Adopt your giant mech baby today!
As one of the more hyped games of the season, Titanfall has presumably met expectations. But just barely. Developed by Respawn Entertainment which co-created the successful Call of Duty franchise, there was a fear that the highly anticipated Titanfall would fall victim to old FPS tropes so prevalent in COD. When you first look at Titanfall, it's very easy to see what has been tried and true in FPS history. The art style is grungy realism, the maps and environments are dilapidated villages and industrial complexes, and perhaps the only depart from COD and Battlefield sameness is the sci-fi element distributed throughout. Yet, Titanfall plays and it plays fast.
At first, it might not be so apparent what makes Titanfall an immense joy to play, but you know it has something to do with the thrill of watching your giant mech (the Titans of Titanfall) drop from the sky. It also has to do with mobility, lots and lots of mobility. In Titanfall, each player pilot, customized to suit you, and their mech Titans fight in matches that have 12 players most at a time. The game is fast-paced: you'll run fast, jump fast, kill fast and die fast—and you have to to keep up with other players on the map.
Titanfall aids gameplay with parkour abilities and a population (large or small depending on the map) of AI minion soldiers, which may be the least important cog in this unique system, but nonetheless significant despite being dumb as bricks. The true bread and butter of Titanfall lies in its blend of fleet-footed, cartwheeling combat as a Pilot and its lumbering, tactical episodes as a Titan: two disparate and distinct combat forms melding together to create a battlefield beyond COD dullness.
The things that drag Titanfall down are its lackluster campaign mode, uninventive multiplayer modes, and ironically unintelligent artificial intelligence. The multiplayer modes include Attrition and Pilot Hunter (both traditional Team Deathmatches), Hardpoint Domination (a classic capture and defend mode), Capture the Flag (self-explanatory), and a mildly unique Last Titan Standing, wherein each player starts the match in their Titans and have only a single life. Through multiplayer matches, players earn experience points that unlock new equipment and abilities that allow customization of their pilots and Titans.
Titans range from cumbersome to agile with the Atlas (an all-around balanced mech), the Ogre (a heavy-hitting, slow monster), and the Stryder (an agile, zippy little mech). Despite its drawbacks, Titanfall has received generally positive reviews and is certainly not lacking in the fun department. After all, half of the enjoyment in Titanfall lies in using your Titan to decimate enemy forces, and what better fun is there than having a giant robot baby?
- Sara Ji -