Hands-On with Titanfall

Previews Xbox 360 Xbox One PC News EA EB Expo 2013 FPS Action

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Titanfall from EA is by far one of the most highly anticipated and exciting games of the next console generation, and Microsoft has it all to themselves. The futuristic FPS takes classic shooter elements and mixes them with parkour/free running and some bad-ass mechs. Since It was announced, I have been dying to get my hands on it and see if it is worth all the hype, and at this year’s EB Games Expo I finally got my chance. Long story short: yes. Yes this game is by FAR worth all the praise and hype it has been garnering.  Its fluid and dynamic combat is well crafted, perfectly balanced and impeccably executed.

I know one of the many concerns people out there have had is that the game looks like a CoD ripoff with mechs. Well It is officially nothing even remotely close. Firstly, aside from the whole FPS element, the games are completely different. Titanfall makes use of its near-future setting to do some really interesting things with the genre. Being able to double-jump or to run along walls alone are enough to separate them from the more ‘grounded’ shooters, and it adds a whole extra layer of strategy to the battle. You wont find yourself just hiding in a corner and taking pot shots at enemies for easy kills.

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The controls are really well designed, and many FPS players will feel right at home. That being said, even if you aren’t an avid run and gun gamer, you will be able to pick them up quite easily and by the time you have gotten your first kill, they will feel like second nature.

The Titans are obviously the biggest difference between Titanfall and most FPS shooters, and they really do change the game on its head whenever they enter the battlefield. Each player has access to their own Titan, and can choose their loadout and weapon set much like you can with a normal soldier class. This allows a great deal of versatility from the player, as their Titan can employ an entirely different strategy than their soldier (for example, my soldier was a light machine-gunner, while my titan just blew up everything and punched other Titans in the face). It is also good to note that each soldier is equipped with their own anti-Titan weapon, which brings a sense of balance to a game that otherwise would just be giant robots crushing small humans.

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Visually, Titanfall is really a benchmark for that the Xbox One can do. The maps all looked awesome, and really resonated that dark and gritty near-future vibe while not relying on the same old trick of “make everything a shade of brown.” Titans all look different from one another, as do the character models. Even the AI characters (who are worth smaller amounts of points for kills) are designed differently so you will notice them at a distance. The Titan animations are some of the coolest things going around right now too, with a variety of different entrance and exit animations, as well as an awesome looking melee-punch attack. The best way to describe Titanfall visually is that “it looks really, really cool”

Another of the concerns players have had is that the experience is multiplayer-only. While I can share the sentiment, having played through a Titanfall battle, I can see where Respawn are coming from with their approach. Each battle fills in a larger campaign, with players picking sides in the ever ongoing battle. Although we didn’t get to see much of the story itself, the way it plays out is really interesting.

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What really impressed me was the accessibility of the game. Personally I have never been big on FPS games, getting bored of games like Halo or Call of Duty a few matches in, but Titanfall not only had me hooked, but also had me doing quite well. In a game of 16 players, I managed to come third (even though I was on the losing side) which is an achievement all of itself and really speaks volumes to how Titanfall plays. Obviously as the game releases and more players get their hands on it, the cream will certainly rise to the top, but so far it feels like players of all skill levels will be able to have fun.

Titanfall is a really exciting prospect, and one I can’t wait for when it launches next year. Are you excited for it? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to check out our interview with Respawn Entertainment’s Community Manager, Abbie Heppe here. Remember to stay tuned to Capsule Computers for all the Titanfall news as it becomes available.

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  • Jay

    I’m quite excited and it’s one of the main reasons I want an Xbox One. Nothing else has excited me as much as this game.

    • Really? What about Dead Rising3? or Forza ? ~MA

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