Since its announcement, Titanfall has had a huge amount of hype surrounding it, and why shouldn’t it? It’s the first game from Respawn Entertainment, headed by the guys responsible for the glory days of Call of Duty, only now unbound by the restrictions of a military shooter. Then again, I haven’t been a big fan of the genre in a LONG time, with high sales of the biggest franchises pushing it into a state of complacency. However, after spending way more time on the beta than I every expected, Titanfall turned me into a believer. Now that we’re only a few days away from its official launch, here are five reasons that even the most skeptical gamer should be excited for this Tuesday.
1. The Format
While a ton of criticism has been sent towards Respawn’s way for having most of each squad in this team based online shooter be bot controlled, it actually works in the game’s favor after I got to see how it worked. Basically, each of the six real players on each team are pilots, who have access to top of the line equipment and of course, the Titans. Everyone else are foot soldiers that offer support for the pilots and their squads. Killing them are easier, which nets their own bonuses and experience, but they are still a real danger. Plus, having weaker units on the field doesn’t put any real players at a disadvantage while making your class feel elite. It’s so much fun in action and can only get better in the final version.
2. The Parkour
The parkour elements of the game have been somewhat underplayed since the innitial reveal, but putting them in action is a blast. Blending standard competitive shooter mechanics with Mirror’s Edge type movement, it gives players a ton of movement options to remain a hard target to hit. Climbing, dodging and even shooting has a whole new dynamic, which turns the environments into a new kind of playground.
3. The Evacuations
In most shooters, the game ends when one team reaches their goal, then everyone gets kicked to the lobby and starts all over again. In Titanfall, the match isn’t over when the war has been won. Any remaining players on the losing team have to rush to an evacuation point, where a ship will lift them to safety. The winning team gets a chance to gloat by picking off the losing team before they can escape. If the losers are killed or the evac ship is destroyed, the winning team gets bonus experience and extra bragging rights. Any losers that escape get a pretty view of the galaxy and a cool EXP boost. I’m not sure if this concept has ever been in another multiplayer shooter, but it definitely adds to the fun factor of the match, and gives the losing team a chance to get the last laugh.
4. The Smart Pistol
This might be a subject of contention amongst FPS purists, but I LOVE the Smart Pistol. This primary weapon automatically targets any enemies that are in its large cursor and instantly headshots as many foes that are in your sights. The bot controlled grunts go down in one shot while a pilot needs to be locked on long enough for three locks before you can expect an instant kill. I have to say, there was nothing more rewarding than watching grunts drop like dominoes with one shot of the pistol. It’s fantastic, cheapness be damned.
5. The Titans
Of course, the Titans would have to be awesome in Titanfall, right? How could piloting a giant mech not be? Each pilot can summon their Titan after a certain amount of time, (which decreases faster with each kill). Setting up the right loadouts can give Titans some amazing abilities. I mean sure, machine guns and rocket launchers are cool, but they’re par with the course. But having smoke bombs that choke any pilots trying to sabotage you, shields that suspend and launch enemy bullets back at them and a self destruct bomb that kills all enemies around you once the Titan is destroyed really make piloting these fun. If direct combat isn’t your thing, you can also turn your Titan into your new best friend and have them go into auto pilot while having them follow or defend you. It’s the stuff of legend.
And with that, I’m comfortable in saying that Titanfall has the potential to revolutionize the FPS genre in the same way Call of Duty did all those years ago. My biggest fear is that the game might run thin quickly without a campaign. Here’s to hoping that the final game will have enough modes, weapons and mods to sustain us for a long, long time.
What do you all think? Are you picking up Titanfall next week? Have you jumped on the hype train, or did it come and go without a second look? Comment below and let us know!