Titanfall is a rather ambitious title by Respawn Entertainment, as a mecha first-person shooter, allowing players to do combat both inside their titans as well as on foot. Respawn. What expectations must await Jason West and Vince Zampella after they started the Modern Warfare craze. Expectations indeed. The hype behind this game was overshadowed by Watch Dogs, but only by a couple inches. Some thought Respawn set out to impress a little too much. Well, I’d say it’s mission accomplished.
In small part I think you can thank Titanfall for CoD: Advanced Warfare’s fast paced action. (Competition maybe?) Titanfall is fast. Real fast. Terrain navigation is fast and fluid. Even the Titans rewrite your brain on how big, tall combat robots are to function. The parkour and terrain navigation is … flawless. No inadvertent ledge grabbing here (I’m talking to you Assassins Creed). Even the little things like calling your Titan in, the crackling rocketpod down to the earth-shattering THUD is exciting. Did it land on another Pilot? Dead. Titan? Damaged or dead, depending on health.
There are three standard Titans.
Even the titans rarely get hung up on any barrier. It’s over, around, or through. These aren’t some lumbering robots, the jetpacks and mechanics are both fluid and powerful. The fact that there are infinite vulnerabilities to being on foot as a pilot and in your Titan as well as options to counteract those vulnerabilities is what sets Titanfall as a must play rush of adrenaline. When on the ground the AI takes over your Titan, with follow modes and protect modes. Each core titan class has their own sets of strengths, weaknesses, and customizability. Weapons, as well as abilities like shields, and nerve gas that stops pilot “rodeo” attacks. Ah the rodeo attacks. What I saw as the most feared of all attacks don’t come from another titan 1v1. It’s a pilot. On foot. While a direct attack from a Titan is usually lethal to a pilot who doesn’t use terrain to their advantage, the pilot rodeo attack can take a unwary player controlled titan down VERY quickly. Even if thats the case, Titan abilities such as the core nuclear detonation kit could take the pilot down postmortem. Meleeing an enemy Titan, ripping their Pilot out and throwing them into a wall paste of blood is KICKASS. Every…time…
Pilots can advance to level 50, with the the weapon choices being fairly balanced and varied (the autotargeting smart pistol is a little suspect 🙂
The three sidearms leave a little to be desired, but the anti-Titan weapons are varied and fun. The heavy rocket, mag launcher are rapid damage dealers, with the charge rifle taking a bit to fully charge but dealing big chunks of damage. The cloak ability makes you nearly invisible to Titans and minions, while the stim boosts your health and movement speed for a short period of time. The radar pulse is my personal favorite acting like a sonar beacon showing enemies pinging thru walls. Pilots also have ordinance slots for frags, mines, and my personal favorite, the satchel charge. However childish it may be, flinging satchel charges at enemy pilots and taking them out along with as many AI minions as possible always brings a smile to my face. You can also take 3 “burn cards” into each battle for random modifiers.
The multiplayer maps are varied as well, each incorporating nice “Titan fighting lanes” as well as terrain that pilots can weave through and for the most part use the jet pack to reach top of the map heights. 15 maps plus DLC, with urban and open environments. Each has a unique feel with the urban areas abandoned, the open areas ripe with outposts and staging for each side of the player campaigns. Ah. The “story”. Have I not mentioned any real downfalls yet? Definitely one here. You can take part in a “campaign”, which consists of a story “overlay” wrapped over certain multiplayer map modes, with occasional extra cutscenes, and dialogue.
The AI minions have a small role, map fillers. They do play a part in “attrition”, where any kill counts towards your team score, and this is where the smart pistol comes into play as being a cheap kill count booster. They have minimal skill, almost laughably so. You can stand in front of them at times without being shot, when other times a small squad will be painting you red. Hardpoint is the basic point capture. Capture the flag of course is here, with Pilots mobility being real challenging considering the mobility and “anything you can see you can reach” mentality. Last Titan Standing is a unique Titan only mode where its the classic team elimination that strategies abound, you can even leave your Titan and do battle on ground. The Titan does damage on your behalf, while you can use the anti-Titan weapon in tandem, if you dare.
If you want fast paced action full of jet pack launching, wall crawling, Titan punching action, you have come to the right place. 60fps at 1080p, fluid animations, and looking down from the highest rooftop on the massive battlefield, Titanfall is true poetry in motion. For an even bigger bargain pick this title up on Origins sales scattered throughout the year.