Yesterday was the first day of E3 2013, and I indeed have much to say. I can’t even choose what to talk about! Perhaps Microsoft actually bringing the pain with decent games? Or maybe Sony taking every bad tidbit from Microsoft’s Xbox One reveal and using it for easy praise? Maybe Ubisoft’s shockingly boring CGI trailer filled conference? How about EA’s badass showoff of Battlefield 4 multiplayer? I’m sure one of those will get a blog onto itself eventually, but for now… I gotta say, kids….
Just watch this damn trailer. I love Titanfall.
Clash of the… Ya Know
So a few nights ago the latest Game Informer cover leaked showing off art for Titanfall, the long gestating premier effort by
The Real Infinity Ward Respawn Entertainment. The details immediately tickled my fancy: a sci-fi setting, agile mobility, and the core gameplay revolving around the relationship between soldiers and towering mechs called Titans. It all sounded like something I always wanted to play but didn’t know I did. Hell, just telling me there will be huge mechs available gets my attention before you even finish your sentence. And I was also interested in what the team who made the only Call of Duty I played longer than two weeks were doing with their time. I’m not a fan of Call of Duty as a franchise. I understand it’s technically competent but I find it shallow, honestly. I say this because even though this game’s details seemed very cool, I knew there would be some CoD DNA in there. So would this game be bogged down by another franchise’s bad traits, or will The Real Infinity Ward Respawn Entertainment find a way to sit my ass down to another max level?
Hallow Point Bullet Points
I kinda don’t know where to start with why this game appeals to me so much, and I’m itching to do a run-down of the gameplay mechanics seen in the E3 stage demo. Quite simply I’m just gonna plant some points that had me giddy as a school at a Twilight premier.
- That was an inventive loading screen, wasn’t it? Very narrative with the tension heading into battle, the warpdrive bringing us to the map of the match. There was lots of chatter as the match began from in-game characters, perhaps too much when you consider player communication, but it was fairly cool seeing something other than a screensaver icon for a loading screen.
- Double-jumps and wall-running using the jetpacks makes for a much more mobile experience than their last CoD game. The map on display seemed to accommodate the extra agility at hand. We seen guys monkey up to a rooftop, dash along a billboard, and air-hike across long gaps. Setting the Titan factor aside, urban soldier battles by themselves should be a fun and unpredictable affair.
- I see a Titan run by. We won’t get to see them in use by the player for another minute but just seeing it dash by makes me think of what the NEST soldiers felt fighting with and against Transformers in those movies. In fact I wondered what a game would be like playing as the soldiers assisting huge machines fighting other huge machines. So this is a personal proof of concept for me. It looks epic. It looks cool. I love it.
- A Titan is felled! A point stressed in the game is while powerful, the Titans aren’t end-weapons/vehicles. Crafty players can take them down without the humanoid behemoths. It will be interesting seeing this balance play out.
- Some indoor skirmishes show off how this game does have some CoD in it. Let’s just be clear the bane, for me, of CoD is that it ultimately rewarded very annoying behavior. Other than that, I can enjoy its general mechanics, which makes it easy for me to appreciate the underlying gunplay of Titanfall.
- The player’s Titan gloriously falls out of the sky, with the press of up on the dpad. It seems you had to wait a minute for access to your Titan, while others started with the machines. Why this is wasn’t made clear, as well as whether you get another after you lose it. I wonder what the other directions of the dpad correlate to…
- Seems there’s multiple animations for entering a Titan. In trailer we seen a soldier slide under stylishly. In this gameplay demo he simply climbs in. And there’s clips in the above trailer where it looks like the Titan is eating the soldier (my fave).
- The HUD within the Titan looks cramp, which totally works. The Titan’s movements are fast, with an old mech convention making an appearance – the good old dash. Seems they can’t jump, but I suppose we can’t have that wildness!
- Titans have their own stable of weapons; we see a machine gun and rocket launcher between warring Titans. Business picks up when a few of these beasts are in one place. Must be terrifying for soldiers caught in the middle!
- There’s some kind of magnetic hand trick Titans do, stopping bullets Neo style and MAYBE throwing them back. Could this be one of several special abilities for Titans?
- A Titan can rip a soldier out of another Titan as some kind of finishing move, then throwing the guy like a cheap doll. Whoever suggested this idea should rule the Earth.
- Exiting your Titan, it seems you have some margin of control still. I believe the usual ‘escort’ mechanics will be present; like Follow, Stay, and Go (or Attack). This could make for some interesting offense/defense for objective games (of which a version of Conquest/Domination was presented today).
- Now as the game ends, the player faces off against another Titan and doesn’t fare well. He ejects before his mech blows, launching him into the air, and allowing him to land on the enemy Titan in choreographed yet badass moment. From here it seems you have access to a Titan’s weak point. You can be shot off, however, so work fast!
Real Cute, Microsoft…
Honestly, it just so happens this game will be on Xbox One. This doesn’t make me excited for Xbox One, nor does it sell me on its power or whatever marketing term they threw around today. Hell, a version of Titanfall will appear on 360 (and don’t you dare expect them to have it fully featured, even if they could do it). But I am interested in playing Respawn Entertainment’s full vision on the next Xbox. Killer App? I don’t think so, but it is honestly the first new IP I fell in love with, and I guess the first next gen game I give a damn about. Battlefield 4 doesn’t count, even though the gameplay demo was orgasmic. Thoughts on that come later. Between Titanfall, Battlefield 4, and Destiny (oh sweet Destiny)… Halo 5 has to bring the pain. I suspect it will. Until then, get ready for HEAVY METAL.