TitanFall review (PC)

MightyNoX | 168d ago | User review
Reviewing: TitanFall
Not Quite 'The Game of the Generation'
As a gamer, I try to act in a way that only nets me the most fun but gives back to this hobby that I love in order to see it continue being healthy and thriving. Some of these habits are a no-brainer -- support the devs, avoid microtranscations and occasionally donate to the odd Kickstarter or two. Occasionally though, I falter and end up buying the occasional boost pack or eschew donating to a Kickstarter. Yet there are two golden tenants that I had promised myself never to break

1) Never buy a game from EA
2) Do not support Microsoft this gen

Which is why readers will find out that I'm reviewing Titanfall---
Thankfully, EA has provided me with an opportunity to play the game without breaking my tenants. As a result of a promotion, one could play Titanfall on their PC for 48 hours. That means, for 48 hours, I owned and could play Titanfall in full 1080p 60fps without forking over $500.

So is Titanfall the 'Game of the Generation' as it's been touted? Is it truly so good that Executive can use it to deflect answers involving the policies of their console? Let's find out.

-- BATTLESTAR GALACTICA IN NAME ONLY--

I came to this review with a bit of background knowledge that people did not understand the story. Nonsense, said I, there's no story or lore that I cannot get the gist of. To my shame, I still have no idea what the hell happened in Titanfall. As far as I can tell, there are two groups - the IMC and the Militia - and they seem to be fighting over something? I never thought I'd say this but for all the atrociousness that was the COD: Ghost's campaign, I had some semblance of what the stakes were. There's no rhyme or reason to what's going on. The two groups are in conflict and the drama playing in the background during the stages itself get drowned out by the cacophony of gunfire, explosions and your Titan's AI that you'll barely even hear yourself think. I can’t even tell if the story is riddled with clichés or something because it’s so barebones, so played as an afterthought, that analyzing it to determine how hackneyed it is would be nigh impossible.

You play as a faceless Pilot working for the IMC or the Militia. Aside from the monotone voice on your radio, both campaigns play out in the exact same manner. There is a big attempt at creating this illusion that the campaign changes whether you succeed or fail at an objective but it falls flat. For example, in the first stage, you have to secure fuel for your fleet. If you win the match, you secure the fuel but if you lose the match…you still secure the fuel.

Huh…

I’m not really sure why they’ve added this. If it was actually mean to implement some sort of dynamic story progression, I would have been all over for it but the fact that ‘plot’ marches on regardless of whether you won or lost comes across as rather silly.

--EVERYTHING IS BETTER WITH GIANT ROBOTS…RIGHT?--

Gameplay is exactly what you’d expect from the creators of Modern Warfare. You run, you shoot with ADS and score you points. Given the game’s futuristic setting, it’s jarring how low-key sci-fi are the weapons we’re using in this game. All in all, the weapons are boring and does nothing to reinvent the genre or even breathe some life into it.

Movement-wise, there’s a lot a praise being thrown around at Titanfall’s Parkour System. Indeed, the one thing that I liked about this system was the smoothness to how your character traverses his or her environment. Wall-running, jumping and activating the jump pack in order to grab unto an open window are all done with the smoothness you’d expect from an Assassin’s Creed game.

Lastly, we come to the Titans themselves. These mechanical beasts descend from the sky as soon as you’ve racked up enough points from all the grunt killing. There is a sense of enjoyment to be had at jumping from a rooftop and landing on your summoned Titan but that loses its wow factor after the umpteenth time. When you’re in a Titan mode, the game still plays like a first person shooter. There’s no sense of scale and size when you can’t smash through a building or a blockade. You’re essentially playing the same game although slower and the stages got a lot smaller.

I’ll say this, the Titans lose their majesty when there is four of them huddled in the middle, punching one another like idiots…

--WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS--

Titanfall’s population, from what I’ve seen, is barely alive. I made sure to make the most of the 48 hour trial by strategically activating it during the weekend where I could give this game my full attention at specific time of the day. Sadly, no matter when I tried, I had to wait for almost an hour to get players to play opposite us in the campaign mode.
I lucked out and met a good, friendly group of players who agreed to stay on my team long enough to take me through the campaign (provided we found the required people to play the population) and, needless to say, their opinion mirrors my own that this game’s population is dead (with a lot more colorful insults thrown around)

Aside from the campaign, multiplayer modes are empty and even attrition takes ages to get going.

