After nine months of intense hype, expectations for multiplayer mech shooter Titanfall have been sky-high.
So does it measure up? Mostly, yes.
Titanfall is the debut game from Respawn Entertainment, the new studio founded by Call Of Duty (COD) masterminds Jason West and Vince Zampella.
As you might expect, it shares a lot in common with COD, which is still – inexplicably to many – the undisputed king of the shooter hill.
But thankfully, it’s no pale COD clone. Rather, it betters the formula with fresh ideas, exciting new mechanics and GIANT FREAKING ROBOTS.
Titanfall doesn’t bother with a single-player campaign, instead focusing all its attention on six-versus-six online warfare.
There’s an attempt to shoehorn a story into a brief online campaign but it’s drivel, doing little more than setting the stage – and unlocking a few goodies – for the many hours of mayhem to come.
And once you get past the sub-par graphics – really, shouldn’t the new generation of consoles look better than this? – you’re in for a very fun ride.
The gameplay is fast-paced and frantic, with jetpacks, parkour and wallrunning adding fun new elements to the soldier-v-soldier action.
A couple of times in each match, players can call down and pilot their titans – giant mechs with devastating arsenals. When the titans start falling from the sky, the rhythm of each match changes dramatically, adding a new layer of variety and strategy to every match.
Unlike COD, Titanfall welcomes newbies with open arms. The gameplay is finely balanced so that people picking up the game for the first time can actually feel as though they’re achieving something.
Expert players may still win – but they won’t be able to just trample over newer players.
The maps are uniformly excellent, although it must be said there’s not really enough of them if Respawn wants people to keep playing for years to come.
More worryingly, there aren’t enough game modes, and those that are here lack originality.
Team deathmatch, capture the flag and hardpoint domination are all great fun, but the Last Titan Standing mode is the only mode that feels vaguely new.
More content will probably come in the months ahead – but it’ll add to the cost of an already expensive game. Or perhaps Respawn will follow the COD model and release a sequel within 12 months.
OVERALL: Titanfall offers one of the best multiplayer shooter experiences out there. But it needs more modes and maps to keep people interested in the long-term.
Available now on PC and Xbox One. Coming soon to Xbox 360.