Titanfall on the Xbox One is being advertised as the “next-gen multiplayer shooter experience”. The question is, does it hold up to the high expectations of gamers and compete with popular multiplayer shooters like Call of Duty and Battlefield?
Titanfall is a futuristic multiplayer-only Xbox exclusive game that utilizes free running aspects and Titans (giant robots) to differentiate itself from the pack. Before beginning the review, I feel the need to mention the fact that Xbox Live is REQUIRED to play. If you are considering Titanfall, make sure you have or are going to get Xbox Live.
For what Titanfall brings to the table, it brings it on a silver, or at least a bronze platter. When connection is decent, Titanfall flows extremely smoothly, with only a few hiccups. When in control of your pilot (which is the title of your character), you can run on walls, double jump, go invisible, and do plenty of other impressively designed maneuvers. My personal favorite is of course running on walls, because who doesn’t love a shooter mixed with Mirror’s Edge? I know I do.
Titanfall features a handful of customizable weapons and items, though I wish there was another handful of weapons as well. Instead of having the generic structure of weapon categories, Titanfall features all ~10 primary Pilot weapons on one screen. While slightly disappointed, as I wish there was more of an arsenal for the Pilot’s expense, I find solace in the fact that Titanfall does bring something else new to the table as well: the Titan (Hence the name Titanfall).
The Titan is a giant, gundam-like robot that is available for the Pilot to use after a certain period of time (around two minutes). 3 different Titans are available, all with their own advantages and disadvantages, as well as a slew of Titan Weapons, Ordnance, and Tactical Abilities. When using a Titan, you are presented with a themed HUD that resembles the view from the inside of the giant robot. This gives you the true, bad-ass feeling that you were expecting and hoping for when the Titan initially fell out of the sky for you to use. Controlling the Titan is exactly like you’d expect controlling a giant robot would be like. It’s clunky and slow, but not in an annoying or unexpected way. Using a Titan adds a sense of variations to a rather mundane experience, as well as adding a new obstacle for the Pilots who are without a Titan. Pilots are not helpless though, as they have anti-titan weapons, available by a simple press on the D-pad. The anti-titan weapon does not take up the place of your primary weapon, so don’t fret, gamer.
Attrition, the main game type of Titanfall, is where both teams race to get 300 points. Killing grunts (which are AI that roam the map and shoot at you during games) give you one point, while killing Pilots and Titans gives a much higher reward in terms of points and experience points alike. AI grunts appear in most game types, offering a little something for those who are less experienced at shooters. In my opinion, Titanfall is more appealing to newcomers to shooters, while doing a lot to appeal to veterans and those looking for a challenge.
There are a variety of maps available to play, and each map provides a different feel to a certain extent. The maps aren’t too impressive, but it is hard to have a visually and physically unique set of maps when realistic-looking multiplayer shooters such as Titanfall insist of having a dull, lacking color scheme. But hey, that’s not Titanfall’s fault, thats just the the problem with today’s generation of games. There’s nothing wrong with some vivid colors, guys! (ie. Borderlands 2, Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare).
One of the cooler features of the game is not only being able to ride a friendly Titan, but being able to hijack and kill an enemy one. The animation of the hijacking is rather seamless, with the occasional glitch here and there. When the Titan is approaching death, the Pilot has the option of going out with his Titan, or ejecting, sending the Pilot hundreds of feet in the air. There are also options to have your Titan detonate with with a huge, damaging explosion. Pretty cool.
If it’s not obvious yet, Titanfall definitely provides a different experience than other shooters. Thats not to say that the game doesn’t recycle methods used in other shooters. Level up, unlock a weapon, get a certain amount of kills, unlock an attachment, prestige (or regenerate, as Titanfall calls it), repeat. Titanfall, at its core, is just another multiplayer shooter. Thankfully, Titanfall has enough new mechanics to set it apart from the average multipayer shooter.
In terms of what it has to offer, Titanfall has quite a bit to keep you satisfied for a while. It has a multiplayer “campaign”, which consists of glorified multiplayer matches with a theme behind them. A few of the game types in Titanfall are also rather impressive and unique, with one called “Last Titan Standing” sticking out particularly. “Last Titan Standing” is exactly how it sounds; Titans battling it out until one team has no more left. It is a fun alternative to playing with the usual mix of Titans, Pilots, and Grunts. There are many ways to play Titanfall, each one with its own sense of fun.
Titanfall is most likely the first of many successors; At least i hope it is. Just like with other game franchies, Titanfall will only continue to be improved as the franchise is continued. If you are wondering if I recommend this game instead of popular franchises like Call of Duty or Battlefield? Yes, I fully do. I believe Call of Duty and Battlefield are overhyped for what they really are. In comparison to Titanfall, they don’t off anything new or different. Titanfall offers something new, and in this day and age that is something well appreciated. Titanfall may not be as deep as experience as other games, but it is a great title to just pick up and play. For what it is, it does a pretty good job.
Pros: -Unique experience
-Offers something for every type of experience level
-Quality graphics / gameplay mechanics
-Competes with other multiplayer shooters
-Titans, Free running, and Invisibility, man.
Cons: -Lacks a standardized, immersive campaign.
-A slight shortage of weapons at the Pilot’s disposal
-Sometimes feels all too familiar to other shooters like Call of Duty
-While the game looks great graphically, I can’t help but feel like i’m playing a game that is trying too hard to look realistic.
-Xbox Live Required to play
To whom I’d recommend Titanfall: Fans of shooters, multiplayer shooters, War games, or Futuristic games.
Personal rating: 7/10
Take my rating with a grain of salt. A 7 to me could be a 2 to someone else but a 10 to another person. Focus on the review itself, and not on the number stapled on to the end.
Reviewed by Nick Putnam