As the dust settles from the madness that was E3, after all of the debate between Sony and Microsoft’s coming Next-Gen console releases, we have one clear-cut winner of the entire conference. Titanfall from Respawn Entertainment. The “Best of E3” winner is coming on both Xbox consoles and Windows PC’s, ready to take away your time, life, and sleep. Are you ready?!
TitanFall is the brain-child of Respawn Entertainment, which was founded by Jason West and Vince Zampella, former heads of Infinity Ward and the acclaimed Call of Duty 2 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. After their controversial ouster from Infinity Ward by Activision, Jason and Vince started Respawn Entertainment in 2010 (With Jason resigning in early 2013) . As their company grew with top tier talent in the gaming industry, as well as some individuals from Infinity Ward itself, they signed a worldwide publishing deal with Electronic Arts. After a few years of creativity and programming, we’ve finally now have seen a few glimpses of their latest masterpiece.
Titanfall was the darling of E3, and for good reason. The game demo seems to blend some of gamers favorite aspects of shooters. Story-based multiplayer, fast paced action, gorgeous visuals, and of course, Mechs! The game’s background is still somewhat a mystery, but we do know it has some sci-fi elements mixed into the fray giving you almost a Star Wars crossed with Modern Warfare type of feel. One big announcement has been the series lack of single-player based storyline mode. Zampella was quoted recently for their reasoning why, stating “We make these single-player missions that take up all the focus of the studio, that take a huge team six months to make, and players run through it in 8 minutes,” he said. “And how many people finish the single-player game? It’s a small percentage. It’s like, everyone plays through the first level, but 5 percent of people finish the game.” Instead of dividing his team up into two groups to balance out a single player mode and a multiplayer mode, Respawn instead went with the choice of focusing solely on the multiplayer aspect. But there are some twists to that as well.
Multiplayer will be layered with objectives and backstory to help push along what’s going on during the fray. To make this work, Respawn has created a mishmash of single player and multiplayer, by adding AI bots into the mix to ensure the action is only a matter of seconds away, and makes the battles larger and more progressive. You will also get in-game objectives over your speakers as well as a waypoint placed on your map. This will give a huge advantage to those who use strategy as well as teamwork to complete the objective. Kills will still be paramount, but they won’t be the only thing that matters during a match. Another awesome feature of Titanfall is to be able to control the Mechs, which are called Titans. Imagine having 20ft version of a future solider mixed with the artillery of an Abrams Tank. Yeah, freaking awesome! Now I know what you’re thinking. If there are these crazy mech like vehicles called Titans, then when you are a Pilot, the main soldier character you’ll play, you are at a complete disadvantage?!? That couldn’t be further from the truth. When you’re a Pilot, you have parkour type of abilities when it comes to jumping and running. You can be running full speed at a wall, jump in the air into the wall, jump off of said wall, and change direction to get onto a perch and snipe some baddies across the map. You can even jump onto of the Titans and rip their “brains” out, thus destroying the Titan and advancing your teams objectives.
Another aspect of Titanfall that contributed to the development solely being on Windows and Microsoft consoles, are the cloud server capabilities. Recently Microsoft received plenty of flack and bad press due to their “always on” aspect of the new Xbox One. Even though they have now recanted that feature and will not require the new Xbox One to always be connected to the internet besides from the initial setup, Respawn engineer Jon Shiring, has done an extensive interview touting the benefits of having this capability. In a nutshell, Shiring has said that by removing player-hosted matches, and moving them all to a cloud based server, it allows hopping in and out of multiplayer matches much quicker, eliminates the ability of a host to cheat and/or having a quicker connection than the rest of the group, and allows more AI based elements that can react to what’s going on during the battle. Now these are just a few things he touched on, and the rest of the article can be read here. This could potentially be a system seller for Microsoft against Sony’s Playstation 4 offering, but time will only tell. If Microsoft plays their cards right, they could have their new “killer” and exclusive game that could push the Xbox One into more homes.
Respawn is still currently working on the finishing touches for Titanfall and baring any setbacks, the game is due out Spring of 2014. For myself, I can’t wait for this game to be released! It’s time for something new and fresh when it comes to online shooters, and I think Titanfall will be the new sheriff in town.