Game Review: Titanfall

Titanfall Collector Edition
Titanfall Collector Edition (Photo credit: Evilspoon7)

Giant Robots, parakour, explosions and guns –these are only a few things to expect in the non-stop “holy crap!” action that you’ll get in a typical game of Titanfall. This multi-player game practically fuses two games in one, by adding pilot-able, giant “Titan” robots to be summoned at will and the more traditional Call of Duty style foot-based run and gun combat. 

On the surface, titan on titan combat doesn’t seem to have that much depth, but the capabilities that each robot has can really shape the dynamics of the battle. You’ll have to quickly recognize the abilities of the enemy titan and adapt to your enemy’s hand-picked special abilities.

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Otherwise, you might find yourself going down in a nuclear ball of fire. Although, there are only three types of titans: a lightly armored yet ultra-fast one, a very heavily armored and very slow one and finally, a well-balanced though offense-focused one. The mix and matching of abilities can really expand on the capabilities of each titan. As you play, you’ll learn to pick up on the specifics of each ability and know how to adequately maneuver around them with your own special abilities.

Titanfall is designed to make you feel like the ultimate super soldier — from the wall running, summoning giant robots from the sky, jumping on titans, punching the cockpit of a titan to grab the pilot inside and then throwing him away. It’s a wild ride that truly pulls out all the stops — its constant action and explosions will make you think that you’re playing a Michael Bay movie.

Instead of a wielding a knife for stabbing other players, the  knife is used to hack into stationary turrets on certain maps. Why can’t I have a magical knife that hacks into computers? Although you won’t really find yourself stabbing people, rest assured that you can still give adversaries a fantastic Chuck Norris-like kick to the face.

There aren’t too many unlocks in Titanfall, earlier critics chalked this up as a sign of a more balanced and less bloated game, although I found that there was only three really good weapons and the rest of them, as fun as they are to use, simply aren’t efficient enough killing machines.

The smart pistol, shotgun and carbine weapons are really the most effective in combat. This is not to say that the other weapons are useless or even bad, but ultimately they are just flat out not as effective as the three I’ve mentioned above. This is problematic, as a big part of the community has adapted to sticking by these three and neglecting the other, snipers especially.

The graphics and aesthetics of Titanfall leave you wanting to know more about the world you’re spending so much time blowing stuff up in. Disappointingly, the campaign is multi-player only and isn’t much different than your regular multi-player game, despite adding a little bit of context, a cut scene here and there and a generic evil corporation versus some militia story line. Yawn.

To put it simply, the game’s campaign just doesn’t care. Win or lose, the campaign moves forward and nothing is really won or lost for either side, despite having a different ending cut scene to each level.  Because of this, there is no feeling of consequence in the campaign and you start asking yourself why you are even bothering with this mode in the first place… Oh wait a minute, that’s right, because you have to play through it twice in order to customize the other two available titan robots.

It’s an addition to the game where you’ll play through it to get what you need from it, and then never touch it again. The developers at Respawn Entertainment have said that the single-player campaigns of most shooters were only completed by a select few players and most players ultimately spent most of their time in multi-player, so they decided to focus the entire team on a solid multi-player experience.

Although they delivered on their original promise, there wasn’t enough done to explain the context of the world and this leaves the player feeling confused in between the action. Why am I here? What is going on? Why do I care? These kinds of questions ring about in the mind.  A science fiction game of this magnitude has plenty more explaining to do than your average shooter set in the Middle East or even in World War II for that matter.

Overall, Titanfall is a very well put together first person shooter game and is a fairly huge breakout from the tired, old and stale Call of Duty formula. Despite the lack of context and somewhat troubling issue of small-arms balance, I can easily give Titanfall a very high score of 9.5/10.

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Collegian Entertainment Reporter Diego Carrera can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com.