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Titanfall: Revolutionary not evolutionary

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Last night I logged out of one of the most enjoyable gaming sessions I’ve had in as long as I can recall. The game I speak of?

Titanfall will not match the hype. It will lock onto it, obliterate it and then stomp all over it. Yes it’s just that good.  I want to set clear though that this constant comparison I hear to Call of Duty and Battlefield, both two very successful FPS in this era, is, quite simply, utter rubbish.  I keep hearing that Titanfall is “COD with mechs”.  This is absolutely false and in this article I will lay out the reason why it is completely and unequivocally false.

The first day I played the game was Tuesday on its release and I immediately took to the Titanfall forums to complain that I was disappointed in it because I was, as is typical for me, unable to survive for more than two seconds as I’m really not that great at FPS. I didn’t like the matchmaking system which seemed unfair to me. I didn’t like the fact I couldn’t have any success at it and was hoping I would be matched with people who were, well kind of crappy at FPS like me, LOL.

The irony in that now I see… Titanfall is the first FPS that I think that I have ever played in which anyone, even people not great at aiming and traditionally get slaughtered in games like Call of Duty and Battlefield 4, are going to be able to succeed at. Yes if you’re a wonder kid at those other FPS you’ll do just fine as well, assuming you play smart.

And that’s the key, what is best about Titanfall. It’s not just a run-aim and gun game like most FPS. It’s a thinking man’s game. Yes that’s right, you read it correctly, if you’re smart but crappy on the joystick, like me, you will still find you have a lot of success quite frequently. I’ll give you a couple of examples.

For starters there’s an auto-aim pistol that you can choose when you start the game. You just aim in the general direction of an enemy and after about 2 full seconds it will lock on. Just shoot several times and POW! your enemy is dead! Of course the creators of Titanfall knew to balance the gun so that it’s not all powerful as well though. It’s weak in close quarters combat and it does take a couple of seconds to lock on. You will find you die quite often waiting for the lock on. But it does have its upside if you’re sneaky and can get lock ons for those of you out there who aren’t quite a joystick jockey anymore (or ever were, LOL)

Secondly, just about every action has an alternate reaction that you can use to counter it. It’s sort of the rock-paper-scissors concept. You’re in a Titan with huge guns and missiles? Ok, I’ll be a pilot who turns invisible, parkours onto a roof, hits you with a lock on Titan missile and then runs quickly before you knew where it came from and does the same thing again. But woe is me if you do spot me, one shot at me with those big guns and I’m dead…

Lastly, the game actually rewards you quite well for defending instead of just mindlessly attacking. My favorite game mode by far is the Hardpoint game mode which gives you three waypoints, A, B and C to capture and defend. It seems that about 90%-95% of FPS gamers only enjoy attacking. Not me, I enjoy defending. Defending is fun as hell. And guess what? I’m pretty damned good at it I found. I cloak myself invisible, jump up on a wall and crouch there, waiting for someone to come into my waypoint. As soon as they do I drop a frag grenade, if they don’t hear it, and they usually don’t, then two seconds later they’re DEAD…and I get big time points. And all without having to run, aim and gun someone down like I would to get points in COD or other FPS.

Like I said, on my first night I was complaining about the game, wasn’t enjoying it, finishing last every single time in my group of six. But two days later, because I learned HOW to play differently and I learned how to utilize all the tools and tricks at my disposal, I was finishing 1st or 2nd nearly every time on my team, despite the fact I was level 8 or 9 and all of my teammates were typically much, much higher level!

This is why Titanfall is going to be HUGE:  it’s not just a shooter; it is a strategy game posing as a first person shooter.

“Call of Duty with mechs”?  Nope, Titanfall is so much more than that.  It’s not an evolutionary concept, as that insulting phrase implies, it’s a revolutionary concept that is going to change how people look at FPS but most importantly it’s going to grow the FPS gaming scene into a much larger one that can encompass gamers who don’t spend 10 hours per day playing the game and/or that have the reflexes of a 13 year old on Mountain Dew.

Bottom line – is the game fun? Hell yes its fun; it’s fun even when you’re losing!  And that’s when you know you’ve found a special game. If you at all like playing FPS then buying this game is a no-brainer.  This is especially true if enjoy first person shooters but do not like to play online because you cannot compete too well.  Knowing that, in this day and age, innovation can actually occur in a supposedly tired and repetitive genre as the first person shooter is one of the best revelations that this 44 year old gamer has had in a long time….

Can you same game changer?  Its name is Titanfall.