The excitement regarding Titanfall's upcoming release is undeniable. Ever since the announce trailer at E3 2013, Vince Zampella and the crew at Respawn Entertainment have seen their game hyped to an extreme level. Part of that hype is credited to Zampella's track record, having played a big role in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, a game that set the table for the Call of Duty era we are still a part of today. Still, the anticipation for Titanfall seems to be about more than track records. With every new trailer or bit of news, it feels like we're about to enter a new era in the first person shooter genre. With that in mind, here are five game-changing features that will push the multiplayer envelope further than we've ever experienced.
1.) Vertical Game Play
Map design in the first person shooter genre tends to be dominated by a horizontal layout . Even when a title introduces the idea of vertical game play, moving up and down tends to slow the pace. Who wants to climb a few flights of stairs to engage the opposition? With Titanfall, we see the introduction of jet packs, powering the double jumps that allow players to scale walls, leap across streets and even catch a ride on the back of a friendly Titan. This vertical maneuverability will be essential to surviving as a free running Pilot. Going face-to-face with a Titan doesn't seem all that smart.
2.) Integrated Story
Titanfall doesn't have your standard single-player campaign. Although we love a great story as much as anyone, let's be honest, the bread and butter of first person shooters is the multiplayer experience. In fact, maybe this is one area where Titanfall is breaking new ground. The game does feature an ongoing story, pitting the Militia against the Interstellar Manufacturing Corporation (IMC), but that story is one that plays out without disconnecting the player from the multiplayer experience. Cinematic clips will be shown before and after games, including a race to an extraction point as each round ends. With a lot of gamers complaining of the "cookie cutter" first person shooters out there, Respawn Entertainment's approach might be the answer.
We probably could have just left this space blank and moved on to number four. Even though the title really says it all, for the sake of thoroughness, allow us to elaborate. Titans come in three classes (that we currently know of) called Atlas, Ogre and Stryder. Each one offers something a little bit different and brings its own form of devastation to the fight. While the Atlas is regarded as the multi-tool of Titans, an Ogre brings superior armor and firepower at the expense of maneuverability. If you're looking for speed and agility, the Stryder might be your best bet. No matter how you prefer to deliver your brand of death and destruction, there's a Titan that suits your needs.
4.) Extreme Firepower
The developers at Respawn assured gamers that while Titans are dominant, Pilots will be able to compete with them. Sure, it's one thing to have increased speed and agility, but to actually take one of those beasts down, firepower is a must. Anti-Titan weapons like the Archer rocket launcher, the Magnetic Grenade Launcher (MGL) and Sidewinder will help bring the big boys to their knees. Of course, Titans aren't without their own devastating options, featuring weapons like the 40mm Cannon, Cluster Rocket and the XO-16 automatic heavy bullet rifle. Regardless of who wins each battle, it's clear that they will be epic.
5.) Advanced Combat
Combining two vastly different styles of gameplay couldn't have been easy. Just the same, it appears the developers have done that. While the firepower we mentioned earlier is impressive, hand-to-hand combat or various styles of melee attacks are essential for the personal feel. If you're a Pilot, not only is it possible to shoot a Titan, you could also jump on its back, remove a panel and take it down by getting your hands dirty. Be careful, though. Should you get caught near the feet of one, it will trample you for the Crushed Pilot kill. If two Titans get close enough to one another, it's also possible to rip a pilot out of their Titan and toss them aside for a Pilot Beatdown kill.
No matter what style of shooter your enjoy, Titanfall is sure to have something to offer. With the five features we mentioned above, as well as many more likely to be revealed, the first person shooter genre is on notice. There's one bigger dog in the yard, and he's bringing some new tricks.
Titanfall is available on the Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC this March 11. You can pre-order the Limited Edition Guide by Prima Games today!