Can Titanfall live up to the hype?

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As much as it still made millions and got good reviews, the buzz surrounding the latest Call of Duty game, Ghosts, was lukewarm at best. The game was fine, as usual, but it was more of the same and ultimately it felt from the comments of gamers and to some extent reviewers as well, that the series was getting a bit old.

The timing couldn't have been better, as just around the corner was the reveal for a game from Infinity Ward founders Vince Zampella and Jason West, under the banner of their new company, Respawn. The game was one we've all heard of by this point, Titanfall and by god has it had some hype surrounding it.

Billed as the next big CoD like franchise, with fast paced, run and gun gameplay, but adding in aspects of games like Mechwarrior and Mirror's Edge and Titanfall looked likely to revolutionise the contemporary FPS. It's been designed to take all of the features people know and love from games like CoD and Battlefield, strip out the nonsense and make enough changes to really separate it from its competitors.

That's why you've seen banners like the ones on this very site, saying, “Titanfalll, winner of X number of awards,” and how much critics love it, despite the fact that the game isn't even out for a few more weeks. Titanfall has been praised and awarded and rewarded since it was debuted, but every accolade it's won so far, has been at preview shows and every critical thumbs up has come from a demo.

Fortunately now the beta has been opened up to the public as well as testers, so we know a bit more about what the game will be like when released. The question is, how does it play now? And when it does hit the shelves, digital and retail, will it be able to live up to its monstrous hype?

Conventional wisdom would say no, as when does anything live up to the kind of hype Titanfall has going for it? However if beta impressions are anything to go by, it should still deliver at least a big portion of the experience people are hoping to get from it.

The consensus so far is that while graphically the game is a bit drab, with a somewhat outdated engine and a lack of anything really aesthetically eye catching – we've seen a grey/brown, battlworn city many, many times before – the actual gameplay is pretty good.

The game is quite distinctly split into two separate modes: on foot and in Titan. You begin by yourself, fighting sans-giant-robot, running and gunning CoD style, but with the added ability to wall run and double jump, throwing in some of the features that were a staple of FPS titles back in the Unreal Tournament and Quake days of yore. These have been implemented in a fashion that makes them very easy to pick up and play, but will take some time to master – which is the sweet spot for game controls, especially multiplayer ones.

Everything's pretty fast paced though, even when you get into the Titan's later on in the level, which is something everyone gets to do, but you can get into one faster if you gun down more enemies. This can also be pretty easy since with only six human players per team, you're more likely to run into one of the groups of AI controlled soldiers, which provide convenient ways to pad your kill count.

The AI is a bit of a sticking point for commenters at the moment though, as while they serve a purpose, their stupidity makes them little more than target practice and progression aids. It would be nice to see them smartened up to provide more of a challenge for real players, and then there's all sorts of things you could do with them.

However, as it stands they decrease the learning curve, which overall is said to be much smoother than other games in the FPS genre. Pros can play alongside noobs and both can have fun and perhaps more importantly, can get a lot of play time in, since you aren't killed as soon as you spawn but when you are, you almost instantly get back into the action.

Take that as you will. It might mean that killing an enemy doesn't count for much, but it does mean when you die you don't ragequit because there's a countdown timer. It's a trade off but one that will no doubt be adjustable with server customisation.

As with CoD and Battlefield, there's a lot of upgrades and perks to unlock in Titanfall, which while somewhat reminiscent of the RPG genre's standout feature, is still designed to tap into that part of your brain that feels like you're progressing. Unlock a new weapon? Here comes the dopamine.

It's somewhat exploitative and it seems a shame that so many games have it as a near mandatory feature, somewhat taking away from the clever game design which is certainly present in aspects of Titanfall, like its level design. Unlocks are part of every game now, so those complaining are likely to be very quickly drowned out.

As are any real nay sayers at the moment, but looking at the comments from a lot of players, you'd get the impression that the real proponents of Titanfall are too. In reality, it seems like some of the hype for the game has run off, leaving a much more realistic impression of the game, which is essentially, CoD, plus robots and wall running. That's not exactly a bad thing, but it does need to be put into perspective, that there's a lot of much prettier, much more inventive and much more revolutionary shooters on the horizon.

Evolve anyone?

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Comments

Cod Killer. Lulz.

Nothing can kill Cod. It lives on in every FPS follows it. However, the franchise itself is already dead and its simply a matter of time before they stop making new installments. It would happen faster if people stop buying them though.

oh yey

Did anyone play the Beta of Battlefield 3, or any other Beta for that matter? And see a difference when the game went live? Yup, it's a Beta, not that it matters, the game as a demo so to speak is amazing itself. And the AI, oh yeah... it's Beta. I was always skeptical of the 6vs6 portion of it myself though, until I played it that is, and anyone else that plays it knows why 6vs6 works perfect. I like watching ppl as they try out different strategies... Like in hardpoint I'll disembark my Titan at a captured hardpoint and set it to defend, and I'll go on a roof above with Arc grenades... People charging in just don't know what's waiting for them. oh damnit, wow I like this post so much awesome cool.

Hype has worn off?

The writer of this article clearly hasn't played the beta or alpha of this game. Titanfall is obnoxiously fun and the more we play, the more we can't get enough. Having had both alpha and beta have just been huge for publicity and I would say the hype is just as high. I'm more pumped than ever. Bring on March 11th. I have a feeling the reviews will say it all.

actually

im playing the beta and i love it haven had this much fun with a game sense ut days ,as far as the gfx the beta uses scaled down versions of the textures so every one can play at the highest speed possible to test server capability but soon as the game is released there will be hd ones ,the controls are smooth and feel great i personally think they need to lower human hp but the rest of the game feels balanced. i hijacked some ones titan the other day by jumping on it off a roof it was grea.t the extraction system is cool as hell the level progression moves along well it does not feel grind obsessed ,im not a fan of the cloaking system but i can live with it since its not game breaking.....personal overall judgement is, i love this game and if your sick of cod and arent very good at bf4 titan fall will be up your alley . cause the game is fun to play ive only played beta but when the full version drop i will be buying it

no

not cod engine cod uses modified quake iw engine ,titan fall uses a heavily modified version of the source engine ,like counter strike go on steroids

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