Titanfall – a sunny weekend in love

Hai guyz, there’s dis new game out called Titanfall? You heard of it? Dropping the act, Xbox’s biggest release this year, perhaps its most important release in a long time, has hit stores and has boosted Xbox sales by 97% according to most sites. To celebrate this release, I ignored the lovely weather we were having, for a change in England, to get stuck in to this title. I’ve done a few articles on Titanfall in the run up to its release, but now that it’s out, I thought I’d give a rundown of my first week with “the future of multiplayer gaming”. I’m going to try and address a few things I haven’t really touched on before, as well as retouching the points I made from the Beta that had I hoped to see some changes on.

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I’ll start with Achievements; something hated by some and loved by … some others. I fall in to the love category for this, however, Titanfall’s achievements leave me wanting a bit more.

Check the list out here: (http://www.xboxachievements.com/game/titanfall-xbox-one/achievements/)

Through this list, there’s only one achievement that’s really going to be a struggle, which would be the “I Killed Them All”, in recognition of killing all enemy pilots during the evacuation phase; and even this I think I could potentially get with a bit of luck. The high majority of the achievements leave me thinking that it’s just a case of playing the game a bit – such as the 50 wins for each mode, 1000 AI kills. But the easy nature of these leave me a bit conflicted; I don’t have as much time to play games as I used to, so having achievements that simply require to play here and there is the right fit for me, but I also often look at how many achievements my friends have of games to check whos played more/found more/ found secrets, etc, which this completely removes, apart from the time.

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I bemoaned the lack of a recognised story seperate to multiplayer, but I must admit this is less of an issue now that I’ve played it. I was a bit disjointed at first when I fired up the campaign, but it does start to make sense once you’ve played through one of the side stories. I like the fact that the two sides you fight as in the multiplayer are both seen in the campaign and that it tells you there’s always two sides to a story; something which you see once you’ve done both. If you lose on one of the missions (which is pretty much inevitable unless you are very lucky in the matchmaking or somehow carry a team through every campaign mission), you go on to the next mission; something I like more and more each time I think about it, as this is much more realistic. It doesn’t really affect the story that much (for reasons I won’t spoil), but the transitioning between levels works well and the story, despite feeling a bit forced, is open to a sequel, if they feel the need to add the story in to the inevitable sequel; or perhaps into a campaign based version of Titanfall. The story comprises of just 9 missions for both sides, for a total of 18 games of multiplayer. This also means, though, that there are a further 6 maps that you will not see until you play classic instead of campaign. There are incentives to play both in my opinion – which most games do not balance correctly.

Talking about maps, as mentioned, there are 15 in total with the release; no doubt there will be some expansion maps, how many and how much will decide whether I get it or not. The uniqueness of each map isn’t spectacular, but there is enough difference for me – which is helped significantly when it looks as spectacular as it does. Every map is designed brilliantly in my humble opinion – to be able to accomodate giant fighting robots as well as being suitable for pilot versus pilot action, is amazing and shows both why this game has won over 70 awards as well as highlighting how much time and devotion people put in to the game. There are maps that are potentially a bit too large for 6 v 6, but when the Titans start dropping in this becomes a bit less of an issue. It also helps when a game’s going right for you, the map distance seems to be perfect for beating everything in sight!

I became a big fan of this since I played the beta, with a huge part of this being down to just how well this game runs multiplayer combat. I’ve only ever seen one person lagging, plus thus far I’ve not personally had one experience of lag or struggling to find a game or a server; despite the mini teething issues on the first day in the United States, which I’m sure many people will state! The smoothness also transcends into the movement of the robots in particular – jumping in and out as well as moving around the map is as slick as I could ever have imagined. However, I do worry a bit about Titanfall. I worry about how long people will play it; as much as I am enjoying it and loving it, I can’t see there being a huge lifetime for it, although surprises do happen.

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“The Future of Multiplayer Combat”. That was a huge statement and one I’m not sure anyone could carry through – however, it does look like this could be the turning point; where games start focusing on mutliplayer combat as being the main selling point. The ‘Generations’ aspect is exactly the same as COD’s ‘Prestige’, yet I hear they’ve added a twist to this: by ‘regenerating’ and starting the next generation, your challenges will reset as usual, but you get a multiplication factor added on, to speed you through those levels again; which reaches the point of 3.5x experience by the time you get round to going after the Tenth generation!

I had some suggestions about the Beta that I hoped we’d see added which haven’t come through for me. Firstly, the lack of customisation on your Titan. The game would feel so much more personal and more deeply connected with your character if there was some level of customisation, be it whether you could change the colour of the exoskeleton, or add some stickers/markings – however, after the scandal of Stick of Truth not letting you choose your gender (which actually comes down to the story), it’s nice to see you can change gender easily. Another thing is that there are only three types of Titan but, being greedy, I’d like more, through three does give you more than enough choice with weapon, ordinance ability and so many other customisation parts down to level that I often stick to just the Atlas! The Stryder I don’t really play; whereas I can see Ogre being useful for Last Titan Standing in particular!