Ready For Titanfall: Launch Trailer Has Some Sort Of Plot

By Graham Smith on March 5th, 2014 at 2:00 pm.

Like a Saturday morning cartoon.

I like our medium’s rapid growth into more mature subject matter as much as anyone, but that doesn’t mean I can’t also enjoy man-shoot and robot-biff. In fact, I liked Titanfall quite a bit when I played it during its beta a few weeks back. Now the game is on the verge of being released next Tuesday – sorry, I’m supposed to say it’s about to drop from orbit, but it’s too trite – and that means the requisite launch trailers have been set loose. They’re below. They’re marketing. They’ve got stompy robots in and so I’m powerless to resist.

Here’s the live-action TV advert, which has even less in common with what it feels like to play but appropriately sells the fantasy.

Davis, you’ve got to leave me behind! You’re a loose cannon, Davis! But yu’re the best gosh damned mech pilot in the ‘verse, the MFI need you! Alright, it just occurred to me that the launch trailer had plot in it, but even after watching it twice I’ve still not registered anything other than that it has fighting and robots and fighting robots.

Although as much as I go on about the robots, it’s the free-running foot soldiers I’m most interested in inhabiting. Titanfall balances its two-scale combat by making ordinary people hyper-mobile, able to chain together wall-runs and double jumps into gleeful sprints across level geometry in which your feet never touch the ground. It feels great, and it’s perhaps the finest movement mechanic in a multiplayer game since Tribes’ slip-and-slidey skiing.

If you want more footage of the actual game and less of the cutscenes and so on, then you should give Nathan a visit. He played and recorded the beta, picking over some of its features.

Titanfall is out March 11th in North America and then March 14th in the UK. We’ll have words about it as soon as we have something of merit to say.

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80 Comments »

  1. Heliocentric says:

    Titanfall should be a take on Romeo and Juliet, a tale of star-crossed robot lovers who are separated by a feud.

    Who really cares about the narrative anyway, you might as well have fun with it.

  2. DatonKallandor says:

    “Here’s the live-action TV advert, which has even less in common with what it feels like to play but appropriately sells the fantasy.”
    Or you know, you could do some research and find out that the in-game trailer is entirely representative because it shows the campaign mode, which does have all those cutscenes? So the whole “but the game isn’t like that” complaint is frankly bullshit?

    For those that want actual information, the campaign mode is basically what Brink did: A series of multiplayer matches, played on maps in a specific order, with extra cutscenes, which (win or lose, doesn’t matter) unlock 2 of the 3 Titan types when completed.

    • blobb says:

      you are so cool.

    • aleander says:

      which does have all those cutscenes?

      …so to be representative of actual gameplay it should show only the first frame of each, and then the sound of the “esc” button being violently punched.

    • Koozer says:

      I am reasonably disgruntled at your use of the question mark.

    • Shadow says:

      Whoa, hold on, hold the smartass snark train. The quoted article bit referred to the second video, the one with the normal guy being followed by his titan, and coming across an apparently evil co-worker person. That one indeed has less in common with the actual gameplay, but represents the fantasy.

      So your whole complaint falls apart. Why is it that some people feel so compelled to deliver snark ASAP that they forego actually, properly reading the articles?

      • DatonKallandor says:

        The exact phrasing is “even less”, which means that the previous video also has nothing or little to do with gameplay in the authors opinion. Complaints about proper reading based on non-proper reading.

        • Glycerine says:

          Right, and the cutscenes aren’t gameplay – the bit where you’re actually playing the game is gameplay (whether the campaign contains a lot of cutscenes or not). In the gameplay trailer there was lots of the former and very little of the latter, and thus the comment. I guess that might be different if 90%-plus of the gametime was spent watching cutscenes, but i’m not sure it is.

          Not that it’s really a huge problem anymore; it’s pretty much the norm for gameplay trailers now i think, and people can get plenty of actual gameplay footage from other places if they need. This just seems like a pretty aggressive and overly-snarky response to a throwaway line with a fairly reasonable assertion.

