When I fired up the Titanfall beta on my Xbox One for the first time I was excited; giddy even. I had all sorts of hopes and expectations for the game. But I tried to push those thoughts out of my mind and treat Titanfall like any other game. The problem with that is that Titanfall isn’t like any other game and, as It turns out, the hype was right.
After my first match in Titanfall my mind felt like it was going about a mile a minute. What had just happened? Well, I had gotten my butt kicked, that’s what had happened. But it didn’t matter. Online shooters can be incredibly discouraging, even downright frustrating. But in my first match of Titanfall, even though I had done poorly, I still felt as though I had been an asset to my team. More importantly, I still had fun. Quite a lot of fun, in fact.
Part of the reason for this comes from the sheer versatility of Titanfall’s gameplay. One minute I could be running and gunning as a pilot, wall jumping my way through one of the two maps included in the beta. While, the next minute I could hop inside my titan to stomp around the battlefield, blasting rockets and squashing pilots. This versatility means that there is a lot more to Titanfall than just the CoD infantry style shooting we’ve gotten used to.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there is still plenty of twitchy action to be had, rewarding those players with the itchiest trigger fingers. But even the shooting in Titanfall feels more versatile and fun. This is, in part, due Respawn Entertainment’s novel decision to include AI bots alongside human players, which does two things for the gameplay experience.
First, it helps n00bs like me feel better about themselves. Like I was saying earlier, shooters can be frustrating as It often feels like you are just spawning and dying over and over. Now this isn’t to say you won’t die in Titanfall (you will) or that Titanfall isn’t competitive (it is). It does, however, help everyone feel like they have a fighting chance, as the bots are easier to take down and still reward your team with points (albeit fewer) towards victory. This helped me get into a rhythm and made it that much more satisfying when I was able to take down a human controlled pilot. And if you’re too good to go after the bots they can be easily avoided.
The second thing that the inclusion of AI bots does for the experience is it makes each skirmish feel like a frantic war zone. Even as I was playing it was hard to believe that each match was only made up of six human players on each team. This is aided further by the fact that you have twenty-foot titans running around the battlefield creating chaos as well.
When it comes to upgrades and customization, Titanfall is pretty standard. Players are able to level up their character, unlocking new weapons and gear. Custom loadouts can also be created for both pilots and titans, which include weapon and grenade types as well as a tactical ability and two perks. The beta caps out at level 14 so I was only able to see a handful of the weapons and customization options.
A final aspect of Titanfall worth mentioning are burn cards. These cards, which are collected during matches by performing various deeds, act as the game’s kill streaks in that they change some aspect of gameplay for a single life span of a single player. These changes include weapons with enhanced damage, reduced wait times for titans and even the ability to call in a different type of titan altogether. However, as the name suggests these cards are good for one use only. This means that after you die that card is gone forever, even if you never got to benefit from it during your last life.
Titanfall is not only shaping up to be a great game, but also a breath of fresh air for a genre that has become stagnant. The innovations that the game brings to the table, like its versatile gameplay and the inclusion of AI bots, mean that the game is accessible and fun while still offering a frantic and competitive shooter experience. Player customization and burn cards add a dynamic flair to the experience, ensuring that every match will be a memorable one. I am looking forward to seeing what else Titanfall has to offer when the full game is released on March 11.
But what are your thoughts about Titanfall? Let us know in the comment section below and be sure to stay connected to Corrupted Cartridge for all your gaming needs.