One of the most-anticipated next-generation titles currently in development, Titanfall is set for release in less than 24 hours (from the time of this writing). Created by the minds that set a new benchmark for online multiplayer in the Call of Duty franchise, the blockbuster title from Respawn Entertainment is already being celebrated as a major step forward for competitive gameplay – combining fast-moving parkour with customizable mechs, as well as tried-and-true first person shooting.
While Titanfall does not feature a traditional story campaign, players will still be immersed in the game’s larger universe through brief bits of narrative that have been woven into online matches. Story-driven gamers could, likely, be underwhelmed, but the two online story branches are still a welcome glimpse at an intriguing world – one that Respawn hopes to expand through a recently announced live-action component.
Partnering with Playfight, the VFX company best known for their work on Call of Duty: Operation Kingfish and Rocket Jump’s Video Game High School, the developer is promising an expansion of the Titanfall story that takes chaotic mech vs. pilot battles and makes them a reality in live-action.
According to a statement attributed to Respawn Entertainment’s Dusty Welch:
Titanfall is set in a rich near future universe with visceral, epic battles with Pilots and their Titan companions. We wanted to partner with Playfight, who has a history of delivering movies that meld gameplay, live action and stellar CG into truly entertaining media, for Titanfall. What this collaboration brings is yet to unfold…”
Playfight appears equally enthusiastic about the partnership, considering their studio has “already begun laying the foundation for the creation of original content within the vast expanse of the Titanfall universe.”
What exactly the partnership means is, at this point, anyone’s guess – though we’ll get a much better idea when the project’s teaser trailer launches alongside the Titanfall game. Playfight has established a website for the collaboration at YourTitanIsReady.com - currently, the page includes a countdown clock that, when it hits zero (at 10pm EST), will unlock the promised teaser video.
There’s no question that the Titanfall universe could be a great foundation for a live-action movie adaptation or TV series; that said, considering that Respawn has partnered with Playfight, it’s much more likely that the venture will result in a smaller scale web series or simply live-action clips for inclusion in future DLC. Playfight is a quality VFX studio with several high profile properties under their belt but it’s unlikely they have the man power for a full-on Hollywood-style Titanfall production – even if the teaser site promises a “live action epic.”
Still, given that Respawn mastered the cinematic approach we’ve come to expect from the Call of Duty series, fans should expect the live-action Titanfall project to offer an immersive and high-quality experience (with great visuals).
That said, not everyone is sitting around waiting for the teaser, or counting the hours until midnight game releases, since some players already have Titanfall in their hands – and are hard at work ranking-up ahead of the official launch.
After Respawn and Microsoft promised not to ban or punish players who got ahold of the game early, lucky Titanfall fans have begun leveling their pilots and titans. A few players have even regenerated their characters (the equivalent of “prestige” in Call of Duty) – resetting leveling progress in exchange for G (insert number) designation on their player profile. Titanfall currently supports 10 generations – with a G10 designation being the ultimate honor.
These fortunate gamers might have a head start but many others are fully prepared for Titanfall tomorrow – unless you’re playing on Xbox 360 (and have another two weeks to wait).
Titanfall releases March 11, 2014 for the PC and Xbox One, and March 25th for the Xbox 360.
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