Late to the Party: Titanfall

So, looks like “Late to the Party” is a thing after all, as I recently got a chance to pick up Titanfall for a whopping six dollars. This is after they announced the season pass was free, so essentially I got a complete edition for less than $10. That’s really nice. But is the game nice? With a free season pass and a low asking cost, does this entirely multi-player-only first person shooter experience welcome new players? The short version is: yes, it really does.

As far as multi-player FPS’s go, I usually don’t jump in until I finish the campaign first, and even then, unless I’m playing with friends, my sessions are usually only a handful of games long. It’s not as if I get bored easily, it’s more like I’m just easy to satisfy. Coming from being a big Halo player, Titanfall frequently surprises me by giving the same sense of fulfillment I get from a good set of Halo matches. Given this new game’s pedigree of being from a few of the Call of Duty creative team, it pleases me to play the game and end up with something far more than just “more COD”. I don’t even dislike COD, I just don’t enjoy the multi-player. So onward with the experince:

First thing, I don’t put the same pre-game research into Titanfall as I do with Destiny. I buy the game, and I know all I have to do is just start playing. This is already several points in the game’s favor. But enough Destiny hate, we are here to talk about Titanfall. “PLAY TITANFALL” the game screen tells me. Okay! So I press start and get immediately thrown into the tutorial. Good way to get started, except then I realize I have yet to invert my Y-axis because my I’M ONE OF THOSE GUYS. The tutorial is very straightforward and to the point. “This is how you play the game that you are currently playing” the game sort of tells me. If I have one complaint, it’s that after the tutorial session I do find myself forgetting a couple tactics and commands almost immediately, but it’s not anything I don’t figure out later on.

The game is pretty clear where I need to start once the tutorial ends. Once again, the game mode description says it all; “Here are some game modes, but you want to play ‘Attrition’, okay? PLAY ATTRITION.” So here we go, I launch Attrition and after a very brief waiting period… I am immediately thrown into a match. Or rather, the last 3 minutes of a match. As I manage to get my bearings about me kill one or two of the unmanned targets in the game, HOORAY, I WON! AND I LEVELED UP. So, it’s gonna be that kind of start, eh? I have no idea what I’m doing but bring on the next match.

I get to make sense of things this time and immediately learn what role to play on my team. In games like these I like to play a more supportive role and either buddy up with other players or keep an eye on them from afar, give them the support they need, and keep to CQC and stay indoors whenever alone. But then everything changes when I get in my titan. Then it’s opposite-time and I drive around in a tank-type titan and attack enemies head on. It’s weird seeing my own sense of timidness transform into badassery once I get my titan. It’s a great sort of empowerment that you just don’t get from other games where you have to scour the map for the “power weapon”, because there is no power weapon, everyone has the power weapon.

The third match rolls in and it seems like I’ve been teleported to a map from the Panzer Dragoon games for some reason. It still is the most memorable map of the whole selection for me (I believe it’s called Boneyard but I’m bad at remembering proper nouns, really). In two and a half matches, I’ve already settled into a comfort zone and am ready for the next few matches. The game is giving me a great sense of accomplishment by allowing me to contribute to my team without being the greatest hunter of other players in the match, because the scoring is based on several factors in fighting the other team, not just your K/D ratio. By the end of my first Titanfall session, I’m already LVL 5 out of 50, have the ability to customize my loadouts, and maintain a solid second-place streak on my team, win or lose.

After choosing some loadouts I really like, my second session goes supremely well and I am successful match after match with good 2nd and 3rd place ranks even though I’m playing with others who have a much higher rank than me. I don’t even notice the hour go by until it is time for me to go to my day job. Another day, I decide to bring my friend tequila with me on a few matches and you know what? I did pretty okay on those ones too. It’s not until my fifth match session that I realize, I have not even tried any of the other game types. I just keep playing Attrition, and that’s enough for me.

Remember, this is not a review, this is an evaluation. Titanfall needs to show me that it is worth playing despite being old news, and it doesn’t disappoint. I plan to pick it up every now and again. Even though I admit I did not play any gametype other than the main one, I can safely say you can play this game any time you want, even if you are Late to the Party.

~~Also, screw Destiny~~

September 1st, 2015 by