February 25, 2014
Titanfall Beta: First Impressions
One week ago, I was staring at a launch poster for Respawn Entertainment’s Titanfall. Like so many other first person shooters that fell off of the wagon, Titanfall looked to be the same boring treatment of aiming and shooting to my heart’s content. As EA announced that the beta would be open to both Xbox and PC platforms for all, I immediately raced to my Origin client to begin downloading. Two hours later, I was yanking pilots from their Titans and free running all around Angel City.
Titanfall is far more than a measly first person shooter.
Titanfall is a promise to players that high-octane action and balanced multiplayer will meet beautifully on the battlefield.
The beta started me off with a flashy tutorial simulation aboard one of the pilot’s drop carriers. The tutorial seemed simple enough; running, jumping, shooting and — of course — how to pilot a Titan were all included. What I hadn’t counted on was how immersive it really felt to drop onto the battlefield for the first time with your mates. The beta gave me a number of game modes to tally around with, including Attrition, Hardpoint and Last Titan Standing.
Hardpoint is as much a domination game type as Domination from Modern Warfare, with no clever twists to the gameplay. This isn’t so bad really. Last Titan Standing pits six pilots against another six in an all-out team battle that requires strategy to win. If you have the lone wolf mentality with shooters, you’d do best to stay away from Last Titan Standing.
Attrition is an all-out team death match combining both Titans and pilots on the same map with no limitations and nothing but their crosshairs to aim down enemies. Where most team death match game types are only useful for satisfying your ego with kill streaks, Titanfall rewards you with every jump that you take across buildings. Every enemy you kill is a progression to your Titan being deployed on the map at your command. Play like a pro and you will see your Titan dropped on the map much sooner than you think.
This makes Attrition a bit unbalanced for players who don’t understand the ropes of the game, but the bots will make up for the lack of action and skill. In fact, one might say that having bots running around in a match alongside skilled players is an unfair advantage. They would be right if the bots weren’t so slow to reaction and easy to kill. The bots instead serve as a means of balancing out the action on the map.
This keeps the action flowing very nicely without ruining your kill streak or your fun. While level 14 pilots were bouncing their way across rooftops laying waste to my team’s grunts, I was inside the buildings doing perimeter checks for my squad. The experience on foot is as close to Mirror’s Edge as a game is ever going to get. Guns kill enemies as quickly as they do in CoD while free running across and through buildings feels much smoother than what I’d seen in gameplay videos leading up to the beta.
Titanfall is a first person shooter unlike any other before it, and that’s a refreshing thing to see in light of Battlefield and Call of Duty reserving dirtying up the genre with buggy and glitched game releases. But I’m not done yet! More on this blog in the future! Until then, let me know what you think of Respawn’s Titanfall in the comments below!
Image Credit: Respawn Entertainment