Titanfall - Review Roundup, Price, Download & DLC, Xbox One, PC spec, Release date and News
Posted on 10 Mar 2014 at 17:44, by Seth Barton
Titanfall is set to be the big first-person shooter this year, and the reviews are now out! The game is essentially a high-tech shootout in the Call of Duty vein (with good reasons as we'll discuss) that mixes highly-mobile infantry with hulking great armoured mechs. Gameplay videos (from the Alpha and Beta tests) are now widely available and the gameplay is fast and furious. Here's everything we know about the game to date.
TITANFALL REVIEW ROUNDUP
The initial reviews are now coming out. We're sad to report that EA didn't select us to attend its two-day review event in London, which seems to have been limited to dedicated gaming press and national press. We're receiving our copy tomorrow and will be playing it all week to give you our opinion before it hits UK shops. But you're not patient enough for that, so here's some other people's takes on the new shooter.
Eurogamer Titanfall Launch Review – Having been stung before by reviewing online games at review events, Eurogamer has produced a launch review that it'll be updating later – a wise move. No score here then, but it's pretty upbeat stuff, saying that the innovations are so slickly implemented that they quickly become second nature; though the line-up of game modes is 'rather drab'.
Polygon Titanfall Review: My Buddy - If you want a pretty-looking review then Polygon, as usual, doesn't disappoint. It's also a positive review, though it does say that compromises have been made and concludes that 'Titanfall has all the makings of the next big thing'.
Videogamer Titanfall Review – by the time we got to here we were beginning to detect a theme in the reviews, which Videogamer sums up perfectly with: 'A very good first instalment, but the best is yet to come'
CVG Titanfall Review – Another good review, it points out that the campaign elements are minimal, and this isn't a technically ground-breaking title, finishing with 'Yet by making some smart tweaks to established design standards, Respawn's terrific shooter is a jet-powered hop ahead of its rivals'
Gamespot Titanfall Review – The site praises the games 'Incredible on-foot mobility' and the integration between Pilot and Titan combat, but notes that the campaign mode doesn't make the most of the environments.
Edge Online Titanfall Review - Edge has also held off producing a final score for its review. However, it does say the AAA price point may be hard to justify for a pure multiplayer title, but that it's also the best shooter since the first Modern Warfare game.
One thing’s for sure, though: Respawn have certainly gone above and beyond the Call of Duty to reinvent the genre for a new generation.
The Mirror Titanfall Review - This turns a lovely phrase or two, with 'On the one hand, criticising Titanfall for ‘just’ being a multiplayer shooter feels as fatuous as writing off a Ferrari for ‘just’ being a car' and says that 'Respawn have certainly gone above and beyond the Call of Duty to reinvent the genre for a new generation'.
TITANFALL DOWNLOAD, PRELOAD AND PATCH
If you're looking forward to playing Titanfall in the near future then you may well be buying it online and downloading the game. PC owners can often get a copy of the game cheaper and easier by buying a CD code online from the likes of GameKeysNow; while Xbox One owners will find disc-absed copies cheaper, a download means you won't have to be switching from Titanfall to other games (or movies) for the next year.
If you're planning on downloading the game on PC then it's now available for pre-load on Origin's servers, and this is certainly the way to go as they will be under incredible load come day of release. The download was originally reported as a whopping 50GB, but it turns out that it's only around 21GB, which then unpacks to a 50GB install. That's around 4 hours at a fairly sluggish 10Mbit/s. Then you'll have any day one patches to download on top of that, which are currently rumoured to be around 1GB.
On the Xbox One things are very similar. The download is 20GB according to Respawn, so also around 4 hours on our theoretical 10Mbit/s connection. Again there's a day one patch that's rumoured to be around 1GB, though that may come down very slowly if the servers are overloaded.
Let's all hope that Microsoft and Origin's servers hold up on the day and we can all get playing in an orderly manner!
TITANFALL DLC AND SEASON PASS
A Titanfall Season Pass for DLC content post-launch has been announced – unsurprisingly. There will be three content packs with each costing $10 (est. £7), although you can pick them all up for $25 (confirmed UK price £20). The actual content of those packs hasn't been confirmed yet.
You can save even more money by buying the Titanfall Digital Deluxe Edition from Origin for £60 as a download, that's £15 more than the basic version costs, making it just £5 per content pack. It looks to be a good deal, though as we noted above, get pre-loading now if you're planning on buying the game as a download.
