My Time with TITANFALL
Last weekend I was lucky enough to get a chance to participate in the Titanfall beta for PC and I was impressed to say the least. First off I will admit that in the days leading up to the beta I was not buying into all the hype that started all the way back at the last E3. I was totally expecting COD with Mechs just like the next guy. I mean the founders of Respawn are responsible for some of my favorite Call of Duty entries ever and I’m not sure we will ever hear the name “Respawn” without “Call of Duty” following close by. Anyways, once you get past trying to compare the two games you will find that Titanfall is a whole new breed of frantic FPS action.
Surprisingly, the parkour action of running from roof to roof and from wall to wall was really smooth and one of my favorite aspects of Titanfall. It’s a good feeling losing a Titan that is hot on your tail by connecting wall jumps with double jumps working your way up to a roof top just so you could turn around and return fire with your anti-titan weapon. You’d think that the Titans would be a over-powering force to deal with on the field but you quickly learn that is not the case. For the most part your Titan would only last about 1-2 minutes if you are not careful. You have to watch out for other Titans as well as other players looking to damage you with anti-titan weapons or by hitching a ride on the shoulders of the your Titan and unloading a clip into the interior of the head. Another thing I noticed was the awesome sound Titanfall had. Everything from the guns to the Titans themselves had a believable sound to them. My favorite sound was of the hot wind crackling under a Titan falling from the sky. Pretty epic.
There were a few things I didn’t like though. One big issue for me were the lame AI bots. Just sitting targets for the most part, not adding any help what so ever. Yeah if your not paying attention you could be taken down by a bot but for the most part I was able to slaughter them in big groups with no trouble at all. They do kind of give you the feeling that a huge battle is going down but after a few rounds that can see right through the facade notice how impaired the AI really is. I know people were worried about the 6v6 player cap and I was one of them. All I have to say is that for the 2 maps that were available for the beta, it worked. The level design was just right for 6v6. If the maps were any bigger the lack of real players would make the match boring and if the maps were any smaller it would just be too frantic and crowded. Things do get very crazy but that shouldn’t discourage any new comers. The learning curve is almost non existent making it easy for anyone jump in and do some damage. To me Titanfall is more like a arcade shooter and missing the hardcore demographic just by a hair.
In the end Titanfall turned out to be a fun game with different levels of gameplay I wasn’t immediately expecting. Is it a system seller like the Xbox One is banking on? Probably not, but that is the start of a totally different discussion. TITANFALL launches on March 11th for the U.S. and March 13th for most of Europe for the Xbox One and PC. The Xbox 360 version that had been outsourced to Bluepoint for development was just recently delayed until March 25th for the U.S. and March 28th for most of the European regions.
Building a gaming PC sounds intimidating, doesn’t it? You have to pick out all the individual parts, each of which comes in dozens, even hundreds of variations, and the whole thing can easily cost you $500 to $1,300 depending on the quality of the parts. So why should you build such an expensive computer instead of getting a new PlayStation 4 or Xbox One? Here’s why:
1) Cheaper games
As a result of most PC games being sold digitally, publishers are able to sell their titles at lower prices. The price of a title tends to drop over time, but digital titles drop at a faster rate. The Steam Summer Sale is a bargain shopper’s paradise as popular titles are on sale from 10% to 80% off. I bought 16 games during this past Summer Sale and paid an average price of $5 a game. You won’t find that kind of money saving mayhem anytime soon for console games.
In addition to the low prices, many developers release their DLC (downloadable content) for free. Whether it’s new maps, missions, game modes, or characters, there’s more free extensions for your games on PC than you’ll find on either console.
2) Mouse and keyboard OR controller
For many of the games you’ll play, you’ll have the option of using a traditional mouse and keyboard or a controller. Many games now support the use of a variety of controllers so you have some options. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. A mouse and keyboard allow for greater precision and more button mapping options making it a great option for RTS (real time strategy) titles and shooters.
3) Building a PC isn’t as difficult as you probably imagine
It sounds like a daunting task for most because many people are so used to playing their games on a box that has already been assembled for them. But with all the help available online in tutorials, YouTube videos, and message boards, there’s plenty of assistance to be found. If you have a great deal of friends who play lots of games there’s a good chance one of them has built a PC before. I was fortunate enough to have a few friends help me pick out parts and then guide me in assembling it. Besides, building your gaming machine is so much more satisfying than forking a couple hundreds bucks to the person behind the cash register.
First I will start off by saying this will not be some PC “Elitist” rant on console gaming. I have been a console gamer my entire life and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. I have my PlayStation 4 pre-ordered along with Battlefield 4 and Killzone Shadow Fall and was pretty much satisfied until recently when me and a friend started contemplating if these “Next-Gen” consoles were even worth picking up at launch. I am the type of person who likes to stay with the new and get rid of the old. The day the PS4 was announced I immediately knew I wanted it and was already thinking about how much I could sell my PS3 for. After hearing the launch line up for both consoles I was excited but underwhelmed at the same time. It’s a great line up don’t get me wrong but the “next-gen” games I was looking forward too wouldn’t be coming out until at least spring 2014. The day one games listed can’t truly be “next-gen” if they are going to be released on every system out there. Assassin’s Creed IV is going to be sold on 6 different systems. We are talking about PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U, Xbox One and finally the PlayStation 4. That’s a good thing for anyone sticking with current gen consoles but it also makes it hard to find a reason why we need the Xbox One or the PS4 right away. As of today, Driveclub along with Watchdogs have both been delayed until early 2014. Two games I really wanted to play. After it’s all said and done I think I am going to wait until there is a game I just have to have before I make the leap to “Next-Gen”. It’s sad because I have been waiting for these new consoles for awhile now.
DICE Responds to Battlefield 4’s Beta ”Bad” Performance
After yesterday’s release of the Battlefield 4 beta there were alot of people concerned about the way it looked on current gen consoles. The colors were bland and riddle with texture pop ins and glitches even on the PC version. You can find videos all over Youtube with side by side videos showing the differences between the beta and the E3 Demo.
Johan Andersson, the technical director for DICE, has responded to concerns via Twitter assuring everyone that the game will look much better when released. He tweeted that this is a ongoing beta and that the performance is not final and graphics still need to be tweaked. I think everyone needs to keep in mind that this is just a BETA running on hardware that is 7-8 years old. This game was made with Next-Gen consoles and PC’s in mind and to be played on current gen consoles you have to expect to take a hit on the visual side of things. The beta is available now to anyone who has pre-ordered Battlefield 4 Digital Deluxe Edition or anyone with a Battlefield 3 premium membership or anyone who bought Medal of Honor Limited Edition. The beta will be open to everyone starting Friday October 4th.
If you’re like me, you’re excited for the next-gen consoles but not so excited for that $400-$500 charge that you’re going to take on the chin while doing so. There’s a handy way to relieve this. I’m sure most people know this already, but it could be beneficial to those that don’t…
If you preordered your Playstation 4 or Xbox One on Amazon, you won’t have to pay a penny until your console ships in mid-to-late-November. In the meantime, you can pick up Amazon gift cards or Amazon Kindle cards. They come in a variety of quantities and they’re available nearly everywhere. After you’ve purchased the gift card, log on to Amazon and click ‘Order Details.’
At the bottom of the next page you’ll see a box that allows you to put in your Amazon gift card code. Once you type that in and press ‘Apply,’ you’ll see that your balance will go down accordingly.
If you do this $50 here, $25 there over the course of the next few months, that hit that you take on release day will be far less brutal.