The Titanfall beta for the Xbox One and PC has officially been over for almost two days now, but the buzz surrounding it has yet to die down. This is due in part to how much fun the beta was; in fact I consider it to be the best video game beta I’ve ever played, and one that actually made me more excited for the official game to launch. That sentiment was shared by every gamer I know that played it, so it’s now quite clear that Respawn has a special new IP on its hands.
The rush of playing Titanfall is unlike any FPS multiplayer experience to come before it. The mix of Pilots, Titans, Grunts and Spectres offers players of all skill types a chance to be successful, or at least competent in every match. Not once did it feel like I was helpless, and nothing but cannon fodder for more nimble and adept gamers to pick apart with pot shots and kill streak rewards. Herein lies the beauty of Titanfall, it’s the everyman’s FPS multiplayer Mecca.
When it was announced that Titanfall would only allow six human players on each team the Internet let out a collective cry of discontent; claiming that the low number of players is a step back from the massive 32-man teams featured in Battlefield 4. Many believed that the filler bots on each team would be useless, and nothing but a distraction from the true action. While the Grunts and Spectres may not be the most intelligent of video game bots, they still provide a valuable contribution to Titanfall’s gameplay, which is accessibility.
Far too often modern FPS multiplayer games are only meant to be played by a certain hardcore sector of the gaming public. These gamers spend night and day honing their skills and perfecting exploits and tactics to become unstoppable forces on the digital battlefield. If you have the time to invest in that type of regimen more power to you, but as gamers get older and take on more life responsibility, it’s not always easy to get in marathon multiplayer sessions to sharpen your skills so you don’t lose your edge.
I fall into this category, thanks in part to Entertainment Buddha and the time required to run it, so when I finally was able to dabble with the Titanfall beta, I instantly fell in love with it. The main draw for me is what I touched on earlier, and that’s its accessibility factor. From my first match to my last, I always felt like I contributed to my team’s goals, and a few times I even did well enough to be the MVP of a match, or at least finish in the top three scoring positions. This is due in part to the mix of human and bot controlled enemy types, which definitely allow gamers without top notch FPS skills to score a few kills to build up confidence.
Having confidence in a FPS multiplayer match goes a long way for less skilled gamers, because it subconsciously makes you feel like you’re better than you may truly be, which in my case actually led to some respectable match scores, and leaderboard standings. In fact, I haven’t enjoyed the type of success I experienced in the Titanfall beta since Infinity Ward’s Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, which just so happens to have been developed by many of the current Respawn video game magicians. Coincidence? I think not.
Through the Titanfall beta Respawn has proven that it knows exactly what it’s doing when it comes to creating an addictive FPS multiplayer experience. The balance of human players and bots is ideal to keep the action feeling like a real futuristic ground war, and weapons like the Smart Gun allows less skillful players to have a fighting chance, even if they can’t hit a barn door with a shotgun from 5 feet away. Best of all, everything about Titanfall feels like there’s a checks and balances system in place to ensure that not one Titan type, or weapon can be exploited unfairly. The Smart Gun may auto-aim, but good luck trying to get it to lock onto a human player in a timely manner so your own face doesn’t get blown off during your hunt.
There’s no doubt in my mind that Titanfall will live up to the hype machine surrounding it thanks to the excellent beta period. Its unique mix of fast gameplay, parkour abilities and Titan combat make it feel fresh and new. To this day it’s hard to not daydream about jumping out of a drop ship and hitting the ground running with a smile on my face, and happiness in my heart. I may never be as agile of a FPS multiplayer gamer as I used to be, but I now at least know that I can return to one of my favorite nightly activities once March 11, 2014 hits, and that has me excited to be a gamer and an Xbox One owner.
Down below you can take in nearly 14-minutes of Titanfall beta gameplay from the Xbox One. The video features a Hardpoint match on the Angel City map complete with commentary, and more opinions on the gameplay. If you’ve been ignoring this game for one reason or another, you need to give it a chance to woo you, so fire up the gameplay video and enjoy the show!
Titanfall drops on March 11, 2014 for the Xbox One and PC. It will release on March 25, 2014 for the Xbox 360.
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