Five Fresh Things Titanfall Brought to the FPS Genre

By: Jerrie Rui

 

Titanfall is one of those games that seemed to burn out too quickly. A lack of customization, single-player story, and game modes ultimately resulted in much of the playerbase leaving after the first several months. While Titanfall did sell well and earned fairly respectable reviews, it ultimately left players unsatisfied and felt more like a demonstration of its concepts than a full-blown Triple A package. However, I felt that Titanfall’s design was landmark for the FPS genre. Respawn implemented several new concepts that made Titanfall more accessible and immersive than competing FPS games. In fact, I feel that these concepts were so revolutionary that they will soon grow to become FPS staples. Here are five fresh concepts Titanfall brought to the genre, some of which are already being implemented in upcoming shooter games.

Let’s start with the big one, movement. One of Titanfall’s main selling points was a parkour system that allowed players to dart rapidly around the battlefield, running on walls and double jumping their way across buildings. While most FPS games had horizontal gameplay as a staple for years, Titanfall really opened up the map with its fluid system. Already you can see the wall running feature being implemented into the upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops 3.

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Player count is an important factor for fans looking into FPS games. Properties like Battlefield hinge on their prestige on player count, boasting 64 players in a match. Titanfall on the other hand, housed only 10. Many fans were flabbergasted when the small player count was announced. However, Titanfall was modeling its design to be more similar to MOBAs rather than traditional FPS games. In exchange for a lower player count, Titanfall filled the map with AI actors that served as cannon fodder or “creeps” for players to kill. This achieved two things. It lowered the barrier of entry for new players by giving them enemies that were easy and rewarding to kill. Additionally, increased the scale of the battle and enhanced immersion by having soldiers flood the map. AI soldiers is going to be a definite trend in FPS game design in the coming years, and has already been reflected in Halo 5’s Warzone mode.

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Titanfall also introduced the smart gun. This pistol automatically locked onto players and AI, removing the need for pinpoint precision. While many fans criticized this gun as “cheap”, it allowed players that were new to console controls to jump in the fray without having to spend hours learning how to shoot first.

Killstreaks have always been one of the biggest problems I’ve had with the Call of Duty series. Respawn remedied this through the addition of its titular Titans. In Titanfall, everyone’s Titan, a giant mech armed with explosive weaponry, was on a set timer rather than contingent on kills. Once a player’s timer expired, he would receive a Titan. In games like Call of Duty, many of the game’ coolest killstreak rewards were locked behind a skill wall. Titanfall ensured that every player would receive its “killstreak” every single game they played.

For the most hardcore FPS players, Titanfall also brought new additions to the prestige system. Rather than having players simply grind out kills to level up, Titanfall tasked them with completing a series of challenges before they could prestige. This breathed new life into the game and encouraged players to step out of their comfort zone, trying out new weapons that they were often unfamiliar with. By the 10th prestige, or generation, each player had a solid foundation of each weapon in the game and could be called a true master.

Though it lacked many features, Titanfall introduced a lot of new things to the FPS genre. Titanfall’s creative methods of breaking down the barriers of its first-person shooter mechanics served to make the genre accessible to more people than ever. Hopefully the sequel will improve greatly on these concepts and transform the IP into a full blown Triple A experience with the staying power worthy of its innovative design.

About the blogger:

 

Hi my name is Jerrie Rui and I’m addicted to video games. Over the last four years, I’ve played almost every Triple A title released on the market. I am also an avid follower of the game industry and you can always count on me to have an opinion on every big happening. I primarily play on the PC but I’m no elitist! I love consoles as well J Some of my favorite games include Bioshock Infinite, The Last of Us, Transistor, Dark Souls, Skyrim, Borderlands 2, The Mass Effect Series, and Hotline Miami.