“Standby for Titanfall” The games strap line. This is what I’ve been doing for a long time now, but as I’d mentioned in this week’s Geekly Review I picked it up on Friday. After having a good play on it, is it worth all the hype?
Firstly, if for some reason you haven’t heard about Titanfall. It’s an FPS set in a future where man has moved to new planets, or The Frontier as the game puts it. This is essentially where the game takes place. War is raging for resources between two factions, the IMC and the Militia. The IMC are massive industrial corporation based on Earth, basically they want to gather up all the valuable resources, and the Militia are trying to stop them to preserve their home world. You can play as both sides to experience each story. In all honesty though, I didn’t find the campaign all that engaging. The story is mostly told through dialogue in the game lobby, then you get little snippets during each match which provide a little more info.
Having played through both now I couldn’t really tell you too much about them. It’s just multiplayer with a bit of story, and it can easily be forgotten when playing in the constant action.
A lot of people have had gripes with the game not featuring a single player campaign. But I can understand why Respawn decided to go down this route. A look back at some of the most successful games of the last few years shows you that multiplayer rules. Call of Duty, Battlefield, Halo, these are all games renowned for multiplayer. I bet not many people could recall the stories from COD or Battlefield, but have spent hours and hours playing online, I know I’m in that category.
Respawn clearly saw this trend and thought “You know what, let’s not bother with SP, most people don’t play it anyway. Let’s just focus on a great multiplayer.” That’s what they’ve done, and, in my opinion, that’s what they’ve achieved.
The gameplay is fast and furious, just what you would expect from the some of the guys that brought you Call of Duty. You have your typical team death match, called Attrition, then there is Hardpoint domination, Last titan standing, Capture the flag and Pilot hunter. All are pretty self explanatory, except maybe Pilot hunter, where only pilot kills count towards winning. In all honesty, a few extra game types would have been nice. But I’m sure more will come in the future, and I’m contempt with what is available right now.
As I said the gameplay is fast, so with that you need some tight controls and fluid animations, Titanfall has just that. Getting around the map with the use of parkour is fun, and a good player will really be able to get the upper hand over someone using some advanced tactics. The parkour also gives the game a good sense of verticality, as you can get to almost any high up point providing you are clever enough with your movements.
The weapons available feel well balanced, and so far it doesn’t seem like any are to over powered. Even the smart pistol – which auto locks on to targets, feels just right. Pilots have access to 10 primary weapons and 3 sidearms, along with 4 anti-titan weapons, not all unlocked from the start obviously. If you compare that to some other games, that sounds like a small number. But there are only so many variations of an assault rifle you can really have. Why make 10 when you only need 1 to get the job done! I get that some people won’t like that, as they love to tinker with classes and mix it up, but I don’t mind. Titans however, have 6 different weapons to hand, and I feel that they could do with a few more really.
Speaking of Titans, this is what the game is all about, after all its in the name. This is what everyone wants to see. Giant mechs stomping around the map, and getting in fist fights! Everyone has access to their own Titan, but not from the start. It takes a few minutes for them to be ready to ‘drop’ but you can speed up the build time buy getting kills and helping with objectives in game. Once you get it, you can call it in pretty much anywhere on the map, and it cracks and pops out of the sky like meteor. Its pretty freaking cool! Now you can jump on board – from any angle I might add, and start wrecking shit!
Titans feel awesome to control, they move like they really weigh a few tons, without being too slow. They don’t feel overpowered either, if you are smart a pilot can take out a Titan by themselves. But if you come up against a couple you will quickly be overwhelmed, and few good Titan pilots in a game can really ruin your day, and dominate you.
There have been lots of people comparing the game to Call of Duty, and I totally get why. But is that a bad thing? Back when COD was new, pretty much everyone loved it, and it was fresh, fast paced and great fun. Over the years this formula has gotten a little tired, and has resulted in me skipping out on a couple of the COD iterations. So when Titanfall reared its head, and people were saying, “It’s like COD with mechs.” That got me interested! If Respawn could achieve the original feeling you got from first playing Call of Duty, they’d be on to a winner. And they have. Titanfall feels like a fresh entry to the FPS genre, it feels familiar enough that you can pick it up and get straight in to it, whilst also not feeling like you’ve played it before.
Was the hype worth it? Yes! Its a blast. If you love fast paced multiplayer games you should love this!