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Titanfall Review

By Conway Johnson

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Let's not dance around the issue here: I think it can easily be said that Titanfall was the most anticipated release for Xbox One with a release date anywhere near the system's launch. While some other titles released at or near launch that appealed to specific demographics (Forza for the racing sim fans, Madden for the sports guys, etc.) Titanfall is definitely meant to be the Xbox One's first "gotta have it" game that appeals to a wider audience. With so much hype over the title in the months before the release, it's easy to see how even an excellent game could fail to live up to the talk and ultimately disappoint players. So how well did it live up to the hype? I took a few days to sit down with it and find out for myself.

Titanfall doesn't waste much time getting you into the feel of the game. Immediately on starting the game for the first time, you're dropped into a tutorial that does a pretty good job of drawing you in. While there's a lot to get used to compared to some other shooters on the market (wall-runs and parkour as a Pilot, calling and commanding Titans, and learning to pilot the Titans yourself,) the tutorial does an excellent job of teaching each mechanic step-by-step and making sure you've got the technique down before moving to the next, while keeping from being unnecessarily long or dull. It even does a fair job of drawing you into the game's world from an environmental standpoint. After the tutorial, you'll be dropped into the main lobby where you can choose your gametypes and loadouts as you please.

The main portion of the game is split up into the classic multiplayer aspect, with a selection of games and maps, and the campaign. The campaign plays identically to the multiplayer mode, though the maps and game modes are on a preset progression. The campaign also adds voiceover intros and dialogue to the pregame lobby and in-game chat that advances the plot as you go. This unique take on a campaign mode is what Titanfall has taken the most fire for, and for good reason. Several failing points plague the otherwise excellent concept: specifically, not being able to choose the side you play on, being locked into a faction until you finish it's whole campaign, and the story not changing in the slightest regardless of the outcomes of each match. That might not be a huge deal if it were skippable, but you'll have to play through each campaign's levels at least once to unlock the two extra titans available for loadouts.

Look beyond this little hiccup, however, and the game is excellent. The graphics are beautiful and run smoothly, game mechanics are fairly balanced and varied enough to encourage plenty of experimentation, and the satisfaction of dropping your Titan in from the sky, boarding it, and going on a rampage simply isn't matched by any other experience on the market. A wide variety of Pilot and Titan loadouts can be built to cater to every playstyle and situation without any particular combination sticking out as having a huge advantage above the rest. The high-speed parkour movement of the Pilots also functions incredibly smooth; with little to no practice, new players will be running, wall-running and leaping buildings with precision It's a shame that this amount of attention wasn't put into making the campaign matchmaking system and in-game storyline function this perfectly as well.

All together, the game is excellent, . The only hiccup in the experience is the minor frustration of making your way through immersion-less and less-than-user-friendly  campaign mode. Once you pass that experience, have the additional Titans unlocked, and can enjoy the multiplayer experience, the game is just about perfect. However, this may turn off players who are more single-player minded, like strong campaigns, or were looking forward to the Titanfall storyline. With a little work on the campaign system, this could easily by the next AAA blockbuster gaming series.

Overall, I'll give it a 9/10

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