After the suit was settled out of court last year, it seemed as if we would see what Respawn had been hiding all along. The winter came and went, still with no word of what was going on behind their doors. A very vocal and devoted fanbase supported the men and their team, which consists of many former Infinity Ward employees, as they worked on their new project. A few things were certain: Zampella and West were talented leaders, they would create a first-person shooter and they would be partnering with Electronic Arts. Many speculated that EA would utilize the studio to reboot their failing Medal of Honor franchise, or perhaps give Battlefield something that it was missing to match Call of Duty’s ridiculous sales figures. Following a long wait, at Microsoft’s press conference, Vince and Respawn unveiled Titanfall.
The game is set in the future, at least far enough in the future for mech suits to become commonplace on the battlefield. These are not the typical suits, though. While not as nimble as the foot soldiers and their jetpacks, the suits have plenty of speed for evading shots and rockets. While not appearing overpowered, they do present enemies with a much larger target. Should the armor be damaged enough, players eject directly upwards, making them easy targets. Great risk and reward gameplay for multiplayer.
The demo began with a drop ship being warped in as commanding officers yelled objectives at the team. Views from the large windows displayed a great draw distance and detailed environments that, while mostly grey concrete, had plenty of detail and greenery. Dropping out of the ship and landing in front of a mech suit revealed the size of a Titan in the game. The game has a great verticality, not only by using large mechs and great architecture to wall jump off of, but also creating rich and busy skyscapes filled with battleships and skyscrapers that beg for invaluable attention. The game simply looks incredible.
Unveiling the Curtain
The E3 presentation directed focus towards two monitors in front of us, both displaying a different player. A curtain was eventuallyt pulled back along a side wall, revealing a separate room full of Respawn employees participating in the multiplayer game we had just witnessed. The room was definitely too small for a full 64 player lobby, but it was nice to know that everything we were watching was being played live.
Titans can be called down anywhere on the map, which not only prevents any spawn camping or rushing to vital points, but also allows for some improvisation. Players cannot make Titans rain from the sky, as they are set on a timer, but they could provide for some emergency cover or a distraction. As with other popular shooters on the market, tools and equipment are only half the fun. How players utilize them in unorthodox ways creates a game in and of itself. The Titan looks like it can be a best friend or worst enemy during gameplay.
Respawn Entertainment is one of the most talented development studios in operation. They are creating the type of game that they want, rather than what someone wants of them. Take equal parts of the most popular shooters around and give them to the people that make them great and you have Titanfall, which looks to be like one of the next generation’s greatest franchises. Titanfall is set for release in 2014 for PC, Xbox One and Xbox 360.