Titanfall was originally announced at the Microsoft E3 Press Conference this year and boy did it get peoples attention.
Titanfall is being developed by Respawn Entertainment and published by everybody’s favourite games company; EA. Respawn Entertainment was cofounded by Jason West and Vincent Zampella, the two gentleman that spearheaded the development for the immensely popular Call Of Duty franchise. So with that being said, it’s safe to say that they know a thing or two about the first person shooter genre and innovating the way multiplayer games are played today.
Respawn Entertainment wanted to make the ultimate multiplayer experience and that’s just what they’ve done with Titanfall. At its heart it’s solely a multiplayer title, but has the added benefit of a story element seamlessly woven into its gameplay. This makes your actions feel more than just that of getting as many kills as possible and building up large kill streaks. I mean, don’t get me wrong it’s still about shooting members of the opposition in the face as many times as possible, but at least with this you have a justifiable reason to do so.
Having played the Titanfall demo at Eurogamer this year makes it a lot easier to get across just how ridiculous and over the top the action is.
First off are the Pilots and the first major innovation that Titanfall has to offer is jumping. Yes. Jumping. A lot of people have described Titanfall’s gameplay as a mixture between that of Mirrors Edge and Call of Duty, which is pretty apt given that the crux of the game play as the Pilots is freerunning and jumping around the map, which the developers have dubbed vertical combat, all whilst shooting members of the opposing team. Navigation of each map is made a breeze, with the freerunning automatic as you leap from building to building, giving you a tactical advantage over your enemy. This aspect of gameplay alone makes the combat feel a lot more frenetic, your mobility greatly improving on that of your standard CoD experience. You’re always on the move and always have stuff to do. Traversing the side of a building as bullets whiz past you from a nearby Titan is heart pumping stuff. Being able to jump on rooftops and take up a sniping position or even blowing up Titans with a rocket launcher feels extremely rewarding.
From the very first gameplay demo that was shown at E3 it was easy to see how ridiculously fun manning the Titans would be. That first time you watch one of these massive, hulking machines fall from the sky on command and come crashing to the ground puts a massive smile on your face. The Titans are another aspect that change the whole dynamic of the game, each with their own levels of customisation from rocket launchers to machine guns, or the special abilities including the ability to absorb your enemies bullets and throw them back at them with some force. For their size they are surprisingly nimble, giving you the ability to dodge attacks and run at enemy Titans. Grabbing a Pilot out of a downed Titan and throwing him into the distance is extremely satisfying and a personal highlight of my own.
Despite all of this though, the game play doesn’t feel unbalanced. Just because you’re manning a Titan doesn’t mean you’re overpowered, as the Titans can be taken out with ease as each of the Pilots are equipped with enough weaponry to bring these enormous behemoths to a grinding halt. That panicked feeling of ejecting out of your Titan just as it’s about to blow up is one that needs to be experienced. Although ejecting into the sky, this does not stop your interaction as you can land on top of your enemies Titan. Blowing it to hell while riding atop it makes for one of the more memorable and enjoyable moments and more importantly, it’s easy to pull off. Alternatively once you’ve been ejected from your Titan, it also allows you to be left completely exposed, giving an enemy enough time to pick you off as you come tumbling to the ground.
Even when the job is done and the fight comes to an end doesn’t mean that the experience is over. Depending on which team lost and won you’re either tasked with escaping in an extraction chopper or hunting down and killing your foes before they’re able to escape. This proves to be nerve racking as you try to escape to a certain extraction point marked on your heads up display in a very limited amount of time.
It’s easy to see why Titanfall is one of the most anticipated titles of the next 12 months. The game is going to be a system seller and the fact that Microsoft have been able to get this exclusive title for their platform is a big coup over Sony and the PlayStation 4. As someone who doesn’t often play multiplayer games, this is a ton of fun to play and one that had me smiling from beginning to end. This isn’t a game that is to be experienced alone and that was never the idea, with story elements included throughout making it one of the most engaging and fulfilling multiplayer experiences I’ve played in a long time and that was just from a limited experience of a couple of demos at Eurogamer.
It’s on it’s way. Standby for Titanfall!