The lights are on
Titanfall releases on March 11 for Xbox One and PC, with a release on 360 just a few weeks later on March 25. The game promises to be one of the biggest releases for Microsoft’s new console, and a potent litmus test for the kind of experiences we gamers can look forward to on this new generation of hardware and software.
If you’re still trying to make up your mind about playing Titanfall, or you just want to discuss what you’re looking forward to, check out our picks for the reasons that Titanfall should be on your radar, and then hop down to the comments to share the reasons you're stoked.
Matches With Structure
Many multiplayer games (including some of the best) offer tight and fast-paced combat encounters that repeat again and again over the course of a match. The locations of those encounters and its participants change, but the fundamental experience near the beginning of the match is very similar to the experience later in the match. Titanfall changes this up by communicating a discrete arc to each match. Early on in most match types, the battles are small and skirmish-like, as each team feels out the other, and jockeys for position on the board. As the first Titans begin to arrive, the battle ramps up. Eventually, the presence of multiple Titans, entrenched positions, and heavy firepower help the action explode. Finally, with the battle won or lost, a discrete epilogue offers some final opportunities to score, and completes the dramatic arc of the match.
Pull it all together, and each match feels like its own story, and players are caught up in the excitement. Each match type offers a twist on this form, but every match we’ve played is enhanced by thesense of escalating action.
Balanced And Rewarding To Multiple Playstyles
It doesn’t matter how good the art, fiction, and sound effects are if your shooting experience feels substandard. Thankfully, the team at Respawn has a deep well of experience to draw on from their days working on Call of Duty, and based on our experience with the beta, the weapons and one-on-one combat exchanges in Titanfall feel tight and intense.
Equally important, Titanfall feels balanced and rewarding to multiple styles of play. Whether you run along walls as a Pilot, snipe from rooftops, cloak yourself in dark corridors, or you rush to get your Titan and throw down with other Titans in the streets, the action and rewards are always compelling and exciting. Most matches reward XP for lots of different types of actions, so being the fastest on the draw isn’t the only factor in how well you can help your team.
By rewarding multiple styles of play, Titanfall has the potential to keep players involved for the long haul.
These days, a multiplayer shooter is only as good as its progression system, which keeps players hooked with regular new rewards, upgrades, and unlocks. Titanfall’s beta offered a glimpse of Respawn’s strategy for player investment, and the full game only promises more opportunities for growth.
Whether you pay attention to them or not, a regular flow of challenges are completed as you play based on all sorts of activities you complete during matches. In turn, the XP from those challenges adds to the standard XP acquired in a match, helping to level you up. With new levels come new unlocks of weapons, equipment, and kits.
In addition, Titanfall includes a system that earns you Burn Cards, which are one-use items to boost a particular ability during one respawn of a match. Some give you an improved version of a weapon, others offer XP boosts, and still others change enemy AI behavior. Earning these burn cards is a lot of fun, and setting which ones to bring into the next match gives you something to do as you wait for a new match to begin.
Battle At Multiple Scales
On a fundamental level, few things help Titanfall stand out as much as its continually shifting sense of scale. Every map in the game is built to support play on a large scale (as a Titan) and at a much smaller scale (as a Pilot). As a result, the already sprawling and varied game stages are filled with opportunities for discovery and exploration.
Play Attrition on Angel City, and you could conceivably spend the entire time sneaking through buildings or hanging out on rooftops, sniping enemy pilots and Titans alike. But play that same map in Last Titan Standing, and you’re forced to come to terms with the wide avenues and passages that allow you to move across the battlefield in your towering walking tank. When those two scales of combat interact with one another is when things really feel different than most other multiplayer games on the market.
Story-based Multiplayer Matches
Respawn has promised that Titanfall includes what they call campaign multiplayer. Rooted in the fundamentals of the game’s multiplayer matches, the campaign promises to offer some context, characters, and narrative depth to what otherwise might just be a setting filled with giant walking mechanized tanks.
While the details of campaign multiplayer remain largely undisclosed, Respawn has openly talked about the major players in the conflict. The game is set in a distant future in which humanity has settled distant reaches of outer space. The Interstellar Manufacturing Corporation (the IMC) is a powerful commercial/military force looking to exploit this frontier of planets, while the Militia is fiercely protective of the frontier and its resources. It will be fun to see how Respawn unfolds the conflict between the two forces while simultaneously keeping the focus on fast, fierce multiplayer combat.
Are you excited about Titanfall? What features of the game are the biggest draws for you? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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