Let’s get one thing straight here – “Titanfall” is essentially Microsoft’s attempt at building an exclusive multiplayer-centric title that’s capable of somehow evolving the FPS genre. Whether or not they accomplished this, you can’t deny that Titanfall artfully integrates all the various things we love about online matchmaking into one potent stew.
First off, the action is by default, sort of frantic, with loads of players scrawling across the various maps inflicting damage at will in increasingly unpredictable ways. This is offset by the dualistic nature of the game itself, which pits large, bulky and visually imposing robotic mechs against smaller free-running “pilots”. The dichotomy which exists between these two states of being opens the door to some very interesting gameplay. One might even say that all of the various FPS tropes have been neatly melded together in Titanfall to deliver a sort of no-holds-barred kind of experience. It’s those tense moments when you see a mech clomping across an open area near your location, where you’re trying to decide when / if / how to make a move that make this game such a blast.
Of course what makes this game so interesting (aside from the action itself) is the artful way that the concept of a single player campaign has been blended with online play. Seriously, this isn’t just some loose concept featuring the same generic space marine plot we’ve already heard a million times across a linear backdrop, you actually take on your campaign enemies directly as they too are often human-controlled. It’s this fully user-generated dynamic that makes Titanfall such an unforgettable experience; likewise, because of the “human” factor, the title retains a certain replay value that other games simply cannot compete with.
At its heart however, Titanfall is all about combat within the context of options. The sheer number of ways you can navigate the landscape as a pilot is in and of itself, impressive. So too is the level design, which is chock-full of nooks to explore both above and below. When you combine the furious FPS gameplay with the deliberately complex maps you have a game that is actually very tactical in nature. In short, just because you’re extremely accurate with headshots doesn’t mean that you’ll be immensely successful in Titanfall (although it certainly helps). You’ll also need to learn to work with your team and utilize your environment to take advantage of various opportunities. In fact, one might even say that the sprawling and complex way that levels are laid out is what makes this title feel so dynamic and expressive, seemingly boundless as a FPS.
Possessing some truly amazing graphics and detail as well as a highly addictive and deep gameplay system, Titanfall is a truly great showing for a completely new IP. Moreover, there’s plenty of forward momentum and artistic directions for the game to move in, implying that it will likely be around for quite some time. Is this an evolution of the first-person shooter? Well, in many ways it certainly is just that – a game that expertly fuses together various elements which gamers have long-been fascinated with. Regardless, if you own an Xbox One, 360 or are a PC gamer and enjoy FPS and multiplayer action, Titanfall should not be missed.