After reading all the hype about Titanfall, I was very excited to get it finally play it at Eurogamer 2013 and absolutely loved it. I’m not normally one for the multiplayer online games as a, I’m getting old and my reflexes aren’t what they used to be, and b, I’m not normally willing to put in the hours to grind through the ranks to get better weapons, to hopefully stop myself getting killed as soon as I spawn.
I’ve played the two major players online (Battlefield and Call of Duty) and don’t normally find it an enjoyable experience. Titanfall however feels different, a lot different. At heart it is a first person shooter, but adds to the mix with parkour, wall running and as the title would suggest Titans. Even though the Titans do play a massive part in the game, the game changer for me is the agility of your player. For me, it stops one of the most annoying things about online gaming, and that’s the campers. For those of you who don’t know, they are the people that find themselves a nice comfy spot on the top of a roof, or in a hard to reach building, and simply snipe from a distance. In Titanfall, if you get taken out by a camper, you simply respawn, do a little parkour, and before you know it, you’re ringing their neck….literally.
What Respawn have also brought to the table with this is non player characters that can be killed to get your score up, these being Grunts and Spectres. These NPC will will drop throughout the game in drop pods t will act very much like pilots, just not very good ones. Although you don’t get as much xp for killing the NPCs, you can still feel like you’ve achieved. I’ve personally had a few games where I’ve not killed a Titan or pilot, but still felt triumphant as I’d racked up a double figure amount of grunt of spectre kills. Before the game was released, the news of only six per side caused an uproar on the inter web, however after spending many hours playing the game, the combination of NPCs, the twelve pilots and potentially up to twelve Titans on the map at any one time, it gets very busy.
So the Titan bit, how does that work? By default, you start the round, and after a set number of minutes, you call down a Titan and you can either jump into it, and use this as an extension to your pilots, just a big metal extension or have this as a unit that does your killing for you. Personally tend to mix it up a little, some matches I’ll jump into my Titan as soon as possible with the hope of a few easy kills due to the Titan weapon being quite powerful, or on other occasions I’ll continue to rack up the kills and just let my Titan roam around killing things. The Titan has two mode, ‘Follow’ or ‘Guard’, and I’m assuming it’s easy to work out what they do. This does have add some additional tactics to the game. Parking your Titan in guard mode close to a flag in ‘Capture the Flag’ or near a base in ‘Hardpoint’ means that a player sneaking up to take one of these two will normally be in for a surprise. If done right, you can take out an enemy pilot while they attempt to take out your Titan.
There are a number of game modes within Titanfall, Attrition (which is your run of the map, and kill x amount of enemy pilot), Capture the Flag (I’m sure you can guess this one), Hardpoint (There are three bases on the map, hold these until the score reaches x), Pilot Hunter (which is like Attrition, you just don’t get any score for killing anything but pilots) and finally Last Titan Standing (think destruction derby in Titans). If you’re unable to make up your mind on which one to choose, simply select Variety Pack, which will randomly select the game mode for you.
Each game (except Last Titan Standing) ends with an Epilogue. If you are on the losing team, you will have the option to attempt to make it to an incoming dropship for an extra couple of points and the knowledge that you made it out of the battle to fight another day. If you were however on the winning team, the roles are reversed and you have to try and kill all the enemy pilot attempting to escape as well as blow up the dropship.
Within all game modes there are a number of challenges, whether these be ‘kill x amount of x with weapon x’, or run, walk, wall run, wall hang, for x amount of time/distance’, or some of the more challenging challenges of ‘kill x amount of pilot as they eject from their Titans’. These challenges initially will give you a decent amount of xp, however from generation 2 (get to level fifty then regenerate back to level one, like prestige in Call of Duty) you have to do a set amount of challenges to be able to move to the next generation. Although this can be quite annoying at times, it does take you out of your comfort zone and force you to use weapons and playing styles you wouldn’t normally use. As well as earning xp, you can also earn burn cards. These burn cards can be used (three per game) when you either start the game, or be able to equip them when you respawn. There’s quite a variety, but normally are enhanced version of the weapons or perks that you earn through levelling up, however chosen and played wisely will give you the upper hand on the battlefield.
Finally the story, there is one….ish. I’ve got the achievement for playing fifty campaign matches but still can’t tell you what the story is all about, I think it’s some bromance that went wrong, with some Star Trek reactor scene in there, and a robot. As you can tell, it’s not really a story, it’s played over nine multiplayer missions split over Attrition matches and Hardpoint matches. There is normally a little voice over story telling at the beginning, usually some small flashes of FMV in the top corner of the screen during the match and usually some other bits of voice over during the game, but to be honest, the game it that frantic, you tend to miss the story element.
For a gaming genres that I normally shy away from, I’ve already sunk in over thirty hours and tend to keep going back for ‘just one more match’. The twenty hours below is roughly how long it took me to get to the end of generation one, and snag the time sensitive achievement of ‘Early Adopter’.
Approx Time taken to beat – 20 hours
Difficulty setting – Normal
Score – [Rating:5/5]
Games TrailerTags: Approx Time, Games Trailer, respawn, titanfall, xboxone