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For a game about piloting giant mechs, it sure feels good to run around on foot in Titanfall. Well, maybe not on foot, exactly, since when you’re outside your titan you’ll mostly be leaping through the air and running along walls.

This is a game in which you can traverse levels at fantastic speed and explore their full vertical heights, using a moveset which not only rewards skill but is also surprisingly intuitive to grasp.

And it feels great, even with a gamepad. Titanfall is a model of firstperson fluidity and precision on gamepad, while also capturing a sense of your pilot’s – and titan’s – physical body. This moveset and sense of motion emerged from the firstperson shooter greats.

Both Titanfall, which was released in March 2014, and its sequel, which was released in October 2016, were built in heavily adapted versions of the Source engine and therefore inherit the fundamental control systems of Half-Life 2.

But in sculpting the game’s actual feel, developer Respawn was also looking back to another classic, Halo: Combat Evolved. β€œIt’s still the gold standard,” says senior software engineer Rayme Vinson. As he began to block out the controls for the game that would become Titanfall, …read more