Stand by… for Titanfall
Titanfall, the new first person shooter from the team at Respawn Entertainment, the makers of .. well nothing else really. I know I’m a bit late with this but the abysmal 4 hour installation time put a bit of a kink in those plans plans. Well that and a very busy Wednesday.
So Titanfall, the opening act for Respawn Entertainment, who, according to Wikipedia, were founded by two former heads of Infinity Ward, who are best known for their work with the Call of Duty franchise. The game play of Titanfall can be broken up into two main elements; running around on foot as a pilot, or stomping around the battlefield in your mail order mech suit.
Before we go much deeper into the game, there is one thing that I need to mention. Titanfall is an online multiplayer only game, that means that even in the games campaign mode, your going to be playing with and against people. Real live people, who are living. Now for some people this is a major downfall and I can respect that, but when was the last time that a fps game with a multiplayer mode had a good single player campaign mode? Having the entire game online just removes that half-baked single player mode and replaces it with a campaign mode with some small elements that are effected by how well you and your team play. Granted those effects are very small, mostly story tweaks from what I’ve experienced so far, but it’s a nice touch none the less.
Now that that’s out of the way, onto the game play. As I mentioned earlier, the game play breaks down to pilot and titan elements. As a pilot, you are incredibly mobile, able to run around the map in a form similar to Assassins Creed or Mirrors Edge. This makes the pilot game play very dynamic, with no surface that you can’t scale to get a better vantage point or escape a fight with a Titan that you really shouldn’t have started. However this mobility comes with a price, namely that you are quite squishy. Like literally squishy. It is a common sight to see, or be someone who is either stepped on, punched by or just straight up shot by a Titan. While you are essentially nothing more than an ant to a Titan, you do have a few tricks that let you get a few shots in before you get creamed by it. Aside from your primary and secondary weapons, every pilot has an anti-Titan weapon, essentially some form or rocket or missile. These weapons work best when fighting a Titan who is distracted by other players. The other and, in my opinion, more fun way to take a Titan down is to jump on it and shoot it in the back of the head. The biggest downside to this method is that you are a huge target on the back of a Titan, with your squishy butt just asking to be shot off by other players. Dangers aside, this method is just too damn fun, and moderately effective. You can usually do some serious damage up there before you get shot off.
Where the pilot game play is fast paced and very three-dimensional, the Titan game is much simpler by comparison. Every player has the ability to call in a Titan after a short timer has passed. The timer starts at 3 minutes, however this can be cut down by running around killing stuff as a pilot. Calling the Titan for the first time is a fun sight to behold, as the giant robot comes crashing in from orbit to a location that you specify. Once it’s down, its covered by a temporary bubble shield, so don’t be afraid to call it down in the middle of a fight. I have been on the receiving end of landing Titan more times than I care to admit. Since the Titan is much to large to be jumping around from building to building like mechanical Hulk, the pilots jump command has been switched for a jet dash, which can be directed in any lateral direction. This is great for dodging enemy fire, or catching up to that other player you want to turn into a red smear on the ground. Playing as a Titan makes the game feel more like a standard fps, where you run down halls, shooting people, just now you’re doing it in a mini-Gundam rather than power armor. However Titans bring in a new level of game play, adding just a bit more depth, if not pure bad ass to the game.
Admittedly I have only a few hours of time into this game since the release, but I did manage to get into the closed beta that was going on a few weeks before launch. If you like fps games and don’t mind the lack of a half-baked offline mode, then this game is probably for you. If you are into running around as a one button bad ass, shooting people in the face with a shotgun while jumping down on them from the top of a 5 story building, then this game is most likely for you. But, if you are into lumbering around in a robotic death machine, punching people into paste, while firing a barrage of rockets onto another robotic death machine, then this game is defiantly for you.
So what are you waiting for? Go to a place that sells games and get a copy. Fair warning though… this is an Origin game, so be prepared to wait for a 2-4 hour download regardless of having purchased the physical discs….