This morning the first wave of early reviews are in - and they’re overwhelmingly positive. While SlashGear’s long-form review will be posted soon [UPDATE: our long-form Titanfall Review is live!], we’re having a peek at what some of those looking at an early EA/Microsoft-hosted Xbox One-centric gameplay event have to say. Meanwhile, the game is already starting to release around the world - starting in Asia - that’s Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and more, already rolling out extremely quickly on servers for PC.
Titanfall is a first-person shooter game that expands on the model by allowing users to hop in and out of "Titans" - large mech warriors made to battle one another with beastly weapons galore. Players are also given characters with a much more agile set of abilities than the average FPS, allowing them to run up walls and make massive double-jumps with rocket packs. This game is set to take the FPS genre out a whole new door for both PC (Windows) and Xbox One.
Over at Polygon you’ll find further confirmation that the first round of reviews are not in any way finalized products. As Arthur Gies suggests, this first round is just based on Beta gameplay and an event hosted by Microsoft and EA on Xbox Ones in a closed environment.
"This review involved a two-day review event hosted by Microsoft and EA, playing on Xbox One consoles and "retail servers" on March 3 and 4, as well as time spent playing "retail" downloadable copies prior to launch by multiple Polygon editors. Staff also participated in Titanfall's closed alpha and beta in January and February respectively. This review will be updated to reflect any extended server issues, should they arise." - Arthur Gies, Polygon
As such, you’ll find that most reviews out today focus on gameplay, not final products in the field. This makes one whole heck of a lot of sense when you consider that the game is entirely online in a multiplayer setting.
Over at GiantBomb, Jeff Gerstmann suggests that the team will be waiting until they see the retail version of the game to give it a full score. His first-hand comments suggest that this is not a game is good, but also not for everyone:
"Titanfall is a very specific game built for a specific type of person. When you add it all up, the list of available content and the various options for speccing out your pilot feel light, and that might make this game a little hard to swallow at $60.
But getting into these wild situations and shooting your way out of them feels fresh and fun in a way that the other shooters on the market don't. If you like the basic form but need more of a twist on how you move and how you shoot, Titanfall's core action is extremely satisfying, which makes it a little easier to overlook the lack of available modes." - Jeff Gerstmann, GiantBomb
At Eurogamer you’ll find word that this game works with a "drab line-up of game modes", but also that the title is essentially a game-changer. This is a game that will bring you back in if you’re over the "hyper-macho military shooters" that command the environment today (or before today).
" There's still room for improvement, most notably in that rather drab line-up of game modes, and in its current form it's perhaps more of a step forward for shooters than a giant leap. But that still represents the most positive momentum seen in the genre for at least five years." - Dan Whitehead, Eurogamer
Over at IGN, it’s all about the positivity that comes with playing this game which introduces a whole new mode of play with Titans. Aside from noting that the game is "somewhat regrettably a barebones game in terms of modes and customization features at launch," McCaffrey gives this title a really positive outlook.
"After my first few rounds of Titanfall, hearing the “Your titan is now ready” notification began to induce a Pavlovian adrenaline-rush response. I still catch myself looking up to the sky as I press down on the D-pad to call it in, because watching my 20-foot-tall robot exosuit fall onto the battlefield, seemingly from Heaven, is a glorious sight that I still see replaying when I close my eyes at night." - Ryan McCaffrey, IGN
With Gamespot it would appear that they’ve been convinced of the game’s full potential right off the bat. They’ve given Titanfall a 9/10, saying that the game is a "leap forward for shooters", saying that, thus far, any "in-game hitches" were "exception to the rule" during the "many hours" they’ve played thus far.
"The sprint speed, the arsenal, the game modes, and more are all firmly derived from some of the most successful online shooters of recent years. But by reinventing the way you move, Titanfall reinvents what it feels like to play a competitive shooter." - Chris Watters, GameSpot
With Edge it’s all about potential. They make specific note, again, about how they’re going to be following up with additional notes once they see how this game plays in the real, retail market once it’s out. Other than that, it seems to be all positive.
"The potential for launch week performance issues is the key issue holding Titanfall back from a recommendation at this stage, as is a triple-A pricepoint that many may find hard to justify for an exclusively multiplayer game. In its own right, though, this is arguably the best multiplayer shooter since the original Modern Warfare – and proof that beyond that well-used formula, a better game was waiting to be made." - Edge Online
Finally there’s Joystiq, a group which also seems to be ready to roll with a rating - they’ve given it 4.5 stars out of 5. They’ve also gone ahead and given his game a big high-five for the notion that it’s a change of pace - and a welcome one - in this environment.
"It subsists on imbalance and the race to bear big arms first. It feeds on the fallout that results when equality means the other guy gets a robot too. Titanfall isn't tuned to perfection for everyone yet, but it starts as a smart, swift and startling movement in well-traveled space." - Ludwig Kietzmann, Joystiq
And remember - SlashGear's full in-depth Titanfall Review will be coming on shortly - stay tuned to our Titanfall tag portal for more! We'll be speaking on both the Xbox One and PC version with more detail than your eyeballs can handle!