What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Titanfall is rated Mature for its intense violence, blood, and some gore. Players can shoot and kill other humans in a near-future war-like environment, using a number of weapons including Titans -- giant robotic suits -- to destroy the enemy. It's a multiplayer-only game, too, with no filters or moderators to curb profanity or other inappropriate words or phrases.
What's it about?
If you're into video games -- especially first-person shooters -- you no doubt know about TITANFALL, EA/Respawn's much-hyped sci-fi action epic for Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Windows PC. And it's no wonder there's so much hype for the game: It's developed by many of the same people who launched the multibillion-dollar Call of Duty franchise into the stratosphere, and Titanfall cleaned up at last year's E3 awards, winning a ton of awards including Best of Show.
For the uninitiated, the futuristic shooter lets players fight on foot as an agile Pilot as well as climb into a 24-foot-tall Titan, a 'mech' -- kind of like a giant robot -- with some serious firepower. The multiplayer-centric game has players fighting across varied maps waiting for the chance to call in their Titans, which drop from the skies with a satisfying thud. In the Titan, players have a different arsenal of weapons and abilities and, of course, some serious height. When the Titan takes too much damage, players eject before it explodes and fend for themselves on the ground.
Some of the main modes include Attrition, a Deathmatch-like game that's recommended for newbies focused simply on killing the other side and scoring points; Hardpoint, which might be compared to Capture the Flag and wherein players need to capture points on the map and defend them; Last Titan Standing, wherein everyone starts off in a Titan, and it's a no-holds-barred fight to the finish. As with Call of Duty, players earn points for success during play that can be used to level up, change equipment "loadouts," and gain new abilities.
Is it any good?
Controlling Titanfall feels good and bears a lot of similarity to the action-packed shooters that came before it. But the added combat variety that mixes on-the-ground Pilot-style play with the amped-up, mech-style Titan combat does a lot to push the genre in new tactical directions. Players have a lot of new choices to make: Should I stay on foot, jump in my Titan, or have the Titan follow me around? It's also important to note that the game ran smoothly and quickly, even with 12 players on one map.
Too bad there's no single-player campaign, however. Whether the game developers ran out of time or decided early on a multiplayer-only experience -- apparently the latter is true -- it's disappointing not to learn more about the story and characters and to practice your chops against artificial intelligence. Still, this great-looking and intense shooter does in fact live up to the hype as the first must-own game of 2014 -- but for mature action fans only.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how the violence of a futuristic, sci-fi setting such as Titanfall compares to a game set in a world like ours such as Grand Theft Auto? Do more fantastic settings reduce the sting of violence?
Get kids thinking about responsible behavior in multiplayer games. What might you encounter when you play online with other people? How should you conduct yourself? How should you deal with a cyberbully?
Families can consult a list of Common Sense Media-recommended Teen-rated games here to try to find an alternative.