Titanfall


By: Hadyn Green    On: Xbox One
Published: Friday 14 Mar 2014 8:40 AM
 
 
Even with your gargantuan metallic buddy, you will die a lot, man. A lot. Hadyn Green
 
 
 
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Titanfall is fast, man, fast. It’s fast and I keep dying.

You’re dropped God knows where, with only the vague semblance of an explanation. All you know is that you have people to kill and they are trying to kill you. And you can fly, sort of.

There is some lying in the reviews about Titanfall. They claim amazing parkour and leaping gracefully. These people are liars. This gif is something you will never see when you play Titanfall. The wonderful third person shots you see here, never seem to happen in matches. The action obviously happens, you just don’t see it. Not at any speed you can comprehend anyway. And if you’re running, then you’re concentrating on where you’re going and not the pretty footage around you.

And there’s lots of pretty footage.

Titanfall is stunning to look at. The maps are large and confusing enough that you can fool yourself into thinking it might just be an open world game. When you do get familiar with the maze of corridors and buildings, you suddenly remember that you’re wearing a jump-jetpack and can zip about on rooftops and walls. At this stage a bullet is usually fired from one of these rooftops, ending your current life.

You need height, man, height! From up there the battlefield looks open and wild. You frantically and constantly check your minimap. Never quite knowing what the blips mean. The red ones are certainly the enemy, and the big red arrows? Titans, avoid them for now. Orange ones are something else; robots, civilians, grunts? Who knows? The same goes for the bigger red dots that fade from view. Nobody told me how to use this thing. No tutorial in the training simulation covered it.

From high up on the rooftops you can see the Titans as well. It is actually awe inspiring the first time you see one of these giant robots striding along a street, accompanied by other pilots and grunts running cover along the roofs. You see it and aspire to get one of your own. Nothing is more satisfying than hearing: “Your Titan is ready to drop”.

The sight of the flaming ball screaming from the heavens before landing, in a powerful three point stance, will have you yelling “f**k yeah!” and possibly throwing horns the first time you see it. “I am Ironman” and heavy guitar chords run through your mind. Just don’t get shot before you get to board. Even then, I found it a little disconcerting having a giant machine hold me in its hand before shoving me inside it’s chest.

Considering all the speed of the game to this point, entering a Titan really slows things down. Even the boot up time is slow. “C’mon! C’mon! C’mon! They were right behind me!” You would think that being inside a giant robot would make you near invincible, instead it just makes you a bigger target. Bullets and small rockets hit you from rooftops and unseen enemies, usually enemy pilots, shoot you from better vantage points.

Or they leap on you, and they ride you, shooting your important sensors until you die. The only way to stop them is to disembark and shoot them as a puny human. In fact there’s a good strategy in not getting into your Titan at all and instead have the giant robot follow you around shooting stuff. This gives you essentially one heck of a guard dog.

Each of the three different types of Titan have different attributes: one is fast and carries more rockets, one is the well balanced version and the other is all armour and nukes itself when you eject. Ejecting is important. While you’ve got one eye on your target, you have to keep one eye on your armour level. These big dogs aren’t indestructible. In a rather cool little twist, you can pick up a downed Titan’s weapon - switching from a chain cannon to a rocket launcher.

You will die a lot, man. A lot.

Like so many young people sent to war, the training is inadequate. They teach you how to shoot a gun, how to run along walls (which is pretty cool) and how to pilot a Titan - but little else. And the angry South African sergeant who drops you off at each battle tells you even less.

I was also confused about how to change classes. The pilots come in three flavours: heavy, assault and stealth; though they aren’t called that. Generally it’s about appearance more than anything, what you carry determines your look. Carry a big machine gun and you’re a regular heavy, carry a shotgun and you’re assault. Thankfully each class can be male or female, so no biggie there. There are also boosts you can give your soldier, like extra cloaking or jump boosts.

In combat remember your grenades; remember that your cloaking device is only good against Titans; remember that your Titan has shields that can catch then return anything shot at you, remember that your pilot carries an anti-Titan weapon, remember not to use that weapon in close quarters. Stay in groups, teams work better in Titanfall than anything I’ve seen. Pilots need to concentrate on killing Titans, and Titans need to travel in pairs to be truly safe. Get your team’s back.

Although you will not know your team. There is no campaign to speak of and therefore no chance to grow attached to team mates. Instead the “story” is told by a series of multiplayer skirmishes with a weak narrative over the top. Yeah I get it, there’s no story here, just robots and bullets. No singleplayer option, just battle after battle with (often) strangers.

You’ll fight battles of attrition, literal battles of attrition. In these battles it’s an all out kill spree and you can rack up points by using your mech-like Titan to chew up the AI-controlled grunts. In other matches, you’ll defend bases and capture flags, these are great excuses to leave your Titan as a guardian of your base. Then there’s the “last Titan standing” matches, which gave me a chance to sit back and watch other’s belt each other in the head with giant robots. In the team on team matches the losers have to make it back to an evacuation point where they’ll be picked up. the winners have to stop them and/or blow up the dropship. When this happens everyone gets one last life, it’s a bloodbath.

