Rise of the Titan Fall
I have been in love with giant robots since I first watched Robotech in grade school. Ever since then I have been on the look out for a game that could fulfill my Robotech fantasy. The Robotech games have unfortunately not been particularly good and I avoided them. I thought that the MechWarrior franchise would scratch my itch, but the MechWarrior series has always been more focussed on strategy rather than run and gun action. I eventually stumbled across Shogo: Mobile Armored Division which had a great combination of combat on foot and in a giant Mech although the game was a bit rough around the edges. Fast forward several years and I am still on the lookout for my mech-fix. But two recent developments promise to bring some closure to my mech-lovin’ odyssey, namely HAWKEN and Titanfall.
HAWKEN is a free to play mech FPS that has received alot of positive press. It was developed by Adhesive Games, and it looks great and has good gameplay. The game is fast paced but still manages to convey the sense of piloting a massive killing machine. The only reason that I have not jumped into the fray with HAWKEN is because my PC is not up to spec. In order to get my free HAWKEN fix, I would have to drop some serious cash on a PC upgrade which is not going to happen any time soon. My other concern is about the free to play model which has been implemented in HAWKEN. Early reports suggest that it is a play to win model and that if you do not spend real cash on the game, the upgrades will take too long. I am not sure how accurate this still is, I have seen an updated patch which attempts to balance the progression and make the mech upgrades reasonably accessible without having to grind for hours on end. I hope that this is the case because HAWKEN looks like a very promising game.
The other mech game that I am really excited about is Titanfall. It combines mech and traditional foot soldier combat. In the game you can call in a Titan which you can either pilot yourself or which can autonomously support you during a mission. The gameplay adds a few innovative elements to the standard FPS formula. As a foot soldier you are equipped with boosters which allow you to double jump and also run along the sides of buildings a la Unreal Tournament. If your Titan is critically damaged you can eject from it and are able to continue fighting once you have bailed out safely. The flip side is that you are vulnerable to attack as you fly through the air and will have to shoot your way to safety. My enthusiasm has been dampened by the news that TitanFall will not be released in South Africa because of ‘network problems’. I am still quite tempted to import it once it’s finally released on Xbox 360. I will most likely wait until a few local early adopters have given a review of the network performance before I take the plunge.
As a mech fan, I certainly feel like I am finally spoilt for choice. I would be playing HAWKEN right now if my PC was up to the task. As it stands I will have to wait patiently until Titanfall is released for the Xbox 360 and then maybe wait a little longer to find out how good the local network performance is before I spend my hard-earned on it. If you have given HAWKEN or Titanfall a try, drop me a line @fifthcolumnza. I am keen to hear what you think.