If you want a good reason to pay attention to new developer Respawn Entertainment, then pay attention to their debut game Titanfall. This game is as the developers call it “large scale and small scale interaction” and was on great display.
The demo begins with a squad of soldiers in a dropship out in space that makes a hyperspace jump to a planet engaged in combat. A voice over the PA states that your goal is to protect a ship called The Redeye. As you jump down to the surface, you see the big draw of Titanfall: giant freaking robots!
These robots, called Titans, are amazing. Get in one and you will see the destructive power of them. Not only do they have guns and rockets, but they also seem to have special powers as well. One such Titan displayed one power as it stretched out its hand to stop oncoming bullets from another Titan and reflected it back at it.
And don’t feel down when your Titan gets blown up in the heat of action. It’s unsure if the timing will be the same in the full retail version, but you could call down a new Titan to fight in every two minutes after one was destroyed. Your Titan will not be a one and done special ability you will just need to use in a pinch. It will be a constant weapon on the battlefield.
But don’t think that you will just be cannon fodder for enemy Titans while not in one. The soldiers are quite capable of controlling the battlefield. Soldiers will be using jetpacks to get around the field and can even wall run off surfaces for impressive looking take downs. They will also have incredible futuristic weapons like a smart pistol that is capable of taking down three soldiers at once. They can even take their great fighting prowess to the Titans themselves. In a couple instances the multiplayer demo showed off, one soldier brought out a rocket launcher and pelted a Titan with rockets, then planted charges on another one and blew it up and then finally went for higher ground, leaped on the back of one, opened up a hatch on the back of its head and opened fired inside it turning the giant death machine into a smoldering piece of metal. And if a pilot was lucky enough to eject themselves from the Titan in time, a soldier could still pick the pilot off as it floated back down to the field.
And the destruction and environments looked downright amazing. The game was running on a crisp 60 frames per second. Environments were incredibly rendered and the particle effects were exceptionally well. I was stunned when after a soldier took down a Titan, you quickly saw it cloaked in flames flailing around before it exploded.
After the official match concluded, the action still wasn’t over. A sort of epilogue challenge began that had the winning team having to get back to their ship before it made the jump back into space. We got the chance to see the player jump in a Titan one more time and secure an escape route for the rest of their team as they battle against two enemy Titans. With only seconds left before the ship left the planet without him, the pilot ejected out of the Titan and landed cleverly in the evac zone to safely jump off planet with the rest of his team.
Titanfall is already shaping up to be the next big multiplayer shooter. It changes up the formula of the everyday shooters we have seen in the likes of the Battlefield and Call of Duty series with the impressively powerful Titans, but still shows us that David can still take down Goliath with ease. Respawn Entertainment’s debut shooter was indeed incredible to watch in action and Microsoft platforms indeed have a great shooter in stored for 2014.