Titanfall: Sometimes bigger is beta

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Author: Will Westwater

Only the beta of “Titanfall,” not the full game, is available right now. The opinions expressed in this article are reflective of my time with the beta. However, disclaimer, even the unfinished product is revolutionary and its reaction is nothing short of stellar.

Recently the “Titanfall” beta became available to Xbox One owners. Those lucky enough to receive their code have the chance to play one of the most anticipated games of 2014 a month before its official release. Publisher Electronic Arts (EA) and developer Respawn Entertainment have created a game that might be changing the first-person shooter (FPS).

“Titanfall” breaks the mold that has been left behind by years of “Call of Duty” games and their clones.

How does Titanfall break years of monotony? With free running, jump packs and giant robots that fall from the sky every two minutes.

These robots, or “Titans,” are unique to each player and can either be piloted (solely by the owner) or auto-piloted. Titans spawn on a timer that every player or “pilot” can shorten by preforming better in the heat of battle. Kills, objective scores and assists all lead to a reduced interval for a new titan.

The pilots have incredible stamina and are equipped with jump-packs, giving them the ability to run on walls and double-jump. The use of these two abilities makes the game remarkably vertical. Pilots have the ability to gain a vantage point by climbing tall buildings in a series of parkour-esque movements, all of which happen in the first person.

The controls are tight and the game runs fluidly. Fans of FPS games will know when controls just feel good in the players hands and “Titanfall” does exactly that. Players with a background in military FPS video games will have no trouble picking up the controller and mastering the parkour and piloting elements in only a few matches.

The beta did feel limiting in the amount of weapons and full customization options, but more complete load-outs will be available in the full game. All the new elements, like parkour and Titan gameplay, can be seen within about three hours of gameplay. Initially that can be concerning, claiming that the new elements are fleeting or that the enjoyment and newness could be short-lived. However, as with most multiplayer games, repetition is okay so long as the actions being repeated are fun, and with “Titanfall” they are.

EA went all in on “Titanfall;” they are taking chances while keeping the best parts that have been present for years in FPS games. It is nice to see massive publishers like EA taking a chance on a new intellectual property that dares to stray away from the original formula. Hopefully, “Titanfall” will start a trend to prove to other publishers that taking a calculated risk can be very worthwhile.

So far, “Titanfall” looks to be as good as it set out to be. It just might be good enough to buy an Xbox One.

Special thanks to Diplomacy and World Affairs and theater major Reza Vojdani (senior) for allowing the use of his Xbox One, making this review possible.


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