In Titanfall, players fight in online multiplayer-only matches set on a war-torn planet as mech-style Titans and their pilots. Its action is fast-paced, including abilities to run on walls and hijack mechs, and extended periods between player deaths. Respawn describes the game as bringing "scale, verticality, and story" to first-person shooter multiplayer gaming, incorporating elements traditionally used in single-player campaigns. The game uses Microsoft's cloud computing services to offload non-player activity to servers and optimize the home computer for graphical performance.The game won over 60 awards at its E3 2013 reveal, including a record-breaking six E3 Critics Awards, and Best of Show from several media outlets. It also won official awards at Gamescom and the Tokyo Game Show. Many reviewers predicted Titanfall to be the next step for the first-person shooter genre, and IGN's Ryan McCaffrey declared the game "Microsoft's killer app".
Players fight either on foot as free-running "pilots" or inside agile mech-style walkers called "Titans" to complete team-based objectives on a derelict and war-torn planet as either the Interstellar Manufacturing Corporation (IMC) or the Militia. The game is online multiplayer-only, but injects single-player elements such as plot, character chatter, and non-player characters into its matches. Respawn founder Vince Zampella described the game as bringing "scale, verticality, and story" to first-person shooter multiplayer gaming.