This is the game we have all been waiting for: the one that we all dropped £450 on a Xbox One for. It’s the one that is going to change first person shooters forever. Titanfall is finally here and is ushering in a new generation of shooters.
Its no secret that developers will often borrow ideas from other titles and shove them into their own games, and you could argue that Titanfall does this on numerous occasions, but that’s an argument for another day. What most games fail to do is bring in new features or changes that will be borrowed by many other games further down the line. Titanfall however has many of these, all of which I’m sure will change first person shooters for the better. Here are 5 reasons why Titanfall will change shooters forever.
1. AI Enemies
When it was revealed that Titanfall would “only” feature 6v6 multiplayer the internet almost exploded. People were enraged, furious, and even threatened to boycott the game. However, what many of these people didn’t realize was that whilst there may only be twelve human controlled characters in each match, there would be dozens of AI controlled enemies filling the battlefield.
The AI takes the form of Spectres and Grunts, neither of which are particularly difficult to dispose of individually, but a mismanaged group can easily lead to your death. The reason these pesky foes will change shooters is not because they lead to a more densely packed and frantic battlefield – which they do, and it’s awesome – but because they allow new and lower level players to help out their team and not feel like a total waste of space.
Other shooters could benefit greatly by implementing a system like this, as new or not so good players will often bounce off the game due to them not doing particularly well. The AI enemies in Titanfall allow all players to feel badass, get some points, and generally help out the team. Sure, you may still get destroyed by other Pilots, but killing the AI is still insanely satisfying, and after a few hours of killing mainly Spectres and Grunts you may finally be at a level to comfortably take on other Pilots.
Perhaps my biggest issue with other first person shooters is that matches often feel very repetitive. Back in the day I played a lot of CoD4, but I always felt that matches were full of the same thing: run to a choke point in the map, kill one or two guys, die, run to the same spot and repeat. It always felt like it needed something to break it up; fortunately Titanfall has the answer in the form of the iconic Titans.
Once every few minutes you can deploy your Titan. What’s even better is the fact this time is reduced by doing thing such as killing enemies or completing objectives, so you can easily call in numerous Titans every match. Calling in your Titan is the solution to the repetitive feeling as it totally changes the game. The slow, lumbering movement of the Titans is the complete opposite of the Pilots, and the massive, deadly weaponry reminds you just how weak standard weapons can be. The giant size of the machines gives you a totally different perspective on each of the maps, so they do a pretty damn good job of changing the game entirely, even if it is just for a few minutes in each match. Other shooters could greatly benefit form having something that breaks up the game like a Titan, even if it is just for a short section of a match it would remove the constant feeling of repetition.
3. Free running
Let me just take a second to brighten up your day and remind you that Mirrors Edge 2 is a real thing. Now to disappoint you, I’ll remind you that we know almost nothing about the sequel and that we probably wont be playing it this year. Fortunately for all you fans of parkour, Titanfall has a fairly extensive free running system that is seamlessly implemented.
Despite only consisting of three main actions (double jumps, wall running, and mantling) Titanfall allows you to feel like the best free runner in the world. Chaining together a combination of the three moves can see you navigate entire maps without stopping or hitting the floor. It also allows you to reach every area of the map, something other shooters can only dream of.
The free running system is revolutionary because it can be used in so many situations. Need to get somewhere quickly? Instead of running around the massive building in your way, why not just climb over it? Need to run away from a titan? Instead of staying at ground level why not head to a rooftop or wall-run past it to safety? It also creates a level of verticality never seen in a shooter, others have tried but none even come close to the many heights of Titanfall.
4. Burn cards
Even the best players will have a terrible match every now and again. And for those of us who are nowhere near the best shooter players, bad matches will come along quite often. In most cases there is little you can do, apart from see out the match and try and regroup for the next one. In Titanfall, Burn Cards may just be the thing you need to turn a match around.
Burn cards are small bonuses that can be activated during a match. There are many different ones to equip but each card can only be used once. The cards themselves range from giving you a new, powerful primary weapon or anti titan weapon, to double XP or reducing Titan cooldowns. These cards can be just what you need to turn a game around. A new weapon may give you a tactical advantage over the enemy, getting your Titan quicker will break up the game and many secure you a few kills, and double XP may inspire you to do well. Unfortunately burn cards only last for one life, so choosing the right moment to activate one is key, as a wasted card will only further increase the frustration of having a bad game.
5. No single player
Everyone knows that the real reason people buy Call of Duty and Battlefield every year is for the multiplayer. Many will play the single player campaign, but the majority will either ignore it, or not really care about it as the real fun is found in the multiplayer modes. The team at Respawn has clearly noticed this and thus has not included any single player modes (apart form the tutorial).
There is a campaign mode in Titanfall but it too is a multiplayer only affair, and ultimately feels almost the same as normal online matches, just with a small bit of backstory. Hopefully other studios will follow suit and totally ditch single player when it isn’t needed (I’m looking at you Call of Duty). I’m not saying that single player shooters shouldn’t exist, but I would much rather have a amazing multiplayer game, like Titanfall, than a merely good game that has both multiplayer and single player.
Read our review of Titanfall.