Over the weekend I finally got some hands on with Respawn Entertainment’s Titanfall beta and before I say anything else I must state that I’ve loved every moment of it. In fact I’ve been waiting for someone to create a game that combat traditional modern combat with urban locales and one that allowed to you to travel in a giant hulking machine. If you know me personally you’d know I’m a huge fan of anything mech / mecha related. Battletech, Robotech, Macross, Gundam, Mechwarrior… if it has giant mechs or combat suits with a futurist twist then I’m likely a fan. Well Respawn you’ve done it, now please get out of my mind it’s a bit crowded with two people in there.
By now the entire internet is talking about Titanfall so I won’t go into much here, just my experience with the beta. The beta was played on the PC with a Nvidia GTX 780 and 32GB of ram, so my experience and opinions may differ from yours if you’ve also played the beta on PC.
So Titanfall at first glance would be an attempt to recreate the game know as Call of Duty and if you expected this when getting into Titanfall, well you’ll be either presently surprised or disappointed depending on what you were looking for. Sure at first glance it may look like Call of Duty but that’s it. if I was to sum up what Titanfall is it would be similar to someone taking Unreal Tournament 2003/2004, Mechwarrior with a pitch of Call of Duty and tossing it into a blender. Seriously! The action is very fast paced, the wall hopping mechanics are right out of Unreal Tournament and who can for get the layout introduced by Call of Duty. A mashed up all those games would sound like a disaster but it works and it works well in Titanfall.
While we only got a chance to play with one titan, the Atlas (unless you were able to collect the rare Stryder and Orge burn card), we were able to play around with the Burn Cards which are cards collected that grant you several abilities such as enhanced weapons, faster movements or even a card that allows you to respawn right where you died (don’t worry, it’s not overpowered as the person who killed you is also notified that you played that card and are re spawning). However there is a catch as the burn card is only good for as long as you are alive. If you die so does that card you played. Depending on what card you play and how lucky you are the burn cards can turn your game around. You were also able to customize your player once you hit rank 5 and were able to upgrade your weapons and titan via unlocks once you accumulated enough XP and were able to meet the challenges. You can even change your gender if you choose however you can only select male or female and you can not customize features like hair, skintone or outfit. Don’t expect a character editor like something you would find in a RPG or MMO.
Gameplay-wise the controls were very responsive, the weapons were creative and the sounds from the weapons made for an enjoyable experience, even the sounds when you run over someone in your titan which was someone I did whenever possible. However going on about the sounds, if you listening carefully you’ll also hear he chatter of your computer controlled teammates as they talk about various items such as weapons, the titan pilots and much more. That made for an immersive experience as it made me feel like I was part of something big and not just some lone wolf looking for glory.
Since I played the beta on my PC I benefited from enhanced textures and a 1080p+ resolution vs the 729p resolution (or whatever it is now) on the Xbox One, so I can’t speak on that matter. On the PC front I was able to play at 2560×1440 with all the settings on high and the resolution textures on “Insane” settings and was sitting at 60 frames-per-second, even with multiple titans on screen raining down destruction and havoc. Since this is running off of Valve’s Source Engine, Respawn has time to optimize the game though how much remains to be seen on the PC as I’ve seen reports of other gamers having issues with a steady frame rate across both discrete and integrated GPU’s. Luckily my PC had zero issues and I was able to enjoy it at it’s must punishing settings, but yet again it is a beta so I would imagine that any outstanding issues regarding frame rate that others have experienced will be cleaned up before the games official release.
Though the game isn’t without it’s faults. For example where there are too many titans on a map it ends up turning into a “who can kill who’s titan the fastest” and many times I found my titan being wrecked just as soon as I had spawned it. But other than that I had no issues and found my self jumping back into the fray and before I knew it I had played for 3 hours straight. That in it’s self is saying something as I haven’t enjoyed a first person shooter as much as I’ve enjoyed my time with the beta and i’m looking forward to the entire game when it releases. Another issue which isn’t related to Titanfall is the fact that while Microsoft is promoting a limited edition Titanfall controller for the Xbox One the controller (Or any Xbox One controller) isn’t compatible with the PC. Word is Microsoft is working on a driver that will allow Xbox One controllers to work with the PC but they also want to be sure that it allows functionality with the Xbox One and Xbox 360 controllers. Of course I picked the controller up, it was too beautiful to pass on and if I get tired of looking at it I’ll just cave in and use it on my Xbox One.
Overall I wholly enjoyed my time with Titanfall and find myself wishing it was March 11th s I could get my hands on the full copy. And if yiu’re looking to pick up Titanfall for a steal, check out Direct2play.com. Using the code “PRO3L0B0” you can knock off %27 and get the game for $43.
Titanfall releases on March 11th for the Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC / Windows.