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April 13, 2014

Titanfall Review: the next level of first person shooting

Titanfall arrived in the Philippines a month ago, and now it has fallen into my hands. I swore that I would reward myself with a PC game if I had failed no subjects for the past year, and glad to say Titanfall is indeed rewarding and it has not failed me.

Getting Started

The game took me a long time to install at around 50GB, so I just left it running overnight on my laptop so I could stop waiting (you need an internet connection). In order to play, you need an Origin account which will just take a few minutes to create if you still don’t have one. When you’re all good, get your gear and start it up.

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Titanfall is a first-person shooter game, but it does a lot more than that which is why it is getting a lot of hype and attention. We suggest going through a quick and comprehensive training game before playing campaign and classic modes as it helps with a lot of controls and actions you may not be familiar with. It takes your usual controls from your usual FPS game and adds in special abilities to your character. It’s really easy to customize, and as someone who plays a lot of Call of Duty, I configured mine to match most of the controls there.

The Pilot

In Titanfall, you play a fast and agile pilot that can do double jumps, sprints on walls and a tad more of new abilities that you can’t find on your usual FPS game. Because of this, the whole experience is very refreshing and new – something that is extremely hard to pull off lately.

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Each and every pilot will have access to a primary weapon, a secondary weapon, an ordnance (like an extra), two more additional abilities (tier 1 & tier 2), and an anti-titan weapon.

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The Smart Pistol

The selection of guns and grenades can never fall short of what you need – close range shotguns, long range snipers, machine guns and my personal favorite, the smart pistol that needs to lock on to an opponent first before killing it with shots that never miss. Then there’s tactical abilities available too that you can access for a short period of time – fast regeneration, seeing through walls and cloaking. In addition to all of the buttons you need to press for those things, you press another for Titanfall.

The Titan

When you’re minutes into the game, you can call your titan, and it’s one of those moments you will not get tired of. The sound and the landing of your large, relatively slow but insanely powerful machine is something that will satisfy you once you press for Titanfall.

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Just like your pilot, you can customize your titan with a primary weapon, an ordnance, a tactical ability and two tiers (no secondary weapon). These things make your titan a force to be reckoned with despite its slow and graceful movement. Your titan is also equipped with a shield that regenerates when resting from attacks and two recharging dashes for escaping threats.

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But just because you have your titan out doesn’t mean victory is assured against pilots. Enemy pilots can easily make you prone to attack with their agility, their cloaking capabilities and their anti-titan weapons. Aside from taking them on head-to-head, pilots can jump on your back and tear you apart from the inside. That will force you to leave your titan and eliminate the threat yourself.

Also, just because you have your titan out doesn’t mean you have to ride it. You can also have it guard a specific area or have it follow you around. This adds another layer of new gameplay into the mix, and we welcome it wholeheartedly.

Game modes

Just like most first-person shooter games, there are many ways to play Titanfall – Campaign or Classic. Under classic falls a few more categories – attrition, last titan standing, capture the flag, pilot hunter, and hardpoint domination – which is basically team deathmatch, destroy all enemy titans, capture the flag, have more pilot kills than the other team, and secure & control specific points in the map. Not all of them are addicting, but I guess that’s just me as game modes are usually of personal preference. However, there is something that I miss, and that is free-for-all.

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Like I said, there are many ways to play. Last titan standing will have all players spawn in a titan in the very beginning, but if you do die, there is no respawning. Attrition on the other hand is different from pilot hunter mostly because of killing grunts. Grunts are also like pilots, but all they do is shoot (no crazy parkour and titan calling), and each team has an unending supply of them. You can hack them from behind which will cause them to betray their team and join your side, or you can kill them which will also give you points in attrition – so even if you don’t engage other players, you can still contribute to winning… or losing. In pilot hunter, obviously, only pilot kills count.

Titanfall Philippines

If you want try out varying game modes, they also provide you with Variety Pack which will have you play with a different game mode in every after game with the same teammates.

And speaking of teams, there are two factions – the IMC and the Militia. To cut it short, the militia is composed of rebels while the IMC is, well, what they are rebelling from. That’s how I put it in short terms as a lot of people who are into Titanfall are mostly in for the gameplay, not the plot. Anyway, let’s get into campaign mode.

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A cutscene in the campaign

Campaign in Titanfall is still online multiplayer, as you will be placed into a faction with two different stories (IMC and Militia). You will go through a lot of missions with varying game modes and maps, and to be honest, it’s just like Classic with dialogues involved; people are talking to you before, during and after the missions and it’s usually just about why all the fighting is happening – you need to capture points for oil, you have to kill the other team because it’s an ambush, and so forth. However, Titanfall fails to clear up to me why this is all happening in the first place – why the Militia and the IMC are waging a war. It surely has a story behind it, but the game does not give a strong and immediate response to this question.

