Valentine’s Day weekend was surprisingly good for the forever alone crowd. Usually you’d be stuck at home drunk tweeting and watching 500 Days of Summer. This year you had a choice between the NBA All Star festivities, season 2 of House of Cards, and most of all, the Titanfall beta.
Titanfall is one of the most anticipated games of 2014. It is developed by Respawn Entertainment, but most of you may know them as part of the original Infinity Ward team who made Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare. Titanfall has actually been in development since around 2010, but IW making this game for EA and not Activision caused a breach in contract and led to the heads of IW being fired. All this lead to a huge 400 million dollar lawsuit and a more convoluted storyline than the Modern Warfare games themselves.
So lets get to the game! The game has a very “Call of Duty-ish feel.” It’s fast and fluid, but more user friendly than the current FPS games out at the moment. Titanfall isn’t trying to create something new here. Instead, they are trying to combine the best elements of every FPS out and make it work. You have the now standard primary and secondary weapon, a grenade of choice, and various perks. Titanfall’s wall running and ledge climbing are reminiscent of another EA title, Mirror’s Edge. Due to this mobility, it’s very easy to get on rooftops and find good vantage points. You’d think this would lead to a lot of camping, but due to the ease of wall climbing (literally a click of the left thumb stick) you have very little time to sit and wait.
Even though the game is a 6V6 format, you will have bots to aid you. Bots will have titles such as grunts, spectres, etc. and some will be more aggressive than others. At times the bots will look just like the human players, which makes it a little hard to tell the difference. Others will have straight up robot bodies. This adds a level of depth in a sense. For instance, say you run into a group of enemies. You may not know who is a bot and who is a human, and obviously you will want to kill the human as they are more skilled and will kill you quicker. There have been times when I have run into a group of 2 or 3 enemy characters and chose wrong. While I shot and killed a bot, the human was the one who killed me.
Aside from your primary and secondary weapons, you also have your choice of anti-titan weapons. These come in handy so you don’t feel defenseless if you encounter a titan. But you’re still dead if it sees you. You will have the ability to level up in order to gain perks and more weapons for your character, similar to the COD games. Leveling up is a lot easier in this game because of how many more enemies you can kill. Killing human players will give you the most points, killing titans will be the 2nd most, and bots will bring in the least xp. The level cap in the beta was level 14, and I reached that within a handful of hours.
So lets get to the star of the show. The Titans! At the beginning of the match, you will receive a 2 minute warning to summon your titan. Those 2 minutes can be sped up as you kill other players or bots. Once you have the signal to summon a bot you just point to an open area, press down on the D-pad and wait about 5 seconds for your titan to drop. Once aboard your titan, you have your primary weapon and rockets for your secondary. The titan feels very mobile, and a strafe button allows you to do a quick dodge of any rockets or fire coming your way. My favorite feature is the absorption shield. I just named it that lol. Say you’re being attacked by another titan and they’re firing everything at you, just press and hold the left bumper and a shield will come up. You can catch all incoming fire, and when the shield ends you fire it right back at your opponent! You can dismount your titan at any time and have it follow you. This comes in handy as a distraction. One useful strategy is while your opponents try to attack your titan, you can sneak up on them and kill them. When the titan’s health is near empty it will enter a self destruct sequence. You have about 10 seconds to eject or it’s curtains. Playing as the titans are indeed fun, but there were matches where I didn’t even summon mine. Either I was doing very well on the ground, or everyone had their titan up. That can be very hectic and too much can be going on at once.
At beta time we were given 2 arenas: Fracture and Angel City. Fracture is a big, desert area which is good for using the titans and open field battles. Angel city is more narrow and good for demonstrating the wall jumping and rooftop climbing.
The only complaints I’ve had at this point were that the shotgun in the game feels a bit overpowered, and the sniper rifle feels extremely weak. Another issue that really had me concerned for a moment was on Friday night when I was trying to find a server, I couldn’t connect to anything. I thought this was just a problem with me until I found out this was an issue with everyone, including people just trying to install the beta to their system. This problem was solved in about 20 minutes and hopefully does not become an issue at launch. I suppose that’s the point of the beta in the first place. To shore up problems like these before launch. YOU HEAR THAT ROCKSTAR????
Titanfall is an amazingly fun game and I cannot wait for it to come out. I had some initial doubts and worries about the game, but now I just cannot wait. Titanfall comes out for Xbox One and PC on March 11th and Xbox 360 on March 25th.