Titanfall Review

titanfall-box-art-pcTitanfall is the recently released First Person Shooter game from Respawn Entertainment and published by EA. It’s a multiplayer shooter that has players controlling Pilots of giant mechatronic robotic machines, called Titans, as they battle each other across multiple maps and worlds. Titanfall has been pushed for its online multiplayer campaign and classic modes, while offering a fast-paced competitive backdrop with unique movement options and even more unique gameplay through the use of Titans. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

One of the first things you’ll notice about Titanfall is that is a multiplayer only game. What’s unusual about this kind of setup is that in Titanfall, players will find that there is an included campaign mode to play through. However, alongside the campaign, is a ‘classic’ mode, which allows you to play from a few different gametypes that are included within the game. What’s interesting about this split is that it allows players to choose their own kind of multiplayer experience depending on their mood.

The campaign mode in Titanfall feels incredibly light. When the game was announced, the fully integrated online campaign was hyped up to be quite the addition and would be thing that drives the game onwards. What wasn’t expected was the fact that the campaign is so short, and that is doing it for both sides as well. In the campaign, players are looking at about 10 minutes per match (often shorter if your team is good) over something like 15 matches (multiplied by two, one for each side), so it doesn’t take longer than a couple of hours to complete. This was kind of disappointing because this kind of experience has been attempted in the past, and to a much more enriching result. For the best example of an online integrated campaign experience, see Unreal Tournament 3, which was a terrible Unreal game. But still, this incredibly quick campaign in Titanfall, is really, really fun.

The only real complaint with the Campaign is that it seemed kind of pointless. It was essentially Attrition, Pilot Hunter and Hardpoint control gametypes thrown together in a mixed bag with a small amount of exposition added over the the players communication channels. This was a little odd, as the game is generally really fast paced and requires a lot of attention to be paid to what’s going on just to stay alive, so the player can very easily miss the dialogue that the important characters are in fact carrying over the course of the match. But even when they are paying attention, the dialogue is negligible and only really serves as a backdrop to reinforce the purpose of the fight that you’re currently in. Hopefully in future expansion packs or DLC, the campaign is improved upon, as it is a small section that should be a highlight, but isn’t.

Outside of the campaign, in Classic mode, you’ll find the meat of the Titanfall experience. This is because, at its core, Titanfall is built on the premise of being a competitive multiplayer online first person shooter.  For this reason, players will be spending the majority of their time playing in matches where all the other players are, and that’s going to be in the classic mode. In fact, it can already be seen that there are more Classic mode matches being played than Campaign mission, where some nights it is difficult to even find a campaign match to join.

In Classic Mode, players have 5 gametypes to choose from at present. These are Attrition, Last Titan Standing, Hardpoint, Pilot Hunter and Capture The Flag. However, it seems as though this will change in future DLC and expansions. What might be a little off-putting is that three of these gametypes are a variation on Team Deathmatch, while the other two are highly co-ordinated team based matches. As you would expect from each gametype, players have different objectives to complete to ensure victory, but all of the gamemodes involve fragging enemy players at some point.

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In general, Titanfall can really sound like a generic shooter when it’s being talked about. But really, it has a number of elements that it has combined to give it this fresh and new feeling that you can’t help but enjoy. It seems as though, from the outset, that the developers really wanted to create a game where players can feel quick and nimble while having nice sense of agility on the player character. The result of this is that players not only move quickly, but they can also move in trickier ways, such as running across walls and climbing building, which really give you that nice sense of speed. It almost feels like you’re playing a game of Quake with how much movement you can get out of a character.

The most interesting and entertaining of Titanfall is most definitely the Titanfall aspect of the game. Over the course of a match, players can summon Titans from the heavens in order to lay waste to their opposition and lead their team to victory. However, players can’t just summon Titans willy-nilly, instead they must wait for their Titanfall countdown to complete before they can. What’s cool about this is that players that stick around and do the objectives and slay the mooks end up getting their Titans just that bit faster by earning time reductions for their skills. This can turn the game into a race to get Titans as they add a huge advantage to the team that gets one first.

In Titanfall, a Titan is essentially a form of mechatronic robotics that a player can control as a pilot from within the cockpit, or on the field by issuing simple commands like follow and stay. Think of Titans as giant pets with big guns that can shoot and eviscerate their opponents. What’s cool about the Titans though, isn’t so much that they’re big and have big guns, it’s that they’re easily pretty maneouverable in their own right. They’re not quite as nimble as a pilot, but they’re certainly not giant and bulky sentry guns either; even if they can be used that way.

One thing that has the playerbase divided is that the multiplayer includes AI units. In general, these units are pretty useless and serve pretty much to bolster a players score across a match. They also help to lower a players Titans spawn timer, which is always useful in a match. If players want to make the most out of their scores in Titanfall, it is advisable to put as much effort into wiping enemy pilots as in wiping enemy mooks. The teams that are dedicated to playing the mooks will always get Titans that much quicker, giving them the advantage.

Much like other games in the shooter genre, players are given the option to unlock and modify their weapon kits to match their playstyle. This happens at Level 5 when you unlock your first custom kit, and from there, players continually gather new weapons and gear through leveling up and completing challenges. What’s interesting here is that it is important for players to utilise multiple kits for different scenarios that might be placed before them. For instance, in a tight map, it might be wiser to use a SMG or Shotgun, while in a larger map it might be best to use Rifles and DMR’s. The one weapon that we believe should not have been included is the Smart Pistol. It’s OP as all heck, it locks on and has rapid fire. If you’re up against someone with that as their primary and they spot you first, you can pretty much consider yourself dead. Other than that one imba weapon, Titanfall is actually pretty balanced in terms of combat.

Overall, Titanfall is an amazingly fun game that we have enjoyed every moment of playing (with exception of being killed by the Smart Pistol). It’s definitely a much needed original step forward (or at least a step in the right direction) for a genre that has long been one filled with stale clones and unending sequels. It may not be the best game out, but it’s certainly the most fun.

Rating: PREPARE FOR TITANFALL/10

Titanfall is released on the Xbox One and PC devices at the time of writing. The Xbox 360 port will be released around the 10th of April. Titanfall is published by EA and created by Respawn Entertainment. Video and Review is based on the PC version of the game. The attached video is a gameplay sample and not indicative of the standard Attack On Gaming round and/or skill level. You can purchase Titanfall from the Origin Store for $99.99. Don’t forget to check out our tips for getting good at Titanfall.

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