I got my first chance to play Titanfall last night and as promised, here are my first impressions.
Remember, that I am terrible at first person shooters. So to keep me interested, there has to be some entertainment value for me when I’m bad.
I was a little worried because in games like Counterstrike(haven’t played FPSs in a while) I just die so much and do so little that it’s not fun, so I was worried that this would be the same.
I will say that after a couple of hours of play, I am happily surprised. Titanfall has added a number of things that for me, keep me entertained even while I’m dying all the time.
Being this bad, something has to keep me interested through my dozens of deaths. Even if things are really interesting then there has to be something to keep me feeling that I can do something when my skill level is so much lower. Titanfall does both of these things.
The biggest thing that keeps me interested in the game is the straight up cool factor.
Your pilot’s jetpack gives you a double jump just like in a platformer and is easy to use. The wall-running is also pretty simple to perform. The combination of these two allows you to be a badass free-runner with very little effort. It was a very similar effect to when I played the first Assassin’s Creed, but without all the awkward quirks. You are able to jump from one building to another, run on the wall and jump off again an onto another Titan. That last part needs its own section, but just this part is incredibly cool. I don’t even care if my character dies while I’m doing it.
Then there are the titans themselves. Big mechs are inherently cool. These ones particularly so. Them falling from the sky with a thud is an impressive sight. The way they grab you when you embark is disorienting but neat. They have all sorts of cool weapons and equipment and you can usually get at least 2 of them per match. They’re easy to use and they do awesome things.
When you combine the free running and the titans, you get another really neat interaction. By far the most fun thing to me in the game is what they call Rodeoing. This is when a pilot manages to jump on an opposing titan. When this happens you are able to rip off a panel of the rodeoed titan and start shooting it with one of your weapons, dealing a lot of damage to it. When this happens to you, it advises you to exit your titan and clear off the opposing pilot with your sidearms. When you deal enough damage to the titan, it starts to go down in an awesome fiery blaze.
These are the cool factors that keep me interested in the game. Even with all the awesomeness that is going on, a never-ending streak of dying and doing nothing productive will get disheartening, but Titanfall throws the unskilled player like myself a few bones in this department.
First, they throw in some AI players on each side. They’re not terribly smart and they actually take fewer hits to kill, but they serve a couple of important functions. Since when your titan comes down depends on damage that you do, killing the bots will allow you to speed up your titanfall without having to kill those pesky real people. Many of the levels also have you contribute by killing pilots and titans, so you can still contribute.
Titanfall also adds some weapons that can help out the aiming challenged. The smart pistol can lock on to targets as can some of the anti-titan weapons. This isn’t the optimal strategy, as you’ll often get shot while it locks on, but it can still help.
All in all, I had a ton of fun the first 3 hours or so I’ve been playing. I’ll see how long it lasts, but I think it will be something I pick up and play a round of pretty often.
Make sure to follow Eclectic Gamer on Twitch to catch me playing and dying on Titanfall!