"Prepare for Titanfall"
Titanfall, the much hyped first-person shooter by the original creators of Modern Warfare (Jason West and Vince Zampella) and savior of the Xbox One launch line-up, has finally arrived, does it live up to the anticipation? In short, the answer is yes.
Titanfall is a multiplayer-only affair that follows the exploits of two space-faring factions, the Militia and the IMC and that's all the story you'll need with this game.
For fans of the FPS genre, Titanfall can be described as a combination of Modern Warfare and Mirror's Edge plus a whole lot of crack and robots, called Titans. Run-and-gun stays true to the Modern Warfare franchise but the new parkour system adds additional speed and verticality which has never before been seen in a FPS. Parkour encourages you to keep moving as wall running provides speed boosts.
The weapons roster provides a couple unique guns such as the smart pistol, which can automatically lock onto enemies, but ultimately falls short of the usual Modern Warfare extensiveness and variety. This gripe is slightly ameliorated by the fact the Titans have their own variety of weapons, although nothing in this line up is particularly unique as well. On the other hand Titan secondary abilities such as the vortex shield, a shield which magnetically stops bullets and fires them back at their enemies, provide interesting gameplay options.
The Titans are one half of the new kill streak bonuses. They are large and easily targeted but they are also powerful. Once a team reaches a critical mass of Titans in a match, victory for the opposing team may be impossible. There are three Titan varieties and, similar to the Pilots, they are all customizable. Titans start on a countdown timer allowing you to drop a Titan at the two minute mark of each match. This timer can be shortened by killing other Pilots, Titans, and Grunts.
Another new game addition are grunts. Grunts are A.I. controlled soldiers that litter the battlefield and seem to only obscure your vision of other Pilots. There's no particular reason to include Grunts in this game other than to make the battlefield feel chaotic as the online multiplayer is only 6 vs 6.
The second half of the new kill streak bonuses are the burn cards. Players can hold three burn cards per match but can only use them one per spawn. Some examples of burn cards include lowering the charge time of your Titan and unlimited cloak. Burn cards are constantly earned through unlocking challenges and provide a new facet of strategy that mixes up the typical FPS formula.
Although the game is multiplayer only there is a multiplayer "campaign" that acts to provide exposition into the war. Exposition is told through initial briefings and HUD chatter that pops up throughout the campaign missions with no major differences from typical multiplayer gameplay. Campaign is required to unlock two of the three Titans, but it's otherwise forgettable with the exception of the Idris Elba-sounding commander who capitalizes on the recent release of Pacific Rim.
Titanfall is undeniably addicting and when your team starts winning it will become undeniably fun, but the game is not perfect. Other than the limited weapon choices the biggest issue is skill match-up. A recent patch was supposed to fix skill match-up but during my extensive play through, low level new players were still matched against "prestige" or generation 10 level 50 players. Another mechanic that is absolutely terrible is the melee button. Titanfall opts for a terrible Mirror's Edge-like jump kick which provides absolutely no feedback or aim. These annoyances may seem few but can be unbelievably frustrating in the heat of battle.
Titanfall shakes up the COD formula in a good way. Returning players of the Call of Duty franchise will need to adapt to Titanfall and rethink the way they play. There are a whole slew of additional features and nuances that aren't covered in this review that should be experienced instead of explained.
The Xbox One features integrate well with the game allowing game record to capture some truly epic clips. If you enjoy FPS games and you own an Xbox One (or PC/Xbox 360), Titanfall is a must buy for your game collection and to break up the monotony of the annual Call of Duty routine.
GameDynamo's Score for Titanfall (X360)
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Mild mannered office worker by trade, entertainment writer by passion. David has enjoyed games of all genres since the original Famicom. He hopes to continue contributing to the growth of the gaming industry through his writing.
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