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Thoughts on the Titanfall “Beta”

I put quotes around Beta because any game that gets a huge public beta, especially this close to release, seems to serve mostly as a promotional tool for a feature-complete product.

Keen has been playing the Titanfall PC beta and I’ve been trying out the Xbox One version, which was the platform I had originally planned on getting the game for. However, now that I’m getting Keen’s old PC, which is a significant upgrade to mine, I’m tempted to get the PC version so that we could play together.  Having only played the Xbox One version I can’t really comment on any differences there might be. Just throwin’ that out there.

titan-and-pilotTitanfall’s acrobatic elements are pretty cool. I think wall-running makes every game better. It’s really easy too since all you seem to need to do is jump alongside a wall. It might be one of these things that is easy to use but harder to master. At the start of a few matches I saw some guys pull several maneuvers to gain a lot of height and distance and get themselves through the top window of a nearby building. They were like ninjas running along the tops of a bamboo forest in one of those martial arts movies.  Another thing that is awesome is how you can mount ledges. More FPS games need to let you mount ledges and climb up.  PC players seem like they would have an easier time with all of the acrobatics since they can jump and turn the camera at the same time. Since the controller has you jump with the face button and control the camera with the right stick you are force to either have very precise and fast movements or claw your hand to move the stick and jump ant the same time.

The actual Titans are fantastic, but it seems to cause Battlefield Vehicle Syndrome. In case you haven’t heard of that, since I just made it up, it’s the feeling that enemy vehicles are incredibly difficult to take down but for some reason whenever you enter one yourself the armor is made out of wet cardboard. I also seem to have some problem aiming with the shoulder mounted rockets since they seem to want to curve perfectly around my target rather than hitting it. Being able to latch onto an enemy Titan and rip its hatch open and fire at its circuits is pretty rad, though. I also like how you can exit your Titan and leave it to guard the outside of a building while you run in to clear it or capture a point.

I’m not totally sure how I feel about the 6v6 player limit. Usually I prefer FPS games that have a lower player limit but by that I usually mean something like 8v8 or 12v12. They’ve also included a few grunt bots in the multiplayer for some some reason. Maybe this is to kind of fill out the matches so they don’t feel dead or perhaps they wanted to make it feel more like a FPS MOBA by adding in some AI creeps. Either way they don’t seem to pose any kind of threat, at least not in the game modes I played.  I also like how when your team loses you can try and make it to an evac point before they kill you off; like it cheapens their win and softens your loss.

There’s a definite Call of Duty meets Brink vibe in Titanfall. It all looks promising, and I think we both enjoy the Beta enough to pick it up.  Production quality is incredibly high; heck, watching your titan grab you and put you in its chest is something you have to experience — it’s amazing.  The features are all there, etc.,  but neither of us are really certain yet if there’s a long-lasting appeal.  Have you tried out Titanfall?  Let us know what you think.

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Comments

  1. intruder313 says:

    From outset I’ve thought this game looked great and it’s exciting to hear almost universal praise for the beta – sure there’s some legitimate concerns but most critics admit they are nitpicking or worrying more about longevity than quality.

    Hope my Beta key arrives soon….

  2. TheRedComet says:

    I wasn’t too impressed. The game has some really neat ideas, but I found myself really not enjoying it most of the time. The maps in the beta all feel too small to me for a game with giant mechs. I’m sure it was designed that way to get people into the action quicker, but it really just felt too constricting to me. On top of that there seems to come a point in pretty much every match where half the players are in their Titans, so the map is crowded with giant robots. This makes you an extremely easy target, and when you get focus-fired your Titan might as well have paper armor, you’ll go down quickly.

    I realized that most of the time when I do really well in a match it’s because I didn’t bother calling down my Titan. When I spend entire matches sneaking/climbing around enemy Titans as just a mere infantry I find it easier to survive longer and take down enemies much easier. Pilots are harder targets than the Titans, plus the parkour makes it easy to get out of enemy fire. Also Titans don’t really have many ways to hit enemies inside buildings, so if you’re too surrounded by Titans you can just hideout for a bit.

