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Eurogamer Expo 2013: Titanfall First Impressions

Updated Wed, Jan 08, 2014 by Lewis B


Titanfall is amazing. It's the best game on show at Eurogamer and it deserves every single award it received at E3. With queues snaking around the entire building and with wait times of over 2 hours, it puts Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty to shame. 

As a multiplayer only game (though a story runs throughout each multiplayer map) it is a perfect example of how to show off a game to an audience. While waiting, EA and Respawn entertainment allowed those queuing to sit down and watch an excellent tutorial video that showed you exactly what the game was about and what to do when the demo started. Not only did this get you pumped to play the game (I kid you not, I grinned throughout the entire thing like a child on Christmas day) but also gave you enough information to hit the ground running the moment you start. What I suppose I really should say though, is hit the air jet-packing.

 

Unlike Battlefield or COD, Titanfall lends heavily from the likes of Brink and allows you to jetpack grapple and run along the sides of buildings to get to your destination. These are super soldiers that are fast and full of manoeuvrability. Not only does it make play exciting but also makes you feel empowered. There is nothing more satisfying than sprinting along a busy street dodging bullet fire, leaping onto the side of a building, traversing across its edge before leaping onto a mech warrior. It just doesn't get any better than that. 

The aerial ballet of the footsoldiers is only part of Titanfall's brilliance as the mechs (one available to each player several minutes into the game mode) are hulking machines of death that offer a variety of utility and weapons. The mech I chose was capable of spewing electric smoke that hid me and my team mates, but crippled other machines that walked into it. Better yet, I had an explosive single shot rifle and several other point-blank missiles to melt peoples faces with. Not only do you feel powerful and weighty, but also agile at the same time. Sprinting around corners in your war machine, hurling rockets and barrages of explosives is such an adrenaline rush. It's even more of an adrenaline rush when the opposing team brings their own mechs into play, as you knock chunks out of each others armour.

Having chose Tactical as my class (a reconnaissance-nuisance sort of equipment setup) I made it my aim to test out it's primary pistol, a weapon capable of auto-tracking targets and killing multiple tracked enemies at once. Aiming your pistol in the direction of enemy players for a period of times sees a red beam of light appear on them, hold it for long enough before firing and your bullet will go straight to them. Considering you can do this for multiple people, it makes for outrageous take-downs when you come out of stealth. My best memory was landing behind a parked car cloaked while seeing three opposing players running towards my mech. Targeting all three quickly, I killed them simultaneously with the same bullet before boarding my mech. Brilliant. 

Throughout the map our objective was to protect our cargo (a prestigious mech pilot) while the opposing players tried to eliminate him. It proved harder than you might think as the map is also littered with AI team mates that help you and your enemy. Thankfully they don't get in the way and they become a useful addition to your roster as you battle solders and mechs. It all lends itself to the feeling that a genuine war is a taking place when shrapnel and explosions erupt all around you.

 

What really makes Titanfall special though is the fact it just feels and looks right. It plays perfectly, it's polished and it's so slick in it's presentation (it really does look great) that Respawn Entertainment deserve a lot of credit. When you can jump into a game so busy with activity but get into it instantly, you know you have something special. Having also felt instantly miserable when the demo ended, only to hear every other person want another go, there's no question that Titanfall is going to be big. Not a single person coming away from the demo was disappointed and every single person I've spoken to said it would be, without doubt, a day one purchase. 

We here at Ten Ton Hammer might be all about massively multiplayer games more akin to the wizarding world of orcs and goblins, but there's no doubting this is going to be one of the biggest hitters to arrive in years. All I really care about now is having another go and counting down the days until it launches because it might just be the first game in years to break my exclusive play of MMOGs.

 


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