Watch Out For: Titanfall

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Jetpack-powered running along the walls.

Titanfall….the one title that made me slightly jealous of those who will be getting an Xbone.  For me it was the star of very solid showing of games during Microsoft’s press conference during this year’s E3.  Its science fiction FPS gameplay combined with awesome fast paced mech (titan) combat made me wish the lousy Kinect didn’t have to always be plugged in for the xbone to work.  Luckily, it seems that Titanfall is also coming to PC and the Xbox 360, giving me one less reason to feel the need for Microsoft’s controversial new console. 

From what I gather about the game thus far, Titanfall will be one of the many next gen titles that “blurs the line between single and multiplayer games.”  A line I heard echoed countless times throughout this year’s E3, and along with “open world” seemed to be one of the themes.  Titanfall will have single player story elements sprinkled here and there to form the backdrop and setting for Respawn’s new shooter, as opposed to a “story” in the classic sense.  And since the game is completely reliant on multiplayer to function, it will make use of Xbox Live’s new cloud capabilities.  From what I’ve read so far it doesn’t seem to be anything that special at the moment, with the main benefits being a reduction of lag and blocking any abilities of the host player to “hack” the game.  (Will and Eric were both victims of Modern Warfare hacking, and will probably be pleased by this.)  Most of the Cloud computing at this point, for all games, seems to be a bunch of PR people floating buzzwords, and has failed to convince me that this is anything new.  Maybe I’m missing something, but even Respawn’s official blog entry talking about the cloud caused me to shrug.

A Titan chasing down a Pilot. 

Despite my negative feelings of cloud computing, the game Titanfall looks like an absolute blast to play.  Trailers showed frantic FPS action with jetpacks, running on the walls, and Titans all combining into a top notch Science Fiction shooter.  As a standard soldier (or pilot, as they’re called in Titanfall) the player is not completely vulnerable to the raw power of a Titan, and can easily use mobility or sheer numbers to overwhelm a Titan, even being able to jump onto one and unseat the pilot.  Conversely, the Titan can fight back with powerful melee attacks and an array of weapons designed to balance out the interactions between Titan and Pilot.   The better you do in combat as a Pilot, the more often you will have access to your Titan and points are given out for kills, assists, point captures, etc., allowing even new players to contribute and earn some time in a Titan.

Gameplay-wise Titanfall looks amazing and is a must-buy for my PC.   Though I am a bit disappointed that they didn’t go for a more persistent multiplayer like Planetside 2, where areas are constantly battled over and you’re not limited to a 20-30 minute forgettable match among many.  Looking back on my article I was fairly negative and critical towards the new IP.  Maybe I’m just sour grapes because I want Titanfall for my PS4, (there is still some hope) but it really looks fantastic and almost made me want to buy an Xbone even though that would be going against everything I stand for.  To me everything is not better with Kinect, hence a must buy for my PC.

 

Of course, here's the trailer from Microsoft's press conference.