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Titanfall: Massive fun

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Surprisingly fresh: A screenshot from Titanfall.

Surprisingly fresh: A screenshot from Titanfall.

Titanfall couldn't possibly live up to expectations.

The first game from a new studio formed by the creators of Call of Duty. A game Microsoft hopes will set Xbox One apart from PS4. A game that's already won countless awards. A game that millions of gamers hope can revive a stale genre.

Yet while Titanfall doesn't break any significant new ground as a multiplayer shooter, it is brilliant fun and feels surprisingly fresh.   

You control a nimble pilot who can use a jetpack to leap high into the air, scamper along walls and cause mayhem with weapons like shotguns, sniper rifles and submachine guns.

But it's when leaping into a hulking armoured Titan robot that you can cause maximum damage and have a real blast.

Available to all players when a timer reaches zero, the Titans can unleash chain guns and deadly rockets on hapless foes. Yet they are not unstoppable juggernauts - their massive size makes them vulnerable.

Novices might find themselves all-too quickly ejecting their pilot before the Titan falls.   

Fortunately, racking up kills can help you summon another Titan sooner rather than later.

And players don't have to leap into the cockpit, they can instead command their mechanical monster to protect them, hitching a ride and leaping off again whenever prudent.

The 15 well-designed maps are thrilling playgrounds, providing equal opportunity for parkour specialists to zip across locations with spectacular gymnastics, for snipers to crouch in seclusion and pick off prey, and for nefarious types to lay cunning traps. Meanwhile, the Titans must fight in more open spaces.  

The well-balanced battles feature up to 12 players plus AI-controlled cannon fodder, and modes include capture the flag, team deathmatch, domination and Last Titan Standing. 

A campaign that links online battles was a good idea but isn't successful given the nondescript story proceeds regardless of victory or defeat.

What have you been playing lately?

- Jason Hill

 

twitter Jason Hill is on Twitter: @thatjason

10 comments so far

  • Been playing a bit of Titanfall over the last few days. It's definitely fun, but it feels like there's something missing. It doesn't have that "I have to level up!" addictiveness of Call of Duty, which I suppose I'm used to. Between that and BF4, I'm set for online shooters for the next 6 months, though.

    I don't think the maps really utilise wall-running. I'm definitely using double-jump constantly, but haven't even thought of running up the walls yet. Good game overall.

    Commenter
    js
    Date and time
    March 24, 2014, 10:46AM
    • Yeah they need more maps with buildings in close quarters. There are a few of them, and they tend to be my favourite maps. I dislike the really open maps. Great for fights in Titans but on foot, not so much.

      Despite that I utilise wall running a lot. One of my favourite moments was when I had a wallrunning/jumping battle with another player that was spraying their shotgun at me. I was able to get behind them eventually and jumpkicked them.

      Commenter
      Raito
      Date and time
      March 24, 2014, 11:13AM
    • I agree entirely about the levelling up part. I'm trying to hit 50 before the end of march but past that...I dunno the whole 'regeneration' (prestiging) aspect seems nearly pointless.

      I think a big problem is the limited customisation. While none of the guns are useless, there little reason to use any one other than the starting Carbine, and most of the 'perks' are terrible and so have little influence over your gameplay.

      I really think they need more titan variants, more weapons and more perks.

      Commenter
      John
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 3:11PM
  • As my birthday is only a week or so away, I have a feeling that a PS4 is on the horizon, so I'm clearing out some older games from my POS (lol - just realised POS equals Pile of Shame & Piece of S**t... So mature...), so this weekend, I started playing XCOM - Enemy unknown. Picked it up about 6 months ago and didn't get a chance to play it (with GTAV taking a month, followed by a month long "holiday")..

    Man, i was not adequately prepared for how much of an a$$-kicking this game is prepared to hand out. I've never played this type of game before - and now i realise how much i've been missing out... You set your guys up with the best knowledge you have available and then a berserker tears you to pieces. I don't think i've sat on the edge of my seat so much before... Outside of the battlepieces, the global panic/resource management is actually kinda fun too - I surprised myself by actually caring that Canada left the alliance (stupid canadians)...

    And I had to stop naming my characters when both my Fiance and I died in our first match...

    Commenter
    beatdan
    Date and time
    March 24, 2014, 10:52AM
    • There are a few simple things to remember in XCOM that will save you a lot of grief:

      - Always finish your troop's movement in cover unless you absolutely cannot avoid it.
      - When advancing, do your movement in two phases: go as far as you can into cover with the first move, then either shoot if you have a target or go into overwatch. Only take the second move if you know it's safe.
      - When exploring new territory, do it with your first squad member to move, not your last!
      - Keep your team within sight of each other, but not bunched up. Alone, they'll die, clumped up they all get hit by rockets and grenades.
      - If there are no enemies currently in sight, reload. If you don't need to reload, overwatch while the rest of the team reloads.

