,weapons, etc. The “Single Player” mode however is a different kettle of fish. It plays as multiplayer with single player elements, such as scripted cinematic sequences, non-playable character dialogue and audio briefings. This is a fun few hours but its basically the multiplayer game repackaged, personally I would of preferred they went online only and not really bothered with this mode as it just feels like a tacked on last thought. The only other game mode available is Training and seeing as this is a compulsory walk through when you first start playing the game, I’m at a loss to think of any reason why you would go back in to this mode after finishing it for the first time.
As this is an Xbox title, it has the added benefit of achievements and Titanfall is very generous with them. In the early stages of the game, I’d managed to rack up 200 odd points in just the first few hours of playing.[tabgroup][tab title=”The Good“]
Evolves the FPS genre
Excellent when played with friends
[tab title=”The Bad“]Tacked on single player
Needs more content via DLC