Titanfall Preview & Videos
Last week at a secret location in London, we got the amazing opportunity to get hands-on with a Titanfall preview. What follows is a compilation of videos, showcasing two maps: Fracture and Angel City, and a mix of both Attrition and Hardpoint Domination matches. Each video has the added awesome of some commentary by myself and fellow GameJar writer, Anthony, but if that’s not really your thing and you just want to focus on the gameplay, links are below each video to non-commentated versions too (because we’re nice like that)!
Titanfall sees you playing as a ‘pilot’, armed with an assortment of weapons, a jetpack, wall-running skills, and the ability to call on a Titan. The gameplay is fast and explosive, as teams pitted against each other try to take out not only the opposing pilots, but their mech counterparts… without getting blown up or trodden on. With various load-outs to choose from and unlock for both your pilot and Titan, the tactics and warfare can change at any moment.
First up is my very first match – a game of Hardpoint Domination on the Angel City map. To put it simply: three locations on the map need to be captured by your team and then defended – pretty standard stuff. Things get a little different, however, when Titans begin to fall from the sky, and start battling in the streets. I don’t claim to be an expert (in the slightest) of multiplayer FPS, but with the option to ‘own’ a Titan on the battlefield free to anyone in the game, it really does help even the most novice of gamers. Obviously, there are going to be those that get stupidly good at this very quickly, but I like to think there’s a bit of a level playing-field now that the Titans are involved.
There’s a moment in this video in which I am in my Titan, engaging an enemy Titan, and we end up capturing bullets and firing them back at each other a few times using the shields, before one of us explodes (spoilers, its not me). Being my first match, this was the ‘wow’ moment I was hoping for, and with so many other options available with the Titans this was just scratching the surface…
This next video… well, I’m kind of proud of it, even though really I shouldn’t be. Let me explain.
I came out top of the leaderboard in this match of Attrition (think team deathmatch) on the Fracture map. I can also understand why, and it’s not (unfortunately) due to my amazing skill. Titanfall, during the training level, sets you up with a gun known simply as the ‘Smart Pistol’. “Who uses pistols!?” I hear you cry! “Me…” I whisper back, as I auto-lock onto your head and shoot your brains out. This gun is the perfect weapon for any noob to do some serious damage, and I think it might upset a few people in the process. Simply aim at your target for a moment and close-ish range, and a red line will appear, highlighting said target or two, or three. When the dots go red, shoot. It’s that simple. You don’t even need to really aim, just kind of go for it. So, this is why I won, and is why Ant gets a little upset with me for only using that particular weapon. Enjoy my carnage…
For my last video, I thought it would be good to see Angel City as an Attrition match as, to be honest, it’s a great map for team deathmatch. I don’t do all that well here, however there is a moment, which I thoroughly enjoyed, in which I climb atop an enemy Titan, rip the lid off and take it out with my pistol. Yup. Gameplay is pretty well balanced when it comes to pilots vs Titans. Even though the Titans look imposing, not once did I feel like I had to hide from them. There is always a way to defeat them… in the end. You could try your anti-Titan weapon, which seems to get the job done nicely, or you could do what I did and launch myself at one. With enough fire-power anyone can take down a Titan, just be careful of their large guns and feet.
When you have a Titan-fall. you can either climb inside and take full control, which feels just as fluid as being the pilot on-foot, or set your Titan to follow or guard. Although it’s immense fun to stomp around in a Titan, having one follow you around like an enormous bodyguard is deeply satisfying. You get updates via your radio on your Titan’s status, so you’re always aware of when you are able to launch one, who they are fighting, and where they are.
At the end of a match, you are then charged with a timeframe known as the Epilogue, in which the losing team need to get to an evac-ship, and the winning team need to take them out before they reach it and escape. More points are awarded to your teams accordingly, so it’s an interesting end to every match, rather than a message simply saying ‘you win’.
I like to think that this is just scratching the surface at what Titanfall will be. With a fresh look at multiplayer first-person shooters, it could well be the next big thing for so many people. Titans are powerful and dangerous, while the movement and weapons available to the pilots also creates a new yet familiar experience… it’s hard to place, but I love it.