Titanfall: My Late Early Impressions (Shut Up)

I’ve had Titanfall (Xbox One) for like, almost two weeks now, but haven’t really played because of work and traveling and toddler and something-something liquor.

But, today, I cracked into one-half of the campaign.

Here, then, are my impressions:

The Awesome:

The game is easy. Or, feels easy, at least.

It’s orchestrated toward Awesome Moments. First match, I got blown up, ejected out straight up into the air, fired an anti-titan missile straight down and killed the big giant robot that had blown my ass apart in the first place. Again: this was my first match.

Pilots are nimble-footed. Game feels like there’s nowhere you can’t go. The wall-running and double-jumping give your movement a very fluid sensibility, which is nice.

Fast to respawn. Minimal downtime as a result.

Titans are not immortal killing machines. A single pilot can take one down. Not easily, though.

It’s really fun. That sounds simplistic, but it’s a game, so that matters.

Short matches let you just jump in, shoot some motherfuckers, then go do something else.

I GET TO STOMP AROUND IN GIANT ROBOTS WITH GUNS AAAAAAH YAY

The Less-Than-Awesome:

It’s very, very fast-paced. More Unreal than Halo. Curiously, as I get older, my reflexes in video games slow equally to mine in life — I prefer a slower, more methodical game. I like the slightly plodding run of the soldiers in Call of Duty. Pilots here feel like ninjas running around, and they’re hard to shoot. (Piloting a Titan feel more fun because of this, actually.)

Game matches tend to be frenetic.

Sorely lacking a single-player game.

Multiplayer on Xbox One has nobody talking. Likely due to the fact none of us have mics/headsets, and it won’t use the Kinect that way — and why do we need the Kinect again? As a result, it feels like a multiplayer match of individuals, which is not super-great in a team-based game. It’s mostly just a bunch of assholes running around playing their own game.

You start the game underpowered, and it shows. That first match it’s like, every time you pop your head out, somebody is shooting it off. Though by my fourth game I was feeling comfortable and with enough option to not feel like a total gopher at the hole.

The campaign is doofy. It’s a veneer of single-player staple-gunned onto a multiplayer-only game, which — y’know, don’t bother. Never half-ass two things — whole-ass one thing. Of course, to unlock things, you gotta play the campaign anyway, soooooo, poop noise.

Overall?

It’s cool. It’s fun. It’s easy-breezy.

If you like this sort of thing, you’ll love this particular thing.

If you do not like this sort of thing, you’ll hate this particular thing.

If you’re looking for single-player: ain’t here. Maybe one day (but I doubt it).

12 comments

  • With a solid single-player campaign, this would have locked in an All-Time Favorite of mine already. I love how fluid it is, though I concur about the frenetic nature of going on foot – my skills in a Titan are a lot better than they are as a pilot on foot against CoD-hardened teenagers. I almost always lose head-to-head shootouts with pilots, and when I see the replay it’s usually because they quick-scope and headshot me in a way I can’t really begin to match. Still fun, though.

    Aside from the single player, I wish they had some more lobby mechanics and matchmaking. I know the level 17 G4 techically has fewer unlocks than me at plain old 41 – and I will admit that’s an elegant mechanic for balancing different players, at least in theory – but let’s be honest. G4 means he’s reached 50 three times already. He’s actually level 167, to my 41, and it shows. The gear/unlock balancing helps, and I have won matches against teams with multiple G-level enemies without one on our side, but skill-wise it can’t be denied that it can make some broken matches.

  • It REALLY surprised me that Titanfall didn’t have a single player. Granted, for most multiplayer shooters, people do the campaign once and then they’re off to death match and capture the flag and whatnot until the end of updates and the next game drop. But I still feel multiplayer only was an error on their part, so we’ll see how it pans out.

    • It surprised me — I think you could have a rip-roaring single player that would honestly give a little context to this war you’re supposed to be fighting because, really, why do I give a crap?

      • Exactly! Campaign mode is where story comes from. It seems strangely shoehorned into the actual gameplay, from what I’ve seen.

        Granted, I know I’m a strange sort of gamer, wherein I don’t WANT online play. I really wanted a campaign where I learned about the war and stomped around in a Titan and stuff, without being teabagged by 12-year-olds.

  • I’ve heard that there isn’t that frame rate nausea that some of us get from a first person view in Titanfall. It would be great if someone actually fixed that for those of us who get nauseous after ten minutes of this.

  • For me, it was a combination of things I don’t like (frenetic FPS, multiplayer-only) with things I do like (mechs, parkour-like mobility).

    It joins the ranks of other FPS games that I enjoy despite the FPS elements, because the other elements it brings to the table are so awesome.

    It shares that dubious honor with Mirror’s Edge, Half Life, Portal, and Borderlands, all of which have been my “go-to games” for any year in which they released.

    Glad to see you’re having fun with it!

  • One DJ I listen to, Chad Dukes, bought the game and returned it unopened after someone explained to him that there wasn’t a single-player component. I suspect (and hope) any sequel will fix that.

    I might buy Titanfall for the XBox 360, eventually, but I got a 3DS for Christmas and I have a happy glut of JRPGs to play through.

  • I don’t know if you’ve watched the YouTube videos where someone checks out the scenery while the game continues. He made it through without firing a shot and doing nothing.

    Also: 4 hours of content. 2 hours per side. That’s pretty low for $60

    • This is multiplayer game where you are playing matches on the same maps endlessly. Same as CoD and other games but without added single player. “4 hours of content for $60″ is very silly comparison. You can say that CoD is 5 hours for $60 as you would not count many hours of multiplayer as well.

      Honestly I don’t understand the grief. Every time there is new CoD there are always plenty of people that ask why this is not multiplayer only game and why they need to add pointless short single player campaign. Then someone publish multiplayer only game and everyone starts to miss single player. It is true that war story is not very clear and half-assed single player is worst than none but multiplayer component is great and it is worth the money alone. Maybe they should be more clear with the messaging and put huge stamp on the game’s box “Multiplayer game only, requires stable internet connection” but that’s all.

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