Titanfall has been out in the wild for a few weeks now. And all of the reviews have been pretty favorable. Now its my turn. I truly wanted to hate the game before I even purchased it. I mean its the culmination of the worlds evil (in gaming) EA and Microsoft. Then I noticed the trailers, and who was actually making the game. And I had to take a step back and think “They might actually have something here.” Well, now I’ve spent time in the game. I played the Campaign. Got happily decimated playing the Multiplayer. So now its time for my Titanfall review.
What is Titanfall?
Titanfall is the love child of Respawn Entertainment. This is the same crew who put together Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2. Using the Source Graphics Engine (Valve/Half Life), Microsoft Cloud Servers, and Music composed by Stephan Barton. It is a strange mix of technologies used to make it all work.
You play as a Pilot either for the IMC or the Militia when you start your missions. You land in a war torn planet where all hell is breaking loose. Your first thought is “Great its just another shooter”. Then you find yourself rocket jumping, hopping off of walls, getting to the high point on the map, all while being virtually invisible taking out the enemies AI. Finally you hear the call “Titan is Ready for Drop” and the next thing you know you are living every Mech Anime you’ve ever watched and trying to tear the living crap out of everything on your screen. And then you die… a lot at first. But you don’t even care! You just want back in the action again!
Training is thankfully brief and very helpful at the same time. You will want to go through it at least once to familiarize yourself with the mechanics of the game. And they are VERY quick to learn if you’ve ever played any type of FPS in the past. It even has the same layout as Call of Duty so it made it even that much easier for me to adapt to it! You go through some easy tutorials on Movement, Weapons, Melee, Using Your Titan. Then after the 10 minutes to go through it? Your ready to start playing.
In the Campaign as you wait to queue the match up you hear *blah blah something about the mission* while your working on your class setups or talking trash in the lobby chat. Then the game goes into the intro where there is someone else going *blah blah good luck* and your sitting there saying to yourself “Start the damn match already!”.
Unlike other Single Player campaigns it seems like it was more of a Multiplayer match that had a story loosely written around it. I’d suggest they either do away with it entirely or go back to a more traditional approach with maybe a 6 player Co-Op that only involves AI for the other team. This would give new players a chance to get a better introduction into the game without getting wiped by the opposite team.
Tip: Don’t skip the campaign as you will get a lot of your unlocks, initial leveling, and XP while playing it!
Classic Mode (Multiplayer)
After you go through the Campaign you then jump into Multiplayer. They offer a mix of the typical modes and some specific to Titanfall itself.
Only 6 v 6 Teams?
The only downside if you can call it that is that is the game only offers 12 player matches. Although they tested with huge 64 players, 32, 16 as well during the beta. It was whittled down to just 12. When your playing though due to the inclusion of AI? The action is non-stop and you don’t feel like its just a 12 player match. You end up having to keep an eye out for Pilots, Titans, and the AI – all trying to find and kill you. They did a great job of keeping the action going while inside a match.
No Private Matches
The only thing about Titanfall that kind of sucks? There is no way to setup or have any type of LAN or Private matches currently. So even if you do want to play this say at a LAN party or with just your friends? There really isn’t away to do this. Sure you can play with 5 of your buddies. But you’ll still be forced into the Public to actually play the game. I hope that Respawn can figure out a way to offer this with a future patch.
There have been talks about support for eSports but as of now with the release there isn’t any real information on how/when they plan on implementing it.
Load Outs, Burn Cards, Challenges, and Stats
You’ll get to unlock 6 custom load outs. That is more than enough for the game that only offers 33 different weapons. You’ll be able to do the usual unlock of weapons, attachments, abilities etc as you level up and complete the games Challenges. You can see a screen example of the Pilot Loadout screen.
You’ll get to unlock 3 Titans when you go through the Campaign. So you definitely want to go through it on both sides first before jumping into MP. You’ll be able to unlock more abilities, weapons, attachments etc. as you level up and complete the game’s Challenges as well. This is just an example screen shot of what the Titan Loadout screen looks like.
These ‘trading cards’ you earn are great if you tend to die a lot. Which I do *hrm..*. So they offer some great one time abilities to help you do various things such as get a stronger weapon type, get your titan quicker, be able to move around the map faster, and a bunch of others. You only get to use them for the duration of that one life though. So once activated its only good until your dead. Then if you have another one available you can use it as well.
What good is a shooter without these now days? You have to have something to fight for after all? Most of these just you will happen just by playing the game. A few though you will need to work on. The great thing about these though? You don’t feel like you HAVE to do them in order to get the full potential out of the game.
