Prepare for Titanfall
Console: Microsoft Xbox One
Reviewed by: Dave Gonzales
Titanfall for the Xbox One dropped in stores on March 11th, 2014. It’s an FPS in which you play as a Pilot with the ability to call down – and even defend yourself against – Titans. With the beta come and gone and the anticipation of its release peaking, it seemed this was going to be Xbox’s next big hit. And it didn’t disappoint; much. Though that’s to be expected in video games. Certain styles, genres, modes of play, they’re not all for everyone. But Titanfall is full of surprises.
To say how Titanfall starts is to say just that. It starts. After a rudimentary “How To…” tutorial in which you play alone getting the ins and outs of weapons, movements and a bit of Titan showoff-ery, you’re off to play at your own free will. However, if you were looking to see how you yourself fair against the NPCs in campaign mode, you’ll have no such luck. The campaign mode they offer is a selected series of maps and game modes from the multiplayer list with you playing other players. The story line might as well not be there. You start as the IMC or Militia, two battling forces, in modes that score points by kills, staying in “Hardpoints” etc… After finishing the first half of the campaign, you switch sides and play the same levels from a different point of view.
Looking past the lack of campaign isn’t hard to do after you play your first games; 6 v. 6 with NPCs on both teams. The multiplayer consists of more than a few different maps with game modes such as Attrition (Deathmatch), Capture the Flag, and Hardpoint (a king of the hill style match). Exclusive to Titanfall are modes like Last Titan Standing, a match that gives you and your titan one life with the match scored in three rounds and, Pilot Hunter, where points are only scored by killing other players.
As you progress your Pilot through challenges and other means of gathering experience, you’ll begin to unlock a slew of different customizations, from weapons to armor ability and even Titan loadouts. These, in turn, unlock more challenges to get even more experience. Whether you’re a completionist or you just want to be the best of the best, there’s always room for advancement.
Each primary weapon allows you to unlock different aspects to it; a better scope, a well-needed extended magazine. Creating different customized loadouts can help players prepare themselves for different game modes. The tactical ability, ordinance, and tier kits, each offering a series of options, allow players to create something truly unique to themselves. The trick is finding what works best in the situation you’re in.
Folks familiar with the Star Wars: Battle Front series will be used to the gameplay. No time to test the water with your big toe, no, you’re somersaulted and thrown in head first; that being no problem with anyone having even intermediate first person shooter experience. With the replay value at what it is, it’s fairly easy to remember buttons and their actions. Kind of like riding a bike if you don’t play for a while, with the Titan’s movements being easier to remember.
The gameplay and graphics are amazing. From the environment to the players, Titanfall looks great. And the much appreciated double-jump and wall-run come in very handy with the way the buildings and other structures are built. As a Pilot, ducking and diving through windows and jumping from rooftop to rooftop, you’re able to familiarize yourself with the map; find your favorite spot or the best way to infiltrate a building. And as difficult as it seems (and is!), it’s not impossible for a lone Pilot to take down a Titan. The maneuverability of the Pilot and the added Anti-Titan weapon, a choice of three, give players a fighting chance if they find themselves in a sticky situation.
The smooth transition from any other FPS to Titanfall in enough to give it a try. Though at a starting rate of 60$, it might seem like a multiplayer map pack for a game that would be fantastic if it only had a single player campaign. Owning? Worth it. Inevitable, really; renting just wouldn’t be enough. With promises of new maps and game modes flowing in the wind, it is certain to keep drawing attention. Overall, the cons of Titanfall don’t outweigh the pros. As a game to test out the next-gen whatfor, it did an excellent job.
With the Xbox still in its infancy stages and Titanfall being what it is. I’m excited for the future.