          • DatonKallandor says:

            Sorry if it came across as snarky. I guess I’m just annoyed that RPS is making a lot of unfounded random claims based on very little information recently. Carry on then.

          • Glycerine says:

            That is perfectly alright, all is forgiven!

          • Shadow says:

            No problem. We are all gentlemen here.

          • SillyWizard says:

            Don’t buy it; he’s always like this.

  3. Loque says:

    Song name: Guardian At The Gates (Audiomachine)
    Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ub0SJpFDko8

  4. fdisk says:

    Here’s all I know about Titanfall’s story:

    A group of adults, mostly males in their 30s from all over the country, married, with full time jobs get in front of their computers for a couple of hours every night after a long day of work to shoot and punch each other while riding giant badass mechs, taunting each other, making jokes, laughing and talking about their day.

    It’s no House of Cards, but it’s a lot of fun.

  5. Flappybat says:

    It’s not released on Tuesday for the UK because EA are stuck in the past.

  6. Shadow says:

    This looks about as realistic as Quake 3 Arena or Unreal Tournament, and the space battle briefly depicted in the first trailer has to be the most plain, generic engagement in the history of science fiction. But damn it if it doesn’t tickle me regardless.

    • Felixader says:

      How many space battles have been recently in any visual media?

      • Shadow says:

        Not many, admittedly. I can only remember Mass Effect 3′s, which while still traditional, at least involved movement. When was naval combat ever about not maneuvering? Never.

        I suppose innovation or at least major displays of creativity are mostly reserved to science fiction literature. The Honor Harrington series comes to mind, in the case of space combat. There’s a shred of logic and scientific plausibility there, at least. As far as I know, visual media has failed to portray a novel form of it in about half a century.

      • DatonKallandor says:

        There’s technically a space battle in Elysium, but if you’re including games in visual media we’ve been having space battles for more than a decade now. Homeworld, various 4Xs, Freespace, etc.

      • MrUnimport says:

        Quite possibly because it’s a background element for a cutscene and not the main event? I remember you could stand at a window in Metroid Prime 3 and watch a bunch of ships repeatedly nuke each other with fearsome beams of light, until you got bored and moved on.

        • Shadow says:

          Yeah, you’re probably right. But for me background, impossibly static space battles have become one of those things which are unacceptably jarring, having been confronted with the fact they’re terribly unrealistic, nay, illogical and plainly implausible. Like the endless ammo trope in 1980s action flicks, to pick a random example.

          • The Random One says:

            We don’t know how real space battles will pan out but I find it likely that the distances will be so great (and targetting software so smart) that manouvering will not even exist as a concept.

          • Shadow says:

            There are educated guesses to be made, and you’re certainly right about the distances involved. There likely wouldn’t be maneuvering on the tactical level, but rather on the strategic level, since positioning and relative velocities will be everything (and virtually unchangeable) once the very brief engagement finally comes.

            Most decidedly nothing you can capture in a single camera shot, as it’s often the case with background space battles. It’d be a major challenge for animated visual media to represent a semi-plausible space battle at all, and unfortunately it’s a challenge it has yet to accept (or even acknowledge it’s there).

            The Mass Effect lore detailed fairly sensible space combat, but regrettably only to disregard its own fluff completely when the time came to actually show ships fighting in-game.

          • DatonKallandor says:

            It’s maneuvering that makes the large distances not quite so large – a laser, the fastest weapon you can get (as far as we know) will only have decent chances of hitting at out to a light-second if the target is average sized and can change vector at a nice human survivable 6G. Those chances drop even more if the target doesn’t have to accelerate slow enough to not turn any on-board humans to mush.
            Why? Because the fastest possible sensors (as far as we know) will only tell you where your target was 2 seconds ago (one second there, one second back) – and your fastest possible projectile takes 1 second to get there on top of that.

            Like playing Instagib Unreal Tournament with a horrendous ping.

          • kaffis says:

            But that same sensor limitation means you won’t know a shot has been fired until it arrives, anyways. So unless you do all of your space travel (or at least, your combat-ready space travel) in preposterously fuel-inefficient and human-sickening random evasive maneuvers, you’re not really going to be dodging particularly well or intelligently.

