Titanfall. The word itself denotes the power to take down what is great. So why all this hype for another first-person multiplayer shooter? We already have Battlefield, Halo and of course Call of Duty, as well as countless others. However, for those who have seen the gameplay videos and demo’s, it seems you cannot escape the magnetic pull of Respawn Entertainment’s original intellectual property.
Mechs, Jet Packs and Parkour.
Infinity Ward, the developers behind the Modern Warfare franchise created a near perfect experience with their first instalment in the series: Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare. Gameplay mechanics were fluid and addictive. It was finally a shooter not set during World War II . The multiplayer was the first great online experience of the new generation. So how do you make sequels that improve on a game already so good? Well, the answer kind of turned out to be you can’t. Nobody will argue that Modern Warfare 2 and 3 weren’t equally as great multiplayer shooters, however there was nothing new in the gameplay. Why was this? Well, Infinity Ward had already established a user base in the 10’s of millions and became the biggest video game franchise. It would be near impossible to significantly change the game without upsetting a substantial number of these players. Sales already dictate those buying Call of Duty are happy with the small changes made from game to game, as number of copies sold consistently increase with each new release. On the other hand, Battlefield continually adds to their online experience through map evolution throughout a match. But this didn’t revitalise the FPS genre the way it desperately needed. this is where Titanfall comes in.
The tale of Respawn Entertainment is an interesting one. After two senior employees of Infinity Ward, Jason West and Vince Zampella, were fired in 2010, they founded a new Studio, Respawn Entertainment. Now, 38 of the 46 Infinity Ward employees that resigned have joined Respawn. With the original premise of what made Modern Warfare so great still in the minds of West, Zampella and the rest of the staff, they could now craft a new Intellectual Property (IP) that could finally break the mould of the worn out first-person shooter genre.
What was always lacking from Call of Duty? For me, every time you moved in a way preventing you from shooting, such as climbing over a wall or up a ladder, I felt vulnerable. Titanfall solves this issue completely with Jet Packs and Parkour. At no point does it seem you have to stop movement to access a function in this game. It may just be me blanking, but I cannot think of another video game that has jet packs and first person controls. It’s been a sci-fi dream for years and finally it’s coming to a shooter.
Jet Pack attack
What else? Well how about giant mechs for example, or Titans as they’re referred to. No longer are you restricted to infantry-only combat and vehicular battles as in the case of Battlefield. No, in Titanfall you become the vehicle and when you leave your vehicle, it protects you and fights with a mind of it’s own. Yes, you’re Titan becomes a giant, iron Direwolf. This creates three different playing modes in a single match: the pilot with a jet pack, inside a Titan, or with your Titan following you and acting for itself. Also, you don’t have to pick one before a match starts. You go through them during the game itself, truly adapting and responding to the enemies tactics.
And finally, there is no unnecessary campaign being offered that could take time away from development for the multiplayer aspect of the game. Sure a lot of people enjoy or even love the campaign for Call of Duty and Battlefield but it’s the multiplayer that sells units and creates ecosystems. From what Respawn and EA are saying, the multiplayer will in fact unfold a story for the player, however they haven’t commented on the specifics of how this will happen.
To summarise, Titanfall is a desperately needed new IP from a talented and experienced team that offers fresh, new, innovative gameplay mechanics that will dramatically evolve the way first-person shooters are played. It’s the most impressive looking launch window game arguably since Super Mario 64. To see such an exciting game being released so early on in the next console cycle is refreshing and interesting. Although Titanfall will only be on Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC, this may mean future sequels of the game could come to Playstation as it is technically not an exclusive. This of course depends on Respawn and EA’s agreement with Microsoft.
If you are not excited for Titanfall, I would suggest watching more footage because the more you see the more you want. To this point, it is the only thing that makes me question not buying an Xbox One as it would be devastating to miss out on this titan of a game.