I was recently able to play a bit of the Titanfall beta that was available on the Xbox One and PC. I played on the Xbox One. Titanfall is the upcoming competitive multiplayer game from the same guys who left Infinity Ward after the Activision fiasco. They formed Respawn entertainment and began work on Titanfall.
The game itself is quite the experience, unlike any other shooter I’ve played. By that I mean it feels like Call of Duty in strictly the gun play department. You have an assortment of weapons you are allowed to use, you can add attachments and increase the damage output but thats really about it. However, when it comes to anything else, it’s a whole new world. As a pilot, you are given a jet booster which allows you to wall run, double jump and easily grab onto ledges to get to higher advantages. This game mechanic is something completely fresh in a multiplayer game. I would occasionally find myself dead because I was enjoying the parkour nature of running around the map. This will also allow you to climb onto Titans, both enemy and friendly. When on a friendly, the Titans shield will protect you as well and you are allowed to look around and shoot. On an enemy titan, you pry open a hatch on the back and begin firing into a weak spot. This simple but effective offensive attack strategy gives the pilots an advantage over the hulking titans. Pilots are also given an Anti-titan weapon, the ones featured in the demo were a lock on rocket launcher called the Archer Heavy Rocket and a Rapid-fire rocket launcher called The Sidewinder. These are a pilots only way to damage a titan besides leaping onto its back due to regular weapons doing no damage. Pilots have a few things to help them on the battlefield. Ordinance which are explosive items such as the Frag Grenade, Satchel charge and my personal favorite, The Arch Grenade. The tactical ability gives the pilots a quick, rechargeable defensive ability. The 3 found in the beta are Cloak, Stim and Active Radar Pulse. And last but not least are the Kits, These are passive abilities that give the pilot a small advantage in the heat of battle. The full retail release will feature a lot more weapons, attachments, ordnance, tactical abilities and kits, and with that in mind, there will be no identical pilot.
Burn Cards are a very fun and unique feature. Before each match, pilots will get the chance to select three burn cards they'd like to use. During the match, pilots can select a burn card to use before spawning, which will grant them abilities such as instant Titanfall, better weapons, and everything inbetween. Burn Cards are one time use only though, so once the pilot dies and respawns, they are back to normal unless they opt in for another burn card. Burn Cards are rewarded for completing challenges. Challenges are, besides XP, the main way in which Burn Cards, weapons, and other unlocks are granted. Each weapon has its own set of achievements, with their own set of rewards and requirements. There a ton of challenges so make sure you know what you want before attempting to finish a challenge.
The two maps featured in the beta were Angel City and Fracture. Angel City looks to be a huge urban city with walls separating smaller sections, as to why, the beta doesn’t give too many hints. Fracture looks to be a both a fuel depot and a housing development that is destroyed by what I can only describe as a gravity earthquake. Both maps have tall structures you can climb and explore which is the point of being a pilot. There are two teams at anyone time, The IMC, which stands for Interstellar Manufacturing Corporation according to the Titanfall wiki, and the Frontier Militia. Nothing is said in lieu of what or why these factions are at odds with one another. The only other company you hear about in Hammond Robotics and this is only during the training mission. There were 3 game types in the beta, Attrition, This is a standard team deathmatch sort of game type. It’s 6 on 6 and the first team to 250 points wins. The next is Hard Point, this is similar to Domination or king of the hill. There are 3 contestable points on the map, labeled A,B, and C, and each team must hold these points for as long as possible, first team to 400 points wins. The last was Last Titan Standing, this game mode starts with every pilot in a Titan and the first team to have all enemy Titans destroyed wins the round. You are not forced to stay in you Titan and if you eject out of your Titan, you can attempt to kill other enemy Titans as a pilot, however you have only one life per round, first team to 4 wins is the victor.
Now for the most exciting part of the game, the reason anyone wants to play it, The Titans. I’ve spoken quite a lot about them in this article, but what I haven’t spoke about is how much fun they are to use. You feel very powerful in a Titan, like you can take on the world, that is until you realize how quickly you can be destroyed, but don’t be discouraged. The team behind this game thought about that and have a perfect balancing issue, and it’s what i’ve called “Everyone Gets A Titan”. Matches last between 7 minutes to a max 10 minutes, and everyone has a 4 minute timer for Titanfall. You can decrease said timer by getting kills on both pilots and A.I. controlled grunts, completing challenges and assisting fellow pilots. But lets say you’re terrible at the game, you can’t get a kill, hell, you can’t even get a shot off with someone filling you full of lead, have no fear, you will get a Titan. This also means you could get around 4 a match if you're good enough. Titans have the same customization wheel as the pilots except with different options. Titans have one primary weapon and thats it. I guess I should also mention that the full game will have 3 unique titans and the only one available for use in the beta was the Atlas Titan, this is the same one that is one the cover. A great feature in this game is if you are killed before or after your Titan falls and you were not able to enter it, it stays put until you enter because no one else can take it, you can however tell it to go into guard mode or follow mode and the A.I. will take control. You can do a few very fun and tactical things with your Titan, you can go full bore and attack or hang back and take pot shots. These machines are tools and should be treated as such. You can squish an unsuspecting opponent with a Titanfall, you can cause a nuclear explosion when ejecting from your doomed Titan, you can rip a pilot out of a doomed titan by melee-ing, the ways of which to use a Titan are large and I couldn’t be more pleased.
Overall this game is just fun, quite possibly the most fun I've had with a multi-player shooter in a very long time. This game is the reason you buy an Xbox One or a PC, if you are stuck with an Xbox 360, don’t worry, the game in which I have described will be on the 360, just much uglier. Respawn Entertainment has made what will be the primary example for the next generation and I can’t wait to see the full retail release. Below is a video my friend compiled on his Xbox One of some of his proudest moments playing the beta. Enjoy.