            Also, who says you’re only firing one laser? If evasive maneuvers are that baffling, clearly the answer is to build a platform capable of peppering an area with multiple shots spread to anticipate an imprecise knowledge of the targets’ position.

  7. db1331 says:

    Anyone have any experience with g2a.com? They are selling TF preorders for $45. It’s the “global version” however. I’m just not sure how legit it is…

  8. Felixader says:

    I think abiut this any time i see the Soldiers of Titanfall so i bring it up now: The Soldiers Design reminds me verymuch of the Technonomads in Tsutomu Niheis BLAME Manga Series, wich is a good thing.

  9. Lemming says:

    It looks really fun, but it’s EA so I’ll never get to play it. :( *sigh*.

    • Shadow says:

      Not sure what you mean, but personally I do have major difficulties shelling out 60 dollars for a largely multiplayer-focused game which promises to be infested by high-price DLC in short order, and is irrevocably bound to Origin to add insult to injury. I can’t bring myself to seriously consider the purchase as of yet.

      • Groove says:

        Agreed, I was having a hard time with the probable £40 price tag but the confirmation of enough dlc to warrant a season pass is the nail in the coffin. I’ve never before bought a season pass since they’re a whole basket of donkey balls (playerbase fragmentation, rapid devaluation of the game if you don’t shell out, etc) and this game will need to review like the second coming to make me change now.

        • Moraven says:

          Killzone: Shadow Fall has a Season Pass at only $20. All new multiplayer maps are free. The pass nets you skins, signature moves at the end of a map and future new CoOp maps/modes that do not exist yet.

          No exp boost, no unlock boost (unlocks are done by simple kill with this challenges, all primary weapons are accessible from the start). No premium tag fluff.

          Now if more games would do something similar.

        • John Richardson says:

          I’ve just bought Titanfall for £28 so you’re clearly looking in the wrong places.
          It’s all very well them having an RRP but if you pay that for any form of media then you deserve to lose your money.
          The DLC is a point, but you don’t have to buy it. Though that’s a separate issue I cba to get into.

      • Moraven says:

        Origin is the login, downloader and patcher. And works great. Hell when it launched with BF3 it worked fine and even better than Steam as a downloader/patcher. Not sure what Origin did to so many people other than it being made by EA and anything EA is bad.

        Like most new games, GMG, Gamefly and many other sites usually have some 20% coupon going on that will work on pre-orders. Stick of Truth and Titanfall can be had for cheaper.

    • Moraven says:

      Its more Respawn than EA.

      This is not DICE being forced on a 2 year dev cycle and not being able to get a stable update in BF4.
      This is not Maxis being forced to have online play and then EA not having enough servers to run the game.

      Respawn was on their own dev cycle. Matchmaking is run on Microsoft Azure servers. In theory the availability should be they never have matchmaking problems (login/auth problems maybe) and will save them on costs than having EA house the servers. Respawn still owns the IP.

      EA published Valve games on PC. Better stop playing Portal and Half Life. The only “EA” thing Titfanfall has is Origin as the only downloader and patcher. Which is no different than a lot of games on Steam nowadays. While it does not have as much of the community tools and user created content, Origin runs just as well or better as a pure downloader/patcher than Steam. And has nice features like choosing where your downloaded files go and installation location (latter Steam finally getting).

      • Shadow says:

        It’s not a dealbreaker for me, but I do consider it a flaw given how it’s unnecessary yet ineludible baggage. It’s probably a minor thing overall, and in light of the other flaws, I doubt the absence of the Origin requirement would draw me significantly closer to a purchase.

        EDIT: Oh, I forgot about the major detail that, despite being 10,000 km away from Europe, Origin finds it suitable to charge Argentina 59,95 for Titanfall. Yeah, that’s a bloody dealbreaker, exacerbated by the fact all DLC will have similarly, ridiculously inflated prices as well. As if the pricing wasn’t already unreasonable to begin with.

