Thursday 27 March 2014


After being fired by Activision from Infinity Ward (a company they founded) Jason West and Vince Zampella aimed to bring their gaming expertise elsewhere. While the true reasons as to why they were fired remained largely unknown, in 2010 they formed Respawn Entertainment. As you probably know Infinity Ward is the developer who created the Call of Duty series, right back to 2003's first World War 2 centric instalment. Of course the series has changed quite a lot since then, and has moved into a more modern/pseudo-futuristic setting as of late, but Infinity Ward have made an undeniable mark on the gaming world. So, with the two biggest players leaving Infinity Ward and starting their own company, what kind of game did they make? Why, a first-person shooter, of course! I guess you can't teach old dogs new tricks, but in the case of Titanfall, you can strap the dog into a 20 ft. tall hulking mech.

Developed by Respawn Entertainment and out now on Xbox One and PC is Titanfall, Respawn's answer to Call of Duty. The story here is extremely linear, so before you read on, if you're looking for a game with a layered single-player campaign, keep well away. This is not the game you're looking for. The single-player campaign, despite being inter-cut with various scripted sequences and voice-overs, is merely the multiplayer aspect of the game... Seriously, that's it. Throw in a wafer thin storyline that harps on about two factions fighting for resources and you have Titanfall's narrative in a nutshell. But at the end of the day, I don't think many gamers expected much else. Titanfall wasn't made with a single-player experience in mind, but rather a multiplayer one, and it does that pretty damn perfectly.

The difference with Titanfall compared to other first-person shooters is the fact that the action happens on two levels; on-foot like any other FPS, but also within a massive mech (mechanised armour) known as a Titan. Firstly, the on-foot combat is fantastic, and despite what you're already thinking, it doesn't feel boring or inferior compared to controlling a Titan. That's down to the fact that the player can use a jet pack to hover in mid-air and run along or up walls. Both of these abilities when combined make for swift and gloriously free form player movement that Mirror's Edge only dreamt of. From running up walls and onto buildings in order to jump on top of a passing Titan, to jumping from the third story of a building right down through a second story window of the adjacent building, the on-foot segments in Titanfall are absolutely brilliant, fast and utterly frantic. 

After a certain amount of time, each player can put in a request for his or her Titan, and once deployed it comes hurtling down through the atmosphere and crashes to the ground. They're absolutely huge, and once inside players take full control of the Titan, its arsenal and its unique perspective over other non-Titan players.  Of course, while you can now kill other players with ease, either through your heavy firepower or merely stepping on them, you will now also be a huge walking target. These two forms of play, on-foot and Titan, make Titanfall utterly unique while also opening it up for varied gameplay. Needless to say, the weaponry both on-foot and when using a Titan is top notch, yet does feels uncannily similar to the Call of Duty series. Guns are robust, diverse and deliciously pleasing to unload upon an enemy.

With a total of six multiplayer modes to invest time into, Titanfall has all of your multiplayer needs covered with modes such as Last Titan Standing; a mode that pits Titans against each other with only one life at hand, and Pilot Hunter; a mode that is effectively team deathmatch. However, the biggest downside to multiplayer is that there can only be six players per side at any one time. Titanfall does prevent the game from looking sparse through the addition of a few bots, but it's not enough most of time, which leads to Titanfall feeling a little empty.

Overall Titanfall isn't for someone even remotely interested in a single-player experience. It's for someone who is craving a new, if familiar multiplayer shooter. While it may not be the ground breaking FPS that many assumed Respawn Entertainment would cook up, it's huge fun in its own right and successfully challenges Call of Duty to its throne.

Titanfall, despite being Call of Duty with mechs, is 40 tonnes of awesome and gets a 4/5, []

Denis Murphy

Titanfall at CeX

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