Titanfall is touted as the new standard for first person shooters and after playing it for 3 days, I could honestly say, it certainly lives up to the hype. The concept of running along walls and having a engaging multi-plane gaming environment has in the past been a tremendous disappointment with games like Brink which could not live up to expectations, however, Titanfall is an elegant execution of this making the gameplay not only unique but extremely dynamic. The concept of being aware of one's surroundings is profoundly expanded when danger can literally come from all directions. Also the two modes of playing as a Pilot or a Titan gives the game tremendous options to keep the game interesting and refreshing. I can only imagine how amazing it would be with the Occulus Rift.
The gameplay is fast. Camping is still an option but with the mix of features such as roaming grunts, cloaking, and the devastating power of Titans, it's probably better to keep moving constantly. The graphics are stunning and I actually prefer the fantasy style look of the Pilots and Mechs as opposed to the hyper realism of Hawken. EA has done a great job of not over complicating the Titans, they are in many ways just an extension of the player with only a different set of weapons and abilities but still reduced down to something easy to understand and operate.
Many mech oriented games fail by over complicating the mech aspect with too many functions and features. Although we would probably have loved the option to have our Titans jump, the simplicity of having them only dash around makes it a fair balance keeping them from becoming too overpowered. In many ways, it is the best of both worlds, a Mech game and a soldier FPS, and is so far the best execution of either game types.
There are a number of interesting twist that actually are an amalgamation of great features from other games. Wall running, double jumps, cloaking, mechs are all adaptations from games like Planetside, Brink, Hawken, Halo and so many others. Also the bonus of different engagement scenarios makes the game fun and exciting, Pilot vs Pilot, Pilot vs Titan and Titan vs Titan. However, taking down Titans via Rodeo, which is when a Pilot straddles the top of a Titan and shoots out it's core controls is a bit too easy and overpowered in my opinion. Perhaps it would have been better if you had to actually hack the panel to open it first before being able to shoot the core.
The added objective of retreating and escaping also adds a fun element to the game giving both sides a double reward of not only wining the game but also escaping in the case of a defeat. In general, I think it's a great game with amazing gameplay, simplicity and overall fun. Mind you, this is still barely the beta of which we were limited to only one map. We can only imagine how much more exciting and challenging it will be once we get to try out other maps.
We found ourselves playing the beta mostly on the PC platform, however, we did have a chance to try it on the Xbox One as well. Our general opinion is that while the button assignment makes it tremendously easier to quickly change weapons, use secondary weapons and move around, however because of the dynamic landscape of the battlefield with danger coming from all sides, the use of the analog controls for tracking enemies is much more challenging with a controller compared to a mouse and keyboard. Especially in a game that is so fast paced, quickly looking not only in 360 degrees but in all vertical directions as well is so essential to winning in this game.
The New Standard for FPS9
Graphics score 9
Gameplay score 9
Difficulty score 7
Freshness score 9
Replayability score 8