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Screenshot of Titanfall Cover Mech and Man

Titanfall is a videogame published by Electronic Arts and developed by Respawn Entertainment. It is a game belonging to the first-person shooter genre and developed almost exclusively for multiplayer. It can be played on both Xbox One and Xbox 360 consoles, as well as Microsoft Windows powered PCs. This is the first game produced by the developers of Call of Duty and it was released in the first quarter of 2014.

Key facts about Titanfall

  • Titanfall has a complex gameplay that combines mech action with soldier combat.
  • The maps are significantly larger than the ones in Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 and bigger than in most multiplayer FPS games.
  • Both in mech and individual mode, action is intense and Titanfall brilliantly succeeds at preserving balance.
  • The game was criticized for having too few modes and no private groups, important downsides for a multiplayer shooter.
  • Titanfall has a total of 15 multiplayer maps and 5 multiplayer modes and a separate campaign.

The Titanfall games

Some Titanfall games are inspired by the popular modes from Call of Duty, but many are totally original. Attrition is a regular Team Deathmatch game, in which players win by achieving the greatest kill count. Since players can wager war as soldiers or Titans both kills count something that doesn’t happen in Pilot Hunter. Just as the name suggests, players score points by killing the pilots so emphasis is on accuracy.

Last Titan Standing is one of the most original game modes, with players having a single life and playing in Titans. In all cases, players compete as teams, with no free for all, but there are additional challenges to complete. These act as side quests and successful players will unlock new weapons and special abilities. Burn cards are also up for grabs and players can decrease the cooldowns on Titans or receive unlimited grenades and other weapons.

In order to improve their chances on the battlefield, players can introduce a maximum of three cards in each match. Only multiplayer games enable players to collect experience points, which can be turned in to unlock more perks and equipment. Perseverance is rewarded and players who hit level 50 can start all over again from level 1, while receiving a prestige icon. At their second attempt, they will earn experience much faster, so they are quickly return to the level 50 cap.

What is Titanfall

Titanfall is an original first-person shooter multiplayer game developed by Respawn Entertainment and published by Electronic Arts. Players join teams of six and compete against an equal squad in a fast-paced multiplayer action. As pilots, they can move across the battlefield quickly while as Titans, they inflict significant damage upon unsuspecting foes. Players can enjoy the game on Xbox One and Xbox 360 consoles developed by Microsoft as well as PCs powered by Windows.

Gameplay of Titanfall

In Titanfall, players control both the mechanized units commonly referred to as Titans and the soldiers piloting them. Multiplayer games are played on a big scale, with a maximum of 50 characters active simultaneously. Titans are periodically deployed, so players can pilot a new mech if the one they already control is destroyed. The onscreen timer lets participants know about the cooldown and with each successful kill, more seconds are subtracted.

Screenshot of Titanfall Battle Ready
Screenshot of Titanfall Battle Ready

The Titanfall gameplay is centered on the mechs, which are well armored and weapon ready, metal monsters. Pilots can jump on top of them and assume control instantly, but can also eject from a machine that has taken a lot of damage. Titans come in three flavors, each corresponding to a different class and they range from light to medium and heavy. They are called Atlas, Ogre, and Stryder, with only the first being available at the beginning of the campaign.

Players can unlock new human needs and special abilities that apply to both the mechs and the pilots. Titans are best at dealing damage, but they can also serve defensive roles and protect pilots from projectiles. They can be equipped with various weapons, so players can weave different strategies before choosing one Titan or the other. When players leave the machine, it can act on its own by entering follow and guard modes.

Life outside the metal chassis is very dangerous, but pilots are well-equipped to survive without their protection. Agile and capable of accumulating momentum, pilots can run on walls or perform double jumps using jet packs. They can easily overcome most obstacles, but when they come under heavy fire, they don’t have a lot of survivability. The Titanfall gameplay would’ve been more difficult, had the Titan and pilot controls were different.

Plot of Titanfall

Titanfall was purposely developed for multiplayer, but it also has a campaign mode. The difference is that unlike regular single player campaigns in which players complete missions by themselves, here they work together with fellow players. In a nutshell, the game doesn’t have an offline single player mode so players need to jump headfirst online.

Having said this, the campaign multiplayer is simplified, with a smooth learning curve helping beginners. It acts as a longer than average tutorial and abounds in cut scenes and cinematics. The games are not heavily scripted, but players don’t enjoy the same freedom they do in traditional multiplayer. Right from the start, players need to choose between the two warring factions, the Militia and IMC.

Screenshot of Titanfall Lagoon Pilot
Screenshot of Titanfall Lagoon Pilot

The Militia is trying to resist the IMC and their attempts to grab the resources on the Frontier for themselves. MacAllan, Bish and Marauder Corps leader Sarah are the central characters in the multiplayer campaign fighting for the militia. IMC on the other hand is a corporate conglomerate led by Vice Admiral Graves and intelligence specialists Blisk and Spyglass.

Development of Titanfall

There were high expectations from Titanfall given the fact that the game was developed by the same guys that produced Call of Duty. Respawn Entertainment started working on the game in 2011 and made numerous changes to have the game compatible with Xbox One. The developers confessed the fact that their project was influenced by Blade Runner, Abrams Battle Tank and Star Wars.

The game was officially announced in 2012 by Electronic Arts, who also released a teaser trailer. In order to make sure that the end product will meet the high expectations of the fans, developers decided to postpone its release until February 2014. More patches were necessary to make it run smoothly on both consoles as well as Windows powered PCs.

Where can I download Titanfall?

Titanfall was available for preorder on the Electronic Arts website and can still be acquired here. The same goes for Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, Mass Effect Andromeda and Star Wars Battlefront, and all could be a welcomed diversion. Sports fans should definitely check out the new EA Sports UFC 2 or the classic Madden NFL 16 and FIFA 16 games dedicated to American football and soccer.

What are others saying about Titanfall?

The game had some big shoes to fill, but it did a fine job at meeting the high expectations and collected dozens of awards. Reviewers were quick to praise the game for its balance and the degree of freedom that players have in multiplayer. Titanfall was so well received by both the players and critics that the developers announced a sequel in March 2015.

Screenshot of Titanfall Angel City Pilot
Screenshot of Titanfall Angel City Pilot

There was no shortage of criticism though and the shallow campaign was its main target. Some were not happy with the artificial intelligence and the relatively few multiplayer modes and community features. Most of the AI related complaints were aimed at the grunts, which are scored when killed in certain games. Everyone was utterly impressed by the visuals, with the summoning of Titans being the climax.

Titanfall tournaments

It’s a bit surprising to see that there are no major Titanfall tournaments yet, given the proclivity for multiplayer. The developers didn’t create the game with eSports in mind, but they’re expected to do so when they produce the sequel. Meanwhile, those who enjoyed the games developed by the founders of Respawn Entertainment should play Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3. If you don’t mind switching sides for the sake of fast-paced and highly competitive tournaments, play Counter Strike Global Offensive.

My rating of Titanfall

I’ve always had a weak spot for games featuring heavily armored mechanized units. I liked Titanfall right from the start and the more I played the game, the more excited I was with its features. I do understand that this first-person shooter is all about multiplayer, but I don’t like the absence of single player.

In my book, a proper campaign should be played offline and interacting with other players at a certain point is merely a bonus. Titanfall has simply too few missions and lacks convincing characters, to get players immersed in the game atmosphere. The complex gameplay, seamless transition from pilot to mech mode and the abundance of multiplayer maps and modes save the day. I would’ve liked to be able to give a higher rating than 8 out of 10 and I hope that the sequel will present me with this opportunity.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Overall Score
8
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