TITANFALL BUNDLE OR TRY PC OR XBOX 360?
If you've been unsure about whether to buy an Xbox One to play Titanfall then a new bundle deal may help you make up your mind. The bundle is the standard Xbox One console (plus Kinect) which now has a retail price of £400, plus you get a digital copy of Titanfall thrown in for free. That makes it around £80 less than buying the two together before the price cut.
We feel that the bundle is better still though, thanks to that digital copy of the game. Downloads of big titles are still preposterously expensive compared to retail discs, usually costing the full RRP of around £60. Now you can't sell on a digital copy, but with a multiplayer game such as Titanfall that's not really a big issue as you'll be playing it a lot over the next year or so. Better still, you'll be able to switch from that game to another, single-player, title quickly and easily as there's no disc swapping involved. It's a little thing, but a nice bonus.
Of course, the game is also available on Xbox 360 and PC, with the latter supporting the Xbox 360 controller and potentially providing sharper graphics, depending on your PC hardware. The PC version of the game is properly designed for controller play too, unlike most PC shooters, with Respawn Entertainment promising aim assist on controllers, to help such players keep up with keyboard and mouse players.
@Fengato yes, there is some controller aim assist for PC.— Respawn (@Respawn) January 24, 2014
For the aforementioned £400 you could pick up a copy of the PC game plus a powerful graphics card such as the AMD Radeon R9 290, which will run circles around the hardware inside an Xbox One.
We've yet to see the Xbox 360 version of the game unfortunately, so we can't comment on how that looks or plays. We do know it has been delayed though, with a UK release of March 28th (March 25th in the USA).
TITANFALL BETA OPINION
The Titanfall beta is now drawing to a close, but boy did we have a blast while it was available to play. You can read our full thoughts by heading to our updated Titanfall review - Hands on with new gameplay video. We played the Beta throughout the available period and we now have a far better idea of how the game is going to pan out, even based on the limited gametypes and maps we saw.
We're not yet convinced that it's a real 'next-gen' experience, the lack of destructible buildings or even scenery elements feels a little old hat, but the combination of the titans and pilots, plus there various powers is slick implemented and this game will really shake up online multiplayer.
TITANFALL MAPS AND GAMETYPES
The beta data was mined for information by a Neogaf forum user called RazorUK, you can see the full list by heading to this post. There's a list over there of gametypes including the ones we already saw in the beta: Attrition, where you score by killing the enemy, Hardpoint Domination where you have to capture objectives, and Last Titan Standing, where you get just one life and one titan per game.
In addition though there's exciting new modes including Capture the Titan and Capture the Flag (which could both be great fun) plus Uplink (most likely a headquarters variant), then there's ATDM, Exfiltration and Elimination. We think the first one is Auto-Titan deathmatch with AI titans only, but the latter two have us confused.
There's also a campaign multiplayer mode, which we presume will add additional plot elements at the start and end of each mission. This should be popular to begin with as players get into the swing of the new world, but will likely tail off after everyone has experienced all the extra bits it has to offer.
There look to be 14 maps (plus the training ground) so there should be plenty of ground to stomp and wall-run across. From looking at the pictures there seems to a good variety of locales, though it's hard to say what the range in scale will be, we'd like to see some smaller maps that suit the 6-player count without too many AI protagonists participating.
TITANFALL BETA TRAILER AND GAME TYPES
The beta was accompanied by a fantastic new trailer for the game, which highlights pretty much all the cool new action that the Pilot-Titan mix brings to the first person shooter. There's loads of titans, titans punching each other, titans on fire, titans slamming into the dirt from orbit, crazy titan abilities, pilot wall running and shooting while wall hanging, pilot double jumps and much more.
TITANFALL XBOX (ONE) EXCLUSIVE?
It's worth pointing out that Titanfall isn't a next-gen exclusive or even an Xbox exclusive, though it won't be appearing on Sony consoles anytime soon. The game will be available on Xbox 360, Xbox One and for Windows PC - kind of a Microsoft exclusive then.
That exclusivity deal must have looked pretty good to publisher EA when it was made some time ago, with the Xbox 360 being the go-to console for first-person shooters. However, with the PS4 reportedly outpacing its Microsoft rival both in terms of sales and critical approval (see our PS4 Review and Xbox One Review for an indepth breakdown), it may not look so clever when the sales figures come in on launch day.
