Titanfall is the child of Respawn Entertainment, a new studio which was started by ex-employees of Infinty Ward, one of the developers behind the Call of Duty series. Titanfall is currently console exclusive to Xbox One & Xbox 360, and is also available on the PC. It has been highly anticipated by Xbox One owners, and has been expected to be a ground-breaking entry in the FPS genre.

To clear one thing before we go any further: Titanfall does not have a single-player campaign. Many shooter fans were unhappy with the idea of no campaign being included, however, I do not think it was a bad decision. The development team have instead included an “Online Campaign” (alongside classic multiplayer) which is a series of multiplayer matches connected with a story (through voice-overs and the like). It is not a bad mode, although most players will not spend much time with it, and will fast-track to the classic multiplayer mode.

The classic multiplayer, however, is excellent. Fantastic map design, coupled with accurate and balanced mechanics makes Titanfall an excellent online shooter. One of the best things that has been added to Titanfall (versus the usual FPS gameplay) is the freedom to move. In Titanfall, your soldier has the ability to both run along walls and climb to rooftops with ease. The maps are far more open than in traditional shooters, and the easy of reaching roofs, ledges and balconies makes the map far more versatile for different types of players.

As the name suggests, you are able to call in a Titan from time to time. These are giant mechanical robots with powers with exceed those of the normal weapons used by foot soldiers. However, the game still feels balanced, which is quite an impressive feat. Even though these Titans are powerful, foot soldiers can still take them down without an excessive amount of difficulty. This, coupled with their time-restricted usage, balances out the multiplayer, while allowing you to play using something unique. Playing as a Titan is extremely fun, and something different from classic FPS gameplay.

‘Running and gunning’ is discouraged within Titanfall, as it will not help you much. The newly introduced mechanics we previously mentioned (more versatile movement and the Titans) hamper players who take this approach, and for this reason, a more tactical approach is necessary. This brings the FPS genre back to a more thought-out and skillful design, and for serious players, this makes the game far more enjoyable.

In addition, Respawn have also added AI bots to the battle, in addition to the 6v6 multiplayer model. This helps by populating the maps and giving new players more of a chance in the game. However, do not fret! Respawn have ensured the game balances out by offering more points for killing the human-controlled soldiers, and a smaller number for the AI bots. This element of the game, again, improves the enjoyment factor. For the hardcore players, there is a Pilot Hunter gamemode in which you only receive points for killing human-controlled soldiers.

Titanfall does fall down slightly in one area however; graphics. While the graphics are by no means bad, and are a definite improvement over what we saw in the previous generation of consoles, it doesn’t have the same next-gen polish we have seen from other titles. We must, however, take into account that this is a demanding game, and Respawn are still working on optimising the game for further resolution enhancements. The current resolution is 1408×792, however, the plans are to work towards 900p with FXAA or 1080p (without anti-aliasing). Unfortunately, the game suffers from frame rate drops now and again, but this does not significantly damage the experience. Again, Respawn hope to improve this issue.

Fifteen multiplayer maps are featured in Titanfall, each and every one sporting a unique design and theme. Impressively, every map in Titanfall is excellent, and you should enjoy playing matches on all of them. Unfortunately, where we gain in more versatile movement, we fall down in the lack of destructible environments. The maps are not affected by explosions, and the buildings do not show any signs of damage. The game also only features five game modes at launch, but Respawn are adding more soon in the form of a patch.

As we mentioned earlier, Pilot Hunter is the best gamemode for hardcore players. Alongside this mode, Attrition is the usual deathmatch mode, Capture the Flag is self-explanatory, Hardpoint Domination is Titanfall’s take on Battlefield’s Conquest and Last Titan Standing is a unique new way to play. All the gamemodes are solid and enjoyable, and with more on the way, Titanfall should only improve!

There is a smaller selection of weaponry in the game than in Call of Duty and Battlefield, but each weapon is unique and well-crafted. The principle of quality over quantity applies here. Similarly, three unique and diverse classes of Titan are included in the game for the player to select from, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.

Overall, Titanfall is an excellent new entry in the FPS genre, and adds far more variety to the genre than any other recent release. Many new gameplay elements have been introduced, each of which is a definite improvement to the basic formula. Titanfall may not be a masterpiece, but is certainly an outstanding entry in a crowded category of shooters which rarely change in gameplay. If you have an Xbox One (or Xbox 360 – release upcoming), I definitely recommend picking up Titanfall!