Titanfall is finally here, and its had a few weeks to be digested by gamers everywhere (including myself). Respawn Entertainment’s brainchild had an insane hype following ever since it was announced, and it only got stronger as more was revealed. Originally it was mostly appealing to Call of Duty players, considering the similarities between the games and the familiarity with the developers. But once they opened up the beta to the masses, the hype spread like fire among a huge group. Popular gaming news sites such as IGN praised the game as innovative and refreshing. Everyone was on the edge of their seat for Titanfall.
But does it live up to the hype?
Everyone has their own opinions about this, but as a whole the gaming community seems to feel that it doesn’t. It’s also important to recognize that anything can get overhyped and create unrealistic expectations, regardless of whether or not the product is actually quality. Titanfall is a solid game with a sturdy foundation and traditional roots; it really stands out as a spiritual successor to the widely considered dying breed of CoD games. But part of what makes it a good game is also part of the problem: it’s pretty much the same. There is a high degree of futuristic polish to the game, and this along with the Titans themselves tends to draw away from the fact that there really isn’t much innovation here. The dynamic movement system is refreshing, but only because past CoD games and games like Battlefield didn’t have it. Wallrunning, jetpacking, and simplistic parkour have been in FPS for ages (Unreal Tournament, Tribes). The concept of piloted mechs in an FPS setting is also an old one, though this is arguably the best balanced combination of infantry and robots seen in multiplayer gaming. The weapons are also fairly cut and dry, oldschool loadouts with a sci-fi paint job. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because it allows for greater familiarity with the guns for veteran FPS players, but it’s also nothing special. There is no customization in the game aside from loadouts, and absolutely no visual customization at all aside from gender (your soldiers appearance changes with your weapon). This may be changed in the future, but is not currently implemented. Titanfall also uses a system called “regeneration” that is similar to prestiging in Call of Duty titles. Personally I find this to be an unnecessary addition that seems like it only exists to force replayability (you lose all unlocks and start from level 1). To me this seems like an attempt to escape the responsibility of creating real progression and long-term content for the game, though I’m sure many people have different views.
These criticisms aside, Titanfall is a great game. I’ve put many hours into it and felt both victory and defeat plenty of times. Doing well feels exhilarating and doing poorly makes you want to try harder next round. It’s a good time sink with a variety of situations to immerse yourself in. The combat is fast-paced and balanced, and the burn card system adds a degree of spastic change to every match. If you’re a fan of the CoD franchise or of standard FPS in general, Titanfall will rub you all the right ways. If you were looking for something truly new and inventive, it may not be the game for you.
Image – Gamingbolt