        • Moraven says:

          Ouch. :(

        • MkMax says:

          im also affected by the “60usd=60euro even if you are in latin america (except mexico, because fu, thats why)… LOL!” problem, at least you can get still get keys for it (going at around 45usd) although i imagine EA will eventually put their foot down with that (and the mexican vpn loophole)

          im guessing ill be able to buy the dlc with keys as well but i might be wrong (in any case that will just mean no dlc for me)

          i wonder why EA hates Origin so much, without a doubt its the store with the highest prices, the least sales opportunities and worst currency exchange unfairness for all the games they host, you are not getting anywhere that way guys

          • Coinfish says:

            You can get them in 500 pesos=37usd if you use a certain vpon method. Gave me the best discount I ever get.

  10. bstard says:

    Soo.. this is about gay robots eating carpet? So sorry could not be bothered to watch that video.

  11. Shooop says:

    Oh look, paid DLC already confirmed: http://www.gamespot.com/videos/vince-zampella-interview-the-lobby/2300-6417517/

    What a surprise. Perfectly fitting for what’s nothing but CoD with mechs.

    • MrUnimport says:

      How rude. I enjoyed Titanfall’s beta specifically because it didn’t feel like COD, which I don’t enjoy. If you start enumerating the gameplay differences between Titanfall and COD you end up with a list with more things separating them than they have in common.

      Shame about the DLC though.

    • geldonyetich says:

      Of course, EA is releasing this game. They’ve pretty much flat out told us that they feel DLC is the wave of the future, didn’t you know?

    • xao says:

      You know Shoop, as strongly as you’re invested in your insistence that Titanfall is nothing more than CoD with mechs… when was the last time you played CoD?

      ‘Cause I would play the hell out of a CoD with geographically localized dedicated servers, movement-based combat, vertically expanded maps, decent network modelling, and no killstreaks. I just can’t figure out where to buy it!

      • SkittleDiddler says:

        To be fair, anyone who didn’t play Titanfall’s demo could easily get the impression that it’s “CoD with mechs” — none of the playthroughs or videos or dev diaries or whatever else I’ve seen of the game will convince me otherwise. And anyone familiar with Respawn’s past history with the CoD franchise could be forgiven for thinking that they’re a studio with a limited vision (you know, for releasing the same fucking half-cooked shit over and over again), so it’s not surprising many people are labeling Titanfall as CoD With Mechs.

        There may parkour, and there may be vertically expanded maps, and there may even be dedicated servers, but Titanfall still has the look and feel of a CoD proto-clone to many eyes. Even some people who actually played the demo have said as much.

        BTW, don’t consecutive kills trigger Burn Cards and mech deployments? That sounds suspiciously like a killstreak reward system to me.

        • derbefrier says:

          burn cards can be used whenever and are earned(as far as i could tell) by killing stuff and getting points but have to be pre selected before the match, mechs are on a build timer but that timer can be lessened by killing stuff and getting points. so yes these things are what replaced kill streaks

          The gunplay is like CoD but as far as i am concerned that’s really the only thing like CoD in the game which for a lot of people may be enough to turn them off. and is probably what most people see when calling it CoD with mechs. I never hated Cods gunplay though so i am cool with that.

        • xao says:

          That’s a bit like saying, well it may have limited spawns and a different pace, but Counterstrike is basically Quake with loadouts. Sure, if you choose to ignore or marginalize the differences between two things, they become shockingly similar.

          “none of the playthroughs or videos or dev diaries or whatever else I’ve seen of the game will convince me otherwise. ”

          Interesting word choice there: not that none of previews ‘have’ convinced you, but that none of them ‘will’ convince you. If you choose not to be convinced by data, that just means you’re being unreasonable. The sheer volume of quantifiable difference between some generic value of CoD and Titanfall is massive, and has been gone over at some length.

          Note that anyone actually familiar with Respawn’s involvement with Call of Duty knows that Respawn doesn’t have any involvement with Call of Duty. A certain subset of Respawn’s members we involved to varying degrees in four of the early Call of Duty games: you know, that ones that weren’t the same “fucking half-cooked shit over and over again”. Or are you seriously going to claim the Call of Duty and Modern Warfare 2 are the same game?

