There’s a rush of excitement every time that notification comes up, which is only amplified as you see your Titan descend from the heavens above, hitting the ground like a meteorite. With the Titan on the ground, you go from an agile pilot to a hulking metal war machine ready to annihilate anything that gets in your path. It’s not some futuristic “Battlefield,” “Call of Duty” or “Halo” rip-off—“Titanfall” is a force to be reckoned with.
“Titanfall” is about one thing—fast paced 6v6 multiplayer. There’s no single player campaign, in fact the only single player experience in this game is the incredibly helpful (and completely optional) tutorial. The campaign itself is settled through multiplayer matches between the game’s two factions, the Interstellar Manufacturing Corporation (IMC) and the Militia.
The story is pretty simple, the oppressive IMC is extorting the free-loving people on the edge of space and the citizens of the frontier are fighting to get rid of them. The campaign gives justification to the game’s setting, but doesn’t really bring anything overly interesting to the game itself. The player doesn’t get to spend any time with the cast of the campaign, and only hears them through in game chatter and the rare and incredibly brief in game appearances. The campaign stands as the only real flaw with “Titanfall,” since it’s the only aspect of the game that players rush to get through as beating it with both factions is the only way to unlock the other two Titan chassis.
While the campaign may be forgettable, the opposite is true for the multiplayer or “Classic” mode. Titanfall launched with five game modes; Attrition, Last Titan Standing, Hardpoint, Capture the Flag and Pilot Hunter. Attrition is Respawn Entertainment’s unique twist on deathmatch, where killing minions, Titans and pilots earn points and the first to 250 wins. Last Titan Standing is just as it sounds, each player starts the game off with one Titan, and the first team to lose all of their Titans loses. Hardpoint is a domination game type where players fight over three points across the map. Capture the Flag is the just as it sounds, with the bonus of playing with Titans. Finally, there’s Pilot Hunter, a deathmatch variant where only killing pilots awards points. Respawn also added a variety pack which allows players to play all the modes in one playlist.
Gameplay is unique, but familiar. Respawn Entertainment has melded the familiarity of first-person shooters with the insanity of futuristic wall running, jetpacks and a completely open environment. If a player can see it, they can most likely get to it. With the jetpack, players can run across a wall, jump on to an enemy Titan and shoot its innards to destroy it quickly. It turns this standard shooter into a chaotic battle with pilots and their NPC minions fighting on rooftops, in buildings and on the streets as Titans provide a hulking mass of destruction to thin out the resistance everywhere else.
The minions in “Titanfall” aren’t necessarily dangerous, as they’re much weaker than their pilot counterparts, but can do damage to an unaware pilot. These minions aren’t irrelevant by any means, as Respawn has found a way to integrate them without making them a hassle. The minions provide useful fire support and can act as cannon fodder to Titans and pilots alike.
“Titanfall” is its own unique madness, simply beautifully chaotic. It’s taken a unique approach to the traditional first-person shooter mechanics by adding an insane amount of mobility through wall running and jet packs. Nearly every moment is a thrill ride that leaves the player begging for just one more round. The game looks beautiful, each map looks more like a piece of art than a battlefield. “Titanfall” offers one of the best and most polished games out there.
Speakeasy Rating: A