The futuristic world of Titanfall imagines our ascension into the far reaches of space as it if were a reality. Humans have ventured into the nether regions and made their way to The Frontier, a planetary region that’s packed with popular and established solar systems. The denizens that inhabit these worlds includes pioneers, mercenaries, outlaws etc. The two main factions (the Interstellar Manufacturing Corporation and The Frontier Militia) butt heads over the resources and planet expansion methods that both sides seek to employ for the the betterment of their faction. Of course, this all plays out as you and millions of other gamers across the world blast each other in the face and take control of massive Titans.
The storyline that drives Titanfall is simple in nature, but the main multiplayer campaign won’t do enough to suck you into the plot’s more involved fiction. This separate game mode basically boils down to a custom playlist of multiplayer matches that features audio clips and NPC’s that provide some insight into each of the match proceedings. As you hop around the maps and try to complete the current mission objectives demanded of you and your team, you’ll overhear some chatter that clues you into the story. This mode is somewhat fun, but also feels sort of meaningless. The only reason to complete both sides of the campaign is because it’s the only way you’ll unlock all the Titans. The story goes on, win or lose. Your input isn’t important since you’re just being pushed along a plot path that doesn’t veer from the beaten one. This is the biggest issue Titanfall has.
The visuals don’t present any problems, though. A few of Titanfall’s maps fall into the grey and metallic silver linings you’d expect to see, but the game’s other stages are full of variety in the looks department. You’ll use your parkour skills to hop across the sides of buildings while the battle is raging in a desert. You’ll take your pilots to a futuristic outpost, a smuggler’s paradise that’s packed with palm trees, a once inhabited zone that’s littered with broken buildings etc. The amazing sights of Titans landing, Pilots boosting above you and bullets whizzing into the air provides the perfect war-torn atmosphere for this FPS. The visuals surprisingly shine.
It’s best to throw on a decent pair of gaming headphones or adopt a high-end TV to fully enjoy the sounds that Titanfall emits. Everything sounds just like it should. The addition of NPC characters voicing your Titan arrival time or match progress makes each multiplayer skirmish feel like it’s being commentated in a live environment. It’s easy to get sucked into the world of Titanfall and ignore the outside world. You’ll grow enthralled with the sounds of Titans shooting off missiles, Pilots jump kicking other helpless Pilots, pods slamming down into orbit from space etc. The audio here does its job well and makes you feel as if you’re living room is the site of an ongoing Titan conflict.
As a FPS, it’s easy to expect the following factors – dozens of on-screen avatars running across a wide map, guns a blazing and grenades exploding all over the place. Titanfall changes up the formula with the added addition of mobile Pilots who can make their way across the map by hopping on and off nearby buildings and wield massive but mobile Titans. There’s a good amount of varied maps and modes to get lost in, although the match types that are offered to players can’t be customized to your liking. That’s not a huge hindrance to the overall experience at all, though. There’s a standard Deathmatch mode for players who just want to run and gun without a care in the world, a Capture The Flag like mode and even a mode that challenges players to discover and hold several territories. Experiencing the robotic mayhem of this shooter is best experienced in Last Titan Standing, a must-play mode for players who get a kick out of giants doing battle in closed/open quarters.
Titanfall feels quite similiar to the current king of the FPS’s (obviously Call of Duty), which should come as no surprise since it was developed by some of the developers who worked on previous entries in the series. This new entry in the FPS genre stands out due to it’s ease of access. FPS “noobs” and even veteran fans of the genre are put on an even playing field. Bots litter the maps and give players a chance to shoot down at least one enemy that they may come across. It may seem like the bots are there just to give the more casual gamers a chance, but the presence of other human Pilots and Titans still provide the challenge needed to make this game a worthy competitive shooter. The action never falters and you’ll always find someone to engage in conflict with.
Hardcore FPS players know one of the best features of any of their favorite shooters is the character customization options. Titanfall’s Pilots come pre-equipped at the beginning with their primary weapon, secondary weapon, a specific skill option etc. It’s what you’d expect, actually. Once the option opens up for you to outfit your chosen soldier with your favorite weapons/add-on’s, things open up but not by much. New Pilot and Titan loadouts become available pretty quickly and each of their skill set’s definitely add something to both sides of the war, though. But the customization options aren’t as open-ended as some of it’s competitors. Getting to the higher ranks and unlocking the best unlockables doesn’t take very long, plus there isn’t much incentive to keep leveling up since the lack of newer unlocks is jarring.
One of the cooler aspects of character customization are the Burn Cards. These add-on’s provide the deep strategy-fueled engagements that players will grow to appreciate. These cards give Titanfall another feature that helps it differentiate iteself from the rest of the FPS competition. It’s just slightly disappointing to see the lack of deeper character customization (physical designs, decals, more varied weapon armaments, color changes etc). Thank God the enemy Pilots are highlighted by orange lettering; otherwise, it would be hard to discern friend from foe.
Titanfall fulfills its potential as one of the most fun, unique and approachable first-person shooters of the next-gen period gamers are currently experiencing. It’s easy to devote hours into the fast and intense gunplay, massive Titans, amazing character maneuverability and wide range of game modes. The half-hearted multiplayer campaign and somewhat disappointing pilot customization falls short of the lofty status of such a game, but these issues won’t do enough to lessen your Titanfall addiction. Buy this. Now.