By Brett Henstridge  @BrettHenstridge

The first game from Respawn Entertainment has landed. Titanfall.

Running on a highly modified version of the Source Engine, Titanfall looks great. While it definitely isnt the best looking game on pc or consoles it does show off some great textures and fast paced action with very little to no hiccups.

The maps are well designed and really take advantage of a really fun aspect of Titanfall’s gameplay… ‘Verticality’. After a few games of Titanfall your pilot will be wall running and jet packing all over the place.

This is where it really stands on its own compared to other first person shooters such as call of duty. The freedom of movement in Titanfall is something that once experienced, can at times make it hard to go back to playing a more traditional multiplayer first person shooter game.

While you get a feeling of being superhuman you never feel like one player has a distinct level of advantage over another player, other than when it comes down to skill level.

Respawn have taken a smart approach to Titanfall and stripped away a lot of the clutter that plagues today’s multiplayer shooters, making it a great entry level shooter game even if you have little to no experience with this game type.

Even leveling up seems to be less of a grind, taking away its bragging rights and bringing the focus purely on gameplay. Even a novice can find themselves leveling up quite quickly in Titanfall thanks to all the non-player enemies.

And then there are the titans and of course piloting giant robots might not be anything new, in Titanfall it balances mechs and infantry so well that once you see your titan drop into the war zone and the one of many embarking animations places you inside your titan, you can’t help but feel a sense of empowerment .

It could have been a real problem if the titans came off as being too powerful, yet thankfully that feeling of empowerment can be short lived, depending on who you're up against - even pilots have the ability to take down a titan.

However, as every human player is given the option to use their titan at some point in the game, the decision they choose can benefit their gameplay by sacrificing their freedom of movement, the main advantage that continuing to use a pilot offers.

Controls are fluid and responsive and going from pilot to titan takes no effort when it comes to control layout.

After spending some time with the beta, which actually influenced me in getting Titanfall, i was very intrigued to find out what Respawn had planned with this single slash multiplayer campaign hybrid. After playing through the campaign i found myself shrugging my shoulders wondering “what was the point of that?”.

The Titanfall campaign hybrid is something like a Michael Bay blockbuster, it has the set pieces, special effects, action and something of a story line yet the one thing that even a Michael Bay movie can do that Titanfall can’t is to actually make you care even a little bit about what's happening on screen.

The one thing Titanfall would have really benefited from would have been a traditional single player campaign, because it looks like it would be a great new gaming universe to explore and to actually feel like you're having an impact on in some way.

A huge factor in the failing of the campaign would actually have to be the gameplay. You never have time to stop and smell the roses or in this case care about a little video clip playing in the corner.

It’s so much more fun running and gunning to kill other pilots, stomping around the map letting loose a barrage of missiles on another titan than to actually take in what’s happening in the Titanfall universe.

Some have said that it blurs the lines between online shooters and a single player campaign that is so far from the truth. What the Titanfall campaign does is take a standard multiplayer game and slaps a cinematic at the beginning, has some character say something about something in your ear and gives you the occasional video pop up while you're playing, trying to get your attention to make you feel like you’re a part of something bigger.

Titanfall is something of a mixed bag, while it’s a great entry level competitive multiplayer shooter, with amazingly polished combat and non-stop action. That’s pretty much all it is. Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of fun to be had with Titanfall and there is nothing quite like being a pilot and jumping on the back of an enemy titan, ripping off a panel to reveal some very important wiring and unloading a full clip into it.

Yet with a pretty much nonexistent campaign and a gaming world with a story that really needs to be explored, Titanfall feels like nothing more than a game with only its multiplayer disc in the game case.

Titanfall feels like a victim of the hype machine and never feels like it comes close to living up to it. Yet it has made me interested to see what Respawn can do with this new universe they have created.

I'm giving Titanfall a 7 out of 10.


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