It’s one of the biggest games of the current generation so far – but how does it fare on Microsoft’s older console? Here’s our review.
There’s few things in life that massive robots wouldn’t improve. Football? It’d be bettere if it were played with Massive Robots. Shakespeare? How about Much Ado About Massive Robots? Papal Mass? What if it were conducted by a Massive Robot?
So on that basis, you’d think Titanfall was going to be awesome, right? In essence, the game takes the traditional Call of Duty deathmatch formula – small maps with a bunch of players shooting each other, and adds Massive Robots into the mix.
In each match players start out on foot, and after a certain amount of time (which will vary depending on how well you’re doing in-game), you can summon a Titan to drop from the Sky. Climb aboard and suddenly you need to shift your tactics from Vietcong to Shock-and-Awe.
This adds a nice piece of variety to what would otherwise be a fairly plain sci-fi shooter in the mould of Halo. Sure, there’s some nice touches – like the ability to run up walls and perform parkour moves to scramble over obstacles, or the oddly satisfying “stealth pistol”, which locks on to multiple targets before taking them all out in one pull of the trigger… but without the Titans, it’d be the same game we’ve played before.
Titans are a different beast – and surprisingly vulnerable. Unlike the Jaegers in Pacific Rim, Gundams in Gundam Wing or even the Megazords in Power Rangers, which could crush a human army with no trouble at all, Titans can be taken out by footsoldiers using special anti-Titan weaponry. Needless to say, taking down a Titan when you’re on foot is a pretty satisfying experience.
The trouble is… well, everything else, or the lack of anything else. Though the game is presented as a premium experience, befitting of a piece of software designed to sell the next generation of hardware… there’s a distinct lack of a single player mode. Sure, there’s a “campaign” mode in which there is a vague attempt at sticking together a narrative, but ultimately you’re not shooting up NPCs in a structured way to advance a story… you’re just thrown into another deathmatch. Hmm.
Maybe this is just a personal preference, but I prefer single player mode. There’s something to be said for following a story, and working your way through to achievable goals… hell, I’ll even collect all of the little tokens scattered around the map in a sandbox game. But ultimately, isn’t multiplayer gaming essentially futile? At the end of the game everything resets, and seconds later you’re thrown back into the game, but this time with a different group of ten year olds shouting homophobic abuse at you over the headset. Great.
So how about when Titanfall 2 inevitably drops, we get a proper campaign too?
Differences with Xbox One version
As far as I can tell, the game is pretty much identical to the Xbox One and PC versions – albeit with slightly less pretty graphics. In terms of gameplay, you won’t be missing out by picking up the 360 version instead – presumably because the game was originally developed for 360 before Microsoft waved a big cheque at the developers to make the Xbox One upgrade.
So Titanfall is a polished game – you’d expect nothing less from such a heavily promoted title… but it is also only half finished. If you’re a hardcore multiplayer gamer, then you probably won’t notice what is missing – but if you like anything resembling plot, or story, or a game where you don’t die every thirty seconds after being shot by ten year olds, then you might be left wanting more. It’s one for the kids who were good at PE, not the kids who were good at English.