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2014 Game of the Year 9: Titanfall

Years ago, tensions boiled over between Activision and Infinity Ward, with many prominent members of the Modern Warfare development studio exiting for new endeavors. When Respawn Entertainment rose from the ashes, many eagerly awaited their debut effort. Titanfall delivered much of the first-person shooting atmosphere that the former IW devs had become recognized for, while adding in a new future landscape and giant mechs. But even with expectations as high as they were, Respawn managed to exceed them with mechanics nobody saw coming.

The mechs themselves shake up the FPS formula in a big way, with different mech types offering their own unique upgrades. Mechs are powerful behemoths that can cut through infantry like butter, but also make for some titanic clashes on the battlefield. Titanfall also sprinkled in elements of MOBA games by adding CPU-controlled grunts for target practice. Even those that aren't necessarily experts against more seasoned players can still contribute to the team effort by completing objectives or taking out these underlings. There's a role for just about everyone.

Where Titanfall truly shines, however, is through pilot control. No one ever expected being a pilot to be as fun, if not more so, than walking around in a towering mech. Pilot movement is far smoother than in many other FPS games and the addition of wall-running cannot be understated. Vaulting to great heights by running up the sides of buildings and leaping from place-to-place is an exhilarating experience, topped only by taking down a Titan after a successful rodeo.

Titanfall is one of the most memorable FPS experiences to come along in a long time and stands as a stellar debut for Respawn, who will hopefully be in the game for years to come.

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