Titanfall Review: Do Not Fear the Titan
When the official beta came out a couple of weeks ago, I decided to give Titanfall a shot, considering all the hype that the game had been given over the past months. For me, the beta was impressive for that stage of developement, and I had nothing but high hopes for Titanfall being the true start to next-gen games. I wrote an impressions article about the game and all that had left a good taste in my mind about what was coming in the final release.
Titanfall released March 11th, and in the two days of testing out multiple components to the story, or lack thereof, and multiplayer, I have to say it's not as exciting as I anticipated.
Lack of Memorable Story
From what I gathered by playing through the Campaign mode, you're trying to get fuel and take control of points throughout the missions. Each mission is either an Attrition match or a Hardpoint Domination match. You have the choice to play on the Militia's side or for the IMC to take over certain important points across the Frontier. Between talking teammates and the action in the missions, it's hard to even grasp what the narrators are saying and has caused a lot of people to become confused as to what the point is!
While missions became mundane, the story is only an obstacle to extra Titans.
While the first couple of missions are fun and are very helpful in getting a feel for the game, most of the missions become mundane. You are just playing the same match over and over with no real progression in the story. I understand Respawn had stated that their focus was on multiplayer because single-player campaigns are often short-lived, but my question is why even have the campaign mode if the only purpose is to unlock certain Titans at the end--at least that's what it feels like!
Once you play through both sides of the story you, unlock two new Titans, and that is the only reason I would recommend anyone playing through those missions. Otherwise, if you don't care for unlocking them, then you should just go play the multiplayer.
The multiplayer in Titanfall is really the only reason people want to play this game, and it's been Respawn's focus since very early on in their development process. Overall, the multiplayer is quite entertaining. The developers did a great job with balances how many players are on the field at the same time and now the whole 6v6 cap makes a lot of sense.
Excess Titans create a crowded field and make it almost impossible to maneuver.
The teams that tend to win all the mission usually simultaneously get into their Titans and destroy the other team without much hesitation; because of this, the matches are not long at all. Once everyone is in their Titan, though, some of the maps can get a little cluttered. In one of my matches, I was unable to dodge the rockets of my opponent because I had two team members right behind me blocking the way, and two buildings to either side. If the maps were just a bit bigger, I feel like it would make room for some very strategic gameplay.
Potential Competitive Play
The idea behind keeping the multiplayer number at 6v6 was so Titanfall could become competitive, but as it stands, I don't see this game having any real competitive value. Unlike other first person shooters, it feels a little light in that it's not too difficult to learn your weapons and know exactly what to do to win each battle. There is no real challenge or strategy to this game, and that makes it more along the lines of a casual FPS.
The Overall Design
Aspects like character design, customization, and level design were all handled excellently, but at the same time does not put this game above games like Battlefield or Call of Duty--it is definitely not the start to next-gen games.
Have you played Titanfall? What stood out to you and do you think it's the mark of next-gen?