E3 2013 Lots of hype. Lots. TitanFall was going to be the next big game to plant its seed in an already crowded garden of First Person Shooters. This plant was different however, it was something fresh, something new, dare I say ...Something "different". The events leading up to the release of this game reminded me much of the Call of Duty 4 : Modern Warfare launch. I remember how much hype the game had and how it lived up to every expectation in every way. I was excited.
Being a very big fan of First Person Shooters in general (not one particular but a lot of them) I found myself so excited for this game. This was the reason I was getting an Xbox One. This was the reason I needed to have it. I am certain that was Microsoft's strategy all along and it worked. That is to say until I got my hands on the game put about 30+ hours into it, and started feeling that odd fatigue that sets in after doing the same thing over, and over again in a video game. TitanFall had gone from an amazing experience to a repetitive, typical shooter and that makes me sad.
Explaining TitanFall to friends who are not so much into games as I am is rather difficult. Most of them are interested to a point when it comes to video games but have really ZERO interest in the multiplayer aspect of any game (for obvious reason). What we were promised with Titanfall was a Multiplayer experience with Singleplayer cinematic and story and honestly we got very little if any of that. This was a Multiplayer shooter through and through.
TitanFall tries very hard to do some type of campaign-like mode, it offers a very interesting intro to the game, and than just kind of falls on its face when you start playing. You have little to NO concern for any of the characters, you probably don't remember any of their names, and you really aren't grabbed by anything in particular except for one objective, to win because you are playing a multiplayer game. That is what makes the TitanFall campaign useless. You are far too concerned with winning and shooting other real players than you are with the audio in the background explaining everything going on (Yes audio not cinematics as promised). To make matters worse 2 things occur when this happens. 1) IF you are suppose to lose, you will lose even if you win (yea that's right) and 2) You get little to no explanation as to whats going on. All I remember is that it has something to do with fuel. This is the biggest problem to me with this game. I want to know why we are on a planet with "Dragons", I want to know why there is a Gigantic alien-dinosaur in the background. I want to know where I am fighting and why its so important, and I get none of that. This is why fatigue set in so quick for me, at least with games like Call of Duty and battlefield you have a sense of why you are in those environments COD does it more (for example ODIN being crash landed on the map Stonehaven in GHOST). I just felt like there was no sense of purpose here to keep me interested.
TitanFall is far from pretty, it uses a modified SOURCE engine and it shows. Textures are muddy all around, the game is rendered @792p on the Xbox One, Jaggies show through the upscaling, the environments are drab and dull really giving no life to the maps, everything is static and nothing feels alive aside from the grunts, players and Titans. The character models look like they were pulled out of Half-Life 2. The animation however looks as authentic as it possibly could for parkour like movements and double jumps throughout. The game is not going to grab your attention for how pretty it is, cause its far from. It will however pull you in when you see 2 titans battling in the middle of a chaotic battlefield. The best thing about this game is the backdrops they are gorgeous, sometimes I would just stop playing to stare off in the distance just to see how much detail is put into it.
The sound in the game is great, and does its job well, The Titans sound really good the grinding noises your titan makes as you move sound so authentic and real it adds that much needed level of depth in the game. The grunts shout out when they see you kicking ass, they also shout out when they see an enemy closing in. Sound is a much needed thing in any FPS game and Titanfall delivers on every note. The Score of the game is just as epic as the Giant Titans you fight with, serving that feeling of action as you decimate each other on the battlefield.
If any part of TitanFall shines best its most certainly the gameplay. While veteran shooters will have NO problem destroying the casual players, they will certainly grow tired of how easy the shooting mechanics actually are. TitanFall feels as if it was designed to pull in all types of gamers, from casual to non-stop hardcore play this game til my fingers bleed gamers. I feel they went this route simply to have us focus more on the parkour factors and Titans. A lot of the time people would use their Titans in A.I mode as kind of a UAV. They would stay close to the Titan hear "titan attacking pilot" and than use that tactic to take out the enemy. Other times you would see people wall running with shotguns and hopping all over the place. This offers a new type of style to the player. ME? Personally I play many different ways I don't have a play style and I try to mix it up a fair bit. I do enjoy using the Titan to destroy enemies but I also get joy for wall running across a whole map without touching the ground. You can argue all you want but the Gameplay shines the brightest in this game, it is smooth it is satisfying and it is responsive. Even if its a bit too easy and lacks much of any needed gun-skill for veteran shooters.
Well There isn't much to say about this since there is no other option. No BOT matches for practice, no single player anything at all (besides the tutorial). The game runs smooth, for the most part, you get into matches fairly quickly, the lag is minimal but it does exist on some servers. Its an online only game and they treat it as such. They do their best to give you a smooth experience. 6v6 is nothing to write home about and I wish we could have a ground war type of gamemode, I feel 6v6 is alright, but 9v9 would be better. That being said there are only a handful of modes to choose from and this can also add to the fatigue I have experienced in the game. In my honest opinion 5 game modes for an online only game is weak, we see that in games like Sniper Elite, which has a full fledged single player campaign. In essence you have Attrition(TDM),Hardpoint(DOM), Last Titan Standing, Capture the Flag, and Pilot Hunter (which is TDM without grunts/minions counting as kills). I really don't find that acceptable at all, they did however say there will be more to come. So I guess Stand by for..Gamemodes.
If you asked me for my review of Titanfall the first 2-3 days I played it. I would've said easily a 8 out of 10. IF you ask for my opinion a few weeks after playing it would be significantly different. The game offers something fresh, something that feels new but familiar at the same time (Think Unreal/Quake days), and offers the ability to control Giant Mechs but also jump out as a petty soldier on a battlefield. This gets old quicker than it should. With no lore to go with the game, a lack of game modes, and no type of sense of accomplishment in winning, you honestly might play this for a few weeks and put it aside until new maps come out, and than put it aside again. That is too little in my opinion to justify a full retail price for a game like this. TitanFall is good fun, its great fun with friends, but that is where it stops. You will play the same maps 100-200 times and than what? What shooter will you return to?