Everything We Learned About Titanfall Today

Everything We Learned About Titanfall Today

The internet is abuzz with Titanfall today as the embargo lifts on preview events, flooding the infoverse with fresh takes on Respawn’s upcoming Xbox and PC mech shooter. We couldn’t make the event, so instead we’ve rounded-up the best new looks our colleagues in the gaming press have to offer.

The assembled gaming press is painting a rather pretty picture of the first major current-gen exclusive online multiplayer exclusive shooter. The controls are spot-on. The visuals are striking. The action, while a bit sluggish when all the big robots come out to play, is quite satisfying. They’re cranking the hype engine, already overloaded from news of the upcoming beta test, into overdrive.

The assembled journalist were invited to play three game modes — Attrition (Team Deathmatch with fodder), Hard Points (a meter-filling Conquest mode) and Last Titan Standing, which is exactly what it sounds like. Along with the previously seen Angel City map, they also played on a new map called Fracture, a remote colony planet dotted with small buildings and rocky outcroppings. Some played on PC. Some played on Xbox One. It doesn’t look like anyone was playing on the Xbox 360.

You’ll see those in the video previews in a moment. First, let me share with you a snippet of a preview from PC World‘s Hayden Dingman, who calls the game “surprisingly deep” and then goes on to prove it, describing an encounter with an enemy pilot in delightful detail.

I sprint past the enemy, now locked in a duel for the ages. I take special care not to die beneath its enormous feet — a particularly egregious death both in terms of physical pain and embarrassment. Once past, I turn and sprint toward — yes, toward — the enemy Titan, leaping onto its back.

They call it “rodeoing.” I call it terrifying. I rip open one of the Titan’s access panels. Inside is a bundle of wires that look vaguely important. I aim my gun at the Titan’s innards and pull the trigger.

The Titan is doomed, and the enemy pilot knows it. He mashes the eject button, and the top portion of the once-mighty machine erupts, catapulting us both into the sky alongside with it. To add injury to insult, I shoot and kill the pilot while we’re temporarily weightless, a quarter-mile above the surface.

It’s descriptions like these that get me excited, much more than any video clips or conveniently-angled screenshots. If you can make a game journalist put aside the notes and feature lists to tell a story, you’re onto something special.

But enough flowery robot combat romance novel prose. You came here to watch things explode, and there’s plenty of that coming out of the preview event. GameSpot‘s video preview, titled “More Than Just Call of Duty With Mechs”, does a spectacular job of showing off some of the nifty things pilots can do when not encased in tons of heavy metal. Makes me want to play just to hop around like a deranged rabbit, dodging cannon fire.

The fine folks at VG24/7 supplemented their preview coverage with a series of videos comparing Titanfall on Xbox One to Titanfall on PC. The verdict? I can’t really tell the difference. Maybe you can.

Eurogamer‘s Thomas Morgan’s thoughts on Titanfall are neatly summarized in this gameplay video, narrated by a disappointed Ian Higton. Morgan seems optimistic for Respawn’s first outing, praising the controls and overall art direction, but fretting over sluggish Titan-on-Titan battles.

The most impressive footage out of the event comes from Eurogamer as well, where their 60 frames-per-second capable video player demonstrates just how silky-smooth Titanfall runs on the Xbox One. They’ve also got both videos available for download, so you can watch them at their native resolution.

The boys at VideoGamer posted this lengthy gameplay walkthough alongside their preview article, calling Titanfall “The Call of Duty Game You’ve Been Waiting For.”

Is that enough for you to read and watch? If not, there’s plenty more where that came from. Here, I’ll even give you a Google search to get you started.

As you wander off to dream of giant mechs, I leave you with the closing words of The Guardian‘s Keith Stuart, who neatly summarizes how most of the gaming press seems to feel about Titanfall leading up to its release for PC and Xbox One in March.


  • This game’s going to be huge.

    While I’m personally concerned about a potential lack of local servers and it’s not really my style of game, I can see this game shipping a LOT of Xbones.
    I guess the worst news for MS is that it’s coming out in March, and while it should sell well it won’t necessarily move as many machines as it would have with a November launch.

