Titanfall is a sci-fi first person shooter developed by Respawn Entertainment. Founded by Jason West and Vince Zampella, formerly of Infinity Ward, Respawn Entertainment and Titanfall have garnered both praise and criticism for its similarities to the Call of Duty franchise in terms of gameplay. Yet, while the game does have some similarities, Titanfall is a refreshing entry to the FPS genre filled with high-octane action and creative features.
Aesthetics (Story, Graphics, Sound)
In Titanfall, the campaign operates much like the multiplayer portion of the game: You enter a game lobby, the servers match you up with other players and you cooperate and compete in the campaign scenarios. It’s an interesting take on the traditionally singleplayer segment that really emphasizes the multiplayer aspect of the title. The story of Titanfall is a broad one, dealing more in lore than an actual, specific storyline, but this is again an attribute of the focus on multiplayer.
The graphics of Titanfall‘s multiplayer are impressive to say the least. Each model and action runs smoothly at high settings with very few framerate problems or clipping faults. Respawn Entertainment’s decision to use a customized Source engine was a fantastic choice, but I will admit it does come with its drawbacks. On the PC version, the models and environment have that clay-like texture associated with the Source engine. It’s slightly undermines the graphics, but not to a drastic extent.
Gameplay (Combat, Systems, Mechanics)
The gameplay of Titanfall is, in a word, spectacular. It’s amazing to see such a conglomeration of very innovative, hard to execute mechanics that are implemented and combined so brilliantly together. What impressed me the most was the level of verticality and versatility stressed by the mechanics: wall running, double jumping, NPC combatants, all of these are mechanics are very uncommon in the FPS genre, but they works so well within Titanfall.
In terms of controlling your Titan, a key gameplay feature, mechanized combat is very satisfying as controlling a Titan has that sluggish, lumbering feel that mechs should have. Each Titan feels powerful, giving you an edge in combat that should be conveyed while you storm around in a lumbering metal giant. Yet, the frequency of summoning your Titan does dilute the significance of having a powerful tool (especially when everyone on the field is in their Titans simultaneously) but nonetheless, it still is great as a core mechanic that gives you an amazing sense of power and destruction.
However, despite the fantastic gameplay, Titanfall suffers from a shocking lack of customization. Both pilot and Titan customization is sparse, featuring a very minimal amount of options with which to experience the game. For example, there are about 8 or 10 primary pilot guns, each with about 2-3 mods and scopes. Compared to a majority of other contemporary FPS’s, the amount of customization is underwhelming. What worries me, though, is not so much the lack of customization but the reason behind hit; is this simply a software limitation, a or a possible DLC move?
Titanfall is a solid shooter that combines a medley of mechanics and styles to create a riveting, fast-paced, explosion-filled romp through a war-torn otherworldly frontier. The gameplay is polished and enjoyable, giving you the tools zip and zap around the map. The graphics are incredible but a bit underwhelming; the grit and complexity of each Titan, pilot, gun and building is offset by the clay-like smoothness common to the Source engine. The only major flaw with the multiplayer is in its customization, which is a bit disappointing. Overall, I’d wholly recommend Titanfall to any fans of the FPS genre, whether you consider yourself a casual or hardcore FPS player.
Final Score: 8.5 / 10
Written and Edited by Tim Atwood
Chief Editor at The Pixel Pen Review