I do not usually play multiplayer- centric games. I don’t like being killed over and over because I do not log hundreds of hours in the same game. I was a little skeptical of Titanfall at first because of the multiplayer only aspect. I played the beta and managed to enjoy myself, even though I was not the best player on the team.
Giant Robots have my attention no matter what. I was willing to forgive Titanfall’s game setup if I could feed my secret ‘Pacific Rim’ fantasy. The first game I played changed my entire outlook on multiplayer for first person shooters (FPS). 6 vs 6 matches sound small on paper to someone who lived for Warhawk on PS3’s 16 vs 16. The presence of ‘dumber’ computer controlled characters called “Grunts” gives you plenty to kill. Grunts are also an opportunity to gain in game experience even if you cannot manage to kill a player controlled pilot. My first few times playing I scored better than I had anticipated. Even though I was getting slaughtered every time I faced another pilot, the game still managed to make everything fun.
Titanfall is fun. I know that sounds dumb but, in all aspects the game is fun. Movement by your pilot is an absolute blast. As a pilot, you can run along walls, hang on walls, and double jump. Traversing the map alone can be the highlight of a match. Jumping from rooftop to rooftop or wall jumping in between close buildings feels like it’s something out of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The combat is similar to your normal FPS but, the presence of Titans and Anti-Titan weapons changes the mix. The weapons are neat but the pilot weapons are nothing out of the ordinary. The one unique pilot weapon is the “Smart Pistol” which locks automatically to a target when in range. Trust me, it is more difficult to use than it sounds on paper. The pilot abilities offer a nice change up for game play with things like cloaking (nearly impossible to see when in a Titan) and Radar. For completing certain challenges and actions you are rewarded with single use ‘burn cards’. Burn cards offer an edge in battle whether it be 80 seconds off your Titan build or unlimited sprint.
Titan combat is where the game truly shines and stands out above the other FPS games on the market. Titans are huge and somewhat slow (they are capable of dashing but only small distances) but they have incredible fire power. Weapons like machine guns, rockets, and grenade launchers, and a plasma rifle (my favorite) are what you can expect to use as a Titan. Like pilots, Titans also have special abilities for defense and offense. Each of the 3 Titans have their own unique ability (unlimited dash, increased damage output, and advanced shields) that take time to charge up and last only a few seconds. Other than the main weapon, Titans also are equipped with the pilot’s choice between three different forms of missiles. The multiple weapons and abilities make it easy for you to pick a load-out to match your play style.
Titan on Titan combat is amazing and was shown off a good bit before the game was launched. Like many other members of the gaming community, I was worried that Titans would basically be an ‘instant win’. Not the case. As I mentioned, each pilot starts with an Anti-Titan weapon. Titans are able to crush pilots by stepping on them and one direct shot from most Titan weapons will instantly kill pilots. Titans are slow compared to pilots and their weapons are not as accurate for shooting such small targets. Pilots are also able to jump on the back of Titans to damage their ‘core’ directly and bring them down much faster. All of these factors make up a system with checks and balances to make sure that the game stays fair.
I’ve logged dozens of hours on Titanfall. Almost 100 matches in and the game remains fresh and exciting. I purchased an Xbox One for this game and I have not regretted it. My only complaint with the game is the story. The struggle between the Militia and IMC is secondary to what is going on in the missions. To be honest, I have very little idea of what even happened as far as the plot even after playing through the campaign twice. I really do not think the majority of players will be playing for the story. Titan combat and unique pilot combat really makes this game stand out over all the rest. The game lives up to all of the hype. The developers have promised more content and game types in the near future. If you are even on the fence about Titanfall, get it—you will not be disappointed.
Titanfall is rated M and is available now on Xbox One and PC and will be releasing in April for the Xbox 360