10 Classic Games That Inspired the Titanfall Series
Many of this generation’s top-selling titles have found inspiration from classics. And no series has shown more tribute to the mech-action subgenre than Titanfall.
Awesome multiplayer modes; guerilla warfare-inspired action; and stellar simulation tactics—Respawn Entertainment’s online FPS shares the makings of old school fan-favs such as MechWarrior and many others. Check out some of the other genre-defining games that have inspired the Titanfall series.
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Earthsiege 2 (1995)
A stepping-stone for the genre, Earthsiege 2 was a huge step up from its predecessor on the graphics end. Gameplay was just as impressively technical as it required players to choose weapons based on balance of firepower, capacity, energy consumption, and cost repair/replacement. Squadmate voices and video briefings was one thing, but building out your own robots with armor, shield output, and weaponry was something much more radical, especially for the Windows 95-era.
Image: Guy Incognito
The Front Mission 3 (1999)
Square Enix’s threequel was by no means a critical hit; the game received massive shade for its simplified mechanics, yet it still managed to elevate two of the franchise’s biggest selling points: elaborate storytelling and tactical gameplay. Pilot-ejecting from a Titanfall mech definitely brings back memories of being force-ejected in Front Mission 3 fights. Wouldn’t surprise us if other elements from the tactical RPG find their way into Respawn’s sequel.
Omega Boost (1999)
Despite finding a home on the original PlayStation console, this 3D STG found little mainstream success in the US and was considered a sleeper hit amongst hardcore gamers. It featured finely detailed mechs designed by anime legend Shoji Kawamori of Macross fame and showcased some of the best graphics at the time. However, both took a backseat to the game’s simulation mechanics that complemented the on-rails action and leveling system. Mastering each level was essential, the same way most Titanfall players have learned the ins and outs of each map.
MechWarrior 4: Vengeance (2000)
The one franchise Titanfall will forever be mentally linked to is MechWarrior. Even a former EA community manager admitted that gamers would ”have some MechWarrior vibes” when jumping into a Titan. Piloting a Battlemech in a galactic civil war, Vengeance set the bar for mech games when introducing new multiplayer modes within its campaign, and favored team-based combat. A streamlined mech customization system expanded gameplay in ways we hadn’t seen at the time. Plus much of the simulation tactics remained true to the series roots.
Just when the gaming community started losing faith in the genre, developer Day 1 Studios brought us this Xbox exclusive, which was set in the BattleTech universe. MechAssault earned much praise for its fun online multiplayer and gets credit for helping launch the Xbox Live network. Though much of its gameplay elements are still overlooked, such as the swift action and interactive environments.
Image: Microsoft Game Studios
Steel Battalion (2002)
Spending two Benjamins on a video game just to experience the feel of being in a real-life VT (vertical tank)? Capcom was feeling daring when it released Steel Battalion. Only available on the Xbox, the title came bundled with a peripheral “cockpit” that included two joysticks, three-foot pedals, and 40 buttons and switches. Even if the controller took up your entire living room, the IP delivered on its promise of surreal mech piloting with precision gameplay and stellar tank design.
Metal Wolf Chaos (2004)
Japan always gets the best exclusives. This third-person action title gained a cult following in the US through a series of YouTube clips telling the ridiculous story of the fictional US President Michael Wilson suiting up in mech to save the country from the evil Vice President. Interestingly enough, developers FromSoftware showed there were more layers to Metal Wolf Chaos, such as its deep combo system and varied mech combat options. If anything, it showed how titles like Titanfall could ignore a single-player campaign for online multiplayer.
Image: From Software
Sega’s mech combat simulator was well received for multiple reasons: the customization options, insane robot designs, and persistent online battles are some of the best. Still, the story-enhanced battle and player-choice options in battle are something that the designers over at Respawn state will also be featured in Titanfall 2. Sadly for this property, a sequel has yet to see the light of day.
The Lost Planet Series (2006 – 2013)
Customized characters. Check. Dystopian landscapes. Check. Grappling Hook. Check. The Vital Suits in Lost Planet added depth to what was pretty linear gameplay, with the freedom to jump in and out of high-powered robots for cover-based combat, similar to the grounded shenanigans of Titanfall.
It’s been great to get all the extra Hawken content over the years, through patches and updates. The free-to-play multiplayer FPS takes a more strategic approach to mech warfare, slowing down the workings of each robot and making combat and movement more purposeful. Action remains fast-paced, however, and the multiple Team Deathmatch modes drew PC gamers in in droves during the peak of Hawken‘s popularity.
Image: Reloaded Games