Review: TitanFall

titanfall

Crafted by one of the co-creators of Call of Duty and other key developers behind the Call of Duty franchise, Titanfall is among the most highly anticipated games of 2014, having been shrouded in mystery for nearly three years. The visionaries at Respawn have drawn inspiration from their proven experience in first-person action gaming, and are building on that pedigree by taking a new approach to game design and creating an all-new universe with Titanfall.

Titanfall (4)

 

Pros:

 

  • Graphics are really nice. The level of detail in the enviroments are really quite good. The detail work on the Titans are a masterpiece, Shoot at a Titan and see the armour fall off exposing the eco skeleton. Lighting helps elevate the graphics as you see huge light shafts shining through the terrain. Buildings all look different and have posters,terminals etc everywhere so it feels like a proper game world and not a load of empty rooms.
  • There are 15 maps in the game and they all have a unique feel. The town based levels are guilty of a lot of greys and blacks, It has occasional injections of colour but overall the levels are quite bland. To mix it up though we have levels out in the sand dunes or jungles. Here is where you get all the colour. Maps are big wide as they are vertical. You can climb up to anywhere you can see on the battlefield. Little walkways, hidden tunnels are the norm and its weird to play a game with so many options.
  • As well as 15 maps to play on, You get 6 modes to pick from:
    • Attrition-earn attrition points by killing pilots,grunts and titans. First to hit the score limit wins.
    • Last Titan standing-Basically Titan only deathmatch, Start in a Titan and kill your opponents, winner is the team left.
    • Capture The Flag-Pretty obvious but grab the enemy flag and return it home for points, first team to hit the score limit win.
    • Pilot Hunter-Only kills on pilots count. Pilots are us the gamers.
    • Variety pack- Choose this and a random selection of the game modes happen.
  • Campaign is 9 levels and played with full 6v6 conditions. You get a narration over the top of the games that tell a story of struggle. Levels and scenarios are all scripted with a few scripted moments in game and accompanying FMV.You have to play through the campaign twice, Once as the good guys and second as the bad guys. Each bring different motives and FMV.
  • Separate training area where you can go to learn everything you need to know in order to play the game. Its on the main screen so you can re visit it whenever you like.
  • The soundtrack is brilliant with some memorable tunes blaring over the battlefield. Sound effects sound meaty and purposeful. Grunts will call out enemy locations and bark orders at each other.
  • Can be played with a keyboard and mouse or it accepts the 360 pad straight away. You can use any pad really as long as it is recognized as a 360 pad. I used a PS4 pad for example.
  • Keys on the keyboard can be re binded whilst the pad has multiple controller layouts for you to choose.
  • Video settings are expansive, From resolution to AA,V-Sync its all in there for you to tinker with. You get a brief description on all the options and what they do and what they will improve, Things like turn this off for better cpu usage etc.
  • Game is played as a 6v6 human players with a handful of AI grunts on either side. AI grunts will attack each other and go for human players but they are much weaker. Another group of AI characters on the battlefield are Spectres, These guys are robots and are a lot deadlier than people give credit. They will flank opponents and attack in packs. The best AI and I say AI loosely are robots called Marvins. These guys do not attack anyone and instead just go about their business. I mention them only as its always funny when you come across one and kill it thinking its a grunt. Spectres can be hacked and once hacked will work for you and follow you around. They will have your tag above their head and any kills they get, Will garner xp which will be given to you.
  • Maps will have interactive components to them. Most notable being turrets. You hack a turret and it will then auto fire on any Titans in the area.
  • Stat screen is huge, Giving you a full breakdown on everything from time played, to KDR, even to  small things like how many hours you have used a particular weapon. A few of the stats have visual charts whilst the rest go for your traditional text based affair.
  • Challenges like the ones you find in COD and Battlefield are present. I counted over 900. It has loads of simple little ones with the usual sog fest needed ones. Finishing a challenge will usually unlock another higher level challenge, xp and sometimes a rare burn card.
  • You earn xp in game to level up. Leveling up unlocks new weapons and upgrades. xp is earnt from kills, taking objectives,activating turrets, hacking spectres and escaping in the drop ship at the end. Oh and of course challenges.
  • Titans will be available to you every game. You have an initial drop time of 2 minutes, Killing pilots and grunts will lower that time. Once available you can drop a titan whenever you like. You can use the titan and pilot it yourself or you can set it to follow you around. In this mode your Ttitan will engage enemies and other Titans. Another mode to put it in is guard mode where again it will engage enemies but it will stay stationery. A handy tip for a Titan is to use it as an ammo cache. Everytime you enter a Titan you get full ammo so use it at will.
  • Kill cams are back but can be skipped.
  • Loadouts are available, More cutom loadouts must be unlocked via leveling up.
  • The lobby system allows you to group up with your friends before entering matchmaking.
  • Burn cards can be unlocked and earnt in game. Burn cards give you things like double xp, increased grenades or faster movement. Burn cards are activated before every life and only last as long as you live or when the round ends.
  • There are 3 Titan base models to unlock. All are unlockable in terms of you can play as them straight away but you must unlock two of them to allow customization of loadouts.
  • Game runs at lightening pace and running up and down walls works really well. Jumping though windows is fixed since the beta. You have a low frequency jump pack which can be used to get a little double jump. Sticking to walls as you run always works and hanging from walls is easy.
  • XP bar is displayed at the bottom of the screen and with frequent challenge complete pop ups, You always know whats going on.
  • Its accessible to so many types of players. With the addition of grunts, low key players can still level up and be a part of the game by killing them. Its actually a clever idea and one that works.

