Many of us remember the drama that unfolded after the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 between Infinity Ward and Activision. This break-away caused the creation of Respawn Entertainment, the creators of Titanfall — a game that is anticipated to break records.
The game is solely multiplayer, which means there is no single player campaign. Multiplayer has been the rage for years now, with many games throwing together shorter duration campaigns to focus on more intense and complex multiplayer action.
I was ecstatic when I started reading about Titanfall and how promising it looked overall. Then I kept watching, reading and studying. The hype started to fade. Until tonight, when my beta code came in for my X-Box One. I’ve put in a few hours and have hit the level cap for the beta experience (Level 14). This is how I feel thus far.
I was shocked…at how bland they are. Given, it’s a beta, so I assume that they will be polished over once the finished product is released to the public in March. But still, many aspects were lackluster. Even the Hardpoint cap points (A, B, C) indicators were just small colors circles. I just expected more.
Loading bars, character models, guns, attachments, and even titan models are…meh.The game looks as good as Halo Reach on X-Box 360. But there is much more to be unlocked, and like I said before, there is more time for polishing. What is important for the beta is game play mechanics and how well the servers hold up.
This is where the beta truly shines. Although the handling and the fundamental mechanics of the game feel pretty similar to a Call of Duty game, the game play in itself is new and refreshing. I didn’t think it was possible to add such fresh aspects of game play, but they seem to have done it thus far. And so what if it “feels” and “moves” like a Call of Duty game? They’re a top tier first person shooter series! Oh, and it’s 6 vs. 6 real life players in game.
But on the map there is not only you, your team members and enemy players, but there are friendly and foe bots. Although they have the mentality of Jester from Socom (Oh, a throwback shooter joke!) These guys basically act as kill fodder. They don’t do anything but get in the way, and I am unsure if they even help with the objectives. However, killing them takes some time off the wait for your titan. In order to get your Titan, there is a counter on the bottom right hand side. When it’s ready, the game will notify you and you can command that it be dropped in or wait until you die and respawn in the titan.
There are also items called “Burn Cards” that are earned and can be equipped in the lobby to be used in-game. For example, one card cuts down the cool time on your Titan counter. There are many others.
As a human, which is called a “Pilot” in-game, you have a jet pack-type technology attached to your back that allows you to run along walls, double jump and so on. This allows for Parkour-like escapes and extremely fast-paced game play. Use this to your advantage. For example, imagine bailing out of your Titan hundreds of feet into the air, then land on top of a building near an enemy Titan. You’re not close enough, but with a nice double jump you Rodeo onto their back and take it out. Epic.
As a Titan, you have much at your disposal as well. They get their weapon, a Tactical Ability, Ordnance, and Kits (Perks). In the beta there is only one version of Titan that can be used and lightly modified, but the movement is fluid. You can run like a person and you can do a couple of quick dashes to evade attacks (“A” Button). Getting into a one versus one with another Titan is truly a refershing experience.
As a human you get a Primary weapon, a Secondary weapon, an Anti-Titan weapon, a Tactical Ability (Such as “Cloak”), an Ordnance (Such as a Frag Grenade) and two Kits (Essentially these are perks).
I love the end of each match… If you lose an escort ship comes in and you must battle your way to it and get in. If you die, you don’t respawn. If you’re even on the winning team you don’t respawn. If you get to the ship and it doesn’t get destroyed (I have only seen it happen once), you get some bonus experience points.
During the beta test there is only two maps (That I’ve played, at least) – Fracture and Angel City. I never usually say this, but… I love these maps. Well, for the most part. They are somewhat generic in theme and aesthetics, but the designs themselves flow incredibly well. I love how the Titans cannot get into all of the capture points, so people on foot are still necessary. There are open areas and long lines of sight, and then there are clusters and tight spots for close quarters combat. This helps the flow of the game stay fresh, rather than having a sniper sit back and a corner… Which creates a stagnant energy.
The developers created a sensation of being so small, despite being in a big titan. Look into the sky or into the distance and see war being waged or a large structure. It’s an awesome feeling.
I am very picky when it comes to games these days, probably because many games (Most notably First Person Shooters) are rehashed. Nothing is new and refreshing, or only slightly. But I have a good feeling about this game. However, there are some things I’d like:
- Deeper Aesthetic Customization – I’d like to be able to modify how my Pilot and Titan look. Maybe patches for clans can be added and Titans can have their colors altered. Minor stuff.
- Better AI – The Grunts and other AI are atrocious. Allow players to command them or something. I’ve literally seen them sit in corners and stare at me blankly before I blast them away. They shouldn’t be insanely difficult, but even the Grunts in the Halo series did more (And their heads would explode with confetti — the choice was there!)
- Tons of Game Modes – With no single player campaign, I hope that there is a ton of different game modes. The community will be big enough for it. I’m not talking basic Team Deathmatch, either. I want Survival game types where you and a few friends survive waves of enemies and maybe even some small cooperative missions.
- Titles – Many games have this, not just Call of Duty games. Add in titles that show that players have accomplished certain feats.
- And much, much more. There are so many possibilities with this game!
Overall the game is coming along quite well, and I expect Respawn Entertainment to deliver. This is a game I’d definitely suggest any casual or serious gamer add to their library. And I know this is thrown around a lot, but this could, in fact, dethrone the Call of Duty series. I am not saying it will, but it definitely has the potential from what I and many others gamers have experienced from this beta test.