Titanfall, the Next Call of Duty? (Review)

Our game guru Fegelein reviews the epic, stunning, majestic “Titanfall.” Possibly the next great FPS since “Call of Duty.” Deep analysis inside.

aNewDomain.net — Like political parties in the U.S., the FPS franchise is usually a two-way system. Call of Duty dominates the campaign while Battlefield reigns supreme in multiplayer. Of course, I don’t want to leave out you Halo fans — but Halo is an Xbox-only franchise, and online play is so ridiculously expensive that it detracts from popularity. However, I’m not here to review any of those games — there is a game so epic and so over-the-top that it’s ready to challenge the big dogs out of the box. That game? Titanfall.

Titanfall Cover

Image credit: EA Games

Campaign

First off, the premise of Titanfall already sets it apart from the FPS pack. It is an exclusively-online multiplayer game that features a multiplayer campaign, as well as the classic FPS multiplayer you guys know and love. Now, you may be asking, “How do they do a multiplayer campaign?” Well, the campaign is divided into two factions — the Militia and the IMC. It’s a classic rebels vs. government scenario. But don’t worry, the government side isn’t overpowered (like it is in most games).

The player chooses which faction’s campaign to play through. Then they fight through a series of missions where their allies are other gamers, who are actually playing their own campaign in the same faction. Meanwhile the player’s opponents are a host of gamers that play the opposing faction’s campaign line.

This does wonders for most gamers out there. Finally veterans won’t be complaining about an incompetent AI that makes a lot of stupid decisions. Instead smart, competent (in theory) gamers will provide CoD and Battlefield veterans a fresh challenge. This introduces something very different than the boring stealth missions of Black Ops or Modern Warfare.

Titanfall Campaign

Image credit: EA Games

Meanwhile, the campaign keeps an interesting storyline. The player has advisors who give instructions on the player’s objectives, and any events happening in the world appear on camera feeds on the upper right-hand corner of the screen. It brings the player from the online multiplayer mechanics to the actual campaign itself, which for me is just the best of both worlds.

Titanfall, the World

Now, I wouldn’t recommend the campaign for beginners. You will look like a complete noob if you attempt a game of this magnitude. I always say that FPS games have two dimensions: one is on the ground, with foot soldiers shooting at each other — your classic CoD — while the other is fought with vehicles like tanks, robots and airplanes (something you’d see from World of Tanks or Halo).

Titanfall, however, combines both dimensions via the “titan” mechanics. Titans are robot vehicles that the player can jump into and fight with — they make up the premise of the game, thus the name: Titanfall. The Titans are one of the most-interesting and best-executed features I’ve ever seen in a video game. Nothing surpasses the feeling of riding in this giant robot, that has unnecessarily-large amounts of firepower, and absolutely obliterating my opponents off the face of the earth (or the face of Titan I should say).

Titanfall Titan

Image credit: EA Games

The game harkens back to the Halo franchise, where destroying your friends with vehicles became the next big thing is FPS gaming. In my opinion, it’s really the vehicles that make any FPS multiplayer worthwhile. In normal FPS multiplayer games, there isn’t much strategy involved — gamers sneak into a corner, snipe random people, then you listen to some 12-year-old rage over the Internet.

In Titanfall however, strategy is paramount. In the campaign the levels consist of objective-based missions, which force the player to strategize both with his team and in the use of his Titan. There are plenty of pros to Titans, aside from the fact that they recreate my childhood gaming fantasies with awe-inspiring scenes (like firing a hundred missiles at once). They provide veteran gamers the means to take down vehicles, which is usually a huge issue. And worry not, the Titans aren’t overpowered either — each player has an anti-Titan slot inside his weapons equipment, which provides a nice balance to the game.

Graphics

The graphics in this game are another level of epic. First off, the world consists of a nice futuristic setting with realistic buildings and spacecraft straight from The Next Generation (we’re talking Star Trek, of course). The graphics provide much more than an environment, too — players can annihilate each other with explosions, pyrotechnics, and all kinds of good heavy graphic stuff.

Take a moment and imagine the feeling of rooting out a pesky sniper by firing 20 missiles at the building in which he hides, watching the poor sucker be completely KO’d in a scene of combustible magnificence. I exaggerate of course, but it’s better than launching a burst of machinegun fire at someone just to watch them collapse with a hilarious Wilheim scream. The entire Titan world is stunning, while the action is just on another level.

Titanfall Gameplay

Image Credit: EA Games

One aspect of Titanfall that surprised me was the serious RPG components. Players earn experience for every kill, which allows them to level up and buy upgrades and other perks. Classes are also customizable with a wide variety of options, including a choice of gender. A feature unique to Titanfall is burn cards, which are essentially bonuses that can be used after a player dies and re-spawns. Burn cards can be real lifesavers, for example getting a 2x experience bonus on a very tough level.

Overall, this game gets a 9/10 and my personal epic seal of approval. This game has been elevated to a childhood fantasy — it has giant explosions, huge robots, awesome gameplay and a unique take on the FPS genre with its purely online multiplayer component. I say this from the bottom of my heart, even though many gamers will disagree — EA has avenged the shameful stain of Battlefield 4‘s horrendous online CTD’s with this revolutionary addition to the FPS genre.

Until next time, this is Fegelein Puching Zhang signing off for aNewDomain.net.

Based in Chicago, Fegelein Puching Zhang is our gaming scribe at aNewDomain.net. Read more of his work here or contact Fegelein at puching@anewdomain.net.

About the author

Puching Zhang

Based in Chicago, Puching is gaming editor at aNewDomain and our sister pub, BreakingModern.com

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