Thursday, February 20, 2014

Titanfall Beta: Thoughts and Impressions

 So the beta for Titanfall came and went, and it seems that the whole gaming world is actively praising the game for what it has set out to do. Read on to see Humor Tumor's thoughts on the game, and his expectations.

Titanfall, the upcoming multiplayer shooter from Respawn Entertainment is one of the highly anticipated Xbox One and PC games of the 2014 year. I had my share of skepticism, as the people behind it are the people who brought us Call of Duty, and the gameplay videos for it looked a lot like the same old stuff.

With mechs of course.

Pictured above...the worst way to fight a Titan
Well, the beta just ended yesterday, and after playing a couple hours worth of it I do think it deviates enough from the CoD formula, and blazes it's own trail in the FPS world. The first thing that is apparent is the movement style, modern FPS all have a very similar feel for the most part. Titanfall goes with what seems a more old school style with fast acrobatic movement styles. Think along the lines of Quake 3, Tribes, Team Fortress (or for those of you who can remember the 90's because you were still a baby...Team Fortress 2, Tribes: Ascend, Brink, and Planetfall). The addition of your jet pack gives you the ability to wall run, double jump, and various different combinations of different tactics that immediately made me think of Brink. Except unlike Brink, the movement feels far more fluid and natural.

The gun play itself is fairly ok, I would rate it up there with CoD in the sense all the guns feel similar (ie less recoil, laser beam accuracy). It is a twitch shooter, so leniency with the guns is a must, gun play that was too difficult would detract from the real point of playing as a pilot. Which is all about movement, positioning, and proper use of your Titan.

The worst game of catch ever conceived.
Which reminds me....this game has mechs. The Titans are the real stars of the game, a more methodical, tactical style of play that I was quite fond of. It kind of felt like a very watered down version of Mechwarrior (oh god  how I want one to come to consoles), but that's not a bad thing. Your Titan replaces the kill streaks essentially. Everyone gets a Titan, but killing grunts, Titans and enemy Pilots (or players) shaves time off to you next Titan. You can then have your Titan airdropped, which also lends to a strategy, as dropping a Titan on top of your enemies will obviously crush them.

The panic in his eyes tells me he doesn't want to to play...
Now the interesting thing about the Titan is it can be either player controlled, or AI driven. So you could plant it down, hop in and blast away like a happy little mech pilot. Or drop it in and have it follow you around like a puppy (a puppy with a chaingun that is), giving you support fire and drawing enemy attention away. You can also set it into guard mode, where it will hunker down and engage enemy troops as it deems fit. It gives you some options as you can choose how you want to define your style; fast and aggressive, or slower but more deliberate in action.I flip flop around. During the epilogue (where you have to either escape, or pursue the escaping team), I found a good strategy to escape is to call a Titan down and have him stand guard. The enemy would engage the bigger threat, leaving me time to put a little more hurt on them and also get more people evacuated (which gives you bonus points). It's an interesting concept, and as the full customization comes with the full version becomes available, I'm sure more interesting setups will pop up.

The game itself plays very well. It's smooth, fast, and very much about making you feel like a super soldier. It's parkour/jump jet mechanic gives it a unique feel, and opens up a lot of fun ways to play the game. Sure, it may feel a little like Call of Duty. But at the end of the day it's a still a very fun game.

Hope it doesn't disappoint in the end though.

Long gone, but not forgotten. Humor Tumor has risen again.

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