    • From what I’ve read it’s Azure based servers (you know the X1 platform) and neither the Sydney or Melbourne Azure datacentres are open as yet. Both are due this year though. I haven’t seen confirmation if Titanfall is a hybrid Azure/P2P system like COD Ghosts was though. So it’s not local Azure servers (yet) but not confirmed if P2P fallback is in or out.

      • Yeah, but no real confirmation. Leaving with the promise of “later” isn’t really good either. Because later could mean at the end of the year and that’s a long time of hoping your playerbase on one side of the world can tolerate lag before they can enjoy it. Even waiting a week is pretty long because, as much as we hate to admit it, a lot of gamers aren’t patient enough to look past their first impressions for a videogame.

        There’s also the chance of them giving the promise but never following through, or waiting until the sequel to “fix” that. Considering in Australia we pay double the price on games, as well as it only being multiplayer and expecting full price for it, it doesn’t look as promising for people to buy the game.

        • The other issue is your player base could have completely left the game by the time the data centers are available in Australia.

          • Cliify B can tell you that. When Gears of War 2 came out the lag was just as bad, if not worse, then Gears of War 1. By the time they managed to fix it the majority of players had already left and didn’t come back. When I jumped back on to Gears 2 right before Gears of War 3 came out (to finish my achievements) I noticed how much smoother the connection was.

            When Gears of War 3 came out they made sure that servers were running for everybody. If the matchmaking can’t find you a game locally it creates one with bots.

  • I played this at the eb expo and its the best FPS ive played in ages the balancing is perfect doesnt matter if your a pilot or a titan you wont ever feel like you cant take on anything that comes your way. Come march I will be getting an xbox one and this is coming from a playstation fan

  • It is disappointing that Respawn & EA Australia are giving us so little information regarding the servers for the game is if they will be hosted locally or via the Singapore azure network.

  • “the first major current-gen exclusive online multiplayer exclusive shooter” WTF?

    I’ll reserve judgment on the game once I play it but quotes like “The Call of Duty Game You’ve Been Waiting For” don’t fill me with confidence.

    • I think the author was relating to COD as a big money making franchise rather then a clone.

      • But those titles don’t make us money and we don’t buy them because they make others a shit ton of cash, we buy them because we like them. So my guess is it;s directly targeting the larger CoD audience.

        (Lets face it, you ask any first person shooter company who’s fans they want, it would prob be CoD. Just like you ask most non CoD shooter fans what community they don’t want near their game, also CoD)

    • Call of Duty is a fast paced, high action, arcade style online multiplayer. It was a game I could jump on after work, party up with my friends in because everybody had it and kill a few hours. If Titanfall can fill that void without falling victim to the same pitfalls Call of Duty did I’ll be pretty happy.

    • In the Videogamer video it’s explained what he means by that, that this is a natural evolution of the original Call of Duty formula that made it successful in the first place, not a copy&paste rehash that the series’ multiplayer has become. This game is made by the people who invented the formula, so it’s the game that CoD “should” be now, basically.

  • Ooh I wasn’t aware of the AI bots being a part of the game, or that they’d be a kind of resource/xp farm for the players. Very interesting.

  • I reeeeaallllyyy don’t see it. AM I the only person who see’s this game as just another shooter?

  • I’ve been playing the beta for a couple of days now and the closest server is in SE Asia. My best ping has been 133ms (the server selection screen shows a ping number) from Newcastle with ADSL2+. The lag is definitely causing problems, not so much when everyone has 1 or 2 ping bars (yeah, they use bars in game) but when a 4 or 5 bar player is in the match. They dominate easily.

    Beware Aussie, Kiwi gamers. Respawn, Microsoft and EA are downplaying the server situation but it definitely has an adverse effect on gameplay. I have been trying to get some answers from the companies involved but they all pass the buck and point fingers at each other.

    Bottom line, we not only need but deserve LOCAL server support in EVERY region the game is sold. Our money is just as good as American dollars or Euros, it’s WAY past time we were treated as equals…

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