Giant Freaking Robots
I’ve had the good fortune of being granted a beta key for Titanfall. A new FPS / Mecha multiplayer game from Respawn Entertainment. Respawn seems to be formed of talent from the original Infinity Ward team. Fast and aggressive, the gameplay is excellent though a bit rough in places. Everybody gets a Titan (a giant freaking robot) at some point. However, your performance in the early game determines how quickly. Split between only a couple of game modes, the multiplayer is lively and exciting. Teams tend to cooperate for certain goals, though I play with all mics muted in a state of blissful ignorance therefore I cannot make comment on the quality of the community.
When on foot speed is paramount, that’s where the parkour comes in. Wall running, and a short burst jet pack will launch you quickly across the map and I discovered early on that flat out running on the ground is a terrible idea. Custom loadouts are available after leveling up, and happily I can say that I only needed to play for about an hour to get to level 5 or 6. Finding your niche gameplay style seems to be the key much like the Call of Duty multiplayer. Gunplay is also snappy and satisfying both on foot and in mechs, courtesy of the aforementioned Infinity Ward talent.
Though I am terrible, you don’t necessarily lose anything by dying repeatedly. It will only take you longer to level up. No biggie. I can foresee that the current limited selection of gameplay modes could get samey, but beta is beta and more game modes are promised. Teams are 6v6 with included “minions” on each team. The minions are AI controlled, and seem to be rather worthless. On many occasions I’d pass by groups of minions from both sides sitting politely around the same room possibly exchanging recipes rather than doing what they’re supposed to. I agree very much with what Totalbiscuit suggested; that additional AI units of increasing difficulty would be a major plus.
Currently only available for PC, Xbox 360, and Xbox One all my reading to date points to an inevitable PS4 release down the road. Playing on my mid-range PC setup, Titanfall runs solid. Even cranking most settings to max, I rarely encountered a frame drop. It’s easy to tell that a lot of work has gone into optimization. Textures are good for the context, you won’t be standing around admiring the scenery for long and thus the textures and models are more than sufficient for the fast paced style that it is.
Beta is beta, and I may update this first impression post later on. Here are some matches I played sans commentary… and yes I am TERRIBLE. Enjoy.
**NOTE: YouTube’s processing has substantially degraded the quality of these videos! These don’t even resemble the actual gameplay. The compression artifacting is horrid. I will find an alternate service and reupload the original footage soon.
By far my best round.
I later discovered that only one Titan “chassis” is currently available during the beta, additional types of Titans will certainly help prevent the samey feel I got after about ten rounds. Gameplay mechanics are solid, and the framework is in place for a deep and rewarding gaming experience. Mind you, this is coming from a self-professed “digital agoraphobe.” I usually don’t enjoy multiplayer games and granted Titanfall won’t likely be a title I will spend money on, even I found it to be quite a thrill.
I lament to say that the best thing about Titanfall is the same thing that makes me sad; this could make one of the best singleplayer story-driven games of the last decade. It’s really a shame that multiplayer is the only option, however upon full release I would certainly recommend Titanfall to those who enjoy the multiplayer cup of tea. Is it a good game? Yes. Is it an excellent game? Remains to be proven upon full release. Will I be purchasing this game? Likely not. It’s a thrill ride to play, and I leave you with this:
Prepare for Titanfall, March 11th on PC and XBox One, and March 25th on Xbox 360.