The lineage of Respawn Entertainment is evident at a glance when playing as a pilot in Titanfall. It's a very quick, twitchy experience running around the battlefield as a foot soldier – highly reminiscent of the style of lone-wolf play cultivated by Infinity Ward in its Call of Duty games. Run-and-gun, and all of that.
But that's hardly the full breadth of the ground experience in Titanfall. Pilots have special abilities, a few of which I was able to see in my brief demo though Respawn Entertainment failed to provide any context or info. A Predator-like cloaking system was casually introduced during the skirmish as a pilot went invisible and ran up to a titan, scaling its back and ripping off a panel exposing the vulnerable mess of wires and electronics vital to its operation. Sneaky.
Another ability in Titanfall
is a sort of magnetic telekinesis for halting enemy fire. Both pilot and titan bullets can be grabbed and flung back at enemies using this ability. It's a far more offensive solution to the cloaking seen earlier in the match, but no less useful.
These abilities help ease the wait for titan construction. Titans are powerhouses, stoic guardians seemingly as useful in offensive pushes as they are as watchful sentries. A heavy machine gun and rockets accompany a strong close-quarters melee game. I witnessed multiple enemy pilots get stepped on, and even a few were grabbed and smashed, swatted and slapped around the battlefield.
Of course the titans aren't invulnerable – aside from the cloaking-and-jack maneuvers seen throughout the match, rockets, grenades and an electricity gun were ample bottlenecks for the mechs. I was only able to witness one full match being played, but it was enough to inspire awe and hope that Respawn Entertainment will be able to deliver on its vision of big battlefields and even bigger mechs when Titanfall
launches on Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC in the spring of next year.