Titanfall Beta: a review

Well, the folks over at EA and Respawn Entertainment have decided to let the general populace take part in the beta for Titanfall, a multiplayer first-person shooter involving huge robots called Titans that players can ride around in.
Firstly, let’s get it out of the way: yes, it’s fun. Yes, it’s absolutely a blast. I’ve so far spent hours running and gunning and blasting other players and have not grown tired of it. The mechanics are rather simple, as are the controls. The tutorial allows for learning some of the new possible maneuvers, such as wall-running, which is essential to playing effectively. Controls are very responsive, and just work well.
Other maneuvers, such as “rodeoing”, or boarding an enemy’s Titan, ripping open a panel, and blasting into the innards of the Titan, are kind of learn-as-you-go, which can be a bit nerve-wracking at first, but become second nature as time goes on. In fact, it’s actually more fun than driving your own Titan, in a David versus Goliath sort of way, since it’s more of a challenge.
Secondly, the graphics and sound are excellent. The sense of scale as you run alongside the Titans is rather awesome, as are the sounds coming from the Titans stomping only scant feet from you. Incidental sounds such as color commentary, missile launches, autocannons, and other sounds of destruction are excellent, which absolutely adds to the experience.
Now, the not as good: there is no single-player campaign. Yeah, when I heard that, I almost cancelled my pre-order. However, considering the success of the Call of Duty and Battlefield franchises, where players rarely even look at the single-player campaign, it might not be so bad. From what I can tell, I don’t even think it needs a single-player campaign, which surprises me. I’ll reserve judgement on that until the game actually drops, but I might be pleasantly surprised.
The beta limited players to level 14, so the playability isn’t so hot after awhile. However, it looks like there’s going to be more added with the full version of the game, which will hopefully make the game even better.
All told, I’m cautiously looking forward to Titanfall. If the release version is as good if not better than the beta, I will definitely recommend it to anyone in earshot. Let’s hope it works out; the Xbox One needs a breakout title to help it stand out from the PS4, and Titanfall looks like it just might do it.

~ by Walker on February 16, 2014.

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