From the team that created the Medal of Honor franchise as well as the Call of Duty series comes an Xbox 360, Xbox ONE, and Windows PC multiplayer online first person shooter set to change the game. There may be those who wonder what makes Titanfall so special. From the beginning this title has been extremely hyped by the media and press and subsequently anybody who got their hands on it during the Alpha and Beta testing. I’m here to tell you why no matter what you think about the game, throw away your pre-conceived notions of what it might be and listen to the analysis of a shooting game fan who has been around since the invention of the genre. I’m here to provide just such an analysis for you in this Review.
Players take the role of Marcus Graves working with ‘Spyglass’ and the IMC. There’s also a Militia campaign giving players the other side of the coin in terms of the game’s major events. Throughout the game’s campaign players earn the ability to unlock new Titan class mechs to do combat in.
Let’s be honest, the Titanfall Campaign as it currently exists is essentially a collection of multiplayer matches made to feel like missions and given backstory featuring egos, grudges to be settled, and mettle to be tested thanks to a fairly detailed writing of the Titanfall universe’s main characters and events. Each map is introduced to the player in a cinematic manner thanks to this mode. Many players will blow through this campaign without even really learning anything about the story, but it’s nice that Respawn Entertainment does actually have one behind all of the action. This 6v6 player story mode is very similar to how Unreal Tournament presented its story mode back in the golden age of PC Gaming. Playing the Campaign also unlocks all of the Titanfall loadouts that are possible to pilot.
Although it may not have been presented the way most single player gamers may have wanted, the Titanfall IP does contain a universe capable of telling compelling stories. In this multiplayer-only entry to kick off the franchise, it’s more like bits and pieces are noticed by gamers in between Campaign mode matches which can eventually be factored into an entire story (though the game’s cutscene is pretty epic). We’d love to see this aspect of the franchise expanded, potentially in a separate standalone release that doesn’t try to re-invent the wheel and instead is single player only content.
In the only other games that have tried this multiplayer meets co-op meets narrative formula the large enemies being attacked have been controlled by the artificial intelligence. In this game the foot soldiers are controlled by players that sometimes blend in with the crowd with the artificial intelligence grunts and specters. However, the main enemies doing battle side by side as on a different playing field are essentially player controlled bosses.
The non-playable foot soldiers and human ones are easy to tell apart once you’ve been playing long enough to get into the groove and / or unlock the improved radar tech. And all of that is just a quick rush for points to go on a streak as fast as you can to unlock the Titan which is where matches are won and lost. This design takes a page out of something like League of Legends for example which sees ‘mobs’ being slain for leveling up into a greater focused PvP battle.
In this sense, Titanfall has three layers, PvP Titans vs Titans, PvE Players vs Grunt / Spectre, and a cross between Unreal Tournament, BioShock 2 Multiplayer, Quake III Arena, Call of Duty, and other classic shooters when it comes to great hit detection, virtually no lag to speak of, and most importantly – Balanced Warfare. But while it’s like these games in key ways that vets of the genre will notice, it’s also something else that shouldn’t be directly compared as a replacement for any existing game. Titanfall in many ways is a new experience and a very fine tuned one at that.
Titan vs Titan as a main gameplay mechanic just works and gives a level playing field for team-based combat to take place with interesting scenarios surfacing from it.
Times of power-ups earned from doing lots of damage just how a titan is earned in other modes from points brings full circle the mechanics Respawn Entertainment selected for this multiplayer experience. The various game modes begin to paint the picture of what Titanfall’s core values are as a shooting game. Balanced, fast and accuracy input processing, fun, and competitive gameplay that gets the adrenaline going make up Titanfall’s secret sauce that had many gamers raving as soon as they got their hands on it.
This is also thanks to great map design. Matches feel fair and yet still possessing an ability to be mastered. Players using a Titan can crouch , boost to the side, front, or rear of itself, and uses very heavy weaponry – but can’t jump or navigate through certain areas. Soldiers can get into buildings, up to rooftops, jump up ledges almost liquidly, and run on walls.
Titanfall is the first shooter game to use the Xbox ONE Controller’s Impulse Triggers which were designed in response to Respawn Entertainment directly providing feedback to Microsoft Studios. Mechanical Keyboard + Opitcal Laser Mouse are also a great fit for this title on PC. For those looking to plug controllers into the PC the Xbox 360 Controller / DualShock 4 Controller work great (tested using ControllerMAX peripheral). Other controllers will also be compatible with the game including Xbox ONE support coming in unofficial form as well as official driver format directly from Microsoft in the near future.
