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By NAG3LT17-02-2014
CrimsonE (editor)
StuntmanLT (editor)

The Defence

Respawn Entertainment
Electronic Arts
Release Date:
US 2014 March 11
EU 2014 March 13

The Prosecution

Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz
AMD Athlon X2 2.8 GHz
Nvidia GeForce 8800GT
AMD Radeon HD 4770
4 GB
10 GB

While the Call of Duty series is still enjoying strong sales and gets a lot of criticism over quality, for the last four years the games have been made without the original leads. Jason West and Vince Zampella were fired from Activision in 2010 over a some dispute. In a curious turn of events they have started a new studio, fittingly named Respawn Entertainment, under Electronic Arts. A long time ago, they had left EA after developing MoH: Allied Assault and went to Activision to work on COD. Respawn’s first game is Titanfall, an online FPS focused on foot soldiers and mecha infantry fighting. The recent beta has allowed us to get a taste of the gameplay and what else we can expect from the game.

Time to gear up.

Time to gear up.

Titanfall is online only but the developers have said that they try to combine story into the multiplayer experience. There will be a chronology to levels in some sort of online campaign mode. While we cannot see the overall plot in the beta some other details are noticeable. The level design itself tries to tell a story in a way similar to Valve’s approach in the Left 4 Dead and Portal series. If you take your time to look at small details within the levels, you will see and leftover objects that should show what happened before. AI controlled Grunts talk to each other and you can hear other parts of the story from them. If the rest of the game lives up to this kind of story delivery it will be a great feat of game story design. You have a choice to look for these details or not to, instead of being forced to see everything the writers have come up with.

Gameplay mechanics work surprisingly well and Titanfall is quite fun to play. The battles are not just among human players, there also are AI controlled Grunts and Spectres. The latter work similarly to creeps in MOBA games - there are more of them but they are easy to kill and will not win the game by themselves. Their presence hides the low player count as well as provides some story exposition and cinematic set pieces. Killing them allows continuous action experience but can hide actual players too often. Humans play as pilots, which are elite soldiers and are very agile. There is wall running and double jump abilities, while levels themselves are designed to provide a lot of vertical action. Finally, Titans are the big stars of the game. These bipedal mechs are armed with powerful weaponry and can either be piloted or controlled by AI that can hold position or follow the player around.  While 12 player matches sound small at first, they often escalate to the point where more than 8 Titans are deployed simultaneously and the limitation starts making a lot of sense.

Let’s Rock!

Let’s Rock!

Different elements are balanced well against each other and provide a lot of possible approaches to each encounter. Titans can easily kill ground forces with their large weapons or crush them under their weight. Their top movement speed as well as dash ability mean that even pilots cannot outrun them on a straight path. However, that does not make mechs invulnerable. All pilots carry weaponry that can severely reduce Titan’s shields and damage its armour. However, there is an even more deadly thing pilots can do against mechs, they can latch onto the back and do damage directly. If you miss that moment, your Titan can quickly be destroyed. Finally, AI controlled Spectres carry heavy weaponry to assists against enemy mechs. There is a wrench in the balance burn cards: one-time single life bonuses and receiving them is mostly random. They do not destroy the fun of playing, but can hinder the competitive play.

On a technical and visual side, Titanfall is a mixed bag. The game is based on a modified Source engine with added DX11 support. The game asks for 3 GB VRAM on the highest texture quality setting but the graphics still look quote blurry. The level geometry and detail are decent but are static and look dated, while the aggressive LOD leads to a lot of pop up. Fortunately, the game itself runs well and does not seem to have any large issues. The beta feels more like a good demo, which is reassuring, compared to the BF4 launch.  Contrary to the graphics quality, the animation in Titanfall is very good. Each movement your character makes is well animated and corresponds to the environment. The animations of getting into the Titan are simply amazing. No matter what angle you try to enter from there is an animation for that, from simply jumping into the cockpit to the mechanic arm picking you up and putting you into a seat. Finally, there is a well done effect of a display coming up together from several segments. The game feels good while you are moving and stay in the epicentre of action, but anytime you stop the lack of visual quality becomes apparent.

No Dunkirk for you.

No Dunkirk for you.

Overall, Titanfall seems to be a very fun action game. The mechanics are interesting, there is a wide array of options and the beta looks very promising. While it does not deliver much graphically that is not a major issue. Even with all that, I personally won’t be rushing to pre-order it to avoid giving EA any bad ideas. Let’s wait for the final release and see how well it delivers on its promises.

Comments (47)
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Posts: 28

Gotta say I really enjoyed Titanfall Beta and am looking forward to its release. Don't care if it's a port or not. It's fun and it has an awesome smart gun.

Posts: 223

Stunt have you noticed realised yet that it is Xidio that always starts off these confrontations. You should have had the sense to ban him long ago. You've said yourself he's a troll I'm sure of it. You run this site, be logical and ban the cause. Has any other user here started shut as much as Xidio? I think now. I was hoping when you started this site you would control the assholes that plague the comment areas but it seems you just let it happen

Posts: 3290

Wait, isn't the 4000 series Dx10 cards?

Posts: 1548

Ok, this is honestly getting out of hand. I am giving a warning to EVERYONE! If you don't have anything to say about the game then don't. Otherwise I will start deleting post and adding temporary bans! Stay on topic, without trolling everyone.

Posts: 341

As long as youre friends with staff, youre solid.
He could prob post swastikas and shout HH and it wouldnt be offensive in any way. Cus you know, hypocritical site with hypocritical amateurs. Cant even get more than 1k clicks monthly.

Posts: 3290


Posts: 341

You really suck at defending your choice of sentences. In what way was that relevant? The only conclusion, anyone with a brain could do, is that it was directed at me and you want me dead, its the only LOGICAL conclusion. But then again, alcohol combined with butthurt regarding Battlefield. Funny how you actually did what I predicted, you did go apeshit cus I said Battlefield sucks. With the death crap. Its just sad. (but sort of hilarious at the same time)
Yet you said in the same post that you dont get upset.. hahahaha youre such a comedian, seinfeld material, almost, just almost.

Bob, quote where he apologized regarding the death part? No? You cant? See. Youre also pathetic if anything, but then again, you are a troll.
(And look like one IRL too)

Do a ctrl+f with the word: Apolo

You can find him saying it -once- and its regarding him calling me a troll.
Nothing else, Bob. But then again, you said youre dyslexic, so why are you here anyway? Considering you cant comprehend what people write. Which is why you come up with your bullshit all the time. Most of the time, not relevant. And you couldnt even reply to what I said in the forum, which was hilarious. You just gave me one liners.

Posts: 223

Never said I want you dead. Never said I want to see you in pain. Simply stated a fact that deserved people don't suffer. Never mentioned you. You added that bit. I just said natural selection will find you and do what it wants. It might just take a nude photo of you and tweet it. Never said anything about you dying.

Posts: 3290

No, I didn't think so. You are a troll. And not a very good one.

It's actually, really pathetic

Posts: 341

He apologized, about? Calling me a troll?

Okay... I should accept his "apology" regarding me being a troll.

But accept that he wants me dead? Okay. Logical Bob.

Bob, add an Edit button. Its that simple.
But then again, you cant redesign your own site, need others to do it for you.