When I got home from work Thursday night I checked my email and suddenly felt like Charlie opening his Wonka Chocolate Bar and getting the golden ticket, I got my beta key for Titanfall. I immediately drove home, fired up my Xbox One and began the install. Once it finished I logged in eager to play the latest version of the game, I got a chance to play it at Pax Prime last year.
I was immediately met with a opportunity to engage in a training tutorial, which I recommend doing as it teaches the basics of the jet pack enhanced, parkour (the running on walls movement system) as well as fighting and Titan controls. The whole process took about 15 minutes to go though and gives you a good feel for what to expect in the game. It even throws in three live action tests at the end so you can truly feel how combat will play out in the game environment, though I’m fairly certain you can’t die in this, but I didn’t try either. Besides there would be plenty of time to die once I got into the real game, and die you will.
After the tutorial is over you are launched into battle and given the option to chose your game type. For the beta there are four options available to pick from.
This is basically a six on six death match mode. Players are put on teams and the first team to 250 points wins the match. The losing team then faces an epilogue and has to race to an extraction point to get out of the battle, while the winning team tries to stop them. When you die in the game you respawn, after a brief cool-down, in the epilogue it’s one life. So if you die you get to watch and see if any of you team makes it to the ship and escapes, assuming the other team doesn’t just destroy the ship, which they can do.
This mode sets three points on the map that need to be captured and defended. Think Star Wars Battlefront or Halo’s King of the Hill mode. The first team to capture all three and hold them for a predetermined time wins. This mode will definitely require good communication and teamwork to be successful.
Last Titan Standing
Another six on six battle, the difference being that all the players start in a Titan. The goal is kinda of obvious be the last team standing. No respawn, no second chance, you die your in watch mode till it’s over. This is a round based mode with the first team to win four matches declared the victory, but in the end their can be only one.
Beta Variety Pack
This is the most interesting of all the modes… yeah it’s just a random mode to sample the above mentioned modes. Still not knowing what is coming next makes planning more challenging, especially if Hardpoint comes up and your not familiar with your teammates.
Once you choose your battle mode you select you load outs. First you chose the pilot from Rifleman, Assassin, or CQB, this is your ground character and the one that will control the Titan, but we will get to that in a sec . Next you select a Titan for your mission from Assault, Tank, or Artillery, once it is unlocked. You also have the ability to create up to three custom load outs with a variety of weapons, including some which will unlock as you gain levels in the beta.
After the match is over, a 90 second timer comes up in the top right corner, allowing the player time to review the previous match, change load outs, check progress on a number of challenges , and assign burn cards. Challenges give the opportunity to feel a sense of accomplishment while playing and will also unlock burn cards. Burn cards are one time use power ups that a player can use after being killed in a match, with the exception of Last Titan Standing as it’s a single death match. The burn cards do everything from give you a powered up weapon, decrease Titan drops, the time it takes for a Titan to be build, and enhance the pilot, like power running. They last for one life so once you die the benefit is gone.
Overall, the gameplay is very tight. The parkour running works really well and is extremely important as one of the best strategies is to get off the ground and fight from above. There is nothing worse than fighting a swarm of AI grunts and getting stepped on by a rival Titan. Baring a minor issue with the server briefly this weekend the beta has run smoothly, even removing the beta key for Xbox One and opening to allow One owners, PC should be doing the same shortly. This means they will be testing the max capacity under really world conditions which to me is very smart. This gives them a chance to run with a large amount of players, possible more than will actually buy the game and make sure the servers are up to the challenge. Bottom line, get ready to put down COD Ghost and Battlefield, this is going to be the multiplayer game to own for some time to come.