By now the reviews are out and people are talking a lot about Titanfall. I wouldn’t bother to write a review because at this point it would be totally redundant, but I would like to touch on some aspects of the fantastic game, and perhaps clarify my own thoughts. Just a warning, even though I don’t spoil anything about the story, there perhaps may be some sensitive material in this opinion piece. If you wish to experience it yourself, then you are more then welcome to read this at another time. Please do come back and read it, because I want to be popular. On with the show!
No Single Player
That’s right. Titanfall does not have a core single player component to the game. I’m personally okay with that. I would much rather have the team focus on a great multi-player title then forcefully make a story involving the characters. On the contrary, it’s hard to buy into a universe where the meaning of battle is tossed to the side. So Respawn introduced this idea of a multi-player campaign.
The concept is quite simple, add more story material what would otherwise be multi-player matches and attempt to involve players in a more immerse style than “go kill these people, just because… of something.”
In this campaign, you control just an ordinary pilot, not some hero with a name and weird facial hair. In the Titanfall universe, pilots are more than ordinary. They are elite soldiers among the general men and women. For my even nerdier folks, think of newtypes from the Gundam universe. In fact, pilots are the only people on the battlefield that can call down titans. The other soldiers on the map are grunts. They are the very social, A.I. controlled bullet sponges that will take a majority of the damage in the game. Together, pilots and grunts make the military squadron sent out to fight for the Frontier. So even though you are nothing more than a number, you are a number that means something to both opposing forces.
This is where my view of the campaign becomes more interesting. Sure, there is a story being built around the events that happen while you conduct in this story, but no one is actually controlling the main heroes. Hell, I barely remember their names. Major events are happening during battle as we the players are fighting each other. Hell, you barely know why you are fighting in the first place, and this plays a very interesting role.
You are fed orders to kill the entire enemy team, or defend positions in certain areas, so the main characters can do whatever it is that they are doing. The action does not focus on you, you are not the center of this universe. What is happening is far greater than you, or the next pilot. This can all unfold into a larger galactic battle between two sides, and I would like to see more ingenuity like this behind Titanfall 2.
Let’s be honest here, they’re going to make a second one.
Unlike other first person shooters, there seems to be a basic variation of weapons. You have a fully automatic assault rifle, then a three round burst rifle, and a semi-automatic rifle. There are no different variations of each type of weapon. Why? I guess it’s because instead of focusing on the guns themselves, the game-play can be better tuned to meet the basic requirements. Plus, unlike most modern shooters with a vast history of actually having real guns, there is no history behind the weapons. Each gun may have some sort of relation to real life weapons. These are weapons apart of the Titanfall universe, and that’s where they will stay.
Would you like to see a more varied option of weapons? Maybe different styles of SMGs, ones that shoot faster than others? I genuinely feel like I am okay with the weapon choices. Especially since I am terrible at using the sniper. Lucky for me, there are some grunts that would volunteer to help.
Making your pilot is a big part of Titanfall. Loadouts are very important in this game. Each weapon you pick should be picked carefully. After all, this is a battle with giant robots running around. I have four classes available to me at the moment, so each one has a weapon type that I really enjoy. Each loadout is also customized to what map I will be playing on.
Customization only goes so far though. You don’t have weapon skins, therefor making me still feel like a part of a unified coalition. I would have liked to see some sort of color customization on the titans at least. Imagine seeing a player on the battlefield, and knowing who they are just by the color.
Let’s bring back a sense of fear in the next Titanfall. Give me my ridiculous color patterns on my faithful Titan. I don’t care who has to paint my girlfriend’s titan pink, let’s just get it done.
Also, there are three types of titans that you can also customize. Unfortunately for people who don’t want to touch this multi-player campaing, you will only have access to the Atlast titan. You have to complete the first part of the campaign before you can use the Stryker chassis, and complete both campaigns in order to use the Ogre chassis.
Overall, my time with Titanfall is fantastic. The last time I played a game that felt so genuine was when Call of Duty 4 came out. Titanfall seems like it will play off of the same evolution that Call of Duty went through. After all, West and Zampella know what they are doing around here. Let’s just hope that Respawn doesn’t force it out every single year.