Titanfall (PC, Xbox One, Xbox 360) had a lot on its shoulders before it came out. At E3 2013, it was voted Best In Show, and was also considered to be one of the sole reasons many non-Xbox fanboys were considering the Xbox One. Figure in PS4’s worldwide sales lead compared to the Xbone, and you know Microsoft had a lot riding on the success of Titanfall.
So what exactly is Titanfall? Well, basically it’s something you have seen before with a huge twist. On the surface, it’s a multiplayer first-person shooter that was created for the last gen – and it shows. Character models and shadows in the foreground are immaculate, which is ideal for console games. PC users shouldn’t be wowed with the visuals, though: even with all settings maxed out.
The plot, or lack thereof, takes place in a dystopian futuristic with two factions, IMC and Militia. The two sides are war over different planetary control points seen throughout the 15 maps. The “campaign” plays out in nine chapters per faction via multiplayer: including 12 total real-life players (pilots) and up to 12 easy to kill bots. The real fun starts when players wield Titans. These bipedal mechs stay under the pilots’ control and are the real sought-after aspect to Respawn Entertainment’s “debut” title.
Playing as the pilot is actually pretty fun. Everything about Titanfall is futuristic, and it spills over well into the characters. The incorporation of stealth, auto-aim pistols and the extremely useful parkour abilities add for a nice balance. Like in COD, there are perks that you can unlock called burn cards that give you a slight edge if you die too much. But even with ten main weapons and several add-ons, you will find out what works best for you. The game is very friendly to inexperienced players as they can kill AI for points and still contribute to their team’s cause.
Again, running around with the titans was the largest selling point of this game, but comes off as underwhelming. There are only three different mechs to choose from; a tank, a nimble scout, and an assault class. There are several different powers the titans have right away, like a shield that collects incoming munitions and then fires then back at enemies, and then an electrical smoke grenade. Titans are not slow, cannot jump and slower than pilots.
And you don’t have to be completely afraid of a titan as a pilot, as you are equipped with anti-titan weaponry and can even climb aboard an enemy titan and blast away into its armor. This same saddling ability can be used with teammates, adding for more variation.
With the three titan variations comes one of “Titanfall’s” strongest upsides: balance. A small lineup of ten main weapons and three side arms equates to a pretty even field of weaponry. No worries about others unlocking a gold-plated AK-47 and crazy obnoxious killstreak perks like the Tactical Nuke or attack dogs.
What we have instead is a fun and different type of shooter. The various game modes are commonplace with domination, capture the flag, team deathmatch styles, and an all titan brawl. But the gameplay is seriously addicting and you will keep loading up another round, especially when playing with friends.
Ultimately, Titanfall is a pretty fun game that should grow in due time. Complaints of the selling price ($59.99) are not unfounded considering content available at release. DLC is planned. Yet, if you team with friends, this game could easily grant many many hours of multiplayer fun as-is.