Titanfall Review – By an FPS Detractor

I don’t like online multiplayer. I haven’t played a single Call of Duty, was drug through the campaign of a few Halo games, and not even sure what Battlefield is. The only online game I play is Left 4 Dead. The last FPS I’ve enjoyed deathmatch on was Goldeneye. Why I am telling you this? It’s important to keep this in mind when I tell you Titanfall is one of the most addictive games I’ve played since Skyrim.

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This won’t be a typical review. I want to explain why, as an FPS detractor, this game works for me. There are plenty of solid, traditional reviews, like at What’s Your Tag? for you to check out. This will be different. My Xbox One has done nothing but collect dust. Not a single game has interested me. Honestly, my Day One Edition sat in the box for 4 months. Hearing the Beta for this was opened to the public, combined with the fervor and hype surrounding it, I decided to crack open my Xbox and dive in. Smartest decision I’ve made this year.

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Titanfall is a straight forward multiplayer game. Unlike Call of Duty and many other shooters where the single player campaign is obviously an afterthought, developer Respawn hasn’t even bothered including one. While there is some sort of storyline painted over a selection of matches, the game is still a multiplayer affair. Normally, something like this would turn me off. I don’t like multiplayer games, let alone FPS’ for multiple reasons. So much so I was working on an editorial explaining my disillusion with game type. Titanfall has changed that.

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No one likes losing. Which was part of the reason I didn’t enjoy playing them. The learning curve was too steep. I was too busy dying to learn any techniques or basics really. Losing peripheral vision annoys me. Coupled with being assaulted with all manner of profanities and racial slurs also poisoned the experience. The Halo and Call of Duty series are just that, a series. Each game building on the mechanics of the last. I missed the boat on both. With this I was able to enter at the ground floor, learning the mechanics along with many other gamers. That and the tutorial really helped. Titanfall is essentially a new game type. Enough new mechanics are added to make the game a unique enough experience that everyone will have a bit to learn. Double jumping, wall running, mech summoning, all uncommon ideas.

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My friend once said that playing games online is like being a normal human fighting Agents in the Matrix, only with more profanity. I still think to this day he’s correct. So what makes Titanfall different? A number of things. The user base is limited as only a few million Xbox One’s have sold since launch, meaning you’re likely playing against adults, or at least, more mature gamers. Of the hundred or so matches I’ve played, I’ve only needed to mute one teammate, and that was because I didn’t want to hear him. The limited user base also means there are less people playing nonstop, developing godlike skills. Aside from the guy who made it to generation (prestige) level 10 in four days, I’ve barely seen anyone at gen 2, and on a rare occasion on person at gen four.

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This perfect storm of solid gameplay, new mechanics, and a limited and respectful user base has made Titanfall a great experience. If this released a year or two into the Xbox One’s life, things might have been different. In a year, the superior skill set will br developed, changing the landscape. The time is now. This game will become a monolithic series. If you have any inclination to jump a new FPS or the genre in general, this is your chance. Get in on the ground floor. I’m glad I did.

Are you an FPS detractor or veteran? Does Titanfall appeal to you? Comment below!

Tony writes for his own site, thecredhulk.com, about comics, video games, movies, TV and more, six days a week. You can follow his updates on Facebook or Twitter. Drop by and tell’em hi.

Someone killed my titan by dropping their titan on it.  

One Comment

  1. Well to start with, great article bro. I’ve played alot of FPS in the past, probably all of them but I’m no fan of the genre. I get bored of just shooting for hours. I like a story a plot, something to grab me and not let go. FPS games don’t really offer that, and that’s not a bad thing for a short pop in and out game of instant gratification. I’ve played the Titan fall Beta on PC and I agree with your article 100%. I have yet to get the full game though as i’m not sure how often I’ll actually play it with my ever growing library of RPGs and titles that I have yet to play. Though If the mood hits me and I have the free cash I just may get a copy and join the fray 😉

    1. Why have you played so many if you’re not a fan? I’m typically a story person myself, but that’s not why I play for instance, Mario. It’s gameplay. For me, this has it in spades, but likely because I got in on the ground floor.

  2. TitanFail has so many problems it’s hard not to laugh at it. On the surface it’s a good game, and i’ll be the first to admit it’s concept is really well done. Though personally i think Brink does this style of gameplay much better, although without the mecha

    However, on the technical side of things it’s built on an outdated (seriously outdated) engine, the source engine. So while at time it looks okay to nice, a lot of the time it’s graphically a ‘meh’. Yet despite this it’s resource hungry. Not a good start.

