When I started this blog, I asked people I knew for suggestions on things to write about. Knowing how much of a gamer I am, a few people asked me to review the new game Titanfall. After the jump, catch my review of the popular game.
Official Titanfall Homepage
Knowing the back story of the game's creator, Respawn, I was excited for the game. For those of you who do not know the back story, here it is: Respawn is/was the top tier talent and management from Infinity Ward in between Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 and Modern Warfare 3. After the huge success of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Activision and Infinity Ward came together with a business agreement. Part of that agreement was that after Modern Warfare 2 was finished, Infinity Ward could work on another game before coming back to do Modern Warfare 3. While no one is privy to everything that happened except a few people, that did not happen. Activision forced Modern Warfare 3 to be the next game in development. The former owners of Infinity Ward, now the management of the group for Activision, pushed back. Both sides argued, fought, and in the end Activision terminated the former owners. When they left, most of the top tier talent in place left with them. This left Activision scrambling to get help to finish Modern Warfare 3, which is why other studios were involved in the game's development. Everyone that left, for the most part, ended up at Respawn. They began creative work and that work became Titanfall.
The first thing that happens when you turn the game on is that it puts you through a tutorial to learn the game's mechanics. This is disguised as pilot training. This is short and quick and only takes 15-30 minutes. Titanfall is the story of a fight between two groups: the IMC and the frontier Militia rebelling against them. There is no single player in this game. It is online only. The campaign is basically a set of multiplayer matches with some story elements written into them to describe what is going on as the frontier rebels against the control of the government. Completing this campaign twice, once on each side, unlocks two additional types of Titans for you to use in the game.
Now, let's get to the heart of the game. Titanfall is all about making sure you are in the action. The game is extremely fast paced. Whether you are a pilot running up a wall to get to a better viewpoint or a Titan dashing around and blowing everything up, there is always something going on. Part of this is because the game also adds CPU based characters into the game as support units, AKA minions. (No, not those adorable little yellow guys from Despicable Me)
Minions are there to serve as fodder and keep the action going. While they can kill you, they have to work much harder to do so than you have to work to kill them. They also let those who are not great at killing other humans feel like they are contributing to the team's overall efforts.
The game has intense and amazing moments. I was playing with a friend, and I watched as an enemy pilot jumped onto his Titan. Before I could shoot the enemy, my friend jumped out of his mech, shot the enemy in the face, initiated getting back into his mech (by means of the mech grabbing him with its arm and shoving him inside no less), and went back to blowing things up. He then went toe to toe with another Titan, with my help, that ended with him ripping said Titan's arm off. I, seeing a distant teammate in need of help, used a zip line to cross the map, dropped down while cloaked, and assassinated the enemy. At one point on a map, I had locked down a strategic spot on the map only to have an enemy Titan crush me beneath its foot as it landed into the game.
All in all, the game is fast paced fun. Going back to Call of Duty afterwards, the game felt extremely slow and quiet.
While the game has many high points, it does have some weak points as well. As an online only game, if XBox live is down or your Internet is down, this game cannot be played. With no single player campaign/game its hard to swallow full price for the game. Also, the game suffers from some screen tearing and frame rate jumps at times on the XBox 360. I cannot judge that on other systems as I only own the 360. Also, the matchmaking system needs a few tweaks for balance issues, but that has already been announced as a fix in progress.
Overall, I feel that the game is a great game, a worthy first game from a new studio, and that everyone should give it a try.
My score: 88/100.