          Burn cards are chosen before the match, and are not influenced by your performance in the match, though you can lose at least some of them by dying. At best you can speed up your Titan drop by doing well in the game, but that’s a whole different ballgame than a killstreak. By definition a killstreak is dependant on you killing some number of players without dying. In Titanfall, you’re going to get your Titan regardless, and you can speed up its drop by playing well, even if you happen to die along the way.

          Let me ask you the same thing I asked Shoop: when was the last time you seriously played CoD?

  12. DarkFarmer says:

    anybody else sort of on the fence with titanfall? most of my gaming buds think its one note, but I actually kinda like it and feel like it could be something cool. really right on the fence about spending 60 bucks for it. i want to say it “feels like a 35 or 40 dollar game” after playing the beta, but they obviously spent a great deal of money making it, i wonder why the value just doesn’t seem automatically there like it did for GW2 or … ulp… BF4… i guess BF4′s bark was louder than its buggy, DLC fractured premium bite.

    • derbefrier says:

      I was until i played it, then i was sold. I had more fun in it than i have in a arena FPS in a long time and that holds a lot of value to me. People will find things to bitch about of course be it Origin or DLC because its the internet but whatever I enjoy it and that’s all that matters.

    • MrUnimport says:

      Not so much “one note” but a catchy pop ballad that relentlessly hammers its chorus. Can’t get it out of your head, brings great joy, but ultimately the lack of variety may end up hampering staying power.

  13. Tokyo Joe and the Bombardiers says:

    Don’t care, Dark Souls II.

  14. tomek says:

    Bought (via mexican vpn). Can not rememeber when i had so much fun in any shooter, or any game for that matter, since CS 1.5.

    DLC do not bother me at all, game is assumed to ship with 15 (thats fifteen) maps http://www.dualshockers.com/2014/03/03/titanfall-all-the-15-maps-leaked-with-screenshots-and-top-down-views/ and i am actually happy to get the option to purchase additonal content for a game i enjoy.

    I bought all wing commander, x-wing, doom aso. dlc`s and didnt cry back than.

    • Phasma Felis says:

      How’s that Mexican VPN work? Is that an option for, say, an American buyer?

      • Coinfish says:

        That’s an option for any buyer(excluding mexicans) who want a good discount. Get a mex vpn, turn it on, browse into origin store, and turn off when you’re asked to log into your origin account so you log in via your default ip.

  15. MkMax says:

    i have not seen any trailer that is representative of titanfall’s gameplay, they are actually selling the game short, everything they show from the titans looks like a cutscene when in fact their greatest achievement was how seamless they managed to make the transition between foot soldier and mech warrior

    The game is fun, very fun, extremely easy to pick up (which seems to piss cod players off a lot), there is a lot of room for getting better (specially with the movement) but you never feel powerless like newbies in cod do, everything feels perfect (with the only exception that you sometimes get stuck in the scenery, a problem that could have been solved with some kind of auto parkour or destructible environments, but i guess that will have to wait for titanfall 2), going on foot feels fast and responsive, going on titan feels powerful and badass, there is little more to ask for

    i have played a handful of betas in the last few years and this is the very first one where after ending i felt like “i want to play more!”

    my only worries about the game are the amount content available on release and EA’s dlc wetdreams (at least they promised no microtrans, that would have killed my interest in it), imho its not worth the 60 bucks (or the hilarious 60 euros origin wants from me) with so few maps/weapons and knowing you might be tempted to drop another 30-60 in the game’s lifespan on dlc

    You can find it at some key sites for a more reasonable price of ~45 usd without trying too hard or the mexican vpn “scam” for 37usd iirc (imho this one is not worth the risk), i thought about waiting a few months but i broke, i want more, im going to buy it on release, probably from a key site

  16. SillyWizard says:

    I’ve been seeing more of these “your video game stuff happens in rl” commercials lately. Does this appeal to anyone?

    Seeing a bunch of “normal dudes” (hipsters) surrounded by shooty-bang…I dunno. I don’t like it.

    • MkMax says:

      microsoft keeps pushing those commercials for the xbone, i dont like it either, it seems to be giving the idea that gamers would abandon real life and become shut-ins if given the chance which is not going to help winning any arguments with non-gamers watching from the sides

  17. Moraven says:

    Season Pass is $25.

