I felt a unique buzz when I stood in the queue at Eurogamer, this game was going to be special. Before we began we were sat down for an introduction video and my initial thought was ‘Brink!’ but somehow better. After getting hands on I realised that it was much more than that.Simply put, ever since that day in Earls Court it’s been the game I’ve looked forward to playing.
Fast forward 5 months and Respawn Entertainment treated us to a beta to really get our teeth stuck into, but was it what we hoped for?
Let’s get the elephant out of the room, not so long ago Respawn announced that the game would only have Six players on each side, which basically caused part of the Internet to melt down, while the rest of us had a feeling that there was probably a reason for the decision and those feelings have turned out to be right. As well as the 12 ‘pilots’ the game will be filled regularly with two types of AI. Firstly there will be the grunts, low skilled and easy to pick off but won’t give you as many points overall. Once the titans begin to arrive a higher class of AI makes themselves known. Named the Spectre, they are slightly more challenging to take on but also come with a higher reward for taking them out. What I liked about this was the fact that players who maybe aren’t as good against a human opponent could still feel like they were contributing to the game and still earn points for themselves.
The Titans themselves are also pretty clever and come with their own AI modes; either following you about or guarding a position for you, it’s a great touch for modes such as Hardpoint (more on this mode shortly). Never at any point did I feel like there weren’t enough players, and to be honest there is only so much room for Titans, so you can see why Respawn made the decision they did.
There were three games modes for players to try out, a standard deathmatch called Attrition, Hardpoint Domination and Last Titan Standing which as you imagine was purely Titans beating the hell out if each other. Hardpoint Domination involved controlling areas to score as many points as possible to win, it’s a fun mode and I got involved in some great matches and I imagine it will be my go to mode when the game finally comes out. I liked that when the match ended in Attrition and Hardpoint matches an epilogue began, the winning team is tasked with killing everybody and taking out the ship, due to collect the losing team. It is great touch whether you are making the ship just before it leaves or destroying the ship when everyone thinks they are safe.
Players were put on a rotation of two maps, Angel City & Fracture. Angel City involved lots of close quarter combat with plenty of opportunity to show off the awesome Parkour skills of your pilot. Fracture was a much bigger map that was much more suited to fighting with your titans. Supposedly there are up to 15 more maps although there still isn’t much detail about what we will be getting.
When you first load the beta you went through a tutorial showing you how to play the game and make the most of the abilities that could be used to help you win matches, and once that was out of the way you were presented with a “Pilot Loadouts” screen. Three classes of Pilot were available, Rifleman, Assassin, and CQB. Each had a unique set of abilities and weapons; eventually you were able to customise loadouts after amassing enough experience. I didn’t get as much time as I would have liked to explore how much customisation there was but it looks comprehensive enough. There are also three classes of Titans, Atlas, Ogre and Stryder and again you can eventually customise your Titan once you have levelled up enough.
There was rarely a match where I failed to enjoy myself, wall running over Titans before jumping on their backs was hugely satisfying, so was having epic Titan battles and ejecting just before your mech explodes. It was a shame to see some players treat the game like Call of Duty and not taking advantage of the parkour, but no doubt as time goes by people will get more used to the game.
With a rumoured 14 maps shipping with the game, there should be plenty of action to keep us gamers happy. I’ve already traded in Call of Duty: Ghosts and imagine this will be my go to game for the foreseeable future.
How did you find the beta? Will the new Titanfall Xbox One bundle be enough to get you to buy one? Let us know…