Titanfall Beta Opens the Gates
Earlier this week Respawn Entertainment launched the Titanfall beta to stress test their servers. Due to the overly anxious public begging to get their hands on the game and delays in beta key emails, Respawn decided to open the flood gates and open the beta to anyone who wants to take part. This is a smart move, it gets the greatest amount of pilots playing on the servers. This gives me confidence that on March 11th, the always-online, multiplayer only Titanfall, will be at peak server performance on day one. Please go to the Titanfall forums to leave feedback about the beta as well as any issues you may experience.
I received my beta key early Friday morning and have since spent much of time playing on Xbox One. I was able to get plenty of matches in before the servers went down for some hours later in the day. I can say that Titanfall is a unique experience and feels very familiar to me. Titanfall is like a blend of Gears of War, Mirror’s Edge, BioShock, Crysis, League of Legends, and of course Call of Duty. With that being said I honestly believe that Titanfall is the very first ever FPSMOBA.
During my first play session with Titanfall I recorded in-game footage to show my perspective as a player experiencing Titanfall for the first time. This video shows off the different elements and mechanics that can be used as a pilot in Titanfall. As you can see this six versus six multiplayer has tons of action stuffed into a small package. Skip to the 1:30 mark to see one of the goriest moments in Titanfall beta history.
How to Play
In Titanfall you’ll be able to do a lot of different tricks and use a lot of different tools to control the battlefield. It’s important to have a good sense of your surroundings during battle at any moment an enemy Titan could fall on, or step on, and crush you. The best way to avoid this is to get to the rooftops, or rodeo your enemy’s Titan like a raging bucking bull. It’s important to be on top and working your way across the map from the roofs of buildings. This will give you a good vantage point over your opponent whether they are in their Titan or on foot.
Titanfall isn’t like most first person shooters, like I mentioned earlier in this article I said that Titanfall feels like a MOBA. There are minions to kill that decrease your rebuild time, capture points used to gain team points, various alley ways to attack and flank your opponent, and you have a unique way of navigating the levels. You’re a pilot in a war of attrition, your suit utilizes a particular set of tools that allow you to fight a highly technical battle like the Prince of Persia.
As a pilot in Titanfall you are a parkour artist and can wall bounce like any of the best Gears in battle. Wall running and jumping are essential to your survival as a pilot in the war zone. These abilities give you the access you need to reach high places and get out of the way of the crushing power of Titans. From higher elevations you can more easily rodeo a Titan, but it still can be done just as easily from the ground, but obviously a greater threat. You’re able to utilize a double jump as a pilot that can assist you in jumping farther or higher. Wall running will increase your sprint speed and timing your jumps can chain together your wall jumps into what essentially feels like bunny hopping in Quake and Counter-Strike, and wall bouncing in Gears of War.
This is how Titanfall is meant to be played.
How to Control Your Pilot
There are a lot of different options to choose from when it comes to controlling your pilot and titan. The most talked about control scheme I’ve seen so far is Bumper Jumper. This uses the left bumper to control your pilots jumping and your titan’s dash ability. This is a great control scheme because I like having the LB button as the jump command. However, what I do not like about the Bumper Jumper control scheme is that it uses the B button for crouch and I still like using A as my dash button. I use Evolved, I think Evolved is the best control scheme Titanfall has to offer veteran players. The jump button is LB, your tactical ability is used with A, but melee is moved to B and crouch is now right stick pressed in. This is a much more comfortable control scheme to me and I think will become the most popular control scheme in Titanfall. In the video above the Evolved control scheme is on display.
There are some other really cool things that you can do with the walls of buildings and structures as well. For instance you can slowly walk on walls and creep down by not sprinting on the wall once you’ve jumped to it. This helps when you need to slip into a second story window. One of the more important moves that you can do is a wall hang, you can do this by holding the left trigger in on the controller. This sticks your knife into the wall and let’s you sit on the wall like Spider-Man. Unfortunately, you cannot aim down the sights while you’re attached to the wall, but if you’re good enough you manage to get the upper hand by leaping off the wall. This will usually take your opponent off guard and may lose track of you giving you a chance to land the final shot.
How to Control Your Titan
Your Titan is meant be an extension of you as a soldier on the ground. In the beta you have access to the Atlas Titan chassis an all around assault mech warrior. This class of Titan armor is strong, agile, and deals out quite a bit of fire power. You’re able to dash twice and your dash meter will refill over a short period of time. Use your dash ability to quickly evade incoming enemy fire, quickly travel a large area of ground to get to the capture point or assist your buddy in Last Titan Standing. Use it wisely and it will be what separates you from your opponent.
