Standby for Titanfall. Titanfall is the first game to come out from the newly formed studio Respawn Games. Respawn is lead by former Infinity Ward employees, the same guys who were behind Modern Warfare and Modern Warfare 2. The team at Respawn set off to make something bigger, better than Call of Duty. A game that did more, was more fast pace and refex-twitching. Titanfall takes place in a post apocalyptic world where man and machine are allies. The world is broken up into two fractions, the IMC and the Militia. Titanfall brings fast paced, high-tech gameplay to your Xbox 360, Xbox One or PC. New futuristic weapons such as the Smart Pistol with abilities to auto-target multiple enemies and take them out in a single round of quick shots. Titanfall is the first online-only game, but don’t be discouraged. It works well. There is an online compaign that consists of multiple match types that loosely tells the story of Titanfall. You get to play both sides when completing your campaigns. Aside from that, Titanfal offers your basic match types. Attrition is the new team deathmatch, but there’s a twist; The loser has to then evacuate by airship for extra points towards their end-game bonus. The winner has to try to destroy the airship before it evacuates or eliminate all remaining enemy players before they have a chance to get to the airship during evacuation. There are other classic modes fans of the call of duty franchise will be familiar with such as Hardpoint, Capture the Flag and a new mode called pilot hunter, which is more traditional team deathmatch, you only get points for killing the enemy team’s pilots. Titanfall is different in the sense that they have AI on the battlefield with you, these AI come in the forms of grunts and Spectres. They fight for and against you, so in most modes enemy players are the only ones you need to look out for. The last titan standing game mode is unique and something different never before done in a game. You start inside of your titan and are only given one life. Your team’s objective is to eliminate all enemy team titans.When your titan is doomed in this mode there is no respawning, you can eject from your titan and run on foot as a pilot and try to bring down enemy titans that way but it’s not that easy.
Titanfall’s developers kept a lot of things similar to their call of duty roots. There is a prestige system in Titanfall in which you reach once you hit level 50 called “Generations”. You become 2nd, 3rd, 4th Generation each time you pass level 50. There are 10 Generations in total before you are truly maxed out. You can quickly gain experience by completing challenges just like in the Call of Duty franchise. Aside from the similarities, Titanfall is it’s own beast and feels fresh from the traditional Call of Duty or Battlefield type clone. There is nothing like calling in your titan for the first time and embarking in it giving you full control of the giant beast of a machine so you can destroy everything and everyone in your path. Don’t have a titan to call in but need to take down an enemy one? You can rodeo on-top of an enemy titan and open up the main circuit of the titan and shoot it out with your primary weapon until the titan is doomed, in which you then jump off before it explodes, failing to do so can cause you to blow up along with the enemy’s titan. However, it’s not that simple, if someone is rodeoing your titan, you can eject from it and shoot them off with your firearm, effectively killing an enemy team pilot.
Titan fighting is similar to when you are on ground as a pilot but at a much bigger, more powerful scale. When two titans go at it, it really feels like an all-out mech war. So how would you take down a titan if yours isn’t ready to be called in? Simple, each player is equipped with three weapons: Their primary weapon, sidearm/secondary weapon and an anti-titan weapon that is a special weapon used to taking down and dooming enemy titans while on foot as a pilot. The new wallrunning and wallhanging mechanisms in the game are great ways to avoid your enemies and help you move faster throughout the maps. The cloak perk is useful for remaining out of sight of grunts and other AI players but human players can still see you even if your cloaked, although it’s a little hard to notice at times. Each Pilot and Titan can have a specific set of perks set per class. If you are running low on your ammo and your titan is on the field, you can embark in your titan and your ammo and grenades will be replenished for you, your magazine will be reloaded as well.
One thing that’s returned in a new format is killstreaks. You don’t get killstreaks for killing your enemies, they are now given in the form of Burn Cards. You get a deck of cards as you level up and complete challenges that you can use for a single life during a game. These vary in what they do some will take build time off your titan which will allow you to get your titanfall faster. There are others that will earn you double exp per kill on a pilot, grunt or spectre, and there are others that will assist you in a way that will keep your HUD/mini-map with a constant UAV up to pinpoint enemy locations. Titanfall makes you think and play smart. It really tries to make you use teamwork to succeed in victory. It’s a beautiful looking game with deep environments, fast paced action and big machines that fall from the sky to aid you to victory.
The team at Respawn has been supporting Titanfall non-stop since it’s launch with new patches coming out frequently for the Xbox One, 360 and PC ports of the game which is to be expected of a new game developer. However, bugs are fixed quickly and a lot of them are taken care of in a single setting. The voice of the community is heard and most wanted features get implemented at a timely manner. However, Not everything is so great with Titanfall, it does have it’s shortcomings. I have noticed a few times that I’d run into a “Could not connect to server” message when I try to manage my burn cards, or that a game will be just about ending then you would lose connection completely to the server. Like anything else, nothing is perfect and there are some quirks Respawn will need to iron out, but for what Titanfall is, it’s damn near close to being perfect. It was one of the smoothest game launches I’ve seen in a long time and it’s a great breath of fresh air in terms of the First Person Shooter genre. Titanfall is a series that will grow and mature in time, and Respawn seems to know what their players want and they listen to the community feedback given. In time, Titanfall will become a household name just like Call of Duty has become, but Respawn and EA is certainly giving Activision a run for their money with this one.
Although it shares similar characteristics, it’s the unique features in Titanfall that keep it in a class of it’s own. No match feels the same as the last, something that’s happened in the Call of Duty series for quite some time. It’s quite nice to run rampant in a titan and crush your enemy pilots that are on the ground and can’t get out of your titan’s way fast enough, or blow them up with your titan’s firearm or rockets. One thing that has remained the same is the control scheme is identical to Call of Duty, which is a good thing.
The few issues I’ve encountered with the game seem to be very minor. We mentioned earlier that the server will sometimes lose connection when accessing your burn cards or in the middle of a match. This is to be expected and it should be pointed out that so far I’ve only experienced this on the Xbox 360 version which was handled by Bluepoint games. The 2nd issue i’ve noticed seems to only be in the xbox 360 version o the game. You will experience some slight screen-tearing from time to time. I haven’t noticed this in the xbox one or PC versions however.
My final thoughts on titanfall is that it’s a great new FPS that brings things to the table that Call of Duty has yet to try in the form of giant wearable mech suits or AI controlled. The fast pace action makes for a really heart pounding experience when you’re on the battlefield. Respawn is in the right direction with their new IP and have done nearly everything perfectly with Titanfall. It truly is a beautiful looking FPS with a new unique twist to it. It’s definitely one that we will be seeing around for quite some time to come. It has a few flaws but they can be polished out in future updates. Good job Respawn, you hit this one out of the park.
Pilot, your titan is ready for launch…