Titanfall is coming, and it's good: Here's what we've learned so far

By Mike Fahey on February 13, 2014, 12:40 AM
pc gaming, kotaku, titanfall, mech

The internet is abuzz with Titanfall 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.

Speaking of resolution, Digital Foundry at Eurogamer calculated the preview build to be running at 1408x792 resolution, or 792p, and not 1080p on the Xbox One. Respawn has confirmed that calculation, indicating the game is due for a resolution increase before release.

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.

It's fun. That's the thing. It's chaotic, it is loud, it batters your senses with alarm systems and dialogue and explosions, but it is fun. And it flows. I felt it straightaway. The same feeling as Quake Arena, the same as Team Fortress. There is a lot of discover, and who knows how the game will hold up on public servers against hundreds of super-talented gamers. But once you've jumped in a titan and fired off four spiraling missiles at another giant mech across a neon-lit sci-fi city, you don't want to get out.



User Comments: 10

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JC713 JC713 said:

I really hope I get into the beta. I want to see if preordering this game is worth it.

2 people like this | Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I don't understand how anyone can compare anything to Call of Duty, CoD is just horrible. "The Call of Duty Game You've Been Waiting For." So avoid it like the plague? This game looks far better than anything the likes of CoD will ever produce again. " the preview build to be running at 1408x792 resolution, or 792p, and not 1080p on the Xbox One" With one month away from release I'd be surprised if they got it running at full 1080p, it will likely be unscaled to that res and not run it natively. Or they'll have to strip out some visuals to achieve the mystic 1080p consoles seem so hopelessly unable to attain.

jackal2687 said:

Cant wait to play it.

JC713 JC713 said:

I don't understand how anyone can compare anything to Call of Duty, CoD is just horrible. "The Call of Duty Game You've Been Waiting For." So avoid it like the plague? This game looks far better than anything the likes of CoD will ever produce again. " the preview build to be running at 1408x792 resolution, or 792p, and not 1080p on the Xbox One" With one month away from release I'd be surprised if they got it running at full 1080p, it will likely be unscaled to that res and not run it natively. Or they'll have to strip out some visuals to achieve the mystic 1080p consoles seem so hopelessly unable to attain.

But then again dude, it is built on the Source Engine. It isnt as demanding as something like Frostbite.

theBest11778 theBest11778 said:

I don't understand how anyone can compare anything to Call of Duty, CoD is just horrible. "The Call of Duty Game You've Been Waiting For." So avoid it like the plague? This game looks far better than anything the likes of CoD will ever produce again. " the preview build to be running at 1408x792 resolution, or 792p, and not 1080p on the Xbox One" With one month away from release I'd be surprised if they got it running at full 1080p, it will likely be unscaled to that res and not run it natively. Or they'll have to strip out some visuals to achieve the mystic 1080p consoles seem so hopelessly unable to attain.

The XBO version has been confirmed to be 720P for months now. 1080P will not happen. I'm hoping a bump to 900P with future updates may be possible, but 720P may be necessary to keep 60FPS the minimum. I'd expect a lot of nice MSAA (or one of the variants,) to smooth edges. Also for XBO you're supposed to play the game 10+ Feet away from the screen where minor jaggies are less noticeable. The real reason to choose XBO over PC will be the community. Both will be pretty large, but I'd expect server optimization priority would go to XBO, then PC, then 360. I'm getting it for XBO for another reason, my friends are getting it on Xbox. My PC is more than powerful enough to run this game at 1080p even 1600p, but what's the point if I have no one to play with.

jetkami said:

Battlefield $4$ sucked and is replete with bugs why would this EA game be any different.

Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

But then again dude, it is built on the Source Engine. It isnt as demanding as something like Frostbite.

Ha, good point, totally forgot it was using such an ancient engine. I thought it was Unreal engine or something but even then its still not particularly demanding anymore.

The real reason to choose XBO over PC will be the community. Both will be pretty large, but I'd expect server optimization priority would go to XBO, then PC, then 360. I'm getting it for XBO for another reason, my friends are getting it on Xbox.

Fair enough, also the fact that it's going to be an Origin exclusive is quite disappointing. The console based community is surely going to be superior to the PC side because of the closed ecosystem.

Puiu Puiu said:

It's best to wait and see how it is after launch. it might be good game, but since it's EA I'm expecting bugs and patches that don't fix said bugs

drjekel_mrhyde drjekel_mrhyde said:

Hater gonna hate on ice skates

BlueDrake said:

Battlefield $4$ sucked and is replete with bugs why would this EA game be any different.

Because unlike DICE, I don't think Respawn will let EA manipulate them. This was their personal pride and joy, so to speak and letting EA manipulate it? Would basically lead to an embarrassment for the company, when a new IP might have 'some' customers forgive EA for publishing it.

Basically in other words, if EA has no hand in it the game should be good. If EA is breathing down their neck over it, then expect a lot more bugs and overall not be worth your money. EA has been hyping the new IP, but I don't think they wanted them influencing it. Seeing as they can clearly tell, what EA has done to PopCap and DICE and want to avoid that.

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