Advocating: Respawn Entertainment’s Titanfall

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Respawn Entertainment's Titanfall is an outstanding first-person shooter

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Respawn Entertainment’s Titanfall is a critically acclaimed, smooth first-person shooter

Respawn Entertainment’s first game, Titanfall, has received enormous hype over the past eight months, and apart from a few small missteps, the game delivers on its promises.

In short, Titanfall is a first-person shooter set against a futuristic science fiction backdrop.  The game features two opposing factions: the Interstellar Manufacturing Corp., the typical sci-fi mega corporation, and the Militia, a loose coalition of mercenaries and self-armed frontier settlers.  But, Titanfall is a multiplayer only game and its focus is on game-play.

 

This is where Titanfall sets itself apart from the current crop of shooters.  Titanfall essentially features two types of games in one. First up is the standard on-foot combat as a Pilot.  Pilots are fast and agile but unlike games such as Call of Duty, Titanfall incorporates a strong vertical game play element.  Pilots are equipped with a jet pack that allows to double-jump and wall run to perform extremely slick park-our like moves.  Instead of just watching around the next corner, you need to watch above you as well as an enemy pilot can come from any direction.  I found it to be very reminiscent of old arena shooters such as Unreal Tournament.

The second style of game is that of Titanfall’s titular Titans.  Titans are basically giant robot pilots which can call down and either pilot themselves or have the Titan follow them around and act as an AI companion.  While the Titans are by no means slow, they are much more lumbering than pilots. Piloting a Titan feels more like playing a mechanical simulator, but it is every bit as fun.

That is the biggest factor in Titanfall’s initial success: Fun.  The game is simply fun to play.  Respawn Entertainment features a staff composed of many of the original members of the team that created Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.  Titanfall naturally has a similar feel to that game, but it still has a distinct style without losing the accessibility that made Modern Warfare so successful.

Titanfall

Titanfall is extremely accessible for even the most casual of gamers.  Matches are limited to just six players a side, but the maps are populated with a lot of AI “grunts” which are easy pickings.  The grunts allow new players to get a feel for the game and contribute to helping the team win.  Killing grunts also helps to lower the respawn timer for your Titan.

The gameplay is extremely smooth and responsive.  Running and jumping is very easy to pick up and just feels fluid.  In no time at all I was able to speed my way along the sides of buildings and from rooftop to rooftop without ever touching the ground.  Guns in the game are very forgiving, and this is where Titanfall feels a lot like Call of Duty.  The guns have minimal recoil and it’s very possible to snipe someone from across the map even when firing on full auto. However, because of the speed of the game this is not really a problem.  The game wants you to be running and gunning, realism is not a concern.

I was a little disappointed in the lack of a traditional single player campaign.  The “campaign” that you can play is just a set of normal multiplayer matches with a few extra cut-scenes and voice overs.  After you have played through it to unlock new Titans for use, there is no real reason to go back.  I just wish there was more opportunity to explore the world of Titanfall as Respawn look to have a really cool new universe to get into.

Titanfall is all about its game-play, and its game-play is amazingly slick and polished.  The game is smooth and fun in a way that is both accessible to new players and still enjoyable for veterans of shooters.  If you are a fan of shooters, I would definitely recommend the title. Honestly, even if you are not a fan of shooters, I would still suggest giving the game a try.

 

Titanfall was released on March 11 on Xbox One and PC and will be released on Xbox 360 on March 25.