Release expected in Spring 2014
If I could ask most men (and some women) what their idea of an ideal FPS game would contain I would put a sizable sum on it containing giant robots, insane guns, some way to fly around and more explosions than a Michael Bay film. Lucky for us then that some brilliant people decided to make it.
Relative newcomers to the game development fold, Respawn Entertainment, formed when Activision fired Infinity War president, Jason West, and then CEO, Vince Zampella, who decided to start their own company. This was back in 2010 and three years later we’re hearing the first major noise from the studio, and boy is it a substantial battlecry.
Titanfall is a fast paced multi-player game (With some single player elements) which sees the player controlling a ‘pilot’ in a battle against the enemy team of either battle hardened troops or newly formed militia.
There are two main factions in the universe. The first is M-COR, a collection of militia formed by the colonies to defend against the invading forces. The second are the invaders who are known as The IMC (Interstellar Manufacturing Corporation) and are a massive industrial conglomerate from Earth. With Earth’s support, the IMC have deployed its fleet to the colonies in hopes of exploiting their rich mineral wealth.
At the start of each game a timer is displayed in the bottom left corner of the screen which is a countdown until a ‘Titan’ falls from the sky. (You see what they did with the name there? Clever right?) Now, before all of this begins, each player will get a choice of which class pilot to play as. You’ll have three to choose from: Assault, Tactical and Close Quarters.
The main weapon of the Assault class is the R-101 Storm Rifle, a fully automatic assault rifle. I imagine it’ll be the standard issue weapon like in most games. For a sidearm you get the B3 Wingman, an 8 shot revolver. Again, standard issue. The interesting piece of equipment is the anti-titan weapon. For the Assault class you’re looking at the Sidewinder AT-SMR, a rapid-fire rocket launcher for when a Titan jumps down in front of you and you finish peeing your pants.
As a Tactical your primary weapon is, The Smart Pistol. Any Alien fanatics among you may have guessed that the pistol locks on to other pilots, and you’d be correct. They appear to be able to acquire multiple targets but are limited to one at a time. While not very damaging, it’s locking ability makes it perfect for strafing or the typical ‘run-and-gun’ that many games employ. The B3 Wingman makes an appearance as the sidearm in this class again. The Titan killer for this particular class is the MGL (Magnetic Grenade Launcher) which, as the name suggests, are attracted to Titans.
Getting up close and personal is the name of the game here (Well technically it’s Titanfall but you get the idea) and what better to do that with than a semi automatic shotgun? The Close Quarters class gets the EVA-8 shotgun. It holds six rounds per magazine and is assumed to fire regular buckshot although I suspect there will be several ammo types added later. Secondary weapon is again, the B3. The anti-titan weapon here is The Archer. This appears to be a single fire rocket launcher with a self-aiming RPG style round. It appears to be similar to the anti-tank weapons in Call Of Duty with a display that shows locking on to target.
Along with their weapons and fragmentation grenades, all of the classes get an ability named ‘Cloak’ which allows the pilot to become invisible for short amounts of time.
You can either take on a Titan on foot, or in your own metal giant.
‘You are not alone’
As you warp in from space unknown in an Alien style craft with your fellow soldiers you’ll notice several characters talking to your team and giving you a little backstory. This is the unique feature of Titanfall. Although it is primarily multi-player it has an element of a single-player campaign in that you are given a narrative by the AI characters around you. As you are booted out of the craft you find yourself at the foot of Titan with a typical Sergeant figure giving some orders. Pretty soon after you begin the match for real and a cam link appears in the top right of your screen where someone will give you the MO (Mission Objective). During the matches there are many AI characters who pursue their own objectives, whether it be flanking the enemy, taking an objective or holding a location, they serve both as cannon fodder and actually progress the story of the game through individual narrative.
Overall I thought this was a nice little touch, it gives the game a certain depth that many lack in the traditional multi-player where players run around the map attempting to slaughter without being slaughtered themselves, rushing into the fray with reckless abandon. That being said, with the verticality of this game, you can literally leap into action. Wall running, jet pack boosts and parkour style leaping make for an energetic, frenetic combat which looks like it might take some getting used to.
Titanfall offers us a complete package. It has fast paced, FPS combat with high agility and possibility for tactical play along with the colossal power of a Titan to call upon when you need to tear through a hard-point of fend off an enemy attack. With its choices of ranged and melee attacks along with immersive gameplay, story driven battles, smart AI and bulwark performance in reviews make this game a real stand out and definitely one to watch.
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