The Titanfall beta has now come to a close. The stress test lasted for about six days in open Beta and just a bit longer for those that were fortunate enough to gain early access to the Xbox One beta.
So what’s the verdict? How does it play? And are we all as hyped up as we’ve been told we are?
In short it’s ok, it’s a bit like CoD, it plays a bit like CoD and I am definitely not as excited as I have been told I am supposed to be.
Titanfall is fun and definitely a step in the right direction for the First Person Shooter genre, but it doesn’t differentiate itself enough from the Call of Duty core gameplay. Some might say, why should it? It is made by those who once completely revamped the genre with one of the most ground breaking games to grace the past console generation. Personally I expected bigger things.
Titanfall is a blend of many different games mixed together into a new style of FPS. The map exploration feels like a mix of Brink and Mirror’s Edge; I could go almost any where I could see. The shooting is a great mix of old school shooters (such as Unreal and Quake) and Call of Duty, and the levelling up system is also reminiscent of Call of Duty, with a few new tweaks.
One of the main concerns for the home consoles was that the multiplayer was limited to 6v6 as opposed to previously boasted numbers. One concern was that the areas would feel unpopulated and sparse, but from the maps available in the beta I can confirm that it’s quite the opposite. With AI soldiers, robotic scouts and the ability to have the Mech independently fight by your side, you’ll have plenty to contend with.
The maps themselves also boast a slightly less grey demeanor than we have grown to expect of the FPS genre as of late. The levels feel alive and even when battling amidst a dirty cityscape you can still see the remnants of a society passed, with ruined public gardens and dilapidated neon signs. These vast areas are also completely opened up by the parkour ability that enables players to completely explore every thing each location has to offer.
The mechs also add a fair bit of diversity to the game play. You can choose to have them follow the player, use them yourself or take them to a position and have them defend it. This adds an interesting meta to the game, in which the player can bait other pilots to attack the mech and kill them. It’s a great addition that you don’t regularly see in shooters and it’s invigorating to jump in a Titan and mow down countless enemies.
The customisable options and “burn cards” are aspects that feel a bit too familiar. Although the burn cards are a one time use, they do mimic perks from CoD and so do the customisable load outs and challenges. For me this is where Titanfall falls a bit. They had an opportunity to break away from the norm but they settled with familiarity over further ingenuity. Here we have a game that dares to be a little different, but still sticks to players expectations in terms of a leveling system that has now been done to death.
Overall I am still looking forward to Titanfall but my expectations have been lowered. This isn’t exactly another Call of Duty, but they also haven’t differentiated themselves enough to make Titanfall revolutionary.