I was recently invited to the Microsoft Experience at which I was able to play a bit of multiplayer “Titanfall”, the much-ballyhooed game that drops in the USA on March 11. What I knew about “Titanfall” going in wasn’t much. It was a shooter, it involved big ass robots, and everyone everywhere was slobbering all over it with GTA-like abandon. I’m a gamer and a genuinely curious fellow, so I accepted that invitation and embarked on one hell of an evening. This is the story of that evening.
As I entered the venue (in Venice, a “Venice Venue”, if you will) I felt there was a certain air about it, like something extraordinary was about to happen. As it turns out, an open bar was located just inside the entrance. Was it beer and wine only? Yes, but it was still a very clean and fiscally responsible first stop on my way inside.
Once inside I spoke with some of the organizers of this fine event. It was your usual gab fest between old friends and industry bigshots. I won’t bore you with the details or gossip, but I assure you it was very provocative.
I stepped into the main area and saw two long rows of monitors, each with a XBox One sitting in front of it. The electricity filled the room, as one would expect from a room full of high-end electronics. There were other celebrities joining me there that night as well, like Will Arnett and Chris Hardwick. Also joinging our celebrity ranks were Thomas Middleditch and Kumail Nanjiani of HBO’s “Silicon Valley”. First, though, let’s talk about the hors d’oeuvres being served throughout the venue:
Tiny Grilled Cheese Sandwich – DELIGHTFUL! Perfect toast on the bread, gobs of gooey cheese.
Meat on a Stick – Lamb, I think. Doesn’t matter. Ate it and LOVED IT!
Sliders – It’s all right there in the name. Sliders, bro. PERFECTION!
Inside Out S’More – Um, DELICIOUS!
There Was Another Dessert That Was Awesome And I Hate That I Don’t Remember It I’m Thinking Maybe A Cookie? – FANTASTIC!
All in all, between the open bar and snack items being passed around this was already a successful night.
Moving back to the celebrities in attendance, here are some photos:
Now that the scene has been set, let’s dive into the gameplay and review “Titanfall”, itself.
First and foremost, the game looks incredible. This was my second go ’round on the Xbox One and I was truly stunned by how awesome this game looked. We were all playing multiplayer so I settled in to beat the ever-living crap out of everyone. I picked my Titan (the giant robot you eventually fight in), the class of my trooper (the usual fare) and settled in. The controls were intuitive and anything new was met with an easily seen yet unobtrusive pop up on-screen. The first round was a station capture round, where there are three bases you have to take over and then control.
It was as I rushed into battle that I noticed the horrible shortcomings of the game. It was then that I realized the slobbering fanboys anxiously awaiting the arrival of “Titanfall” would be truly upset. I could see the Metacritic score plummeting before my eyes, and here’s why:
The game is COMPLETELY unfair. I am pretty much the best shooter player in the history of creation and I was getting my rear kicked in! There was an unholy barrage of action from the get-go. I assumed my position behind a small piece of wreckage, waiting silently to pick everyone off. I heard and felt a rumbling and looked up just in time to watch a Titan step on me like a cockroach. I respawned and time after time I was crushed, blown to bits, shot in the face, shot in the ass then the face, or fell too far to survive. I quickly drew my conclusion – “Titanfall” is rigged to handicap the better players. It’s all about making crappy gamers feel good about themselves. Somehow, an algorithm was put into the code that can read controller interaction and adjust the AI on the fly to compensate and level the playing field. I was disgusted. How dare they cripple my superior reflexes!
OR…you could go with the fact that it’s non-stop action, had giant robots falling from the sky, gunfire EVERYWHERE, fluid controls, great sound, amazing visuals (it never stuttered once – not once) and is going to have its servers crash on day one, because everyone is foaming at the mouth to play this game. They should be. It’s awesome.