Even those who are planning to play on Xbox 360 shouldn't be celebrating quite yet. The development duties on that platform have been farmed out to another developer, Bluepoint Games. It has previously been responsible for a number of big PS3 to PS Vita conversions, but nothing this high profile, and as of yet the game hasn't been seen running on the older console.
EA for its part has stated that the exclusivity deal isn't time-limited, so Titanfall won't be popping out on PS3 or PS4 in six months' time. The exclusive deal doesn't cover sequels however, so Titanfall 2 may well make it to Sony consoles when the inevitable Titanfall 2 is released.
TITANFALL PC MINIMUM SPEC
If you're planning on playing Titanfall on your PC then you might need to upgrade it first, though not in the way you might expect. As you can see below the processor, RAM and graphics card requirements for the game are fairly modest, we reviewed the then-excellent 8800GT back in early 2008.
However, if you're a bit slack software wise, you may need to reinstall Windows as the game will only run on 64-bit versions of the operating system, and if you only have a 32-bit OEM installation disk that may be a problem, as your product key may not be valid for a 64-bit install even if you got hold of the files.
Min: 64-bit Windows 7, 8, 8.1— Vince Zampella (@VinceZampella) February 4, 2014
AMD Athlon X2 2.8GHz or Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz
512GB VRAM, Radeon HD 4770 or GeForce 8800GT
TITANFALL RELEASE DATE
The game will be released in the UK (and across Europe) on March 13th, that's 2 days after the US March 11th launch. At present all three versions, including the PC, are scheduled to launch on the same day, but we'll be holding our breath that that stays the same, as some versions are always liable to slip at the last moment.
If you're planning on playing on the PC then the release of a minimum specirfication by Respawn, see above, is a step in the right direction and we hope to see this version on launch day alongside the Xbox One title. The Xbox 360 version is now looking the least confirmed, it's a conversion of the Xbox One title and to date no one has played it to our knowledge (while preview events of both Xbox One and PC code are rumoured to have occurred).
TITANFALL AND CALL OF DUTY
If you watch people playing the Titanfall alpha test the first thing that comes to mind is Call of Duty. The animation, the run-and-gun gameplay, the customisable weapon loadouts and general slickness of production all bring the classic shooter series to mind.
And there's a good reason for all that as Titanfall is developed by Respawn Entertainment, the studio that Call of Duty honchos Jason West and Vince Zampella set up after their less-than-amicable parting with Activision after the publisher bought Infinity Ward - who continues to make Call of Duty without the pair. West and Zampella brought a reported 38 members of staff with them from Infinity Ward too, around half the staff at the new company.
Respawn Entertainment is a telling name, and it certainly feels like the pair haven't strayed far from their roots with Titanfall. On the plus side this means that Call of Duty should feel right at home with the new game, or the downside those who have tired of the formula may find this a little too reminiscent of the blockbuster series. On the other hand, the feel of Call of Duty running at 60fps (or close to it) is incredibly responsive, and if it ain't broke ...
Titanfall is also launching on the Xbox 360, which means that it isn't a truly next-gen title, and so we wonder how far they'll push the envelope when it comes to level size, player numbers and destructible environments.
Now you know the basis of the game, let's take a look at what Respawn have added to the mix. For starters your guy in Titanfall (a Titan pilot) is far more agile than most grunts, he has a jetpack that allows him to double jump, letting him easily reach first floor windows from the ground (that's second floor if you're in the US) and leap from roof to roof across typical streets. On top of all this, he can run (for a short period) along walls.
Combine these and you can pull off some pretty incredible feats of agility, jumping around corners by bouncing off buildings. It all adds a little Tony Hawk's Skateboarding to the mix, and top players should be able to run circles around the inexperienced.
The best video to appreciate Titanfall from is still this trailer, click through to YouTube for a spangly 1080p version
Next up are the Titans themselves, which kind of take the place of the Killstreaks from Call of Duty games. Once you earn enough points in the game, from kills or objective captures, you have the ability to call down your own giant robot suit from orbit. This slams into the ground and you can then either jump into the cockpit, or alternatively set the AI to follow you around the map, like a hugely oversized bodyguard.
