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Wednesday
Apr022014

Titanfall Mini-Review

By now you've read all the reviews for Titanfall that you can stand, so I'll keep this fairly short. Titanfall's good.

Okay, longer than that.You feel pretty damn powerful in a Titan.

Basically, in the lead up to the game's launch I wasn't terribly excited. I didn't think it looked massively game changing but kept hearing "you just have to play it for yourself." Well, after playing it for myself, I can confirm that playing is believing.

The game feels silky smooth. You glide around the battlefield, running up and bouncing off walls, elegantly taking out the enemy forces as you go. Movement feels effortless and you're always in control. In hours of playing I only felt like I lost control a few times, which is a testament to how well the game is made (as opposed to a game like Assassin's Creed, where feeling in control is a rarity.)

The main mechanic that sets the game apart from other First Person shooters are the Titans. Titans are huge robot suits that basically act as your kill streak. Killing enemies or taking objectives reduces the cooldown of your Titan, but if you're bad at the game, you still get your Titan time. If you, hypothetically, don't kill a single enemy or score a single point, your Titan will still have gone on cooldown within a few minutes. Parading around in a Titan feels pretty good, although I found it to be most thrilling when running around outside my Titan, when there were enemy Titans in play. To destroy an enemy Titan when you're on foot you have to use your superior agility, and a touch of stealth to either hit it with your anti-Titan weapon, or to climb on top of it. Jumping on top of an enemy Titan, your character rips a panel off the top of it, leaving a weak spot for you to barrage with whatever bullets you have available, which for me was usually a pistol. There's nothing quite like the feeling of straddling a bucking Titan whilst unloading pistol clip after pistol clip into it's exposed brain. So satisfying.

The gameplay is, floor to ceiling, exemplary. It just doesn't stop feeling satisfying, which is getting more and more rare in this day and age. The game isn't without fault though, as it's pretty barebones.

Short little scenes like this are about as complex as the game's story gets.The "Campaign" is a joke. You play multiplayer matches and, whilst you fight the other team, a radio play happens in the background. You can't pay full attention to the story happening because you're too busy playing the actual game, and the bits of story you can make out, are of so little consequence that it's impossible to care. The game's story is split up into half, with each half taking place in one of the game's 2 different factions. In fairness to Respawn, it is kind of clever the way that, no matter if you win or lose your match, they still find a way for the story to progress. For example, if you win on the "refuelling" stage, the dialogue after the match says "We got all the fuel we need, good job"; whereas if you lose the match on the same level, it will say "Well we lost, but we managed to get just enough fuel to last us a few months" and the story keeps progressing. It's elegant, though it shouldn't be necessary in the first place! This game is made by the same team that were behind Call of Duty 4, a game that changed the way we think about single player Campaigns, and yet there's not even an attempt to replicate anything like that. Compared to what this same team has done in the past, Titanfall's sorry excuse for a "Campaign" is an absolute joke.

Another section where features feel lacking is in multiplayer. Don't get me wrong, there are enough modes for you to sink your teeth into, but your customization options feel absolutely tiny. Again, this is the team behind Call of Duty 4, one of the best, most customizable multiplayer games of all time, and what they've come up with here feels pedestrian by their own standards. Looking at the list of things you can unlock up to level 50, nothing among those perks/weapons/unlocks feels game changing in any way. Perhaps that's the point? A dedicated sniper class wouldn't do well in Titanfall, you HAVE to embrace your own manoeuvrability or else you'll die to everyone else who's embracing theirs, but still, I can't help but feel a sense of disappointment every time ielevl up, because I'm never earning anything truly exciting.

Ultimately, I really do recommend Titanfall. Though it's lacking in some very key areas, the feeling of just playing the game is intoxicating. It's kept me coming back, on and off, for 2 weeks now just so I can get that exhilarating feeling all over again. I'm being harsh with my score, but that's only because of how excessively disappointed I was by the areas that game was lacking. Essentially the game scores a 5/5 for gameplay, but a lot lower when it comes to features, so wait until it drops in price before picking it up, but make sure you do pick it up eventually, because after all, playing IS believing, right?

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Titanfall is out now for Xbox One and PC.

Reader Comments (3)

very good review, i agree 100%
February 22, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterjarred johnson
The above comment is lying!
February 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCondomania
I don't play Titanfall but this review is very good. I might give it a whirl sometime
February 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMrs McAnuff

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