“Prepare for Titanfall” – A Review of EA/Respawn Entertainment’s Titanfall
It has been nearly 5 months since the release of Xbox One, and we finally get to see the first major game release since launch in EA and Respawn Enterainment’s Titanfall. Titanfall is game that takes place several centuries in the future on a group of planets known as the Frontier. The IMC is a military organization that has begun colonizing several of the planets on the Frontier for their corporate industrial complex. The militia is a group of people who are rebelling against the IMC’s ruthless military abuse and corporate greed.
This follows the model of a standard first person shooter (F PS) ala the Call of Duty (CoD) series. This game is entirely multiplayer and requires online connectivity to play. The game features two ways to play: the standard multiplayer featuring a variety of game modes, and the more story directed campaign mode.
The multiplayer mode features five unique game modes and a sixth mode that randomizes the other five. Here are the modes with a little information on each mode:
– Attrition – The team death match mode, players will kill other players, AI and titans until they reach the goal total.
– Hardpoint – The domination mode, players will capture and control three points on each map until they reach the designated score.
– Last Titan Standing – As the title suggests, each pilot starts in a Titan. This mode continues until there is only one titan left.
– Pilot Hunter – In this game scores are bases on killing other pilots (players), you can still use Titans, and killing the AI helps to speed up the build time of your Titan.
– Capture the Flag – This mode is pretty self-explanatory, the teams guard their flag while trying to capture the other team’s flag.
The movement system in this game is a welcome change to the standard FPS formula. The move involves using double jumps and your jetpack allowing players to use the vertical space in maps much more. Also you are allowed to run on walls and hang on them. The climbing and wall jumping give the movement a parkour feel and really allows pilots to move around the map easily.
The focus of this game has to be on the Titans, the large mechs that both factions user in their military forces. The Titans use three separate model types which each have various status and functional purposes. The titans are outfitted in a similar way as the pilots, wi th a main weapon, secondary weapon, and then a tactical option which includes things like shields. Most matches begin with you as a pilot while the timer begins on when your titan is ready. Once you have used your titan and it is destroyed, that time resets. This provides opportunity for strategy with your team on when you should spawn your titan.
The pilot load outs should look familiar to anyone who has played an FPS before. You have a primary weapon, secondary weapon, your grenade type item, and then your skill (Of particular note is the cloak, which most people use exclusively). The interaction between pilot and Titan was really well though out. Not only can you remotely control your Titan, but you can also ride Titans and rodeo opponent Titans to destroy them. The game modes require you to use a combination of pith pilots and Titans in order to one, a heavy reliance on one or the other will ultimately lead to failure.
In the campaign mode, you will be placed in several multiplayer matches in a linear fashion that corresponds with a story. If you have played games like Blink this will instantly feel familiar. In the campaign setting, they only use two modes: attrition and hardpoint. Each mission in campaign features audio before the match and throughout that corresponds to the story. There are also some minor unique things added like search bots in one map, and unique endings to the matches based on the story. The story was well though out however it seems they had to shorten it to fit in this specific mode. I have to think that this mode could have been well expanded upon had it been a single player mode. The nice thing with their setup is that you play both factions and see this conflict from both sides.
Some other unique things that are worth bringing up is the heavy use of AI in all modes. In all game modes you will see both specters and grunts spawning throughout the match. This really scales up the combat quickly. Also this allows players of all skill to feel like they can contribute. Also each match ends with epilogue, in which the losing faction is desperately trying to escape, and the winning faction is trying to wipe them out before they are able to leave.
Overall this a strong first game with this new IP. With talk already beginning of a sequel in the future I hope they plan to expand this universe and allow the players to really immerse themselves in the conflict happening on the frontier.