Easily the most-hyped game of 2014 thus far, Titanfall has been billed as the first truly must-have game for the Xbox One and compared to such legendary titles as Halo and Call of Duty.

But does it live up to the hype?

The answer is a resounding yes. This game is awesome.

The first title from Respawn Entertainment–the new studio created by Infinity Ward founders Jason West and Vince Zampella, the creators of Call of Duty–Titanfall is what would happen if Call of Duty, Halo, and Assassin’s Creed had a beautiful, beautiful love child.

Titanfall combines the frenetic action and pacing of Call of Duty with the sci-fi and supersoldier elements of Halo, then throws in a dash of Assassin’s Creed’s parkour elements for good measure.

Set in a distant future where man had advanced across the stars, Titanfall puts players in the middle of an insurrection between the rebellious militia and the IMC. As the games progress, players can call down their own Titan, a massive, heavily-armed and -armored walking mech.

Those people who have played Call of Duty will find a lot of similarity with Titanfall, at least as far as the control schemes and game modes are concerned. There is a level progression system based on XP, and like Call of Duty, players are able to unlock new weapons and attachments to customize their characters, though the number of option available are significantly less.

Unlike Call of Duty, however, Titanfall does not have Perks or Killstreaks. Pilots do have abilities like a cloaking device or faster running ability, but this system is more like the armor abilities in Halo rather than the perk setup in Call of Duty.

The result is a finely-balanced, more even game that is a lot of fun. There isn’t a steep learning curve like in Call of Duty, and beginning players will find themselves on a more level-playing field than someone who has ranked up quite a bit. The game is more about player skill and strategy rather than who has unlocked a better weapon or called in a killstreak.

One thing to note about Titanfall is its total lack of a single-player campaign. Sure, there is a “campaign” mode, but it’s basically just a series of regular multiplayer matches with dialogue and mini-window cutscenes playing in the background. The outcome of your match has no bearing whatsoever on the story events. It’s still fun, though.

Respawn explained that the vast majority of time spent on Call of Duty was in multiplayer, so why devote all the time and resources necessary for something that wasn’t going to be used much? The decision makes sense, but campaign aficionados are going to be disappointed.

So if you’re looking for a reason to buy an Xbox One, need a new game for your collection, or are looking for something to do this reason, head on down to your local game store and check out Titanfall. You won’t be disappointed, especially the first time you rodeo a Titan or go rampaging through enemy infantry in your multi-ton war machine.

Titanfall was released for Xbox One and PC on March 11 and will be available on the Xbox 360 starting March 25.

Image courtesy of respawn.com