Ryan Mottola ’14 / Emertainment Monthly Staff
Imagine: The giant robot you were just piloting took too much core damage and its operating system is begging you to eject. A hundred feet in the air, you frantically spray bullets down at the ground as the enemy titan-pilot awaits your landing. Conveniently, you’ve landed on top of the enormous satellite your team was assigned to destroy. Launching an anti-titan missile from up high, you destroy the enemy vehicle and safely land in the chaos of the fray. Sadly for you, there were three more unfriendly titans, loaded with gauss canons and rapid-fire rocket launchers.
If you think Call of Duty is fast-paced, you’ve got another think coming. Developer Respawn has advertised Titanfall as the future of multiplayer action games, combining cinematic gameplay with the chaos of online first-person-shooters. Considering that some of the Respawn staff used to work on the Call of Duty franchise, there’s nowhere to go but up.
For fans of FPS games that want more than just point and shoot, Titanfall offers the next-level experience. Three story jumps, rocket kicks, and evolving objectives are only the tip of the iceberg. Titans act as a game within the game, offering new strategic approaches to each match: where and when to drop your titan, what to equip it with, and which titan to use. You can choose between three types of titan. The Ogre is a beefcake that absorbs bullets but lacks mobility, the Stryder boasts defense and ridiculous speed, and the Atlas is the in between. Each type can be customized with weapons, skins, and abilities, just like the pilots that control them (who you play as).
So far, based off of the alpha test, Titanfall seems like an incredibly strong game. The narrative of each match is engaging, but at times can be overbearing. The HUD is futuristic and intuitive, but can be cluttered by achievement updates. Piloting the titans feels smooth and graceful, but you’re fully aware of the power you control. The equipment and abilities are creative and INCREDIBLY satisfying to use. There’s some cleaning to do as far as graphical assets and audio are concerned, but the core mechanics are on point.
An interesting piece of information that Respawn released is that, despite EA being the publisher, the Titanfall servers will be controlled by Microsoft. This means that the horrible day one connection experience that every single EA game experiences won’t be an issue; a very smart move considering how important first impressions are in gaming.
Some notable aspects of the game: instead of a boring knife slash for a melee attack, you thrust yourself forward with your jetpack and kick the enemy to death (exceptionally awesome if they’re on the roof of a building). Titans can be auto-piloted, and find you when you want to pilot them. To board them, they literally scoop you up off the ground and place you in the cockpit.
Titanfall will be released on March 11 for Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows.