Titanfall Beta Impressions

Is this the beginning of something special?

Titanfall (1)

Ever since it was announced at E3 2013, Titanfall has easily been one of the most talked about video games coming to any system. While a Microsoft exclusive on Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC, many are still calling the title a system seller for the Xbox One. With the game’s release for Xbox One and PC on March 11 less than a month away, Respawn Entertainment is holding a closed beta in which I’ve gotten the opportunity to check out on Xbox One. As a result, I thought I’d give my impressions to let you know kind of what you should expect when the game releases next month.

When you first fire up the game, you will be taken through a pretty extensive training session that I am so glad was included. Too many games these days do not offer something like this and instead throw you right in the action and expect you to catch on in battle. This tutorial takes you through pretty much all of the aspects of the game that you will need to know in actual combat. This includes sprinting, wall running, double-jumps, shooting, and controlling a Titan of course. Most of these are taught within small hallways that somewhat reminded me of the environment from Portal to where I almost expected GLaDOS to pop out at some point.

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Once you get through this very detailed training session, you can choose to transition over to the actual online multiplayer that is said to completely move the FPS genre forward. At this point, you get to choose one of three game modes to try: Attrition, Hardpoint Domination, and Last Titan Standing. Technically there is a fourth now, but it just randomly picks a game type from the aforementioned three. As I always do in multiplayer shooters, I chose to start with the game’s equivalent of team slayer, Attrition. The use of AI bots in battle was an interesting inclusion so that the matches themselves seem much larger. In my limited time, the bots definitely didn’t have the best AI, but they weren’t much of a hindrance at all.

This was followed up by giving the other modes a try for awhile. Hardpoint Domination is pretty much what it sounds like, as you move around the battlefield to secure specific locations and race to accumulate a set number of points before the other team. This brings a little more strategy into the mix than say Attrition, but there are always the people who will just go and fight the entire time. Lastly, Last Titan Standing is also exactly how it sounds as you square off against the other team with no respawns until one team’s Titans have been wiped out.

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After finishing all of my training and firing up Attrition mode, I was ready to see what all the fuss for Titanfall was about. Jumping almost directly into battle, I very quickly saw many of the elements that people were so excited for in the game. There are of course some of the familiar elements you always expect in games in this genre like Call of Duty, but Titanfall is much more than just a typical shooter.

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