The stats screens are AMAZING in the game. It offers just about any type of stat you could ever wish for in a shooter! If there is a stat your looking for? It is most likely to be found here. From your K/D, Time Played, to just about everything else. It even offers charts! They really listened to the stat junkies such as myself.
Maps and Environments
With the use of the Source engine the game looks pretty amazing. I really like the map designs as well. Even with the larger maps I never felt like I was all alone in the middle of nowhere as I could quickly move across the map toward the action. That and the fact that you have to look all around you instead of just the one corridor brings a new level of gameplay to online shooters. Now you HAVE to look everywhere so your not getting picked off by someone who is sniping from higher vantage points. What I also liked was a great balance of open areas and tight interiors so whether your playing as a Pilot or a Titan you can adjust the play style as needed.
Read More: ibTimes has snatched the Maps from redditt showing all of the top down maps and Spawn Points.
I’m only listing the Video/Stick/Keyboard layouts. If you use an Xbox stick? It is very much like Call of Duty in it’s layout. This helps getting adjusted to the game as you’ll already be comfortable with the layout. Unless your a PlayStation player who is stubbornly sticking with his PS3 controller – MotionJoy to the rescue!
Nothing new for PC Games but I really like how the options screens work. They are nicely laid out and easy to read and follow. And you can customize your Keyboard/Mouse bindings pretty quickly and easily to adjust your play style.
It does support the Xbox Controller. So if you have a wired Xbox 360 controller? It plugs right in and your ready to rock n’ roll with it. Unfortunately you aren’t able to adjust the settings as much as you can with a keyboard/mouse setup. But there are ways around that as well 🙂 What Titanfall does offer is pretty much the same exact options you’d get with Call of Duty. Its virtually a copy/paste of that format. Which is a good thing. Why change what is all ready working after all?
As you can see I’m able to play this on my ‘older’ PC with a Nvidia GTX 550TI card at 1900 x 1200 with most settings on high without any type of lag. It runs and looks gorgeous on the PC. I even have it displayed on my 42″ LCD TV using a PS3 controller and it is almost like playing on a Console 🙂
My PC Specs? Intel i7 Quad Core 2.67 ghz, ASUS P6T Deluxe, 6 Gig RAM, EVGA Nvidia GTX 550 Ti, Onboard Sound.
This game plays amazing well even on my older Gaming PC. This is due to use of the Source engine originally created by Valve. That and the use of Microsoft’s Cloud servers to help offload a lot of the grunt work when it comes to things like AI means you will get a much better gaming experience than in other online shooters. I’ve played for hours at a time and only had a few hiccups. And never once did I ever scream at the monitor going “#!$*@! HOST LAG”. They did an amazing job considering how much is going on in the game.
On Launch Day I did suffer from this for a few hours:
But they did quickly fix it. So kudos to Respawn/Microsoft for getting it patched quickly!
Overall it “feels” great – from moving around the map, using your weapons, jumping into your Titan. It is all very smooth and never feels awkward. If you have played any type of shooter in the past from Halo, to Battlefield, to Call of Duty. You will instantly feel comfortable with the controls and be able to adapt quickly.
The game for the most part is pretty balanced. Especially if your playing the Campaign, Attrition, or Hardpoint. It does get difficult when playing Last Titan Standing if you haven’t unlocked everything yet. Overall though it is up to your own ability vs. the load outs that will help you win games.
The Perfect Shooter?
No, it isn’t perfect. But it is pretty damned close. I’m sitting here trying to think of things to criticize the game and I really can’t. Besides the Campaign I guess? Maybe a better selection of load outs? Additional skins for Players and Titans? Additional Game Modes? I’m sure when we give it some time the rough spots will show through it. For now I’m happy to play the game the way it is. Take a look at the gameplay trailer to get a better idea of what I’m talking about:
Read More: Tips to Help You Play Titanfall Like a Boss
With its mix of AI, quick paced action, and of course the Titans, it is a lot of fun for everyone. With any game there are likes and dislikes. These are the ones I’ve found:
What I Like:
- Its an easily accessible shooter for just about anyone. From “noob” to veteran shooters. You can quickly and easily pick up and start playing the game.
- It runs and looks great on PC
- No stress or pressure to have to rank up or do challenges.
What I Don’t Like:
- No Private Matches
- No Offline Gameplay
- Limited Game Types
I can easily foresee Titanfall being a top contender for Game of the Year. Of course we still have Destiny coming out. But with Ghosts being so-so, and Battlefield IV falling apart. Titanfall is looking to be THE shooter to play in 2014. If you haven’t checked out Titanfall yet? You are definitely missing out on a shooter that is just plain fun to play.