Reviewing a beta of a video game might ordinarily seem quite premature, however the Titanfall beta is definitely an exception to this generalization, many citing it as more of a game demo than beta.
The main incentive for developers Re-spawn Entertainment for releasing this beta was to test the network strain on the servers that accommodate this ambitious multiplayer first-person-shooter. That in itself is the most surprising outcome of this beta. Ever since the start of the testing period, the servers have coped amazingly well. Very rarely have players been unexpectedly kicked from an ongoing match, and there has been very little complaint of any network lag within the game.
Careful not to reveal too much of the game initially, the developers have restricted players to a level cap of 14, with only a handful of weapons and items to choose from. Many have voiced concerns of the longevity of the multiplayer experience, however this is near impossible to foretell until a final release of the game has been reviewed.
Titanfall raised many concerns when it was revealed to only support a 6v6 model when it came to human players. Whilst many complained that this wasn’t “next-gen” technology, Respawn maintained that this decision was a creative one, rather than a technological restriction. Having now experienced the beta, this most definitely appears to be the case. The maps are plenty big enough to accommodate not only the 12 human players within the map, but also the multiple AI players and the potential of 12 titans to roam the maps. It could be argued that they should introduce game modes that incorporate less AI players, and more human players, but perhaps this is an enhancement that could be realised in the future once the game is more established in the gaming market.
What the introduction of AI players does create, however, is a welcoming atmosphere for the beginner players. If you are new to Titanfall or shooter games in general, a great tip is to concentrate on the AI players rather than human, as they are easier to tackle, and get you used to the game mechanics and control schemes. Arguably the AI players become tiresome for the experience player, but an all-accommodating environment is most welcome.
What Tianfall manages to achieve for the first time in many years of first-person-shooter gaming, is innovation. The game is a truly fresh experience, and whilst inevitable comparisons will be made to Call of Duty and Battlefield, this almost seems unfair. “Better” is relative, and it is entirely possible that a future where the three franchises can co-exist without robbing the other of players is entirely possible. After all, a variety across each year within the FPS category is most welcome. The introduction of titans and Parkour mechanics cannot be found in any other multiplayer experience, whilst the game also achieves the impossible by not only incorporating these features seamlessly with traditional gunfire, but also making the new features easy to master.
Overall, the future of Titanfall looks bright, and is sure to be a system seller when it releases mid-March. Let us know in the comments what you thought of the beta, and whether you’re looking forward to the final release.