A player in a Titan will be looking to take on the opponent's mechs, but they aren't invulnerable to infantry. All infantry look to carry an anti-Titan weapon, such as a rocket launcher, and they can also jump onto a moving Titan and rodeo the robot while shooting it from point blank range.
TITANFALL PILOT LOADOUTS
As in Call of Duty you'll be able to customise your character with a variety of weapons and abilities – plus you'll be able to do the same for your personal Titan. Based on the Alpha videos (see below) you'll have multiple slots for setting up your favourite kit.
You'll have a choice of Primary weapon, which can be modified with up to two different attachments (sights and under-barrel extras). Primary weapons look to include the usual range of assault rifles, SMGs, shotguns and sniper rifles. You also get an Anti-Titan weapon such as a rocket launcher or autocannon, plus a sidearm such as a pistol.
Your Pilot can choose a Tactical Ability (much like a perk from Call of Duty), with Cloak and Stim being on offer in the Alpha. Cloak provides the usual Predator-esque camouflage, but is far more effective against Titans than other Pilots. Stim is described as boosting movement speed and health regeneration.
The Pilots in the Alpha also got to choose two Kit items. These included an Explosives Pack, which gives you extra grenades, an Enhanced Parkour Kit for superior wall-running capabilities, or a Dome-Shield Battery, which increases the length of time your Titan is shielded for when dropped – the shield means it's impervious to fire and can't be stolen out from underneath you.
Finally, you get to choose your Gender, which is a nice touch.
TITANFALL TITAN LOADOUTS
At present the Titan loadouts appear to be as simple as choosing a Titan class, Assault, Tank or Artillery. As with Pilots, each Titan comes with different weapons, tactical abilities and equipment. As you can see below in these screenshots.
TITANFALL PLAYERS, AI BOTS, SINGLEPLAYER AND MULTIPLAYER
Although the way the action works is pretty clear, there's still a lot of uncertainty (even from those who have played parts of it) of just how Titanfall hangs together as a whole. Titanfall doesn't appear to have a traditional, separate single-player campaign, but instead a series of multi-player matches that blend single-player plot elements with multi-player action. So the start of each game has a section that oultines your mission and drops you into the map, it's pretty quick but its adds to the setting.
You might be surprised to find out that there are only 12 human players max in each game 6 vs 6. That's not a lot, given that even Call of Duty on last-gen consoles could manage more in its Ground War modes. However, this isn't as simple as all that, as Titanfall also uses AI combatants to make its battlefields more hectic.
The AI grunts aren't replacements for players, Respawn has stated, but an entirely separate in-game character type. These aren't Titan Pilots then, but rather infantry grunts. Respawn says there may be up to 12 of these on each side, add in the fact that the Titans can be set to AI patrol mode and you get (theoretically) up to 48 combatants on the map.
Those who've played the game at length in the Alpha say the AI grunts carry practically no threat to players. So are they there to make the experience more hectic, or simply to act as cannon-fodder for players who struggle to take on other pilots. Respawn has pointed out that this was a game design decision, that having less players was more fun, empowering them and giving them space to make a difference – which sounds great to us. See this NeoGAF forum for the original statement from Producer Drew McCoy.
IF you want to get a fuller insight into how Titanfall works online then try reading this Polygon interview with Lead Designer Justin Hendry.
TITANFALL VIDEO FROM ALPHA
There are numerous videos online, posted by players who were admitted into the Xbox One alpha test. These gave us a very good idea of how Titanfall will play, as you can see how actual gamers react to the new gameplay elements. We've put a few below for your enjoyment, though we're not responsible for any bad language you may hear, as some videos have voiceovers.
The Alpha version of the game was apparently using textures that are one-quarter of the size of the final textures in the game. It's unknown whether this was just to reduce the download size of the demo or to lighten the load on the Xbox One hardware – in order to make other issues clearer to spot or due to unrefined graphics engine code.
TITANFALL COMING SOON!
Titanfall is shaping up to be the shooter of what is a bit of a transitional year for video game consoles. The gameplay take the Call of Duty mould and makes enough changes to create something that really stands out from the crowd. It's too early to say just how well balanced the infantry and Titan elements are, but we can't wait till its launch in March to give it a proper test.
We'll be bringing you more Titanfall information as it's confirmed
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