Titanfall took last year’s E3 by storm, walking out with over 60 end of show awards, including a record number of Critics’ awards. That’s not too bad coming from a small studio of around 60 people working toward their company’s first official release. A project four years in the making, Respawn Entertainment rose up as a new project from former Infinity Ward figureheads Jason West and Vince Zampella. Finally, Titanfall was unveiled in a more finalized form last June, and once Grand Theft Auto V dropped in September, has arguably been the most anticipated gaming title since. Many consider Titanfall to be the XBox One’s first great standalone console selling title (though you could put for a healthy argument for Forza Motorsport 5,) and starting March 11th, we’ll all begin to see if the hype was worth it. If you haven’t yet made the leap and are standing pat a little while longer, it will also be available for XBox 360 and PC.
You play a chosen class of Titan, embroiled in a bitter turf war of sorts. What is interesting about Titanfall is that the meat and potatoes of the game itself will be solely online multiplayer, while there’s very little single player element to it. In fact, there are no single player missions or campaigns, which was a very easy decision according to developer Respawn’s co-founder Vince Zampella. In an interview with Gamesindustry.biz last June, Zampella expressed his desire to exclude single player campaigns, because of (amongst other things) the belief that a very small percentage of gamers purchasing these games ever finished the single player campaign, and the small studio of developers were best to hone their focus. It seems to have worked so far, given the build-up toward the final release.
In that regard, Microsoft and EA are collaborating to release a Limited Edition Titanfall controller with the release of the game itself. I’ve become a fan of the idea of special edition controllers, as it’s a much cheaper alternative to enjoy a favorite franchise or game outside of the software itself in comparison to a full on console. While I do like the idea of special edition consoles for the right franchises or games, controllers are a much more versatile solution, especially for those who can’t afford to purchase them. Besides, if you think about it, you’ll always need those extra controllers, especially now that you can sync up so many of them with your XBox One.
I had the opportunity to unbox one of these controllers, and I’d like to share a few pictures with you to show you just what it looks like up close and personal. The box itself is pretty straight forward – Remove the tape and flip the lid up, and you’re faced with the controller immediately. The unit I had really only had two pieces in the tray – The controller itself and a set of batteries for it.
Inside the box, however, is a fairly colorful controller. The controller’s face is a bright white, while the back is completely black. The buttons themselves on the face of the controller are identical to a standard XBox One controller – Black rubber coated thumbsticks, and a black D-Pad. The buttons are the same colors, and the XBox Logo flashes white too.
The difference here lays on the face of the controller itself, and the branded design. The design itself is reminiscent of the game’s C-101 carbine, used by the Titan Pilots in-game. The C-101 branding is on the right side of the controller, which has black wrap banding. The center has the signature “A” in the Titanfall logo. On the left side, it’s in Orange, with “Lastimosa Armory” emblazoned. That likely is an in-game homage to Respawn’s Ryan Lastimosa, a long time robotics artist and one of the lead character designers. The code underneath the D-Pad and thumbstick is really anybody’s guess (I don’t know if it’s a hidden message or just a sequence of numbers) and it shares all the basic functionalities of the XBox One controller including:
-A versatile D-Pad, including sensors for sweeping motions and button presses.
-Better pressure sensitivity on the thumbsticks and triggers, including vibrating impulse features on the latter.
-A re-designed body with better ergonomic feel for different hand sizes.
-A re-designed back so that batteries sit flush to the unit, as opposed to mounting jutted out like the XBox 360’s controller did.
-Higher speed data transfers through the enhanced ports on the bottom part between the hand grips.
One thing to keep in mind is that while this is a Titanfall branded controller, there aren’t any special or exclusive functionalities. Since this is geared to mimic the regular first party controllers, there’s nothing built into it that will help you cheat or get any sort of advantage in the Titanfall game itself. There’s no rapid fire buttons, or programmable sequences you can save. To that effect, the Titanfall controller is simply a visual step-up from the jet black all over the standard controller, but it sort of breaks the monotony of the latter nevertheless. In fact, it’s just plainly put a nice looking controller, and it’s just as nice in person as it shows in the photos.
The XBox One Titanfall controller is available for Pre-Order now and will be coming soon. Titanfall itself will be available at Best Buy on Tuesday, March 11th.
In the meantime, it isn’t too late for you to pre-order the regular editions for PC, XBox 360 or XBox One. Also available is the special edition for XBox 360, PC and XBox One. The Special Edition will cost you in the neighborhood of $250 but features one of the most unique things I’ve ever seen in a gaming collector’s edition – An 18” LED battery powered and lighted Titan Statue compromised of over 300 individual parts. You’ll also receive a few other bonuses, like a full color art-book and a full sized Titan poster along with the game itself.
Don’t forget that you will need an XBox Live Gold subscription to play the game online, and stay tuned – There are rumours floating around about a limited edition console too.