by bapenguin

Beyond Co-Op - Titanfall Review

Titanfall is a game much of the industry has been looking at closely. Why? Simply put it's the next big thing from ex-Call of Duty creators at their new studio called Respawn. The other reason? It's a multiplayer ONLY title, forgoing a single player campaign and instead integrating the story into the game's competitive mode. Much was made of this decision, as well as the decision to go with just 6vs6 - but you know what? It works.

The story campaign puts you on two sides of the war as either the IMC or Militia in a battle through the galaxy. Maps take place on futuristic looking planets with a good variety of eye candy. One in particular takes place on an outpost with a giant spire in the middle. The skyboxes are simply amazing to look at and there's plenty of context for the story. My favorite feature of the campaign is how the audio cues tie into it - instead of simply saying you must capture point A - the game tells you why and in the context of the battle you need to capture point A. It's subtle, but it's a great touch.

The 15 maps offer a good variety of gameplay with lots of verticality, in and out of building, and wide open spaces to mix things up for pilots and titans alike. You'll find plenty of unlocks to keep you progressing and customizing both your pilot and titan. While you'll find it's fairly easy to take your character from level 1 to 60, it's the game's challenge mode that will have you coming back for more. The campaign can be replayed as much as you like, you can even choose individual levels. There's also classic multiplayer which cuts the fluff and gets you straight into the action across a variety of modes including Last Titan Standing, a mode where only pilot kills count, Hardpoint, and straight up team deathmatch (Attrition). 

If there's a downside to Titanfall it's the fact that there's a bit too much downtime. Matches last 10-15 minutes and then there's a good minute and a half to two minutes between matches while players customize their stuff. There's no option to ready up so players will just twiddle their thumbs. The other downside is just how quickly you level up - if you aren't interested in challenges - you almost feel bored with a lack of progression.

The bottom line on Titanfall is it's a damn fun game. Battling in the Titan, jumping up and over buildings as pilots, utilizing the game's AI and feeling as part of a bigger battle all add to those moments that tell their own story while playing. Graphically the game looks great on my PC and it runs silky smooth. It remains to be seen if Titanfall has the legs to last in the market with Call of Duty and Battlefield, but even if it doesn't gain the traction, it's done well to set itself apart.

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