--CONCLUSION--

Titanfall is not a complete game. It’s a manufactured package built on an assembly line to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Everything about this game is orchestrated.
You get a half-baked narrative to make you think you’re making a difference. You have tons of mindless grunts for you to shoot and kill to make you think you’re an unstoppable badass. You get the chance to escape at the end of a losing match so you can, in the words of the devs, go out feeling like you’ve won. It’s the worst kind of trying to appeal to the masses and at times, kind of condescending. There is no single player campaign, the multiplayer modes are not varied and that’s when you can even FIND people online to play. It’s simply too light on content and too heavily dependent on multiplayer to warrant a $60 price point. Perhaps the XBO or the 360 version fares better in the multiplayer aspect. Who knows?

Pick this up when it’s cheap and at your own risk…
Ups
Parkour system
Downs
Online population dead
No SP campaign
Lack of varied modes
Score
8.0
Graphics
7.0
Sound
7.5
Gameplay I'm not an expert when it comes to gunplay but the aiming and shooting is serviceable. This section scored high due to how competent the parkour system controls.
6.0
Fun factor There's fun to be had, but it's nothing revolutionary and what sense of accomplishment you achieve is simply diluted by being handed to you on a silver platter.
2.0
Online Embarrassing
6.8
Overall (out of 10 / not an average)
InTheLab  +   163d ago
That is a really high score for what's basically an early access title. This thing should have released in 2015 with a fully fleshed out campaign, more pilot weapons and customization, a pilot only mode with no Titans or bots, and more game modes.

I agree with most of what you said but you only played for 48 hours and never experienced the sheer disappointment of getting to a high level only to realize there is really nothing else to do in the game. Yeah there's challenges but even the most diehard completionists will get bored of killing the same grunts for hours on end.
coolbeans  +   150d ago
"That is a really high score for what's basically an early access title."

It may not be the most robust MP game, but that's not even a fair criticism.
SaffronCurse  +   159d ago
The fact that the game wasn't released on Ps4 really hurt the game.
DARK WITNESS  +   151d ago
No, the ideas put into the game and how they were executed hurt it.

Even if it had come out on the ps4, people would have just gone back to whatever they were playing before after giving it a try and realising all of the issues with it.
coolbeans  +   150d ago
"For example, in the first stage, you have to secure fuel for your fleet. If you win the match, you secure the fuel but if you lose the match…you still secure the fuel.

Huh…"

It's not about win/lose to secure fuel, it's about securing the hardpoints and buying time (specifically stated) on the ground for the militia to secure it.
InTheLab  +   150d ago
That's still pretty weak and the very next map resets whatever happened anyway. His point still stands. It doesn't matter what you do and even if why you're doing it was fleshed out like a normal single player, it's still generic as hell anyway.

As for my not fair criticism of the game, didn't Respawn themselves say they ran out of funding? If I'm wrong about that, then you're probably right. But it sure as hell doesn't feel like a complete game with modes coming via update and dlc. What it shipped with was barely any content at all...
coolbeans  +   149d ago
The thing I'm pointing is out is that the map reset does make sense within the context of the game since either way the militia's siphoning fuel for the next map anyways.

Sure, I wasn't really trying to destroy his story frustrations as invalid. I only wanted to refute the error in what's quoted above. Speaking on its campaign structure overall, I would say this: it seems a bit unfair for the direct comparisons to normal SP campaigns that I've seen. While I can understand wanting more out of it (that's one of my cons with it), the main intention is obviously more focused on contextualizing online play. I appreciate that nuance because it's hardly ever done; I think Brink or Dust 514 are only other shooters to have something conceptually similar. Practically all the other online shooters just have a loading screen, fade to black, and START structure.

...But that's just me.

Yes, Respawn did have their funds stretched to the limit at one point. The difference being is they sought out the CONSOLE MANUFACTURERS to see their willingness to support it, not release an incomplete version for players to purchase. And by incomplete in terms of what an early access has almost always been, I mean more then just having updates and dlc down the road (like every popular modern game that's out right now):

-incomplete art assets
-missing gameplay components
-etc.

You didn't jump into the final product and see any notices from Respawn saying they're "adding more buildings in this section" or "adding in the jetpack double jump down the road" because the maps, core mechanics, graphical assets were all in a clearly finished state.
#3.1.1 (Edited 149d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report

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TitanFall

Average Score 8.4 Reviews(200)
Release Dates
PC Release Dates
AU 14 March 2014
EU 14 March 2014
US 11 March 2014
PS4 Release Dates
Wii U Release Dates
Xbox 360 Release Dates
US 08 April 2014
AU 11 April 2014
EU 11 April 2014
Xbox One Release Dates
AU 14 March 2014
EU 14 March 2014
US 11 March 2014