As far as which control option is “better” it really comes down to preference and experience. Some players will be very experienced in both, and so it may simply matter on which type of mood they are in. Whereas other gamers prefer to remain on Keyboard / Mouse or have spent more time on console controllers and would like to use them for that reason. We are happy to report that the game feels tight playing with either input method.
Burn cards are essentially power-ups that can be awarded when a player has unlocked enough in their deck and equipped some for a particular battle. These are then used once available in-game by selecting one per spawn duration. Real world conditions of server feel in full release at launch: our experience: 1 hour of playtime from 12AM to 1AM (approx.) / getting set up (NVIDIA also put out a brand new graphics driver to coincide with the Titanfall launch). During this time the crew that we were riding with were able to play matches without a problem as seen in the Open Beta for the game. This was followed by 1 hour of downtime which most assumed was due to heavy server load caused by popularity of the multiplayer-only game upon launch. However, EA simply stated they were looking into it – then about 45 minutes later I was back in the game ranking up and having great matches without issue.
Titanfall’s maps do feel like a good overall mix of vertical action, outdoors, indoors, and did go lengths to get creative with Titans and Soldiers both having great battle points yet the Titan’s don’t feel out of place even when things narrow down. Players can get across the map very quickly whether on foot as a Pilot or in the Titan. And although these maps are decent sized, they are not “too big” and allow for lots of fast paced action with minimal traveling to the fight. The fight is brought to you. Sound effects and Music are noteworthy and do their part to fill in the game’s atmosphere while the voice-acting sometimes leaves a little more to be desired.
GAME MODES LIST:
- Last Titan Standing
- Capture The Flag
- Pilot Hunter
- Variety Pack
AI might not be the smartest. Spawning is appropriate for them to be cannon fodder used as a way to win certain game modes like Attrition. These enemies spawn at key moments in the battle for example if the opposing team has not been successful re-capturing a base then Specters (or Grunts) will be spawned as enforcements.
Graphics (on PC depends on the parts you have. We were playing on a mid-range machine with 1080P @ 60 frames per second no problem. The game’s settings menu also lists that resolution as “native”. Other players are able to play in higher resolutions if they have a 4K display to go along with their machine.
There’s been an issue of people not playing multiplayer FPS “the right way” lately in the industry and Titanfall manages to bring back that community feel of working while hanging out and getting in the zone among peers. The community of players embracing Titanfall is mostly made up of hardcore fans who desire mature gaming sessions with tactical adult battles simulating fun and advanced war conditions. This is satisfied in full by this game and is likely the main reason it’s pulling a large draw right now. If you’re sick of the way COD / BF teammates / opponents play as if they are a lone wolf on their own team – You might be a Titan.
The one negative point: Titanfall is tied to EA / Respawn for better or for worse via connecting to Origin login servers and these virtually lag-free Xbox LIVE (MS Azure) Servers. However, if some day Titanfall is to be “sunset” as MMO devs call it or ‘shut down’ as most gamers call it then hypothetically one would hope EA / Respawn make this title freely open for hosting without an issue for those who would still run their own servers for the game. Of course, this is a double edged sword as seen with the Battlefield’s experiments in console server rentals in place of dedicated servers. For now, EA / Respawn have the access they need to at least attempt to deal with any cheating and lag issues that arise during the title’s peak life cycle.
Overall, Titanfall is innovative in its own ways without attempting to fix what isn’t broken about online gaming. With a focus on quick action and its fun gameplay based on skills, Titanfall is a finely tuned 6 versus 6 multiplayer experience. Microsoft’s Azure Cloud Servers (now part of Xbox LIVE) host the Windows PC and Xbox ONE versions of the game both and do so with no lag whatsoever as mentioned above in our detailed Review. The bullet collision is great in this game, and that matters since it is highly competitive with more damage being dealt per bullet than in other shooters.
Any gamer strongly versed in the First Person Shooter genre owes it to themselves to get a copy of this game. Designed based around the staple characteristics from titles of the past, but with completely new gameplay experiences Titanfall is a must-have multiplayer game. RealGamerNewz awards Titanfall a 9.5 out of 10 making it an RGN Platinum Game.
Developer: Respawn Entertainment
Publisher: EA Games
Platforms: PC | Xbox ONE | Xbox 360
Played On: Windows PC
Review Copy Info: A digital deluxe copy and a digital standard copy of this game were provided to RealGamerNewz by the vendor for the purpose of this Review. Additional copies of Titanfall were also purchased by the RealGamerNewz team for the multiplayer and multiplatform purposes of this Review.