Titanfall (5)

Cons:

  • Cannot rename custom loadouts.
  • No clan support or clan tags.
  • Invisibility or cloak to be precise. I hate MP games with these cheap gimmicks. Worst thing is its the first unlock you get given.
  • Shotgun is way to overpowered, The range is like that of an assault rifle, it has the bullet damage of 100 sniper bullets and coupled with cloak and jump packs, is a complete nightmare.
  • Hit detection is a bit erratic. More noticable when squashed by a Titan two towns over. Titans literally have to look at you and you die.
  • AI grunts on the whole perform well but every now and then you will find them just sat there doing nothing.
  • Campaign has its moments but at the end of the day its just 9 scripted matches.
  • Balancing in matchmaking is all kinds of messed up. You will have many games where your team will be under level 20 and be against a full 6 man squad of level 40+.
  • No real level destruction. Things like burnt out cars or parked tanks. Walk over one in a titan and nothing, not even a bit of smoke and sparks.
  • Respawn points are in most cases random. They will always put you straight you back into death at least twice a game.
  • No private servers so you and your friends can just band together and explore the maps.
  • No indication on player numbers in each of the modes.
  • Customisation is basically changing your load out and choosing gender. There is no colour of armour choosing or different types of helmets etc.
  • Story is a generic forget it ten minutes later affair.
  • You cannot choose individual campaign levels to play until you have finished the whole thing. This is more of a problem if you jump in to help a mate and miss a few missions.
  • Melee is again more of a hit detection thing but the range on it can be very problematic. I have seen people kicked from yards away and its always an instant kill.
  • When resuming campaign it will always go to your next mission, Thats fine and all nut if the level you want is empty, It will just chuck you into a random one, Usually one you already finished.

Titanfall (1)

In Summary, The game is good and does add a lot of new life into a now tired genre. Wall running is some of the best fun in a mp game I have had in a while. Other things like Titans and the addition of AI grunts is all well and good. But the core fundamentals of the game is lacking. I mean you dont have even a quarter of the weapon selections in shooters. There is no real proper customisation so everyone looks the same. It just feels like a AAA game with a few gimmicks palming off gamers with just a few in game options. Yes it has 15 maps and they are brilliant but with no real campaign stuff and only a few game modes, It feels like it shouldnt be a full retail price game. It needs more content. But dont get me wrong, I really like the game and find it a lot more immersive and fair than other shooters but I cannot shake the feeling that we are somehow down grading our content. You will no doubt have fun and will level up quite quickly, But once you have gone round the ranking system a few times and see everything a map has to offer, What is there to keep you coming back? Challenges only go so far. Its a good replacement for Friday night sessions and will conjure up more epic moments than most games before it but it will always fill like a half full kind of game. But I suppose the only way we will get more content for it is if people buy it so please go buy it and have some fun.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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