    Onto the content, while you’re right it dosen’t have a true single player campaign, this is because it was moved to online. What’s more you HAVE to play the campaign TWICE, unless you want to be stuck the bog standard Titan. which is fun for a few hours admitedly.

    What’s worse is the campaign is even worse than a CoD or BF one, which is saying ALOT.

    What is worth noting is that it has a fair amount of maps, in fact IIRC it’s the only game to ever release and have this many maps on launch, which does mean you have a nice variety. However the modes are garbage, and after the campaign is over most of the modes are forgotten.

    However what really irks me, and made me return my copy to Amazon for a refund, was their way of handling the player base. When the game launched they made a post about how they were not planing a season pass, as they were planning on doing ‘expansion’ based DLC rather than the current industry standard garbage. However this was then replaced a day or so later with a new post say yes their would be season pass, and yes their would be map pack dlc, and no their wouldn’t be new titan DLC.

    So overall they’re going back to the CoD habit of releasing map packs with 2 or 3 maps in and charing you $15 a pop.

    1. While there a few things I’ve noticed missing (match making, map voting), there’s enough here that makes it fun for me. I am by no means claiming this to be the be all end all, but as someone who’s missed most of the FPS crazy from the last decade,this works for me.

      Playing on Xbox One, I don’t notice the graphical or resource issues. When I climbed in a mecha, I felt like I was piloting one. That feeling of inertia was amazing. I’m not sure this was moved to online. From what I read, this was how it was always intended. Then again, I didn’t work on the game so I don’t know.

      The campaign is weak, but I think it was a way to ease players into the hectic gameplay. Poorly executed to be sure, but ultimately you’re playing the same online multiplayer game so for me, it didn’t matter.

      I am glad there were 15 maps at launch. This is the entire purpose of the game, without them, then it would have been a sad state of affairs.

      As for the season pass and DLC, they’ve released nothing yet so I don’t have an opinion either way. If they’re going to release multiple DLC packs, I’d like to have the option of purchasing a season pass. If they were still using online passes however, then I would not have bothered.

      I compare this to the launch of the first Left 4 Dead. That game was barely completely when it launched. Four maps/campaigns and only two were available in versus. Not to mention the plethora of content and gameplay that was added over time. Look at the state of L4D and it’s sequel now. While there isn’t a lot to Titanfall now, there’s enough, mixed with the gameplay, that makes it fun for me. I have a feeling they’ll be adding more modes and such over time to make it a feature rich game. if they don’t, then I won’t be bothering with the sequel. For now, I feel like I’ve gotten my money’s worth.

      1. The difference is though that L4D and L4D2 did charge for the updates. Titanfall could have been the next good game if they didn’t fall back on the old ‘rip off the players with junk dlc’ that is fast become the norm. But then it is from EA, that says it all really

    2. Not everything with Left 4 Dead was free, as Microsoft had a forced pricing structure with Xbox Live. Also, let’s not forget the petition that started when the sequel was announced. Many felt they were being ripped off with a new release a year later.

  3. I’m more excited about Wolfenstein and the DOOM Beta personally.

    I’ll probably get Titanfall on PC or something later on from a steam sale- oh that’s right.

    EA and Origin, I guess I won’t even bother then.

    1. I’m not hearing good things about Wolfenstein. Though I miss that type of FPS, random secrets and collectibles.

      This was an Xbox One purchase for me. I don’t like using Origin. Annoys me that I have only Mass Effect 1 & 2 on Steam.

  4. Awesome review.

    I’d definitely class myself as a FPS detractor as well, so I wanted to read something from that perspective. I’ve heard lots of people saying that Titanfall is something new, and I was interested. I’m glad to hear you seemed to agree.

    I definitely agree though, based on what you say, that the time is now. If you want to get in to Titanfall, get in to it now, as opposed to a year’s time when it’s fallen into the same rut as COD and Battlefield. I’ll probably pass this train by this time, but at least I’ll do that knowing what I’ve skipped.

    Thanks for the article!

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it! If it wasn’t for the free beta, I wouldn’t have played this either. I think with Titanfall 2, jumping in then might be difficult. I tried played Halo 2 online once, it was terrible.

      Thanks for reading!

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