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Titanfall Review- An Adrenaline Rush Of Ok

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Posted May 15, 2014 by Bunneh3000 in Reviews
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 Infinity Ward had a great thing going once. Oh well!

 Titanfall has hit the shelves for the Microsoft suite and the results so far have been pretty good. This fast paced multiplayer only affair has captured the heart and minds of thousands (and probably soon to be millions) of gamers across the Xbox Live game-o-sphere. Titanfall X1 bundles with free download codes of the game have flown off shelves to grant Microsoft impressive sales numbers as a result of Respawn’s epic effort. Even the PC version has seen great numbers as those without the desire to take the next gen plunge quickly gobbled up the game on Origin. But, as the fever dies down and we all take a look at the carnage left after Titanfall’s March release.

Let’s face it fellow FPS’ers. Call of Duty just doesn’t seem to hold the same appeal it did back when Modern Warfare 2 hit the scene. The additions to that franchise have been minimal at best and the innovation and change has been marginal at best. Evidenced by the poor response to CoD Ghosts, the time for change at the top of the FPS food chain is nigh. For many who followed the development of Respawn, Titanfall feels like it is that next step. For many who have experienced the Titan hype as well, that change is here.

Developed by Respawn Entertainment

Published by Electronic Arts

Platforms: Xbox One [reviewed], Xbox 360, PC

Released on 2014-11-3

Titanfall essentially takes two different FPS games and slaps them together into one to provide a fast paced unique experience that it seems few FPS games have offered up to this point. Let’s face it people. Many of the elements of this game are NOT new to FPS games. Mechs and powersuits are in other games such as Blacklight Retribuition and Halo 4. Parkour has been featured in other games such as Mirrors Edge, Brink, and Assassin’s Creed. Even multiplayer bots have been used in Battlefield 1942, Killzone, and Call of Duty Ghosts. Knowing that so many other games have used some of the more prominent aspects of Titanfall, what truly makes this game innovative?

GET IN MY BELLY!!!

Well, ladies and gentlemen, the innovation is in the marriage of ALL of these elements into a highly competitive fast paced FPS that has well balanced gameplay tactics. Instantly upon firing up even just the TItanfall beta, Call of Duty and Battlefield players could feel the sheer speed and agility of the pilots that they played as and encountered. Full speed

running, climbing, jumping, and shooting were quickly the name of the game as most people quickly deemed it a futuristic Call of Duty clone. While Titanfall’s action is clearly grounded in the competition and gameplay that made the early Call of Duty games so great, it manages to add a few more layers to the experience.

As the pilots run around after each other, they encounter AI troops who fight each other in addition to other pilots. While their effectiveness in taking down a pilot or each other is slim to none, they do provide a layer of tactics that experienced Titanfall players take advantage of. The soldiers are quite chatty and manage to call out enemy positions as well as anything else they see and do. As a result, they can clue you in to pilots that haven’t shown up on your map or your visuals yet. They’ll even help you take objectives. These troops can easily be used as a kind of smoke screen to confuse enemy pilots. Since action is fast and furious, that split second of the enemy targeting a bot rather than you could be all you need. As you take out bots and Titans, you’ll also see a quick stat pop up next to your score which reduces the ‘build time’ for your Titan. Do enough beneficial actions like securing posts in Hardpoint or simply taking out other pilots AND BOTS and you will reduce the time it takes for you to have access to your Titan.

Hey guys? Which way do we run?!

 

For a while, pilots battle each other and these simple bots on oversized maps until suddenly the boom of a falling Titan signifies the beginnings of a much larger scale battle. At this time even anti-Titan mechanical troops called Spectres drop in to counter the arrival of the TItans. Each and every pilot is granted a Titan which in most other FPS games would be

considered a killstreak bonus or simply a ‘once or twice per map’ vehicle spawn. In Titanfall, Titans are an expected extension of EVERY pilot and victory depends on how well you learn to use them. But don’t think that pilots become obsolete at this point. Thanks to their ability and superhuman speed, Titans often have a hard time targeting pilots if they’re experienced at moving about. Pilots also are equipped with anti-Titan weaponry that if positioned well can eventually take down a Titan. Brave pilots will charge at unsuspecting Titan and perform what is affectionately called a Rodeo kill. Here, pilots leap onto the backs of Titans, rip off a portion of their armor, and blast away at the unprotected innards of the Titan. Again, this takes a bit of time and leaves the pilot in a vulnerable position to others, but if left unchecked will lead to a much quicker Titan kill.

Burn Cards are powerups awarded upon challenge completion. You can only use them before each match or before you respawn.

Mix all of these opportunities in and you have a mixture of possible events that is unparalled in the FPS market. The sheer speed and agility of the pilots’ movements both to the tops of buildings and structures as well as just across a map leaves you wondering why every FPS doesn’t use parkour to move and climb about. That feeling of freedom to jump and climb almost anywhere on the map is exhilarating.

Then there is the unsuspecting thrill of using Titanfall’s hilarious melee attacks. There are no punches and knives here. No, my friends. Instead you get a hilarious jump kick that is a little more satisfying that it should be (when it lands of course). Also, executions happen in the wicked form of a neck snap that turns your foes head in a complete 180!

(courtesy of tentacl.com)

Titanfall’s innovation winds up being moreso on the technical side of the game. Utilizing cloud processing power, Titanfall is developed to allow for your Titans to become your own personal bodyguard or just another really big grunt. The game itself runs the AI of the grunts, the spectres, and the Titans to emulate a unique battlefield experience that is hard to find elsewhere.

Once the adrenaline of a few matches wears down, you quickly begin to see some of the game’s shortcomings. On the graphical side of things, it is essentially a passable HD game. The animation is fluid enough from a frame-rate perspective but every once and a while you’ll feel like pilots are gliding along rather than running. The color palette is bland and grey and could certainly use some differentiation between sides.

Oh yes, my friends. There are actual sides in the war. Unfortunately, the basically non-existent story mode does a poor job of explaining it. Without a single player story mode, this campaign is an intro heavy multiplayer group of matches that is not effective at all in telling any kind of memorable storyline to follow. All you know when you are playing is one side is the militia and the other side is some other group. If it wasn’t for the color of the names above each grunt, spectre, or pilot’s name, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. The same can be said of the Titans. The same class Titan on one side looks EXACTLY the same as a Titan for the opposing side.

When it comes to multiplayer modes, there’s only the bare bones selection as well. Sure there is your traditional deathmatch (Attrition), domination (Hardpoint), and capture the flag. There is also a ‘new’ mode that instantly puts you within a Titan and see’s which side still has a Titan at the end. While these modes are quite typical of virtually every other FPS, you are still left feeling like there is a missed opportunity here. Since there isn’t much of a story, special modes haven’t really popped up leaving a very slim list. In the end, that essentially leads to boredom.

Much like the phenomenon that brought upon the Call of Duty craze, Titanfall seems to be headed in a similar direction. Much like the windup that brought about the epic sequels, Titanfall appears to be on the verge of being the next big thing, yet is not quite there…yet.

 

Final Score:

4 out of 5

Great

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About the Author

Bunneh3000

A gamer since the days of Texas Instruments PCs with cartidges, I embody the 'casual' gamer moniker. RPGs, turn based strategy, hack n slashers, NBA sims, shooters, Space flight combat sims, and mech combat sims are my forte. If you need a Battlefield commander, I'm your Cylon... I mean... um... man.

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