A PILOT CRUSHED IN THE HAND IS WORTH TWO STOMPED IN THE BUSH
Eons ago in 2010, Respawn Entertainment was created by former Infinity Ward co-founder Vince Zampella. You might have heard about it. Four years layer, Respawn birthed Titanfall, the only modern AAA, first-person-shooter allowing you punch enemies with big ass robots, Titans, from space. You can even punch other players out of their big ass robots. It's real tight, yo.
It doesn't seem like much, but small touches like those impossibly cool death animations add to this game's presentation, it's allure. What matters even more are graphics, and Titanfall mostly hits the nail on the head on the XBONE. The frame rate stays smooth during online gameplay, and the textures are crisp enough to read the text on environmental items, something that other shooters fail to accomplish.
The only visible fault in quality occurs with the pixelated backgrounds and other, random muddy textures placed throughout the world suggesting that Titanfall began life as an Xbox 360 game. It's nothing major, but it is noticeable in otherwise visually pleasing maps.
Design wise, Titanfall kills it. From the way the hulking Titans move to the exotic planets that you'll battle on, everything looks believable. Nothing screams "This is cliche, fake science" like 50 shades of blue-grey and laser guns, and both of these are thankfully absent from Titanfall. Instead, maps are drenched in gay, vibrant colors with interesting backgrounds and the weapon designs never cross the boundary into extraordinary.
Also worth mentioning are the towering Leviathan creatures that creepily stalk the land of multiple maps. You can't interact with them, which is a HUGE shame, but they do add to the "unknown frontier" atmosphere. These creatures are typically accompanied by four winged dragons that sorta roost and randomly snatch up NPCs on the map. Again, it's a small touch but it adds life, substance (You can even kill the dragon creatures to score a cool 100 points).
|You cannot fly these things via ponytail LAN, curiously.|
EXPLOSIONS, HOLY S#!%
What those squashed pilots earlier failed so hilariously at is using hardcore parkour to gain a tactical advantage over the opposing titan. When on foot, running and jumping to and from surfaces in the playing field gains you height and defense from enemy titans. If you're swift enough, you can even rodeo an enemy titan, firing at critical areas from point-blank range.
That only works, though, if numerous explosions don't roast your ovaries mid-leap. Of which there are a LOT of if you dabble your dangly bits in the business of Titan Terminator. Player piloted Titans won't fall easily and it takes great timing, accuracy, and skill with parkour to destroy one. Numerous explosive Titan defense systems can and will kill you, making a triumphant Titan termination indescribably satisfying. It's a hot cup of milk after a tough day of church satisfaction.
Exactness in wall running also proves useful when you have an angry pilot firing at you from 3 stories above. In other shooters like Halo, this spells "You're dead brah" via a prompt tea-bagging. But in Titanfall, cool shit like this can happen.
Its the slickness of the Arkham series' combat in the form of movement, an explosion riddled Michael Bay script, and Hawken gently spread into a five-layer spicy fiesta dip of awesome*.
*Titanken: Hawkham Origins Fiesta Dip is a trademark of Plus Minus Infinity by LZ Schneider.
ALWAYS ONLINE REQUIREMENT GATEWAY FOR HORRIBLE NARRATION
"But Caleb," you exclaim, KFC chicken crumbs spraying the screen. "Spicy fiesta dip has five layers, not two!" Shut your mouth and stop rushing me, guy. The other two layers of this fiesta dip includes canned beans two days from expiration and sour cream left out in the sun taking the form of Titanfall's lack of weapon variety and it squandering the opportunity of a rich story and lore.
The story mode that takes place during online matches through small picture-in-picture videos divulging characters, plot points, and the entire story. Frankly, it's a terrible consequence of the game requiring an always online connection. How the hell is anyone meant to follow along when they're busy dodging legions of explosions and Titan feet?
Sometimes, the game will switch you from the IMC team to the Militia team between campaign matches, at which point you'll need Nicholas Cage on retainer to decipher the messy plot. Or you could visit the Titanfall Wikia page. Whichever works for you.
Also lame are the lack of weapon choices in online play. Sorry, Titanfall, but the truth is that gamers expect more than "just" 17 weapons in their first person shooters (As a Titan, you have a choice of 10 weapons). The competition simply has us spoiled with up to 34 weapon choices. But ya' know what Titanfall has that Advanced Warfare doesn't?
The ability to punch giant robots into explosions. Booyah.
Which brings me to my final point...
IDIOTIC DESIGN ASIDE, TITANFALL KICKS MAJOR ASS
While it lacks the replay-ability and story-line depth of its competitors, Titanfall leaves a wonderful impression after your first hours of gameplay. The parkour and mech battles out-flavors this game's major faults of poor story/storytelling and lack of weapon variety.
When utilized correctly, parkour results in bouts of silk-smooth badassery that can turn the tactical advantage on your enemy. That's a sentence I literally cannot say about any game ever created to date and that makes me very happy to own Titanfall. So go ahead, shove a gopher sized scoop of Titanfall Fiesta Dip down your gullet and buy Titanfall for as low as 13 dollars for Xbox One. Titanfall is also available on the PC and the Xbox 360.
DID YOU KNOW?
-Titanfall's DLC maps are 100% free to download and play on all platforms? How fucking choice is that? Pretty fucking choice.
-I finished this entire review without one Attack on Titan joke despite the temptation?
-The newest Call of Duty game, Black Ops 3, has no big ass robots even though its the 12th game in the series?