There are satisfying moments in video games, those moments where you know great things are about to happen. Those moments where you can’t contain your excitement. Titanfall has one of those moments, hearing the words ‘Your Titan is ready’ and then watching it tear from the sky with the sound of a jet engine piercing the battlefield. It just does not get old!
Titanfall is a solid shooter, it emulates well the twitch shooting mechanics of Call of Duty fame (and so it should with the roots of the team firmly from the franchise), and does so better than any of the other competitors have tried to do. This for me made the transition from COD to Titanfall a lot easier. However Titanfall is a lot less reliant on aim assist than it’s competitor. Many COD haters may be drawn to this point but I expect they will just think of this game as COD with mechs. Which is a shame because actually it does have a lot to offer.
Before any titans are introduced you begin as a nimble pilot, running around at will. the movement of the pilot is phenomenal, I love that your sprint is unlimited, it adds to the nimbleness and the quickness of the pilot. you can jump everywhere, run up walls, connect techniques to get to hard to reach places. I mean if you can see something on the map you can pretty much get to it. I have seen some players in some of the most obscure places.
Of course after playing well or after a certain time passes you will unlock your Titan. It will crash out of the sky and await your arrival. The moment I first watched the sequence unfold was a hold your breath moment, it felt special. Titans are powerful. They can swing the tide of the battle, that is why I think the ability to earn Titans is quite well-balanced in this game. If your pilot is running out in the open you are basically a dead man walking. However the skill sets that a pilot has means that they can actually stand up to the titans, all be it with tactics thrown in. Taking down a Titan as a pilot does feel like a huge achievement in itself, which is something I found odd because there was NO achievement awarded for it.
When Titans face other Titans is when things get tricky, fun and tense. There are times when I managed to take on four consecutive Titans without dying and others when I would die almost instantly. I like that you can eject as your Titan is dying therefore keeping your life going, jumping straight back into the action as you land as your pilot. As fun as Titans are it is actually playing as a pilot which I had the more fun with.
One addition that is interesting is once a match is over you have to try to escape the battlefield or stop your enemies leaving depending on whether you won or lost. It feels so frustrating to get to the extraction point only to be mercilessly mowed down by the three titans waiting for their cannon fodder to arrive. However this greatly adds to the reward when you actually manage to traverse your enemies and escape the chaos.
My biggest criticism is the lack of a campaign mode and the inclusion of the campaign mode in the game. The campaign that is included is just an average game of Attrition with characters telling a story in the background. You can’t choose what campaign mission you play, it just goes on an endless cycle. However the story adds nothing to the game play or the experience, I found myself ignoring the voices or just playing on attrition.
When you first play the game you are forced through a tutorial section and especially the areas where it teaches you how to control your Titan even when you are not inside it made me think of all the game play options that the game could offer in a Campaign mode. I think whilst Titanfall is a very good game and a very good multiplayer experience, it is just screaming out for a campaign mode and could have elevated itself into an even better game.
I really enjoyed Titanfall, I think it feels like Call of Duty but does enough to make itself stand out from it’s competitor. It is fast and furious, but lacking a good campaign.