    $20 if bundled with the base game.

    The 3 DLC packs will be priced at $10 if bought separately.

    • MkMax says:

      so if any of those 3 dlcs is crap (extremely likely) you wasted money

      • xao says:

        Unless of course, you bought the pass with the base game, in which case two of them would have to be crap. I’m curious as to your methodology for determining the likelihood of crapness of undescribed future DLC, though.

        • MkMax says:

          with the base game if 1dlc is crap you just didnt waste anything, you still spent 20 bucks so again no point getting a season pass, and about the likehood of crapness, ive seen EA’s publisher mandated dlc

          even if they are not crap, they are useless unless the entire community adopts them, otherwise you are the rich kid with all the maps/modes nobody else can play, also increasing the risk of getting the season pass

          • xao says:

            Well, no. As long as 11 other people in the entire world buy the same DLC, you can still play it, meaning that it’s not ‘useless’. I’ll wager that a lot more than 12 people wind up with the content. And yes, map packs do fragment your playerbase, but that’s the price you pay for allowing your customer choices. Different game modes also fragment your player base, but nobody’s campaigning against objective-oriented game types. The trick is to maintain a healthy enough playerbase that, even fragmented, you can provide diverse matchups on a regular basis.

            What’s your source on the DLC being publisher-mandated? I’ll just say that the Mass Effect series was published by EA and had some excellent DLC for both single- and multiplayer.

          • MkMax says:

            Im sure the developer is a beautiful butterfly with all the freedom in the world, sorry but i cant accept that

            you are asking me to give “sources” to something that is completely subjective, we obviously disagree with the quality of the dlc EA published, there is no point arguing there, talking about mass effect will not get us anywhere nice

          • xao says:

            Wait, what? I didn’t say anything about the developer. I didn’t ask you for sources on anything subjective. I asked you for a source validating the idea that any DLC is ‘publisher mandated’. This is not subjective, or a matter of opinion. This is a simple assertion that should be supported by evidence if you have any. If not, it’s just another tinfoil hat theory.

            As far as the quality of DLC, you’re entitled to your opinion of course, but several pieces of the Mass Effect DLC received a great deal of acclaim, even from this very website. You may not have liked them, but the overall quality was quite high.

          • MkMax says:

            liking, not liking, thats all subjective, there are no sources, there is no perfectly unbiased likeometer, i dont give a hoot if something is “critically acclaimed”, i dont have to go too far to find a ton of ppl that will argue otherwise, specially with mass effect

            the relationship between publisher and developer is something that has been discussed all the way to hell and back several times, the publisher puts the money, they have power over the output, if EA tells them to jump, they jump or they better find someone else to fund their multimillion dollar project (and right now because they would be in a hell of a lot of debt), EA has a particularly sordid history handling developers (they didnt win worst company of the year twice for nothing)

            and you keep bringing bioware into the subject being the biggest of all the developer EA got their hands on, making them the most suitable to object “publisher mandates” and even they have plenty of examples of the results under EA’s influence, DA2 being the brightest example, but mass effect hardly escapes their effects

            we dont have to agree, as you said, you are “entitled” to your opinion

          • xao says:

            Yeah… once again, I didn’t ask for a source about anyone liking a game. I asked for a source regarding your claim that the DLC was publisher-mandated.

            You still haven’t provided anything more than your own speculation on that front. Oh, and the ‘worst company’ award? EA won that because legions of internet people don’t like them. Giving that citation to a video game company while other companies are busy, you know, KILLING PEOPLE, is a farce.

            i dont give a hoot if something is “critically acclaimed”, i dont have to go too far to find a ton of ppl that will argue otherwise, specially with mass effect

            So you don’t care about objective judgements of quality? You’re just going to take the word of other people as long as they happen to agree with your opinion? Ooookay then…

            You’ll note that you haven’t actually presented any evidence that the Mass Effect DLC was actually bad. You’ve just claimed that ‘some people, somewhere didn’t like it’. That’s not a measure of quality.

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