The Atlas chassis in the beta gives players access to the Vortex Shield and the Electrical Smoke Screen. The Vortex Shield will raise a temporary barrier in front of your Titan. This can be useful when your shields are about go down or are down. The Vortex Shield will gather all of the enemies ballistic fire whether it’s coming from a Titan or a Pilot’s Anti-Tank weapon. When the Vortex Shield is deactivated by the pilot or becomes depleted it will repel the gathered ballistics in the direction you’re facing. You can use this to hurl a massive amount of damage back at your foe. Think of it as free rounds.
There are also a variety of other perks that you can use for your Titan such as:
- Warpfall – Titan falls faster.
- Nuclear Ejection – Nuclear explosion that deals massive area of effect damage.
- Auto-Ejection – Automatically ejects you when Titan enters Doom State.
- Quick Regen – Ability to quickly regenerate Titan’s shield.
Your Titan also has the ability to gain an extra boost with a damage core upgrade. This can be earned in the same way that you earn your Titan. The more damage you do and kills you earn the more quickly will you be able to use your Titan’s tactical ability. This will come in handy when there are multiple Titans on the ground.
When you have taken too much damage your Titan will enter what is called Doom State. This happens when your Titan has reached critical damage and you will be notified to “Eject, Eject, Eject!” On the Xbox One you mad the X button a number of times and you are launched high into the sky. If an enemy is rodeoing your Titan they will be launched into the air as well where you and they will have an opportunity to have a fire fight 200 feet in the sky. I have a hard time finding the ejecting pilot.
The battle arenas are large enough to accommodate the Titans and have them navigate through the alley ways without much obstruction. Be careful though not to clog the paths for your allies’ Titans. It can result in a bad situation and could cost you the battle. Some paths have smaller bottle necks than others but are big enough to feel like you’re in a large area while in your Titan.
When you call your Titan down you don’t need to get in it right away. With the Auto-Pilot AI you can have it follow you or guard a location while you fight or capture an objective. This is important because most of the capture points in Hardpoint require the pilot to take control of a location on foot. Each map has one capture point large enough to allow a Titan or two inside the capture area.
Things to Know
There is a lot of information to process quickly about Titanfall especially if you’re just experiencing it for the first time. So let me give you a few tips on what to look out for and what you can do to be a better pilot. First and foremost, don’t become a slave to the smart pistol. You do not want to be one of those players that relies on the smart pistol to get kills. It is a cheap weapon, and it’s something I will discuss more in my feedback post later this week.
Know how to shave time off your Titan rebuild! This can be done in a few ways, but mainly it comes down to kills and damage. The fastest way to shave time off of your Titan rebuild is to kill or damage enemy Titans, this can be done by rodeoing your opponents’ Titans, or by using your Anti-Titan weapon. You can greatly reduce the amount of time it takes to rebuild your Titan this way. The second quickest way to decrease the timer is to kill or damage other Pilots. Lastly, killing or damaging the enemy AI will shave off the least amount of time, but can be of great help in a pinch.
Use your burn cards! You can only carry a maximum of 26 in your deck at a time, and 3 can be in active-use slots. When you die during a match you can use your burn card for your next respawn. Your burn card will remain active until someone kills you or if noted otherwise on the burn card.
You can hack enemy Spectres! They will help you out in battle. Hacking them also reduces the rebuild time on your Titan. Try it out, could come in handy.
I will most likely expand on this section as the beta continues. I felt these were the most critical topics to go over at this point in time. Also be sure to break 6 habits that will not help you be a Master Pilot in Titanfall. You can read that article here.
Become a Master Pilot
After a few play sessions you will start to get used to all the different tactics that you can utilize to win your matches. You’ll become used to the mechanics that drive the wall running and wall jumping systems. You’ll soon begin crushing your opponents and become a viable asset on the battlefield. Soon you too will have the most dominating performance ever witnessed in Titanfall.[youtube http://youtu.be/Y5J5F-AwkIU]
Beta Feedback and Suggestions
With the announcement that the beta will be extended by at least a day by Vince Zampella on twitter last night I’ve decided to write a much more in-depth feedback article about the Titanfall beta. The beta is scheduled to end on the 19th. I will cover many different topics from the smart pistol and how I think it can be balanced to what I believe could be the biggest improvement Respawn Entertainment can make to Titanfall.