If like me, when you first heard of Titanfall, then there was a great deal of excitement and exuberance in your gaming heart. I have waited for a game that, whilst needing to be in the first-person shooter (FPS) genre, had the potential to rise above the typical war games that I have played over the past few years, (Call of Duty and Battlefield anyone?) Although these two games have huge fan following in their own rights, and were (or are) by no means bad games, they offered very little in terms of variation from any of the previous releases up until the most recent games we now play. Putting it mildly, it was the “same-old-same-old” type of gameplay which we got to experience.
Give us something other than Call of Duty, we beg of you
With Titanfall, from what I read in forums across the internet, people wanted a change. They wanted something different. They wanted something that would stand out from the norm and present a new dynamic in the FPS genre and Titanfall is exactly that. When the Beta doors opened I quickly did my 12Gb download and began the journey of discovery that is Titanfall. The developers - Respawn Entertainment, in my opinion from the 6 hours of online gameplay I had, have created a game that is truly a game to behold. I must add that I derive very little from a game which I play from either a demo or beta, but if this time spent on this game is anything to go by, then my schoolboy excitement is begging for more come release day on 11 March 2014.
Take the lesson or crash and burn baby
So let me tell you about what I experienced in Titanfall so far In the beta version, you immediately start with the training sequence. I would suggest that everyone completes the full training as it teaches you how to best occupy and use your Pilot and Titan in combat. Something I failed to do when I first started, because I got a little overexcited. Lesson learnt, and crashed and burnt. Once you have completed the training, you can start up the beta.
In the main lobby of the server, you can select your Pilot and Titan loadouts. It is imperative to remember that with the beta version, your selections are limited and only a few unlocks become available, even through levelling up. As with any of the current FPS games out there, there is a familiar feel about the loadout options, including selecting your primary and secondary weapon, ordnance and your kit. It is uncomplicated in its choices available to you. This simply means that it is easy to choose what you want to play with based on your style of play. That in itself is great, as you are not overwhelmed with vast amounts of loadout options. Although I cannot say whether this will carry over into the final version!
What is the deal with Burn Cards?
There is also a perk system available, known as Burn Cards. These “perks” become available to you as you level up. One thing you notice is that there is no rank system in beta, but rather levels. I am also not sure if this will change in the final version. The Burn Cards can be activated in the level you play. From what I can ascertain, some Burn Cards will be permanent, until you replace them with other Burn Cards, or are only active for that map you are playing, or in some instances it can be used once in a map and it will disappear when you die during the level. So it becomes tactical for you to use it wisely, and make the right choices based on the map and your style of play. This isn’t ground breaking in itself, but using temporary Burn Cards does offer a more tactical approach to the game, whereas other games, your perks are permanent until changed.
All is not new
There are the familiar menu options, such as your Personal stats screen, covering your game overview, kill records, time played, distance covered and other unlocks. There is also a Challenges screen for those that want to achieve higher points by completing in game challenges. As is typical with FPS, more challenges become available as you level up, and all points earned go towards levelling you up faster.
Lets talk about the actual game, something I am sure you are all waiting for. The beta offers three game types, with the fourth option being a combined variation of all types played in a rotation.
Balls to the wall Game Modes
This game type pegs two factions, namely the IMC and Militia, against each other. The objective is to rake up as many kills against the opposing team before the time runs out. The team that is defeated must at the end of the round escape to their ship. The victorious team must chase them down before they reach their ship to take off. This ensures that the victory is all yours.
This game type is not unlike the other FPS games with the same game type, with the same name. The objective is to hold the three hardpoints for as long as possible, resulting in the opposing teams points running down. The more you hardpoints you hold, the faster you will win the round.
Last Titan Standing
This game type is all out mayhem, and I think will be a firm favourite with many gamers. From the beginning you start out in a Titan. This is TitanFall’s version of Search and Destroy. You need to eliminate all opponents before they do the same to you and your team. When you die in the round, you do not Respawn.
Beta Variety Pack
It is exactly as the name says. It is a combined variety of game modes and maps available in the game. This is a great option to switch things around, and not sticking to any one particular game style.
The Actual In-Game experience
I mostly played Attrition, since I wanted to learn more about the game. In this beta version there are only two maps available, which are Angel City and Fracture. I preferred the former as it offered more buildings and zones to manoeuvre around in and out of. With the assistance of the Jetpack each Pilot has permanently attached to himself, this will allow you to scale to higher ground, run along walls and jump further distances to either chase down an opponent, or escape a threat. For this very reason it is imperative you do the full training on offer.
Each kill earns your team points, and each point inevitably leads to your possible victory. I felt like I was playing a version of Halo, Mass Effect and Call of Duty all wrapped up into the magnificence that is Titanfall. During the level, each Pilot has a countdown until when his or her Titan becomes available for use. Once you deploy the Titan, and embark on it, this is when you can start to own the other team. But be aware, the Titan is not impervious. It has hotspots which are vulnerable, and your enemy can attack you from everywhere. From inside buildings, underground, overhead and high above buildings. Just when you think you have the edge inside of your Titan, along comes a Pilot armed with an Anti-Titan weapon riling you mercilessly to the point of your doom with bullets. The fun part is, if you catch that enemy I strongly suggest the melee attack to release the frustration. One hit results in your enemy becoming a splat on the floor. Nice touch when they think they owned you.
What I found teams to do is to activate their Titan’s simultaneously which gave them a huge advantage over the opponents. In most cases, when this was done, the other team lost. The firepower on the Titan isn’t something you should be trifling with as the opponent. If you are in the open and exposed, your chances of survival are slim to none. This is why Angel City was far more enjoyable for me, as there was loads of places to escape into when being chased down.
My overall opinion - wham bang thank you m'am!
Even with the very high pings (I averaged about 180ms), the game was still extremely enjoyable, which makes it easy to give a proper insight into what you can expect. I am not sure as yet as to whether South Africa will have local servers, but I do believe that we will. The beta only has EU servers, which accounts for the high pings. Be aware that there are some major spikes ever so often, resulting in connectivity issues.
I think this is a great new concept for FPS's. It takes what we already know about the genre, and makes a juicy smoothie out of it. It is great fun to be able to move around like you do in the game. It is tactical, it is maneuverable, and it is loads of fun. It has been a great deal better than the Battlefield 4 beta was. If this is what I can expect even with such a little available to me now, then I expect this game to truly take over the FPS genre, and shift current BF4 and COD gamers over to its side. This game is something new that I have been waiting for. I hope that when the final version is released, I am still in awe of what Respawn Entertainment has accomplished.
I suggest that all PC gamers download the Beta version from Origin, and give the game a go, if you haven’t already. So far, Titanfall has left a long lasting sweet taste of mayhem in my mouth.
PC system requirements
- OS: 64-bit Windows 7, 8, 8.1
- CPU: AMD Athlon X2 2.8GHz or Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz
- RAM: 4GB RAM
- GPU: 512MB VRAM, Radeon HD 4770 or GeForce 8800GT
Other important info
- PC Players must have an Origin account
- Xbox One players must have an Xbox Live account
Pre-order Titanfall right now!
Don't miss out on the next big eSports
title, pre-order Titanfall
Or download Titanfall for PC from GamersGate here.
TitanFall Official Site
Other News from Around the 'Net:
Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not MWEB Connect (Pty) Ltd