Titanfall gameplay preview
If this year's E3 gaming expo in Los Angeles made one thing clear it's that we've got some serious first person shooters in the pipeline. Titanfall looks to be one such title. We looked on as hours-long queues built up around the EA stand on the show floor, filled with games industry insiders all itching to get an inside look at the game. That speaks volumes in itself - there's a huge buzz around this game.
But that's not the only buzz we felt. When Titanfall was introduced at EA's press conference - the day before E3 officially opened its doors - the speaker stacks and subwoofers spat out pulsing audio waves that cut through the room and made seats shake. Literal buzz. Titanfall had us from the moment it appeared on screen, so what's all the fuss about?
In the same year as Guillermo Del Toro's Pacific Rim gets a theatrical release, Titanfall certainly has its finger on the mecha-robot trend's pulse. Play as a futuristic army-esque pilot shooter or gear up and dive into a giant mechanised suit known as a Titan. But you needn't make that decision at the beginning of the game - Respawn Entertainment, the team behind the game that's largely comprised of former Infinity Ward staff (famed for their hand in the Call Of Duty franchise), has focused on seamless integration between one and the other during play.
That's Titanfall's hook. As a pilot there are certain routes through levels or access points not reachable when suited up, while the inclusion of a jetpack gives plenty of wall-bouncing height to navigate through levels; whereas as a mechanical Titan you'll have access to a more powerful arsenal of weapons but are generally more exposed.
Mounting up into a Titan feels as quick as selecting a big gun in any typical first person shooter - it's not a gameplay interrupter, which is an essential to keep the action flowing. Once in you're immediately taller, faster and more powerful.
Shooting is fast paced and full of action. We've watched hectic multiplayer sessions where enemies come in from all angles - including huge spaceships from the sky. It's a visual assault on the senses as much as it looks to be a gameplay triumph - just take a look at the gameplay preview video further up the page. Good, isn't it?
But we've not played Titanfall. Nobody outside the development studio has. Instead we had to look on, tongues lolling like dogs, to lap up the action with our eyes only. If there's anything that can challenge Destiny's arguably irrefutable top dog position in the 2014 first person shooter race then this is that game.
READ: Destiny gameplay preview
Xbox One, 360 and PC fans the wait is on: Titanfall will be available from an as-yet-unknown date in 2014. Playstation 4 fans it doesn't look as though your luck is in - there are murmerings that the title could make its way to Sony's next-gen console at a later stage, but nothing's set in concrete at this stage.