As if to say we are still at the top of proverbial food chain when it comes to intense, fast-paced FPS mutiplayer action, developer Respawn Entertainment (formerly the team known as Infinity Ward) with much audacity has grabbed our sense of FPS imagination and taken us somewhere we least expected and we are glad they have.
TITANFALL, the bold new multiplayer/campaign hybrid is placing you in the highly trained military shoes of a mech pilot specially designed to engage in combat on complex terrain with the greatest of ease. Equipped with a trusty jetpack, players are encouraged to take to the battlefield with a dynamically new way of traversing any given area. Performing parkour like movements as pilots, wall running in an effort to gain the battlefield advantage on their enemies, players can seamlessly go just about anywhere while steadily pulling the trigger, laying down a barrage of weapon fire, all while moving at a beautiful and steady 60 frames per second.
While the verticality in gameplay has been done before with jetpacks and wall running (well maybe not for a multiplayer FPS), how Respawn has added mechs or Titans as they are called in this universe completely changes how FPS fans can now engage in combat, making the action intoxicating and addicting. With this sort of cat and mouse maneuvering, players whether outside of a Titan or using a Titan, the battlefield already appears to offer a well balanced combative affair that maintains its sense of speed and punishing gunplay, filled with wow moments at every turn. Respawn stated that early on in the conceptual stages they welcomed the challenge of completely changing the battlefield in an effort to offer something unique while keeping the experience familiar to the millions of shooters fans they knew would appreciate their new Xbox One shooter.
Taking in the game on multiple play sessions as I just couldn’t get enough, TITANFALL has striking influences from other popular shooters as if to say here’s what would happen if Call of Duty, Halo and HAWKEN had a baby, the result would be TITANFALL. From the way players can perform aerial engagements, to the quick twitch feel of the reload animation as well as the lumbering yet agile dexterity of the Titans, TITANFALL feels both familiar and new. Even the way targeting is locked on to an enemy as you pump them full of lead, eventually revealing the kill scores which are manifested on the screen, you feel like you’ve been here before, but not quite like this. Eventually players are able to call in their Titans which takes some time in arriving keeping the playing field even.
Once in a Titan, you fell like a beast with wicked destructive abilities but you’re not invincible as pilots can take you out. Titans can sprint, jump, lay down a ridiculous amount of firepower and guard themselves from incoming fire, taking the bullets while in mid-flight which were intended to do you much harm and kinectically thrust the bullets back into an enemy. One of the biggest highlights of the playthrough was when a Titan was getting severely hammered by an enemy Titan, he would eventually make his swift approach performing an insane melee maneuver where literally he ripped the actual pilot player out from the inside of the Titan, bringing his body in for a closer look of examination, just before violently throwing the pilot to his death – Unbelievable!
Of course, if the deceased pilot was more aware, he would have performed an ejection maneuver which would have quickly thrust the pilot out of the Titan straight into the air, freeing him from the immediate danger. Seeing this happen on the screen as the pilot creates swift distance between himself and the soon to be destroyed Titan is quite impressive. Nevertheless, you do become a sitting duck in the air as enemy pilots and Titans can take pot shots at you as you descend back down to the battlefield.
TITANFALL level designs appear to be both large and small as the environments are quite diverse complimenting both the pilot and the Titan. Players could actually find themselves engaged in a competitive team deathmatch of pilot vs pilot and there’s a great chance there are only Titans fighting Titans, again it just all depends on the given situation or the desired multiplayer mode. Respawn was careful not to expound on the games unannounced play modes but they did state that TITANFALL will not have a traditional campaign mode. TITANFALL will be an always online multiplayer affair mixing a form of story narrative to each multiplayer scenario which sounds entirely new for the genre.
We’ve only had the privilege of seeing TITANFALL in action running on the Xbox One, however the game is slated to also release on the Xbox 360 and PC. Respawn has also shed some light on the games Xbox One iteration, stating that Xbox One will be the best version of all it upcoming iterations due to the assistance of cloud computing which according to Respawn has dynamically enhance the games artificial intelligence and dedicated servers. Of course we were not given an Xbox 360 or PC side by side comparison to the Xbox One version to justify these claims but walking away and all we could think about was when could we get our own copy of the game for the Xbox One. It was just so stinking impressive!
Experiencing the games E3 reception, the unanimous approval for the games innovative multiplayer gameplay was a solid confirmation of the developmental pedigree of Respawn Entertainment as the legit development geniuses behind today’s most sought after FPS franchise and now they are full steam ahead to recapture their claim to the FPS thrown.