The first half of 2014 had few quality video games to choose from, which was ultimately a good thing because it gave us the chance to focus most of our attention on Titanfall, the adrenaline-fueled first person shooter from EA and Respawn Entertainment. Featuring fast-paced gunplay and an extreme sense of verticality, it stood apart from every FPS that came before it.  Suddenly games like Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty seemed tame by comparison. Even the recently released CoD: Advanced Warfare, with its exo suits and futuristic weapons, seems grounded next to Titanfall. 

To be fair, there were reasons to criticize the game. Some players disliked the computer-controlled bots populating each match (not the smartest characters), while the online only aspect (with no true single player campaign to speak of) left some gamers disinterested. 

With that in mind, we’re happy to provide counter points. Those aforementioned bots gave newcomers the chance to help their teams by slaughtering low-level soldiers, and while solo missions could’ve been cool, the multiplayer is so in-your-face we couldn’t pull ourselves away. Have a free moment? Fire up the game and get in a few matches.

Everything about Titanfall is intense and over the top. You’re able to wall run like a maniac, and when the time comes to call in your mech, the game provides two options: watch it drop from the sky and hopefully crush unsuspecting adversaries, or ride that sucker all the way down. From there it’s a rock’em sock’em robots affair, with both sides rocket blasting, chain gunning and punching each other senseless until the metal monstrosities explode in dramatic fashion, with the pilot ejecting hundreds of feet into the air. Conversely, you can jump onto these behemoths and blast away at their mechanical brains, at least until one yanks you off and tosses your soldier to his or her doom. 

Even the ending of matches was entertaining. With the final result determined, the losing side runs towards a drop ship to escape while the winning side hunts them down. Fun times for everyone involved, with plenty of bonus points to score. 

Granted, Respawn never released new Titans or weapons, but the content on hand left us enthralled for hours, as we not only won and lost matches, but completed all sorts of side challenges to move up different levels, all so we could have different emblems next to our Gamertags.  Titanfall’s popularity cooled off somewhat since its March release, but considering the barren calendar, this was clearly a case of a great game debuting at the best possible time. Bring on Titanfall 2!

Hit the wall running with Prima’s Titanfall Beginner and Advanced tips.  Dominate enemies with these multiplayer strategies, and find out how to blow up the evacuation ship

Prepare for Titanfall with Prima’s eGuide.