Titanfall is just so full of things. The world is beautiful and detailed, the maps are detailed and confusing, the giant robots have plenty of places to hide. Take your time to drink it all in as the bullets zing around and into you.

NOTE: When writing this review, Titanfall was not yet public. As such I’m not sure about how well the game matches random players. During the campaign, as a level one player with a group of other level ones and a few higher level players, we faced off against a team of level 12s and 13s. We lost. Because of the low number of players I also can’t comment fully on speeds. (Editor’s Note: Just as this review was going live, EA made the announcement that Australia / New Zealand will be getting local servers for Titanfall. An EA Australian spokesperson made the following statement)


The Score

Titanfall
"“Run and gun” - now with “jump” and “climb into a robot”"
8.9
Great
Rating: R16   Difficulty: Medium   Learning Curve: 45 Min

 

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Comments (28)

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Waltman NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Friday 14 Mar 2014 8:56 AM Posted by Waltman
I really want to play this! First I need an Xbox One though =(.
 
 
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Bunnny NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Friday 14 Mar 2014 9:01 AM Posted by Bunnny
You'll never see this? Bullsh*t. You just stuck at wall running! :P


Will be jamming this from tonight to the forseable future.
 
 
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LeftoversNZ NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Friday 14 Mar 2014 9:01 AM Posted by LeftoversNZ
Argh, I have Titanfall sitting on my desk at work right now begging me to take a sick day! lol
 
 
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DragonFury88 NZGamer.com VIP VIP
On Friday 14 Mar 2014 9:30 AM Posted by DragonFury88
sad that its not on PS4. Oh well, PC it is!
 
 
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malasiah
On Friday 14 Mar 2014 10:16 AM Posted by malasiah
14 March 2014, 09:01 AM Reply to LeftoversNZ
Argh, I have Titanfall sitting on my desk at work right now begging me to take a sick day! lol
lmao that is me as well, dayum work day just wont end fast enough. Titanfall is going to be simply EPIC especially now that the Aussie servers go online some time today.

If you want to see graceful wall running and lots of online carnage check out Team Amazyn on TWITCH. These guys for one prove that this is not COD with Mechs, and two make the parkour game mechanics look so dayum easy.

Catch you all online
 
 
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Mattress NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Friday 14 Mar 2014 10:34 AM Posted by Mattress
Actually, you do see people pulling those moves already and, with a little time and practice, you too could be running and jumping from wall to wall in mid air!

Some of my most satisfying moments in this game are not where I go on a huge killstreak of 5-10 players, but rather when I string the parkour movements together. It's great if it results in me snapping the neck of an opponent, but sometimes just stringing the move together itself provides an immense amount of satisfaction!
 
 
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rocketman12 NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Friday 14 Mar 2014 10:51 AM Posted by rocketman12
Sigh….. I will have to wait for a few more months yet to play this but I am sure it will be well worth the wait.
 
 
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hadyngreen
On Friday 14 Mar 2014 11:08 AM Posted by hadyngreen
14 March 2014, 09:01 AM Reply to Bunnny
You'll never see this? Bullsh*t. You just stuck at wall running! :P


Will be jamming this from tonight to the forseable future.
I do suck at wall running and you'll still never see that.

What you see is the wall up close and sometimes, if you're very coordinated, you'll run along with a buddy and see some awesome moves. Like you're the guy with the fisheye lens camera following the pro skater.
 
 
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Jakted NZGamer.com VIP VIP
On Friday 14 Mar 2014 11:25 AM Posted by Jakted
360 version comes out at the end of the month ill get that :) but ill be stuck into Second Son tho
 
 
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ModifiedSoul NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Friday 14 Mar 2014 12:24 PM Posted by ModifiedSoul
was it just me or did anyone else buy this game from XBL on the 11th ?
 
 
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LeftoversNZ NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Friday 14 Mar 2014 1:04 PM Posted by LeftoversNZ
14 March 2014, 12:24 PM Reply to ModifiedSoul
was it just me or did anyone else buy this game from XBL on the 11th ?
A few if the regular BF4 players have been since the 11th. At least four I know of that all "moved to Oregon" to get it early.
 
 
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reavers NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Friday 14 Mar 2014 1:18 PM Posted by reavers
Tempted to get this now, and from the Origin Mexico haha
 
 
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Bappernz NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Friday 14 Mar 2014 1:55 PM Posted by Bappernz
I really want to play this game
 
 
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thetechnition20 NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Friday 14 Mar 2014 2:01 PM Posted by thetechnition20
Looks amazing but im sticking to the PS4 for now.. cant own both
 
 
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StratosEagle
On Friday 14 Mar 2014 2:27 PM Posted by StratosEagle
14 March 2014, 11:08 AM Reply to hadyngreen
I do suck at wall running and you'll still never see that.

