Respawn's debut title is a knockout FPS.
Developer(s): Respawn Entertainment
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Played on: XBOX ONE
Also available on: XBOX 360 and PC
For some people, an online-only game is an immediate turn-off. I for one enjoy the concept of network-central projects that allow seemless and addictive progression with gunplay that keeps you going for at least 25 hours of play. Titanfall is already on its way there. The team at Respawn Entertainment have put a lot into this new sci-fi mech-blaster title that allows up to 12 players to duke it out in war-torn environments, tailored to its interesting concept. Sure, there's Gundam and Front Mission, but this puts you in the roles of heavily equipped pilots that can control lumbering mechanical monsters, wielding appropriately large weapons in their robo-digits.
It's a far more intriguing idea than I ever thought it was going to be, with intricate free-running abilities available to pilots (aka real players), along with their own arsenal to unlock and unlock for, and the accompaniment of burn cards; these are effectively battle favours, where you are able to pick three cards per game (after reaching level 11) which are amped-up weapons and perks available for only one turn each. If you activate a card and die straight after, you've lost it. So play your cards right. It's got a relatively coherant story to hand, but a lot of what Titanfall's campaign mode tries to do is incorporate some dialogue into a regular multiplayer match. It revolves around the Militia trying to control a mass takeover by the corporate force of the IMC; an evil conglomorate hell-bent on expanding their operations across the entire galaxy. Both sides are playable with their own sides to the story, which becomes interesting once you've got an idea of how the different lead characters see the situation, but remains a strictly limited "story" experience as far as multiplayer games go. Still, there's unlockables and competition to be had, as it's always six vs. six with fierce gunfights raging on inside isolated areas, titans battle firmly on the ground, and a layer of verticality is added when wallrunning and jetpacks are added to the spectrum, and that's what gives itself the appeal. Call of Duty players will be very familiar with the frantic, fast-paced online action that adds an interesting twist to the FPS genre and utilizes Valve's (albeit heavily modified) Source engine that's well-known for powering the Counter-Strike and Half-Life games.
It's incredibly addictive. You've got attrition and capture the flag game modes to keep you occupied, which are your standard shooter modes, plus interesting additions that encourage you to spread your time over the different faces of the game. And in terms of titan combat itself, you've got a choice of three titans: Atlas, Stryder, and Ogre. Just by looking at the names, you can tell which mechs provide the most protection, and which are most agile and the fastest. It's very neatly balanced and provides some tense, but fair, titan battles whilst also giving the guys on the ground a chance to get up in the air and rodeo your robotic friend. If this happens, you'll have to disembark and shoot him off before your titan goes kaboom. It's relatively easy to do this, too, which means you'll have to be on your cyber toes at all times, whilst also scanning for foes on the ground; foes that you can crush with ease. Respawn have definitely gone a long way to create something that stays true to the FPS genre and simultaneously puts a twist on your traditional shooter with fun challenges, progression, and awesome weapons that go for quality over quantity.
While the game runs at 792p native resolution at 60fps, it looks gorgeous and the visual prowess is made clear in the Lagoon map, with a brilliant shot out to sea with detailed cliffs and rocks. It doesn't quite feel like a 60fps experience at all times, as the framerate drops on numerous occasions and there's some dodgy screen tearing, but it does well to withstand the demand of multiple titans and dozens of players and NPC's on the map at once (and sometimes, as it feels, all in the same place), because there's a hefty amount of projectiles shooting across the way at any one time with pilots leaping from place to place and unloading unhealthy amounts of ammo at one titan.
Overall, Titanfall is an exceptional debut title from Respawn Entertainment. And while it may have its flaws, the multiplayer-only shooter is a blast and great fun, blending the best parkour elements with your classic shooting goodness. Essential.
Me Love Cars - Founder of Motopedia, Gameopedia, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Wiki, Gran Turismo Wiki and TV and Film Wiki. 19:56, March 17, 2014 (UTC)
Hugely varied and fun-to-play maps.
Great progression system.
Some technical flaws get in the way of an otherwise great shooting experience.
Mediocre campaign that feels more like a multiplayer round with added commentary.
A cracking multiplayer shooter that's easy on newcomers and challenging for avid gamers.