The anniversary of Respawn’s game Titanfall was celebrated four days ago with the release of the Titanfall Season Pass on Xbox One, 360 and PC being completely free as long as you own a copy of them game. This got me thinking, it’s about time we talked about one of EA’s most mixed reviewed game yet.
For a game that won 60 awards at its E3 reveal in 2013, it has a surprising lack of story. This is the part where I would explain the main character and the setting for the game, but Titanfall has chosen the ‘no-story’ route. Given the games lack of narrative, there is a campaign multiplayer mode, interestingly though it can only be played via multiplayer and has been looked upon as more of an extended tutorial than a serious story to the game. The basics of the setting are that it is based in an area known as The Frontier, a part of deep space to which humans have found their way to and, of course, laid waste to. A place that offers adventure and opportunity like this is going to attract a lot of attention, leading to two main factions fighting for domination. These are the two teams you will end up fighting for or against in all multiplayer modes, consisting of the Interstellar Manufacturing Corporation and the Militia. Briefly explained, IMC is more of a commercial empire focused on extracting natural resources, whereas the Militia are The Frontier’s territorial defense pact built up of mercenaries, bandits and pirates.
Let’s get into the gameplay though, the bulk of the game, and Titanfall does not disappoint. Along with bringing a lot of new features to modern first-person shooters, it has improved on some of the old things we knew and loved from games like CoD and Battlefield. The reason I got the game is because I wanted a Call of Duty-like experience but without the £50 price tag, and it brings everything you love about CoD’s multiplayer straight to a new level. There are a ton of game modes to keep you interested, along with several interesting maps and locations to shoot within. The leveling system is like that of any shooter, with the ability to prestige and a ranked mode if you’re feeling competitive. There are loads of weapons and skills to choose from that can give you the perfect sniping or assault class, with loads of customisation. There is no character customisation though apart from being able to switch gender and the option to skin your guns wouldn’t go amiss too. Along with this, it’s generally good at being a first-person shooter, I mean you pull the trigger and you get kills, if you don’t you usually die. What more do you want right?
Titanfall brings a whole new level to FPS games though, the ability to call down a Titan into battle. This is where it gets interesting, as Titans bring so many new options when on the battlefield. A whole new array of heavier guns and more effective abilities become available, all of which can be customised later in the game when you unlock Titan custom classes, things such as barrages of rockets, electrical smoke and damage boosters. Your Titan can squish enemy foot soldiers or battle against other enemy titans in a tactical game of back-and-forth combat before someone’s mech is too damaged to fight anymore. Sometimes, you don’t even have to get into your Titan if you don’t feel like it and leave it on autopilot mode, guarding your team’s flag back at base or distracting another Titan while you rodeo the enemy Titan and strips its armour plating off. You even after your Titan is on its last legs and the word ‘EJECT’ is flashing on your screen you’re still not done, you have a couple of seconds to deal some more damage or you could eject and turn your collapsing Titan into a small nuclear bomb with the right abilities.
Although controlling your own Titan is fun, you do spend most your time on foot, which is why it is a good job Respawn have done such an amazing job with the movement system. You play a highly skilled soldier called a ‘Pilot’, all of which are equipped with boosters that allow you to double jump, wall run and climb to ridiculous heights, making maps more vertically interesting and adding more ways to traverse all of the maps available. Everyone also has a special ‘Pilot Skill’ that can turn the tides of battle, such as turning temporarily invisible or gaining a boost to your speed, and if you really need that boost in battle, you can give yourself an edge by using Burn Cards that can activate one-off special effects until you respawn to fight again.
Overall, Titanfall has managed to keep up a huge audience since its release and is still being played by thousands of people today because of the amazing replay value it brings. The fact that you can pick it up for less than half the price of CoD makes no difference to how good this game actually is, Respawn now releasing the Season Pass for free is really, just the cherry on top of the oh so sweet cake. Did I mention there’s going to be a sequel by the way?