Titanfall is a revolutionary first-person shooter developed by Respawn Entertainment and published by Electronic Arts exclusively to Windows, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. At its E3 2013 reveal Titanfall won more than 60 awards as well as a record breaking six E3 Critics Awards: Best in Show, Best Original Game, Best Console Game, Best PC Game, Best Action Game, and Best Online Multiplayer.
In the game, players fight as hulking mech-style Titans and their nimble pilots in 6 vs 6 online multiplayer matches set on war ravaged planets. Players spawn as pilots and have the ability to call forth a Titan from the sky once a timer has run down. Killing enemy players or the numerous enemy bots that continuously spawn on the map reduces this timer. The player can then either pilot his machine himself or set it to either guard or follow mode. The action is fast-paced, with pilots having to ability to free-run on walls, accumulating momentum while doing so, as well as to double-jump with the help of small jet packs. These elements make traversing the expansive terrain as a pilot rapid and dynamic. The diversity of weapons, including a Smart Pistol that can auto-aim, only adds to the fun.
Meanwhile, the Titans are mostly left to duke it out among themselves with their variety of huge weapons. Unable to jump, crouch or take cover, these machines engage in more strategic duels while simultaneously fending off the threat of the small but deadly pilots, who are equipped with an anti-Titan weapon as well as their primary and secondary weapons. In addition, enemy pilots can leap onto the back of enemy Titans and shoot core components with their primary. Instead of jumping, Titans can dash to avoid damage and also have a number of special abilities depending on their type, of which there are three: the normal Atlas, the heavier Ogre, and the lighter Stryder. The abilities of the types include the vortex blocker, which stops and returns enemy fire, and electrified smoke, which repels pilots. Once a Titan receives a critical amount of damage its pilot has the opportunity to eject before the machine's destruction, at which point the aforementioned timer resets.
Though Titanfall is online multiplayer only, Respawn Entertainment went to great lengths to integrate single player campaign elements into the gameplay. Plot, character chatter, and the already mentioned non-playable bot characters all add a depth of experience to the online matches. In addition there is a campaign multiplayer that features scripted sequences and character dialogue that are different for the two warring factions: the rebellious Frontier Militia and the conglomerate Interstellar Manufacturing Corporation (IMC).
It would come as a surprise to many potential fans to learn that Titanfall is Respawn Entertainment's first title. The game development company was only founded in 2010, with the co-founders Jason West and Vince Zampella having been fired from Infinity Ward (the studio that they also founded and that was responsible for the Call of Duty franchise) by Activision following alleged "breaches of contract and insubordination". The controversial firing lead to a series of lawsuits and a staff exodus. Now, after three years of careful development, including much testing so as to get the crucial player, bot, Titan balance right, we can at last appreciate the masterpiece.
Though no game can be perfect, at the moment this one has no flaws worth mentioning. Titanfall is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated releases for the next generation consoles and is definitely worth enjoying, if only to get away from the monotony of Call of Duty. You may already have been convinced to buy by the excellent beta, but if you haven't you should definitely pick up a copy, preferably for Xbox One, as soon as possible (though of course if you're a Play Station 4 person you'll have to resort to Windows).