Prepare for "Titanfall."
The anticipated Xbox One exclusive, which has been hailed as the first truly next-generation game, launches Monday, March 10, at midnight. So, for your convenience, or if -- for some reason -- you're still on the fence about whether you should get it, here's why everyone is losing their minds over "Titanfall."
Why the heck is it such a big deal?
Even if you've been paying only moderate attention, you know that "Titanfall" is set to be the biggest game of the year, despite its being exclusive to one next-gen console (and the less popular one, to boot). The game is so hyped that gaming news sites are exploring whether it's worth buying an Xbox One for this game alone. Microsoft certainly hopes that the game will boost sales of its Xbox One console in an attempt to catch up to the better-selling Playstation 4, similar to how the blockbuster "Halo" franchise helped bump sales of the original Xbox in 2001.
"Titanfall" certainly shakes up the fairly uniform category of first-person shooters, where yearly installments of "Call of Duty," for example, remain overwhelmingly similar to one another. "Titanfall," however, seems familiar, while also feeling new and adding never-seen-before elements to revolutionize FPS gameplay. (More on this later.)
A pilot attempts to take down a Titan in "Titanfall."
You can chuck the story out the window if you want.
While there is a story to the game -- a war taking place in a distant space frontier -- "Titanfall" does not have a single-player campaign mode. This is not "The Last of Us" or "Bioshock: Infinite"; there are no complex, character-driven plot lines here. In place of a story-driven campaign, "Titanfall" has a multiplayer campaign mode where matches and maps are linked together by a loose, overarching story line that can be totally ignored in favor of just shooting up enemies.
Each multiplayer match is six versus six, with the addition of AI grunts that make for easy fodder and add an extra challenge to the match. At the very least, they give players something to do beside hide from snipers.
In addition to the mulitplayer campaign, there are also several multiplayer modes that are not linked to a story at all, including Attribution (the "Titanfall" version of Team Deathmatch) and Capture the Flag.
Remember how much you jumped around in 'Halo?' That's wall-running now.
"Titanfall" completely revolutionizes how players move around the map, making it easy for them to get from one end to the other without dying 4 or 5 times in the process. Wall-Running and double-jumping (both of which are exactly what they sound like) give players more control in navigating the obstacles of a map, making it easy for you to instantly get off the ground to attack a mech (a large, walking robot) from above or take cover, for instance.
This seemingly insignificant change makes gameplay faster and more fluid. And it gives pilots (players on the ground, unprotected by mechs) advantages over the massive Titan enemies.
Oh, right: There are these mechs called Titans.
Duh. The titular Titans of "Titanfall" are the most talked-about feature of the game. Titans are called in and dropped onto the map, meaning that it's up to the player to get to their Titan before an enemy does. Titans are not impossible to kill -- they have a weak spot on their back -- but they are a literal game-changer on the battlefield. There are three different types: Atlas, Ogre and Strider. Each has its strengths, and calling in the right mech is vitally important to your team's success. Fortunately, GameTrailers has made this handy video to help you distinguish between the three:
This isn't your average first-person shooter.
The true difference with "Titanfall" is that it allows you to level up, but never so much that new players are at a severe disadvantage. At long last, the playing field has been leveled for casual adults gamers, who have only a few hours at a time to play and cannot usually compete with 12-year-olds who have tons of time on their hands to level up and get the most powerful weapons. The game manages to be challenging without having players die seconds after respawning, one of the common complaints about similar games, like "Call of Duty." This, more than anything else, makes "Titanfall" a success in the FPS multiplayer genre.
How do you feel about the much-hyped "Titanfall"? Will you be in line at midnight Monday to get your pre-ordered copy? Or are you tired of the hype? Let us know in the comments.