Titanfall (Game Review)

Disclaimer: Credit to Attack Of The Fanboy for gameplay screenshots.

When I first heard about this Xbox One multiplayer First-Person Shooter, its concept sounded right up my street, I mean it's got Robot Titans, Free-running Pilots and guns... need I make it anymore obvious? The team behind this game, Respawn Entertainment, are ex-members of Infinity Ward (who are behind the Call Of Duty Modern Warfare series) and they definitely deserve credit for a really great debut game! So here it is, the next-generation of first-person shooters, Titanfall!  
I was made aware of Titanfall about 2 to 3 months ago when the Xbox One gamers that I know were buzzing about how it was available to play as a beta where you could play a teaser version of the game for a short amount of time. However, you had to pre-order the game to gain access. I had pre-ordered Titanfall back in January and got my code to download the beta for myself. This was the first game I have ever played a beta version of, and I definitely enjoyed it, levelling all the way up to level 14, which was the maximum level you could achieve in the beta. It was really easy to get into and I enjoyed it a lot, so when it was finally released on March 14th 2014 for the Xbox One, I was sure to get myself a copy. The Xbox 360 version will be available on March 28th 2014!

The game is online multiplayer only and the gameplay basically consists of 2 teams with 6  human players fighting on a map for two rounds. You all land on the battlefield and when you or the enemy team reach the score limit, the team who won the match have the chance to eliminate enemy pilots and titans and stop them from reaching a drop ship which helps them escape and gain experience. If you die during this final round you don't respawn, so it's basically your last stand! But you get to watch other players try their luck.
Playing the game is basically the same as other popular first person shooters, like Call Of Duty or Battlefield 4. All the controls are roughly the same, except in Titanfall you can call in and either pilot or give commands to the Titan. When playing as a Pilot, you can double-jump using the A button and wall-run which is always fun and tricky to master when trying to navigate yourself around these futuristic maps. Even the camera tilts at angles to help add more emphasis on the motion.
On screen, you are kept up-to-date about your Titan's current development and how long it will take to be created. When it is finished, you are allowed to call 'Titanfall'. 
When it comes to controlling your Titan, there are different classes of titan to choose from. The 'Atlas' titan has averaged-out stats, the 'Ogre' Titan is powerful with high durability but slow speed, while the 'Stryder' Titan has hardly any armour but is fast and agile.
Each titan has a range of different weapons and abilities it can use. There is a dash ability which is vital to survival as the titans aren't all that fast, and the amount of times you can dash depends on which class you have chosen. You can use the Dash ability with the Melee Punch (Right-Trigger) and punch enemies into oblivion or if you're lucky, punch through a damaged Titan and either tear the arms off and beat them with it or pull the pilot out and send him flying!
With the LB button you can use tactical abilities like the 'Vortex Blocker' which catches enemy Titan fire (like telekinesis) and fires it back at them. Another is 'Electrified Smoke' which is handy when you are near multiple enemies or Titans, but most of all it is helpful for repelling and shaking off other pilots attempting to shut you down. You also get a small Rocket launcher to fire projectiles by using the RB button, which helps out when you're in a pinch. Sadly the Titans cannot crouch or jump like the Pilots so despite having a huge gun, these Tin Can's can prove to be quite limited.
When your Titan is almost done for, you can eject from your Titan (there is a way to modify it to cause a huge explosion as you eject!) and once it's gone, it takes about 2 minutes for your next available Titan to be ready (where do they get the finance to fund all these titans from?).
When playing as a pilot, your choice of weaponry is fairly limited. You can use a carbine rifle, smart pistol or a shotgun along with more weapons you unlock as you level up. 
The smart pistol not just your ordinary pistol, thanks to it's lock-on ability, which lets you highlight multiple enemies within range and fire rapid bullets. The weapon isn't without its down sides though, as the lock-on takes roughly 2-4 seconds to fully lock on to pilots (the CPUs don't have this delay), so if you're not careful you'll be dead before you can even get a chance to pull the right trigger.

Left to right: "Atlas", "Ogre" and "Stryder"

The main mode has several types of matches to chose from, including 'Attrition' (my personal favourite, where you basically kill anything on the enemy team), 'Last Titan Standing' (you fight only in Titan with no chance of a respawn after you die), 'Hardpoint' (where you capture and hold 4 areas on the map in order to earn points), 'Capture The Flag' (the name says it all), 'Pilot Hunter' (a team deathmatch where you kill pilots and reach the score limit) and finally 'Variety Pack' (which is a mix of all the different modes and can be played on any map).  
There is actually a story mode but it is multiplayer with single-player elements. It's about two sides: the IMC (Interstellar Manufacturing Corporation) vs Militia (Civilian Militia) fighting it out over different maps but with a story involved. Honestly, it really didn't grab my attention. I say this harshly because I just played it as one side then played the other, the story is kind of lacking and failed to grab me. The only good thing that comes from playing through it is unlocking the 'Ogre' titan and the 'Stryder' Titan when completing it once as each side.

The levels you play on are stunning that range from worlds like destroyed sci-fi cities to ancient worlds. There is even a world where you get to see the sun up close (it reminded me of Dead Space 2!). It's cool to get a glimpse of the scenery on every map and see how creative the developers got and how much detail went into them, it's just too bad you can't really explore them in greater detail. There are 15 maps for players to enjoy.

I think Respawn Entertainment have done well with there debut game and I have enjoyed it a lot, but I do feel like the game is missing something, and is not as amazing as I thought and feel it should be. I really love the concept, but I feel that the gameplay didn't live up to it.
The biggest problem was that you can grow bored of the game quite quickly due to the repetitive flow of gameplay. There aren't many creative achievements and it is hard to complete some challenges due to the fast-paced atmosphere and how easy it is to die! Games end quickly since the score limits are low and the maps aren't exactly huge. I also felt like they could have implemented scenery destruction, similar to Battlefield, it really would have upped the fun dial, although my friends tell me it wouldn't have been totally ncessary.
Despite this, I cannot deny the game does have a lot of things going for it. The free-running perk when playing as the pilot was implemented well. Also, the ability to record 30 seconds of gameplay (you have to shout 'Xbox, Record That!') is great and you can upload clips of you being a badass to share with your friends on Xbox One. I'm sure gamers will be inspired by this feature and start putting up Titanfall montages on YouTube, hopefully without the overused song 'Crawling' by Linkin Park (good song though!). Perhaps some epic fight music would work, like Audiomachine, which I listen to when playing the game anyway!
I hope to see more from Respawn Entertainment, they have already beat Call Of Duty at its own gameplay style. Judging by this game, I am sure they have a lot of great games to come our way in the future that will build more on what they have already started.
Anyhow, I will now leave you all with a Titanfall rap that I found on YouTube a week ago, check it out!

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