What you see is the wall up close and sometimes, if you're very coordinated, you'll run along with a buddy and see some awesome moves. Like you're the guy with the fisheye lens camera following the pro skater.
haha... i know what you mean. been playing for a few hours. the trick I noticed is to approach walls from an angle at high speed rather than head on and get the right timing for those double jump and strafe movements.
 
 
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Goonertron NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Friday 14 Mar 2014 2:34 PM Posted by Goonertron
I see crazy wall running all the time, just need to learn the paths of the maps. Plus the atoms perk and the advances parkour ability help.
 
 
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Goonertron NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Friday 14 Mar 2014 2:35 PM Posted by Goonertron
*stims, that was your last chance iOS autocorrect...
 
 
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jtbthatsme NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Friday 14 Mar 2014 7:39 PM Posted by jtbthatsme
The NZ reviews I've heard from friends who've played make this more a game that I really want. Not sure if I will even get the chance to play though but fingers crossed that'll change.

Sounds like good fun and if it can topple CoD that will make it even better.
 
 
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NZBuc NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Friday 14 Mar 2014 11:55 PM Posted by NZBuc
14 March 2014, 12:24 PM Reply to ModifiedSoul
was it just me or did anyone else buy this game from XBL on the 11th ?
I was another USA buyer
 
 
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Gadgetgamers NZGamer.com VIP VIP
On Saturday 15 Mar 2014 11:06 AM Posted by Gadgetgamers
This looks and sounds awesome, must get it I am a thinking ;o)
 
 
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RSNZ64
On Monday 17 Mar 2014 10:30 AM Posted by RSNZ64
Is it worth buying an xbox for this game?
 
 
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StratosEagle
On Monday 17 Mar 2014 2:05 PM Posted by StratosEagle
17 March 2014, 10:30 AM Reply to RSNZ64
Is it worth buying an xbox for this game?
If you are a big shooter fan and enjoy playing a lot of competitive multiplayer yes definitely. Even If you aren't particularly skilled one thing I did notice with titanfall is you still have a blast playing it. It didn't feel frustrating unlike some other shooters even in matches I didn't do too well.
 
 
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RSNZ64
On Monday 17 Mar 2014 5:33 PM Posted by RSNZ64
Thanks. I have been on the fence about a ps4 or a xbox. but xbox has a few more games I want to play like titan fall and dead rising. but I am a bit gutted about the graphics department. ps4 is killing it at the mo especially in battlefield and tomb raider. I'm hoping it was like when the ps3 launched and games slowly caught up and there wasn't as bigger difference.
 
 
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StratosEagle
On Tuesday 18 Mar 2014 10:29 AM Posted by StratosEagle
17 March 2014, 05:33 PM Reply to RSNZ64
Thanks. I have been on the fence about a ps4 or a xbox. but xbox has a few more games I want to play like titan fall and dead rising. but I am a bit gutted about the graphics department. ps4 is killing it at the mo especially in battlefield and tomb raider. I'm hoping it was like when the ps3 launched and games slowly caught up and there wasn't as bigger difference.
Fair enough. To be honest Titanfall looks pretty good. Also after about 10 minutes of play graphics is the last thing you will worry about. Its that much fun trust me :D. As far as the graphics comparisons go you really couldn't tell the difference in some of these multi platt games unless you had two 50 inch screens next to each other one running an Xbox the other running a PS4 and its generally really nit picky things such as aliasing in objects out in the distance and stuff like that. And of course native 720p upscaled to 1080p image isn't as sharp as native 1080p but its nowhere near as bad as some people make it out to be. Just go with the console you are most happy with. I will eventually get a PS4 as well. For now My X1 is fine. Plus once the developers gets the updated dev kits for the X1s I'm pretty sure they will both have very similar graphics. It will become a none issue over time.
 
 
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Teamkaos
On Tuesday 18 Mar 2014 10:40 AM Posted by Teamkaos
17 March 2014, 05:33 PM Reply to RSNZ64
Thanks. I have been on the fence about a ps4 or a xbox. but xbox has a few more games I want to play like titan fall and dead rising. but I am a bit gutted about the graphics department. ps4 is killing it at the mo especially in battlefield and tomb raider. I'm hoping it was like when the ps3 launched and games slowly caught up and there wasn't as bigger difference.
One big plus Titanfall has over cod is the lack of killstreaks, If your an average player, in cod your lucky to get a uav or a Sentry gun, and there is no way you will ever get one of those awesome killstreaks that need 10+ consecutive kills. Where in Titanfall, you always get your titan! Even if you have had no kills at all, you still get your Titan and it feels like it is more of an even playing field.
 
 
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stormrunna
On Friday 21 Mar 2014 3:32 PM Posted by stormrunna
waiting to see what the feed back is on the servers before I invest.. on PC that is...
 
 
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Ethan01
On Thursday 27 Mar 2014 8:46 PM Posted by Ethan01
Cant wait to test this beast of a game loved the beta so much and i found out i won a copy thanks NZG now i can jam with the boys
 
 
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Meanvision NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Thursday 10 Apr 2014 10:28 PM Posted by Meanvision
Dont get this game: it will consume your life
 
 
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