Other Game Elements

The dialogues in Campaign are non-repetitive, while the ones in Classic are, but they don’t get irritating. The add the flavor that the game needs as they comment about what’s happening in a way that immerses you into the fight.

With all of that going on, I’m glad to say that the maps are very engaging and are not easily tiring. I have not memorized any map in my long time of gameplay due to its size, and because of the agility and mobility of the pilots, I still find myself discovering new places to camp on, not that I’m a camper.

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The game also features Burn Cards, which will give your pilot one time use abilities that will aid you in battle. You will need to earn these cards, and you can equip a maximum of three into battle.

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Defeated: Prepare to Evacuate

One of the last things on my list to discuss is evacuation, a new way on handling defeat in the game. If your team loses the match, a dropship will arrive after a few seconds to retreat with you. You will gain extra for escaping, and if you’re on the winning side, you will too if you stop the opponent from escaping. Nonetheless, it’s a nice feat for alleviating a little of the bitterness in losing.

Updates & Bugs

I wasn’t able to finish this review early because of one thing — a buggy campaign server that will not find an opposing team for me. Luckily, an update has been released as soon as possible that fixed this, and at the same time, added private matches for your friends and more fixes.

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Ejecting from Titan

Titanfall had a few bugs when I downloaded it initially, but after the update, things went a little smoother. Before the update, there was one time where everything crashed during the game and we were sent back to the lobby with no XP, no unlocks and no challenges accomplished despite my achievements. Good thing is, that only happened once.

Conclusion

Titanfall is one of those games that I had to search for in different game shops and in different malls. I was a believer in its hype, and I was not disappointed. For Php1,995 on PC, Php2,495/Php2,695 on Xbox One and P2,395 on Xbox 360, you will not regret spending – unless of course, you don’t meet the requirements which include an online connection. It’s an amazing combination of a lot of elements in gaming that it makes some sucky elements unnoticeable (because of gameplay immersion, you won’t notice the weak storyline).

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The Score Screen

With a few bugs in tow that updates are willing to fix and add more on, Titanfall is already a great game. The developers have also promised more in a future update, and we don’t think they’ll be underdelivering because of the fast update that we got just now.  The controls are easy, the gameplay is unparalleled, there is an amazing balance between Pilot and Titan, and there are a lot more.

I’m not usually a team player when it comes to FPS games, but I did enjoy it. It just came in lacking for me without free-for-all, and for those always on the go without constant internet connection and for those who are looking for at least a good story, you may have to look elsewhere. Nevertheless, Titanfall is surely next level.

What we liked about it:

  • Easy to learn controls
  • Refreshing FPS gameplay
  • Pilots feel like ninjas
  • Titans are badass
  • Lots of ways to play
  • Updates add and fix a lot

What we didn’t like about it:

  • Needs to be always online
  • No free-for-all
  • Campaign storyline is weak
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Titanfall now out for PC, Xbox One starting at Php2k

14 Responses to “Titanfall Review: the next level of first person shooting”

  1. epiquestions says:

    383 ping? Lol. Hope they have servers in South East Asia (SEA) Seems you are playing on US servers.

    • Bob Freking says:

      They do. I’m on a laptop, I wasn’t in US servers and I even got a chance to play with a few Filipinos one time. Despite the ping, it worked well for me.

    • reydi0aktiv says:

      They do. Luckily, I was one of the beta testers of the game and I played it without hassle. Maybe it’s the reviewer’s internet connection. :)

    • Bob Freking says:

      To add, mine usually connects to either Japan’s or the East Asia server.

  2. java says:

    campaign storyline is weak? ang alam ko wala naman talaga dapat single player campaign ang titanfall dahil nagfocus ang devs sa multiplayer?

    http://www.gamespot.com/forums/games-discussion-1000000/why-titan-fall-has-no-single-player-its-your-fault-29411799/

  3. Justin says:

    You should reward yourself for getting high marks, not just for “failing no subjects”. You’re setting the bar reeeeeally low on your academics.

    • Bob Freking says:

      Good point. I will aim higher in the following months.

      I was expecting them to be a lot lower because of the tough ride though, and surviving through it was already enough for me this year. :)

  4. Gawsog says:

    Mind if I ask your laptop specs? And your internet connection speed aswell? Do you think it will run smoothly on a 1mb connection?

    • Bob Freking says:

      I use the Asus N550JV. We have a review of it here. Check this out to know if you can run it.

      I have 5 mbps down and 1 mbps up.

  5. Raoul
    Twitter: kryptobarrios
    says:

    A video review would have been much more interesting and competitive with other reviews out there.

  6. derick says:

    hey bob do you think a 3mbps connection will work well with titanfall?

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Bob Freking writes, edits, & renders for YugaTech. You can contact, follow or tweet him at @bobfreking. For all his social media links, you can go to https://tinyurl.com/bobfreking

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