Titanfall has changed the playing field for multiplayer shooters. Now I’m no expert, in fact, this is coming from a gamer has often prefers playing single player campaigns more than multiplayer games with the exception of a few select games. However I almost always give the multiplayer portion of games a fair chance to see if it has the magic to pull me in and keep me coming back for more. Titanfall has that magic and I don’t want to stop playing it anytime soon. It is just too much damn fun!
I’ve played everything from the copious multiplayer shooters including Call of Duty, Battlefield, Halo, Gears of War, to the variety of Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto, plus plenty of other offerings from less popular titles. They are all great in their own way and you can easily find yourself hooked in as you master of the gameplay mechanics and gain tight twitch like reflexes to dominate opposing players.
I recall fun memories of playing the first two Gears of War multiplayer, Call of Duty 2 and COD 4 Modern Warfare , but the two games I was completely hooked into and sunk hundreds of hours playing online were Halo 3 on the XBOX 360 and SOCOM II U.S. Navy Seals on the Playstation 2. SOCOM in particular would keep me up into the wee hours of the night almost every day, playing endless rounds with friends. However over the last few years Call of Duty and even Battlefield haven’t been able to keep my attention enough to have me hooked. Instead I would move on to my next single player game.
What makes a multiplayer game so good that you keep coming back to replay it over and over again? For me there are three key factors. First is game mechanics, how the game plays when your controlling your character. The movement, shooting, mobility, all of it has to feel tight, fluid, and naturally responsive. Second is the maps. Map design can make or break it. Good maps naturally rise above the crop because they provide the perfect balance for all types of players and game modes. Third is something unique, more of a gray area, but it is what makes the game unique and stand out. For example in SOCOM it was all about the team work, in Gears it was the cover mechanic, in Halo it’s the perfect blend of the sci-fi universe with great weapons, for Battlefield it’s the scale of the levels.
It’s the magical element that the game does better than anything else.
Respawn has nailed all three of these key factors and then some in Titanfall. First the game mechanics are tight and fluid. Second almost all the maps are exceptionally well designed with a great amount of depth and verticality. Third, the magic difference comes in many several ways. The most obvious is the combination your typical soldier combat with giant mech titans, then you have the fluid parkour style mobility, then you have unique load-outs, tactical abilities and burn card perk system. All of those things combined has created for a new type of online multiplayer magic that is damn addicting and it keeps you coming back for more, a whole lot more.
Parkour Style Mobility
To me the biggest key factor that changes the game up is the pilot mobility. As a pilot, you are equipped with small jet thrusters along your waist, allowing you to double jump and quickly reach higher up locations such as second floor windows or rooftops. Now add in the ability to wall run, and you can chain together your jumps allowing you to move up vertically or across the maps through a variety of path ways or just make up your own path on the fly.
The smart thing that Respawn did was adding in velocity and momentum into this combination of parkour mobility. This dramatically changes how you move around in the game. When you wall run and chain together wall runs hopping from one to another or even bounce off the ground and back on to another vertical surface, your movement is accelerated and you gain momentum. Allowing you to move across the map 2 to 3 times faster than if you just ran on the ground. Add in zip lines, and the jet thrusters, now toss in all of this mobility with vertical map designs and you’ve got an entirely new gameplay dynamic that is not only exciting but a ton of fun one you get good at it.
Video: Titanfall Parkour
Once you fully come to grips with the mobility, learn the vertically of maps, explore the variety of routes you can take, then you start to feel really empowered and will usually get the upper hand on your opponents. All that and your just on foot as a pilot. What about the Titans?
The Titans creates another new dynamic that we are not used to in your typical online shooters. Mixing in hulking mechs that are agile and can move around almost as well as a pilot, except for getting off the ground, add in big weapons and you’ll feel mighty powerful when in a Titan. The game changes up when your fighting other Titans, no longer are you moving around as quickly as a pilot, but instead you have extra shielding and armor allowing you to mow down other Titans, pilots, and grunts in your sights.
As a pilot you can take on and even take down a Titan with your anti-titan weapon or by climbing up on and rodeo on top of them to shoot their weak spots. So you’re not at a disadvantage when on foot and this keeps the gameplay balanced. Add in unique tactical abilities for both pilots and titans, such as invisible cloaking, radar ping to see through walls, and smoke that electrocutes anyone caught in side the cloud.
All of these elements combined creates for an excellent multiplayer gaming experience that is a ton of fun and quite addicting. At least for me, Titanfall has created the perfect blend of gameplay that creates for some exhilarating and intense online matches. It has kept me coming back for more. So far I’ve put in around 200 hours, several hundred rounds, and I’m at level 50 on the 8th generation as I continue to complete challenges to regenerate and max out to generation 10.
For a multiplayer only game (that’s right, no single player campaign), Respawn took a risk, but I feel that the risk has paid off. By focusing on evolving the multiplayer gaming experience the Respawn development team has definitely succeeded in breaking the mold and creating something that truly feels like a next generation evolution over their Call of Duty heritage, I know that I’ll be enjoying for a long time to come.
There’s my take and thoughts on Respawn’s Titanfall. I didn’t cover everything about the game, there is a good deal more to discover. Obviously the game isn’t for everyone, but if your intrigued about getting into a fun, fast, and frantic online multiplayer game then I highly recommend checking it out.
Video: Titanfall Launch Trailer
- Titanfall on Amazon
- Official Titanfall site
- Respawn Entertainment
- IGN review (8.9)
- Game Informer review (9.0)
- Game Trailers review (9.3)
If your already hooked then please feel free to comment below and share your thoughts. Do you agree or disagree with my perspective on the game?