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 E3 2013: Titanfall First Impressions Preview – Mech Porn!

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PostSubject: E3 2013: Titanfall First Impressions Preview – Mech Porn!   Mon Jun 24, 2013 1:35 am

Ever since Jason West and Vince Zampella’s messy split from Infinity Ward and Activision, the duo’s new studio has been a hot topic. With a staff made up of the talent behind Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, one of the most defining and memorable shooter experiences this generation, we were intrigued about what they would come up with next. Enter Titanfall, Respawn’s debut title and EA’s latest world-beater.
Titanfall is another one of “those” titles that looks to blur the line between single-player, multiplayer and co-op, which in laymen’s terms means: there’s no single-player per se, just a team-based multiplayer arena with objectives to work towards, elements of which are said to tie into a loose story. Sure, it didn’t work when Brink tried it, and honestly, I’m not sure it’ll ever work, but we’ll at least give Respawn the benefit of the doubt and say: yeah, sure, give it a go. But we’re still apprehensive. There’s no disputing it though: Titanfall is a multiplayer shooter, and I don’t care what anyone says.
Built on the Source engine, likely for its ability to hit that sweet 60 frames per second sweet spot, Titanfall throws players into a battle between Pilots and Titans: Pilots being the agile characters that players find themselves spawn as; and Titans being the huge mechs that they constantly call into combat. 
Titans against human Pilots can’t be fair, right? Well, that’s what you think. The Pilots are supremely agile, with free-running skills and the ability to spurt forward with a kind of jetpack burst, meaning that buildings and high ground is their friend. The Titans on the other hand are available to all players, on a countdown timer, so you won’t be without one for long. The difference between mechs in Titanfall and most other mech games is their agility. With a smooth and quick transition players will be in their Titan in a matter of seconds and be moving as freely in their mech than they would do on ground. From an outsider looking in, the balance seems to be fairly spot on, which is impressive for such an early stage.
The map we went eyes-on with saw players tasked with protecting a ship called the Redeye while it docked – introduced by a short in-game cutscene from the back of a drop ship. Interestingly, this is how Respawn looks to deliver the story in Titanfall, with pre and post-match cutscenes, but like I said previously, we all know what happened to that “story” in Brink…
What ensued then was madness. Sheer madness. The objective at the heart of our look at Titanfall was simple, it was effectively Conquest, or Territories, depending on your FPS background. Sounds simple enough, but what makes Titanfall so special? Well, it’s its ability to deliver those “Battlefield-esque moments,” mainly down to the sheer amount of tools of the trade at your disposal. 
In the live demo we saw, we saw pilots eject out of Titans and get turned into red mist in mid-air and we saw Pilots stealth killing other Pilots by snapping their neck 180° so that they look them in the eye the second they die and see their life slip away from them. We saw parkour to jetpack jumps from the tops of buildings to jack enemy Titans and we saw two Titans fist sparring with one another – amusingly, the winner of that exchange pulled the Pilot out of the opposing Titan and just flung him across the map without a care in the world. We saw Pilots stomped by Titans, Pilots hitch a ride with Titan allies and a wide variety of different weapons get put through their paces, from assault rifles and heavy bullet rifles, to sidewinder rocket launchers and electric shock rifles. All in all, not bad for 20 minutes, huh? It was easily the most compelling and entertaining shooter demo at this year’s E3.
As a multiplayer shooter though, it has everything: insane kills, random moments of brilliance, and frenetic and jaw-dropping combat. It was a close call between this and Battlefield 4 for our best shooter at this year’s E3, but because Respawn are trying something new, and bringing a new IP to the market, it would have been rude not to give our Best Shooter of E3 2013 award to Respawn’s debut title. It’d not only be rude, but we’d be mad not to. Fingers crossed that Titanfall can do what Brink failed to do, and that’s deliver a single-player and multiplayer experience simultaneously.
Titanfall is scheduled for a spring 2014 release on Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC.


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