Titanfall is Respawn’s result after splitting from Infinity Ward to form the studio and do their own thing. It was a given that their first game would be a military based FPS, as it is what they do best.
Respawn took what they knew from making Call of Duty, what worked well and just built on the experience they had. A lot of features that made Call of Duty the top selling game in recent times has made it’s way into Titanfall including a variant on Prestige in the form of Generations. When you reach max rank (rank 50) you can opt in to moving to the next Generation of Pilot, doing this will reset your Pilot to rank 1, all weapons locked, Challenges reset but you do get to keep your Burn Cards and a Scoreboard icon notifying everyone of your current status which counts up to the max Generation of 10.
The weapons feel responsive and the movement which makes up a large part of the game, is fluid and easy to get used to but takes time to master. Unlike Call of Duty, there appears to be no one using the sniper rifle as a shot gun in quick scoping annoying encounters and every death feel like you had a fair chance of being on the other side of victory.
The graphics aren’t ground breaking but they do accomplish what they set out to do, that is keep the speed of the frames powering out while keeping graphics high enough that you don’t feel like they were an after thought to the game play. The controls are tight and responsive which is great considering how much wall running goes on, the versatility of the maps brings in whole new ways to play a shooter without aircraft and it is a LOT of fun playing around in your giant military robot.
15 maps, 6 game types; Attrition, Last Titan Standing, Hardpoint, Capture the Flag, Pilot Hunter all playable individually or through an option they call “Variety Pack”as well as the story led Campaign Mode.
The Campaign takes place across all the maps and is linked together with some dialogue of a war you are part of but not leading either from the IMC or Militia’point of view. The winning team of each round has little affect on the story with the same outcome when the final piece of the story is being told. Also, with no way to pick which team you want to represent you are at the whim of the matchmaking system to put you on the team you prefer which is only really an issue when trying to get the Xbox consoles based Achievements for winning every round as each team.
There is no Single-Player to speak of so this is definitely a down side for anyone that was hoping for a full 4-8 hour long story they can play alone, however, as with CoD the audience of Titanfall is squarely with the majority of gamers who play Multiplayer games the majority of the time. As such, the variety offered by the 5 main Multiplayer game modes keeps the style of play moving enough to not cause boredom of playing maps repeatedly.
The game caters to the skilled and hardcore FPS player as well as giving the less skilled casual FPS players an equal chance of success. The game does this by being 6 vs 6 but filling up remaining space with AI controlled characters in the form of Grunts and Specters. If you are killed by a Grunt in a one on one then you have probably left your seat as they serve mainly as cannon fodder. Everyone also has an equal chance of getting a Titan as they are deployed on a timer which can be manipulated to count down quicker by killing the enemy. This gives you a few minutes at minimum to feel indestructible as you go for the enemy foot soldiers. Titans never feel indestructible though while on foot as you can attack them from vantage points or even jump on them and shoot into their brain box for increased damage. Either way, you rarely feel cornered or trapped by their arrival.
Microsoft has put a lot of effort behind Titanfall including releasing updates for the Xbox One controller to fine tune the sensitivity to match Respawn’s requests based on their development of the game, the PC side is hosted by Electronic Arts and requires Origin. Both Microsoft and EA experienced some connectivity issues at launch with reports of connection issues and even the legendarily stable Xbox Live service struggling under load although Major Nelson claimed it was not related to Titanfall’s release. That makes it one heck of a coincidence that it happened the day the game launched in North America. Both Microsoft and EA were quick the get the service back online and stable in time for the games release in Europe and the UK although there are still isolated reports of connection issues.
All in all, Titanfall feels different enough from any other FPS out there that you are doing yourself an injustice by not getting hold of a copy and trying it out for yourself.
Find out more about Titanfall over on the Official Respawn Website.