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Published on February 17th, 2014 | by gareth


TitanFall Hands On Impressions

For the moment, I am going to refrain from any discussion regarding the fact that TitanFall is available only on PC and the Xbox One and 360. I think enough has been said about this already and what is done is done so there is no point hashing out the reasons it should be on the Playstation 4. Business is business and if at some point in the future things change, we can address them then.

For now, I am more than happy that it is on PC and I was able to get into the beta to see what all the fuss was about. The game started off with a series of tutorials which had me do various tasks ranging from jumping, wall walking, double jumping, sniping, shooting, and learning the basics of mech combat.

I had a few flashbacks to the Portal series during training as running from one lab room to another and seeing it blocked now and then by a force field was a reminder of that awesome puzzle game.

Once in the area that is where all the similarities to Portal vanished and I was in an arena setting fighting for my life against enemies. The controls which I was able to customize were fast and responsive and the action was fast and smooth.

While I had the standard sidearm, a Titan killing weapon and a rifle as options, the Smart Gun stood out as this controversial gun more was a great part of my arsenal. The weapon locks onto multiple targets and allows you to have one shot kills. As I learned against live enemies though you need to make sure to have a firm lock as the weapon is not very lethal when in blind fire mode.

After dispatching enemies on foot, I boarded a Titan, and took my mech into combat against other enemies and mechs. Learning how to red the damage meter, eject, and exit the vehicle was key as was being able to use the ability to absorb and redirect incoming enemy fire.

After my tutorial had ended, it was off to face live enemies and see how well I stacked up. I chose a Team Deathmatch style elimination mode to start which was one of the three gameplay modes offered in the beta. There was the ability to select my character class and gender and in time, I was able to customize my player and Titan with new weapons and abilities as I leveled up and accomplished various in game tasks.
The graphics of the game are solid and I encourage those who can to look up at the battle raging overhead and the arrival of units via drop pods and zip lines which are amazing to watch.

Using a standard machine gun as my main focus, I was able to dispatch many enemies and was happy to see that the wall walking skill was not a requirement as it was one that I would need more practice with. I was able to use my cloak well enough, and I took delight in coming around a corner into a squad of enemies and dispatching them all with a few shots and some well placed kicks which brought to mind my days of playing F.E,A.R.

I was updated via a heads up display in my upper right window that a Titan would be available in two minutes and I learned that the better you do in combat, the shorter the wait. The maps were big and detailed without being to large and calling down and climbing into my Titan never got old.

It did take some getting used to, but being able to look into a window and pick off enemy units several floors up as well as mixing it up with enemy Titans was great fun. Enemy troops can attempt to climb on your Mech and destroy you which forces you to dismount and take them out.

In time you can customize your Titan to include a chain gun over rockets, use a smoke screen over a reflection shield, and other factors. I took delight in rigging my machine to have a nuclear meltdown and once it was nearing critical damage, I would drive it right into an abundance of enemy units and eject to watch them glow with my fiery revenge. One well planned move took two enemy Titans with me.

I would love to see some sort of in game currency with perhaps a way to
wager on matches or better yet, have some kind of casinio or gambling
options like the ones on Casino Online Canada and you can also examples working well in Grand Theft Auto 5.

I was amazed at how many kills I was wracking up until I learned that many of them were bots and that only the pilot kills were flesh and blood enemies but still, it was a nice total.

After playing through the two maps often, I moved over to Hardpoint mode which requires teams to capture and hold various strategic locales on the maps. I started to see the customization options come in as I could use a Smart Pistol, machine guns, and in time, a sniper weapon as my main weapon of choice. I tried the Smart Pistol for a few rounds but decided on the machine gun as it better suited my style.

Some hard points are within buildings which makes walking the walls and double jumping into windows a more strategic approach compared to barging in with guns blazing, but in a constantly changing battlefield dynamic, you have to do what works best for you.

The kill cams were a great help as I was able to see how enemies were attacking me and changed my approach accordingly. I saw my death rate drop and that I was able to still maintain my aggressive kill counts.

At the end of a match, the losing team must try to make their way to an evacuation ship while the winning team attempts to destroy it and all the stragglers. No matter what side you are on, it does make some great variation.

In time I was able to use Burn Cards which are one of power ups, like a new Titan Kiling weapon and also obtained the choice of abandoning my cloak for more speed and stamina. One nice touch was being able to dismount from my Titan to enter a building and capture a terminal but leave my Titan in guard mode which helped pick off enemies that came into range.

The final gameplay mode was Last Titan Standing which is a free for all Titan battle that is a one and done, so not really my thing as I did not like waiting around for a game to end due to one well placed shot or a group attack upon me.

The sounds of the game are great as you can hear all sorts of radio chatter and I loved how impressive the detail level of the game was. Mind you I had my settings on high thanks to my NVIDIA GeForce card . The only minor glitch was a few Trolls who decided to voice chat in game about how much certain players sucked at the game, which was loudly put down by those who reminded said Troll that it was just a Beta and many were playing for the first time.

The A.I. of the bots was basic as many could not handle up close combat which I used to my advantage. On more than one instance, I took on 4-5 at a times and came away a winner but I would also attribute this to the element of surprise as well.

My only concern with the game is that it may become repetitive as after a few hours of gameplay with the two maps and three modes, I was ready for something new and know that the ultimate success of the game will relay upon maintaining interest in the game since it is a multiplay only game.

That being said, TitanFall is looking like the rare game that lives up to the hype so far, as it is a fast and intense game. I am glad to see it on the PC and Xbox 360 as as it stands, while solid is not enough of a reason to purchase the Xbox One system based on the sampling I had with the game, but it offered more compelling online play for me than did the original Halo.

About the Author

Syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. His work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site and publication “Skewed and Reviewed”.He has three books of film, game reviews and interviews published and is a well-received and in demand speaker on the convention circuit. Gareth has appeared in movies and is a regular guest on a top-rated Seattle morning show.He has also appeared briefly in films such as “Prefountaine”, “Postal”. “Far Cry”. and others. Gareth is also an in-demand speaker at several conventions and has conducted popular panels for over two decades.

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