Monday, 8 December 2014

Review No. 87 Titanfall - Xbox One (18+)

Strong Points:
Fast Paced
Parkour is smooth and works well
AI can kill you - smart bots
Titans feel powerful - as they should
Unlocks are exciting - the "wow that's really cool" moments other games lack

Weak Points:
Online only - no offline/story mode
Campaign is weak
Sprint controls are annoying
Can feel a little samey after a while

Rating: 81%

In-depth Review:

Release Dates:
PC/Xbox One
NA: 11th March
Europe: 13th March
Xbox 360:
Globally: April 8th

Move: Left Stick
Look/Aim: Right Stick
Sprint: Push in left stick
Melee: Push in right stick
LB: Jump
LT: Aim Down Sights
RB: Grenade
RT: Shoot
A: Cloak
B: Crouch
X: Reload/Use
Y: Switch Weapon
Down: Call in Titan/Switch AI Titan mode
Left: Switch to Anti-Titan Weapon

Titanfall is a PC and Xbox exclusive shooter from Respawn Entertainment (the team that made CoD4 - Modern Warfare and MW2 with Activision before leaving) and published by EA. The first thing I noticed is that EA was not being very... EA-like. No in-game purchases. No micro DLCs. In fact, at time of writing, only a few DLCs have been released, and they have been in a very careful and user-friendly manner. Anyway, moving on from DLCs, let's talk about the game itself.

Titanfall is a twitch shooter (which means that the key game-play elements consist of reaction times and reflexes) with medium-sized maps closer to CoD, about two or three times the maps on Ghosts. This means there's enough space for Titans to roam, but enough closed space for the Pilots to battle. There can be pretty large empty areas in Attrition, but in most other game modes you'll not be far from the action. the respawns are excellent, I've never been killed within about twenty seconds of a respawn (maybe that's just my experience) but I've heard good reports from others as well. Speaking of re-spawns, there's a timer of about ten seconds to spawn as a pilot. If your titan has been built and not deployed, you can spawn in your titan, which is a handy feature I find myself using quite a bit.

The pilot-to-titan game-play is solid. You can jump in and out your titan as you wish, and you can set your titan to guard the area it is in or follow you as a pilot, and it will engage all pilots and/or titans that it's near.

You can help your titan out by fighting enemy titans (as well as pilots, which I'll get to in a moment). Every class has an anti-titan weapon, and you start with a heavy machine gun and a rocket launcher (which takes a second to lock onto a titan), or you can rodeo a titan by jumping onto it's back, opening a panel and shooting into it. One word of advice - don't shoot into the panel with your anti-titan weapon, as it'll ricochet into your face. I speak from experience. As a titan, you have three classes - Ogre (high health, low mobility), Atlas (middle of the road and Stryder (low health, high mobility). If a titan loses their shield and all their health, they are 'doomed'. There's a countdown to when their titan explodes. Damaging the titan more shortens this, but a doomed titan is still dangerous. It can still attack, and doom your titan if you're not careful. Even when a titan dies, if the nuclear core perk has been chosen, the titan explodes violently, killing most enemies in a radius.

The pilot versus pilot game-play is very CoD most of the time... well, if you're playing CoD players. If you're playing fans of Assassins Creed or Mirrors Edge or any game without standard FPS rules, you will have a unique experience as the enemy jumps round you, gets away then melees you from behind. You see, Titanfall has a very strong emphasis on parkour. In fact, most of the pilot tutorial is centred around it. Players who use the unique wall running and climbing mechanics will win almost every battle. When do they use? When the enemy is either a master of reflexes or is using a titan. Even then, if a player rodeos you, you need to get out, run round and shoot them, which may just be the time they need to doom your titan.

Overall, Titanfall is a strong game. For some it won’t be enough of a game for full price, but I reckon it's worth getting it in the £400 bundle with the Xbox One - you're not going to get a better game on that console as it stands.


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