Titanfall Beta – First Impressions

Watch out, it's raining Titans!

Titanfall Beta – First Impressions

When I first heard of Titanfall, the new game from Respawn Entertainment, I was cautiously optimistic. Respawn is the result of the original Call of Duty developers of Infinity Ward breaking out and creating their own company. Because of that, there’s an expectation of Titanfall being very CoD-like, but with robots. Well it is, but it’s so awesome.

The beta gives us 2 maps, 1 titan chassis, and limited weapon choices. That’s ok though, it’s enough to give a good idea of what the gameplay will be once the full game hits March 11th.

I was not expecting to have as much fun as I have been with Titanfall. I’ve played a good 6+ hours, and the game has just been so much fun the whole time. It’s surprising to me because I’m not a CoD player at all these days. The last one I played was the first Modern Warfare.

There are 3 game modes, Attrition, Hard Point, and Last Titan Standing. Attrition is TDM, Hard Point a domination / point capture game, and Last Titan Standing is exactly how it sounds. These are all team based game modes, 6v6. I’ve only played the Attrition mode so far, and have been getting a lot of enjoyment out of that.

View my First Time Playing video for Titanfall here.

Check out the Awkward Gaming Geeks Youtube channel here.

On Foot

Moving on foot is fast and frantic, and mastering wall-walking / parkour is essential to getting around the maps quickly. I still haven’t quite got the hang of it, you can wall-walk a lot longer than I always think I can, and so I find myself jumping off too soon often.

Titanfall wall walkingWhile the matches are 6v6, both teams get a number of mooks that fight for them, and killing these earn you points as well. Also, the more you kill, mooks and other players (pilots) alike, the faster you’ll get to call in your own Titan. Having these minions in the game also serves to make the pilots feel like elite badasses, and it works. My only complaint would be it’s not immediately apparent who is a pilot, and who is a minion. But it’s a minor issue.

It’s so much fun getting up on the roofs and seeing a Titan below you, in the perfect position for you to jump on top of him. Then you rip open the head casing and pour in the lead, jumping off before it explodes!

Titan Gameplay

Getting inside your TitanJust getting into your Titan is an event in itself. Once you call it in, it takes a few seconds for it to drop from orbit, and it makes an impact for sure! I love all the different animations for entering your Titan. You can tell the devs were really going for some immersion in this game, just from the little details of getting into your Titan.

Once inside, your jump button turns into a dash for your Titan. You’ll have whichever abilities your chose for your Titan, such as a Vortex Shield, which you can activate to grab enemy shots fired at you and throw them back. Also, it’s so satisfying to melee another Titan when their health is down. If you do it right, you’ll reach right in and grab the pilot out. You can’t help but laugh as your throw it away.

Don’t get too comfortable in that Titan of yours, chances are you’ll be punching out within a couple minutes. You have a health and shield bar, and while the shields will recharge if you get away from combat, once that health hits bottom you’ll have a new bar to show how much time you have to eject. I personally love to equip the Nuclear Ejection, get up close to the enemy then punch out, leaving them to deal with my bomb in their face!

Team Play

This may be the Battlefield player in me, but there isn’t a real sense of teamwork in the game. It’s only 6v6, so it’s not like there would be squads or anything like that. Maybe it was just because my friends that I was playing with had just gotten into the game, and were just getting the hang of it.

I do think though that the faster pace, more run & gun atmosphere lends itself more to just running full-tilt, shooting anything that moves. It would be interesting to try getting a full team of six working together, maybe a little more slowly, and seeing how that works out.

Final Thoughts

After playing the game 6+ hours, I’m hooked. I’m likely going to pre-order, and if I can get my friends playing all the better! I’m still a Battlefield guy, but I’ve been having so much fun with giant robots that I want more.

Also, playing this really makes me wonder what a Pacific Rim game could be if done right.

Check out the Awkward Gaming Geeks Youtube channel for more gameplay videos from Titanfall and other games.

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