Checkpoint: TitanFall 2 Tech Test Edition

I was looking forward to the the TitanFall 2 Tech Test; it would be my first experience with Respawn Entertainment’s franchise. They made wall running a thing and ever since I played Call of Duty: Black Ops III, I’ve been wondering how Respawn Entertainment’s implementation felt. Apparently, if forum threads, I need to play the original TitanFall because Respawn changed the pace, the design and just about every detail of what made TitanFall beloved in TitanFall 2.

I felt the wall running lacked heft; the sound design in Black Ops III made it feel like I was actually running on a wall and not simply gliding across it like Overwatch’s Lucio. The grappling hook is surprisingly slow. I played a couple of rounds of Bounty Hunt and enjoyed the idea behind it but I kept wondering why the A.I controlled grunts were only accumulating in certain areas and why two sides are fighting over killing them.

The game ran and controlled well enough but everything looked a bit soft which is undoubtedly has to do in part with the 900p resolution. I got used to it but the soft image and feel of the wall running made for mushy feeling game while I’m a Pilot. I still feel like a tower mechanical monster while in a Titan though. It’s just a shame that they’re not coming in at a quicker rate.

I don’t want to pass judgement on just the first tech test (they’re holding another one next weekend) but I’m not enamored yet which is surprising to me.

My review of King of Fighters XIV will be up tomorrow. I’m still putting in hours into Overwatch and Doom with the latter winning me more and more with each passing level. I’m dying a lot more than I would like but a lot of it comes down to me trying to complete rune objectives while killing demons.

E3 2014 Day 3 Impressions

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Battlefield: Hardline PlayStation 4 Closed Beta Impressions

Electronic Arts unleashed pyrotechnics for this closed beta and I think that’s the most explosive thing about Battlefield: Hardline. The criticisms laid against are valid, it is very similar to Battlefield 4. The best description I heard was that it’s like Battlefield 4 mod developed by a very talented team.

The Blood Money game mode was entertaining but I can’t help but wonder how it would fare in a a game filled with tanks, APCs and generally more bombastic levels. Walls fells, glass shattered but unlike Siege of Shanghai, this urban sprawl that we were fighting through didn’t have a giant set piece to dazzle me.

There were minor changes here and there that I would love to see DICE bring to Battlefield 4 — but that’s all I took away from the beta. I just wanted to play Battlefield 4 and didn’t see anything in Battlefield: Hardline that would make want to pick it up.

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TitanFall hype ramps up with beta sign ups & previews

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I signed up for the TitanFall beta. I chose the PC version because I don’t have an Xbox One (even if I did, I would be a Gold member anyways).

The embargo lifted today and with it came a torrent of gameplay videos.

The more I see of TitanFall, the less enthused I am about it. The environment appears to be very static. Bullets and rockets spray into walls and nothing happens. Trees, towers and other obstacles are as sturdy buildings. Coming from someone who enjoys their Battlefield style of destruction, Titanfall appears to be a step back in this regard. I’m not expecting every single building to crumble but at the same time, I don’t want to see a giant mech thwarted by a thin wall either.

I love TitanFall’s movement options though. It’s what I was hoping for when DICE announced they announced Battlefield 3. I was hoping for a marriage between Mirror’s Edge movement abilities with Battlefield: Bad Company 2 destruction. Unfortunately they didn’t deliver on my hopes for improved movement but they continued to refine and improve their destruction tech.

I guess I’m asking too much when the game is coming to the Xbox 360 as well. And if they’re struggling to keep the resolution above 720p (it’s 792p for the beta) while maintaining 60FPS, I can see why they wouldn’t even bother with destruction.

On TitanFall

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A lot has been said about Respawn Entertainment and Electronic Arts’s TitanFall. Many were impressed with the game’s opening reveal at this year’s E3 and continued to be impressed with what was shown at Gamescom.

I count myself amongst those who were impressed but I also recognize it could very well end up being nothing more than Call of Duty with mechs.

Will you use a Titan?

I have learned to not trust any of these staged multiplayer videos. Call of Duty titles, in particular, are notoriously more frantic and faster paced than these videos. With that in mind, I foresee many issues facing the Titans.

Hopping into a Titan seems like a poor life choice. Infantry are much more nimble and have the ability to oust a Titan pilot by getting on top of it or just bombard it from rooftops.

Just like a tank in Battlefield, a Titan’s survivability appears to be tied to the teammates who are around it. Will anyone actually hop on the back of a Titan to take pot shots at enemies? Or will snipers discourage that?

So many mysteries

I am very curious to see how Respawn will balance Titanfall. Impressive walkthroughs and mock ups are one thing but I remember Modern Warfare 2’s multiplayer reveal and what we ended up with in the final game. I sincerely hope history doesn’t repeat itself.

PlayStation 4 release?

If I were a betting man, I’d put chips down on a PlayStation 4 release in the fall of 2014.

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