Review: Titanfall / Developer: Respawn Entertainment / Publisher: Electronic Arts / Platform: Xbox 360, Xbox One / Release Date: Out Now
As easily the most anticipated next gen title besides Watch Dogs, Titanfall has a lot riding on it. Produced by a company of former Call of Duty devs and mixing high speed combat with mechs, it looks like a match made in heaven. For the most part, it actually lives up to these expectations...
The story is your fairly generic fare. Effectively serving as Firefly with less Joss Whedon and more Starhawk, you have the mega corp on one side and a ragtag alliance of frontier worlds on the other. It’s brief, forgettable and ultimately what you’d expect from the people who brought us previous Modern Warfare titles, with the real meat lying in the multiplayer option. In all likelihood you’ll only play through it once, just so you can get your hands on the two, otherwise locked, titans.
The multiplayer itself serves as some insane combination of modern military FPS and Brink, with just a touch of Star Wars: Battlefront. Each side consists of a handful of experienced players backed by a metric ton of weak AI bots which can be farmed for quick kills. Killing enough foes allows you to drop titans onto the battlefield, which allows your free-running pilot to start wrecking everything in sight.
While one certainly has more firepower, the surprising thing is that both choices are surprisingly well balanced. You can easily be just as effective, if not more so, on foot, free-running along walls and picking off enemy units one at a time. You’re definitely a smaller target and the fluid speed offered is something which has not been so perfectly executed since the days of Quake III.
Along with a wide assortment of big guns, even bigger guns and explosives, Titanfall has the strangely effective addition of burn cards. These offer single use bonuses which can greatly augment each player, providing everything from permanent cloaking to more minor boosts. As with almost any launch title, there are balance issues and certain cards are among them. Wifi Virus, Spider Sense and Double Agent all give far too much of an edge for what they are. Other weapons modifications like the smart pistol’s enhanced targeting make life far too easy for certain players, especially when farming bots.
As a whole however, Titanfall is a very solid release. While not completely revolutionising FPS, it puts a great spin on it and is well worth anyone after an explosive shooter. If you’re going to get an Xbox One, get it for Titanfall.