Titanfall is the first HUGE game of the new console generation, and as such has tons of hype to live up to. It does so with flying colors.
The guys that gave us modern warfare have done it again, creating a new template for others to try and follow in the next generation of twitch based shooters. Titanfall is everything you love about fast based first person shooters and then some. The three biggest additions are movement, cannon fodder, and Titans.
The movement in Titanfall is probably most comparable with Mirrors Edge with its first person “jump kit” assisted parkour style wall running, double jumping, and hanging off the sides of buildings. Putting this into a multiplayer game is brilliant. It allows for fast traversal over the huge maps needed to accommodate the Titans as well as adding a vertical aspect not scene in most shooters.
The cannon fodder consists of AI controlled grunts. This helps to fill out the map, turning 6 on 6 games into crowded killing fields. Again with the size of the maps needed for the Titans you could run around for quite a while without running into any pilots. To counter act this the game kills out the map with about 100 grunts per team throughout the course of a match. They are easy to kill and help to keep things interesting.
Finally there are the Titans. Giant Mechs called down from space to dominate the battlefield. This makes for an interesting progression is your average multiplayer game. Each team starts out running around killing as many enemy pilots and grunts as possible. This increases your score as well as speeds up the time until you can call in your Titan. After a couple minutes the game will change as the first Titans start to get called in. At this point the game is all about killing Titans.
Like all other mulitplayer games there is still XP, challenges, and customization of your load outs ; both pilot and Titan. There also “Burn Cards”. One time use perk cards that last as long as you are able to stay alive.
My only fears with this game are the lack of customization and a single player experience. In games like Call of Duty you unlock a new weapon or perk every time you level up. In Titanfall the goodies seem to be spaced out a little more.
The lack of a single player is a little annoying, but doesn’t bother me near as much as it seems to others. Games like Titanfall and Battlefield are meant to be played online; as of this writing I haven’t even touched the Battlefield 4 campaign. On the flip side, last years Tombraider (a favorite of The Gamer Cave) spent a bunch of money on a multiplayer game mode that was of almost no interest to anybody. I note that because Square Enix stated that Tombraider failed to make sales projections’ I can’t help but wonder if they would have been able to make a higher profit if they hadn’t attempted to jam a multiplayer mode into a single player franchise.
Titanfall does have a campaign mode, but it is simply a few cutscenes and voice-overs added to regular online matches. It does make me wonder however; were we able to get this next generation shooter so close to release only by not taking the time to create a single player experience?
That being said, I plan to play this game pretty much non-stop for the foreseeable future. It seems most of my “Call of Duty” buddies have made the switch after a slightly disappointing multiplayer in Ghosts following the greatness of Black Ops 2.