Published on March 12th, 2014 | by gareth0
Much like Hollywood, the gaming industry is one built on hype and expectations. The nature of the game is to fan the flames of interest to ensure the best possible sales of a product and to encourage people to pre-order the title.
The rise of social media has only added to the frenzy as the race to get a title trending has publicists constantly in motion. Like many things though, the danger of hype and expectations being greater than the final product is always a constant threat.
TitanFall in many ways is the biggest release of 2014 to date and is one of the most watched, analyzed, and anticipated games in recent memory. Created by Respawn, the talents behind Infinity Ward and the Call of Duty series, a game mixing first person shooter and Mech combat with eye-popping graphics is one that was sure to grab attention.
When it was announced the game would be exclusive to the Xbox 360 and Xbox One consoles there was some concern from a gamer base eager to experience the game on as many platforms as they could. Thankfully the game was also released on PC and that is the platform in which conducted my review.
The game is online only and mixes live opponents with bots in a series of campaigns and matches where players not only try to eliminate as many enemy units as possible, but they also can battle to capture and hold strategic points and other objectives.
The game has a high degree of customization as players level up based on kills and in game achievements and leveling up allows access to new weapons, attachments, and abilities which really help the tide of battle.
The campaigns are told from two different perspectives and once players complete the Militia campaign they get to experience the same campaign from the other side of the conflict, The IMC Corporation. What you do or do not do does not really change the outcome of the story as the campaigns are essentially cut scenes as a level loads and do not really give a full explanation of the story. It almost seemed to me as if a full campaign was planned at one time and then scrapped, but elements were left in for the sake of ambiance.
Story aside, the action in the game is intense. Running at full settings on PC with an NVIDIA card, the action was fast, smooth, and amazing. On rare instances when I could look up safely, I saw ships overhead engaged in heated battles and the detail level of the cites and combat locales were great. I especially liked one that had dragon like creatures around while combat raged on.
Players have options for their Titans ranging from the Atlas, Styrder an Ogre which aside from missile and ballistic weapons have energy shields, temporary jet boosts and a devastating punch which can reduce enemy units to pulp.
Finding the right mix of speed, agility, power, and weapons is a matter of personal choice and being able to eject from a damaged unit or ride along on an allied unit is great fun. The best experience for me was jumping onto an enemy unit and blasting it down but hanging on and shooting into a control port.
As much fun as the Titan combat is, players will spend a good chunk of their time on foot. Getting up close and personal with a melee kill is great as is feasting on bots and other A.I. units. The challenge of taking on other pilots is tough, but highly enjoyable as when you take one down you have earned it. Players will have power ups known as Burn Cards which come in handy especially when two minutes is about what players can expect to wait for their Titan to arrive after they have lost one.
I enjoy using the personal cloak of my pilot to sneak up on an enemy unit and my new tactic is to dismount from my mech and set it in Guard or Follow mode. It will engage an enemy or another Titan which allows me to flank and attack from a cross fire.
Aside from some minor connection issues during the first two days, I was able to get into games with no issues and my lag was minimal as I was able to ping in the low 50s for most games.
While the campaigns were fairly short, the multitude of Deathmatch, Hardpoint, and last Titan Standing multiplay options ensures several hours of gaming ahead.
I have not really touched on the wall walking and double jump features as pilots can scale walls, buildings, and such with ease which brings a new dimension to combat and comes in very handy when running to catch your ride.
I hope that the developers will offer more maps in the near future and will work to tweak a few minor things such as play balance which saw me unload multiple machine gun rounds into an enemy yet see them able to withstand that and dispatch me with a single kick.
It is hard to find much to complain about the game as not only on PC is it a visual joy, but the fast paced action and highly satisfying and diverse combat options makes the game incredibly fun to play and an early contender for our Game of the Year Awards.
Nice job all around. 4.5 stars out of 5