Titanfall- Run around doing parkour, shooting and slaying giant robots with your own giant robot. I know it might be a little late to write a review but…. never mind. Titanfall is awesome.
Let’s start with the pilots. With a nice selection of guns and five loadouts plus to bonus loadouts per game type, you can make a pilot for every scenario. The primary weapons include one assault rifle, two different SMGs, two sniper rifles, a shotgun, a LMG and a smart pistol that could do the aiming for you. The pistol sounds overpowered, but it’s not a frontal assault weapon, at least not for attacking players. It takes a moment to get the three locks on one player, which is more than enough time to mow you down with any of the other guns I mentioned.
Side arms include a regular pistol you’d find in any game, a pistol pretending to be an SMG and a revolver. Which is totally worth it.
There are four anti-titan weapons: Sidewinder, mag-launcher, archer rocket and a laser. The sidewinder is an assault rifle that fires mini rockets instead of bullets, but isn’t very accurate over a long distance. The mag-launcher is a heavy duty grenade launcher where the grenades stick to any metal object. The archer rocket is a rocket launcher that needs to lock onto a titan. While powerful, doing so alerts the player inside the titan you’re aiming at. The laser is a high level weapon, comparable to Halo’s Spartan Laser. In fact the only difference I see between the two is the shape.
Frankly, the anti-titans weapons are cool but I personally get better results by jumping onto the titan and hitting it’s weak spot, like you would to a tank in Halo.
Tactical kits offer special abilities. There’s a cloaking device, an improved version of Halo’s promethean vision that let’s you see enemies through walls, sorta, and a speed boost. The cloak is perfect for hiding from NPCs and titans, but not so much when it comes to players. The active radar pulse (Promethean vision), does let you see enemies through walls but does it in flashes.
Ordnance, which is a fancy way of saying things that go boom, includes a frag grenade, an arc grenade, a satchel charge that oddly feels like C4 from CoW, and another arc grenade in mine form. Frag grenade pretty much explains itself, however the arc grenade and mine releases an electromagnetic pulse that messes up a player’s vision. The satchel charge is basically C4 from CoW in every aspect I can think of. You set it down, you leave, you blow it up when you know a player is nearby. ‘Nuff said.
The arc mines and satchel charges are very useful for defending specific areas from enemy forces, such as in CTF.
Then there are the tier kits that are a lot like perks from CoW and Halo 4. There are twelve total that offer various advantages to either enhance your skills or grant a new passive ability. My personal favorites are the icepick the run n gun kit. The icepick speeds up your ability to hack by a factor of overpowered, while the run n gun kit lets you fire pistols and SMGs while running.
Now we move from the foot soldiers to the all powerful titans. Every titan can dash, activate a core ability and self-destruct. Dashing let’s a titan move quickly in one direction, however titans have a limited number of dashes that need to be recharged afterwards. The core ability of every titan become available after a couple minutes, assuming the titan lasts that long. While each ability is different, it does grant a powerful bonus to aid in the fight. As for self-destructing, well to be honest it’s only deadly to others if you have the nuclear ejection tier kit active.
There are three titan chassis that represent three different fighting styles. The ogre is a walking tank with heavy shields and armor. It’s core ability supercharges your shields to take on even more damage. With only one dash, it’s not the kind of titan you want to be in a high speed chase with. The stryder however is. With reduced armor and shielding, I personally wouldn’t go up against a heavy duty opponent head to head. It’s better when escorting a player who has the flag from the game’s capture the flag. With three dashes and a core ability that provides unlimited dashes, it is perfect for the job. The atlas is somewhere between the ogre and stryder when it comes to stats. It has two dashes and it’s a great general purpose titan. It’s core ability boosts your weapon damage to rip though enemy titans even faster.
Titans, like pilots, have a variety of weapons. One chaingun, a grenade launcher that fires three grenades per shot, a rocket launcher that fires four rockets at a time, a sniper rifle you do NOT want to be in front of, and a arc cannon that’ll hit multiple enemies in one shot.
Tactical abilities include a vortex shield that catches anything the enemy throws at you, except electricity, and throws it back, electric smoke that damages anything that isn’t friendly, and a particle wall that stops bullets and missiles coming in from one direction and not the other.
Like pilots, the Titans carry ordnance. A salvo of rockets, slaved warheads, a cluster missile, and a multi-target missile system. The rocket salvo just launches a swarm of missiles in one direction. Slaved warheads, like the archer rocket, need to lock on to a target before unleashing a barrage of missiles. The cluster missile fires a warhead that showers an area with secondary explosive charges, making it useful for clearing out rooms or taking down particle walls. The multi-target missiles, in short, lets you lock onto multiple targets and fire a number of rockets at them.
Like pilots, titans can equip tier kits to either enhance a ability or provide a passive power.
To get an edge against opponents, players can equip burn cards to do a variety of things. Blue burn cards provide an amped weapon or ability. Grey cards offer a passive ability, such as being unable to be targeted by NPCs. Green cards let you get a titan sooner rather than later and/or earn experience quicker. There are other types of cards but I’m just giving you a sample of what there is.
With a wide variety of game types, Titanfall offers a unique challenge with each of them. Games like Attrition, Last Titan Standing, Pilot Skirmish and Pilot Hunter are basically kill the enemy games. Capture the Flag explains itself. Hardpoint is like domination in Halo where you have to get to a designated point and hold it from the enemy to score points. In any case, fun times all around!
However, I must point out that when I started playing recently, I’ve been put into matches that were either finished or near to being finished. I don’t know why that is, whether it’s a glitch or the system being stupid, but I don’t like it.
The story of this game takes place quite some time into the future where mankind has developed the ability to cross great distances in a split second. You know, normal sci-fi stuff. War is waged by the corporate IMC and rebellious Militia for control of the region of space mankind dubbed the Frontier. For us it starts when the Militia First Fleet hits a refueling outpost, where the IMC is waiting. After a somewhat successful, yet costly victory, the Militia and IMC come across an uncharted colony where the infamous James MacAllen, traitor to the IMC and former friend of the IMC forces in charge of pursuing the Militia, Vice Admiral Marcus Graves. MacAllen joins up with the Militia and leads a number of missions to help the Militia gain the upper hand in the Frontier, with Graves hot on his tail throughout the campaign.
The campaign itself is unique as it’s all multiplayer. Through a series of Hardpoint and Attrition matches, the player follows the story on both sides of the conflicts, starting with the Militia, then the IMC. While the idea of making campaign all online multiplayer is interesting, it can also be annoying as the only single player element is the training level. And for those who don’t have a very stable internet access, it can be infuriating.
The maps are well designed and offer a unique balance. While not physically geographically similar, in a match like capture the flag, both sides would have equal defensive positions.
While the player element is important, the fact that Respawn Entertainment took the time to program easy to kill minions such as human foot soldiers and automated spectre combat drones, says that they were going to that little bit of extra realism to the situation, as well as making up for the lack of single player NPCs (Non-Player Characters for those who don’t know) to kill.
Titanfall comes with a free companion app that offers a unique view into the game’s lore and weaponry. When I first got it also had the ability to produce a map for players to keep track of friendlies as well as let them know of the geographical layout. Now it seems that the map feature has been removed.
Overall, Titanfall is a great game with many features as well as some faults. I always have a lot of fun killing players, titans and NPCs alike, no matter the outcome of the match. This game gets a nine out of ten from me.