Respawn’s sci-fi shooter Titianfall is the main reason that I chose to buy an Xbox One. When it was first announced, I crapped my pants due to pure excitement because First Person Shooters and big ass Mech robots are two of my favorite things. Then I though what most of the gaming world did, Is Titanfall “just Call of Duty with Mechs”? The short version: In the future the human race aims to colonize the “Frontier”, a location in the far reaches of space, all thanks to the discovery of light speed. As man becomes more comfortable with life in the Frontier, fast forward and a group dubbed “The Militia” are being harassed by the I.M.C (Interstellar Manufacturing Corporation) an evolution of Hammond Robotics; the developers of all robotics including the Titians. Basically, The Militia sees the I.M.C as oppressors and the I.M.C sees the Militia as terrorists. They both struggle for the control for resources justifying the fight.
In the Campaign you can experience the story from both sides in a 6 versus 6 battles. All played against human opponents. Not a traditional campaign presentation that most FPS present and I think that’s where the story emersion is lost. Most of the story is delivered through voice over and five inch pop up screen that pop up on your players hud. But with the intense fast paced action it will take a few play-throughs to completely digest it…or care.
It’s almost like Respawn was like, “Fuck a story right?” It’s a FPS and most FPS either try way too hard to deliver a story or it doesn’t try at all. It’s all about the multiplayer, right Bro? Which is a good thing for Titianfall because there’s nothing but multiplayer here and thankfully it’s fun as hell.
The player takes control of Pilots and Titans. When you play as the Pilot, the first thing you noticed is the speed and fluidness to the movement. Thanks to an array of offence such as double jumping, wall running, anti-Titian weapons and tactical abilities you can be a challenge to the massive Titians. Weapon wise, it’s just like any modern day FPS in that you unlock weapons, attachments and load-outs as you level up. In the mist of playing you will unlock challenges, kill a certain number of adversaries with particular gun for example. This will unlock an item called Burn Cards. They are a type of “power-up” that vary from weapons power, to lowering Titian build time, all of which will be available until you die.
The Titans play the same way giving you three models to choose from with an array of speed, defense and talents. Of course there are choices of different weapons. From chain guns to rail guns and an array of rocket salvos that can compliment you primary gun. There are also different types of shields to protect you beasts who happen to also be equipped with different Kits that will aid your metal monsters.
Also on the field are Specters and Grunts; computer controlled adversaries that act on their own and are pretty much worthless. They mostly wander around the battle field doing zero to minimal damage to Pilots. On the plus side, they are a fast way to level your weapons up and of course progressing through challenges. Such as killing “X” amount of Grunts with a certain weapons.
A category that that Titanfall excels at is level design. They are clearly built with both Pilots and Titians in mind. From tunnels to rubble the Pilots can scurry from location to location, keeping away from the Titan’s unmatchable strength giving them an edge to strike. With game types like CTF, Hard Points, Attrition (Death Match) Last Titian Standing and Pilot Hunter ( where kill Pilots is the only way to add to the team score) the maps really become versatile and quite enjoyable. It would have been nice to see some destructible environments, (in the vain of Battlefield 4). There are these massive machines destroying each other, let’s see the carnage drenched aftermath.
With a non-existence story mode Titanfall still manages to embody the fast pace FPS fun. How long that can last is up to the player. So at the end of the day Titianfall feels more like Unreal Torment than Call of Duty and at the end of the day, that’s okay.
Rated: Mature Developer: Respawn Entertainment Publisher: EA Games Price: $59.99 USD Release Date: March 11, 2014 Platform Reviewed: Xbox One