      Stick with these three rules, and you'll find your crew dying a lot less. Incidentally, the reason why terror missions are so hard is because they make you break all of these rules, plus they tend to have very deadly enemies roaming around.

      Commenter
      DexX
      Location
      MCDexX on XBLA, PSN, Miiverse, Steam, Origin, iOS, and Raptr
      Date and time
      March 24, 2014, 8:49PM
    • Also for terror missions rush ghost armour and try to have as many support troops with extra movement as possible. You can clear out heaps of civilians while invisible in the first 3 or 4 turns without ever taking a shot.(but then you have to fall back rather quickly to limit your own casualties).

      Actually once you have ghost armour it also speeds up scouting in later missions without having to worry about sectopods one-shotting you.

      Commenter
      ryvman
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 9:36AM
  • Titalfall looks like good fun! Hope everyone's enjoying it~
    For me, I had an amazing weekend of gaming. My first, and major accomplishment was the 100% completion of Spelunky. After around 1 hour of attempts on Saturday, I finally made it from start to finish without collecting any gold. Finally beat Olmec without running into any of the gold after facing him for the 3rd time. That was definitely the hardest achievement for me... That said, getting the "Addicted" achievement was pretty dull afterwards. I had taken around 700 lives to get all the other achievements, so I ended up watching some YouTube videos whilst killing myself to get my play count to 1,000.
    I continued replaying Runner2 to get all the Perfect+s on each difficulty. After beating Easy, I started up Normal too. Very dull (compared to Hard), so I downloaded Cheat Engine and set a speedhack to 1.5x. Now even simple levels are demanding of heightened reflexes, and providing a good challenge. It's arguably taking longer to finish each level, but at least it's fun/challenging to do so which is much more interesting.
    On Project Diva Extend on the PSP, I managed to clear Hatsune Miku no Gekishou... but with an 84% note count. 1% off a pass!!! T__T I will get this one day!
    Other weekend highlights included the Kyary Pamyu Pamyu concert last night (lots of fun), and spending some good quality relaxation time with the girlfriend as a break from our respective busy lives.

    Commenter
    Schmole
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 24, 2014, 10:57AM
    • It's a shame I can't put any more time into Titanfall until next month. The campaign mode offers a few glimpses at what could be for it, if they decided to do it. I really liked the drop pod sequence from Mission 8 on the IMC side.

      Played a fair bit of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn as usual. I got my Warrior to level 50 and did some of the quests for its Relic. I completed the Relic for my White Mage. I'm currently going to level my Black Mage. Completed Turns 1-4 of The Binding Coil of Bahamut easily. Turn 5, we're not consistent on it but we did reach the Snakes phase once. After that we gave up. This week will see Patch 2.2 going Live. Besides new dungeons, battles etc the main change is the removal of Philosophy Tomes and making Myth the new Philosophy so to speak. Myth tomes used to have a 450 cap, but that is now removed. CT will also have the loot restriction removed. We'll see if these changes will get my static to finally clear Turn 5, and go onto Turn 6-9 that are being introduced in 2.2.

      Played some Arkham Origins. A flawed game, but I figure I should get around to completing it because of Arkham Knight. I just completed the Bane battle on the rooftop. Why Batman never used some of these gadgets in later games is beyond me (besides the meta reason that Origins was made after Asylum/City).

      I finished The Lost Levels in Super Mario Bros Deluxe on the 3DS.

      2 hrs away from Platinum on Danganronpa. Otherwise my Vita time went to Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster. Currently just completed Luca and won the Blitzball tournament.

      Commenter
      Raito
      Date and time
      March 24, 2014, 10:57AM
      • picked up infamous second son on Firday. Suprisingly I downloaded from PSN for $10 cheaper than JB are selling the physical copy for . step in the right direction for online puchases

        I like it . Its a good,fun game without being ground breaking. Story is avegrage but theres some chuckle worthy one liners and the gameplay is solid . graphically looks great but there is a little more pop in than I'd expect and it does slowdown here and there

        Commenter
        Mongey
        Date and time
        March 24, 2014, 10:58AM
        • I haven't experienced any slowdown with SS as of yet (3 hours or so in). I heard that it rarely drops below 30fps?

          Commenter
          Scubafinch
          Location
          The Rocks
          Date and time
          March 24, 2014, 12:01PM

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