    My biggest issue was with the other players though. I was playing a lot of Hardpoint matches – capture and control A, B, C. A few of the matches were great fun, but most of the matches I was stuck with other players who were treating it like Team Deathmatch and so we were essentially being farmed for points by the opposing team which was actually sticking together and trying to work together. I feel like this’ll be a big problem in the final game too because it just feels like CoD all over to me. I really miss FPS games where it was easy to get people to at least try and stick to objectives and work together.

    The game has some great ideas, and pulls them off really well. But the size of the maps, and the way the mechs feel so paper-thin really bug me too much. The worry that the game will attract a lot of the toxic and annoying CoD fanbase also is a major concern of mine.

    Then again I’m probably not the target audience for this game, even though I love me some giant robots, so my opinion is probably terribly biased. I’ve really grown to dislike FPS games over the years. I haven’t enjoyed them nearly as much as I did back when I was playing a ton of Battlefield 1942, 2142, and BF2. Those games were all about teamwork and I loved it. These days it feels like most FPS players just want fast-paced Team Deathmatch modes.

  3. When everyone’s super…no one is. So they definitely needed some bots running around without access to the titans. I think the battlefields feel appropriately hectic and realistic. Little touches like the bots sometimes trying to help an injured comrade or fighting each other in melee really help I think. The shooting is tight and nearly every single gameplay element is solid (though it’s all totally been there done that… oh well :/)

    Overall, I’m impressed enough that I’m planning on buying it on launch.

  4. It’s fast paced, hectic, and pretty exhilarating. I think the gunplay is phenomenal. I wish Battlefield gunplay was this tight.

    I’m 85% sure I’ll be picking it up. It’s a pretty nice go-to game for an hour here, hour there fragfest.

  5. “…but most of the matches I was stuck with other players who were treating it like Team Deathmatch and so we were essentially being farmed for points by the opposing team which was actually sticking together and trying to work together. ”

    This is my concern also.

    I generally like to game by myself much of the time and so I was hoping for more of a PS2 scope where I wouldn’t have to get so pissed off if one person sucked, especially if that person was me.

    GMG sent me a $10 off coupon, but still at 6v6 I am not at all sold and likely will pass.

    Nonetheless for guilds running premades the game will be a massive hit.

  6. Does anyone know if there is a functioning PUG queue, or are puggies sometimes matched against premades?

  7. TheRedComet says:

    I actually gave the beta a second chance after talking with a friend. He was going on about how much fun he was having with the game, and I realized that I went into the game with the whole wrong mindset. I had a very specific idea of how I thought the game would play out and didn’t enjoy it when, surprise, it didn’t live up to that idea. Going in again with a much more open mind I actually had a lot more fun.

    A lot of my complaints with small and crowded map sizes, Titans being easy targets, and the worry about the community still remain, but I did enjoy it more this second chance I gave it. Still don’t think I’ll be spending $60 on it, might wait until later this summer and see how the community turns out before deciding if I want to pick it up.

    With any luck BF4 will have a lot of it’s issues fixed by then and be worth playing again. And part of me is hoping Titanfall pulls a lot of the part of the Battlefield community I don’t like away from BF4 so that there are more teamplayers playing it again… lol

  8. Since I have BF4 premium I’ll be playing Second Assault in a day or two. I think it has definitely improved, but I enjoyed it overall anyway.

  9. TheRedComet says:

    BF4 is beyond buggy for me. Even though I meet the requirements it is constantly giving me atrocious FPS and constant crashes. I’m currently being processed to get a full refund for it becuase of my horrible experience with it. It’s nice to see EA offering refunds for BF4 to users who are experiencing similar constant bugs.

  10. Howdy Doody says:

    I actually joined the beta without much real desire to play the game, but I figured it’s a free chance to try the game. I must say I found myself REALLY enjoying it. I personally liked the 6v6 with the creeps and found the balance of the game right up my alley.

    I’ll probably be picking it up, but still undecided for X1 or PC. I’m leaning to X1, because I have plenty of games on my PC, but I want more “sofa games”.

    Also Graev. There is a controller setting to make the right bumper the jump button. That allows your right thumb to always be on the stick. I found this setup MUCH better than default.

    Doody

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