Let’s talk about Titanfall. Just a little over a week has passed since the end of the closed (and open, shortly after) beta of the widely-acclaimed “most anticipated game of 2014”, and there has been ample time to think back on gameplay and to review video footage. But really, stretching across much of the discussion topics is the bogeyman of the beta: the Smart Pistol Mk. 5.
This pistol auto-aims. It takes 1 lock-on to stop a Grunt; 2 to down Spectres; 3 to instantly-kill Pilots and other players. Limited by targetting speed, maintaining line-of-sight, and effective range, the Smart Pistol promotes aggressive hit-and-run tactics to sow a path of carnage and cause chaos on the battlefield.
Truly the most defining characteristic of the Titanfall beta was the prevalence of Smart Pistol duels. Still, despite its strength in easy kills, the Smart Pistol has its own glaring weaknesses against an aware opponent in addition to its dependence on the (at times) slow lock-on for sure-kill shots.
If you ever find yourself struggling against Smart Pistol users, pack Cloak and pack the Carbine for long-range, shotgun for close-range. Remember to break line-of-sight as much as possible, and setup ambushes with Cloak.
One of the more satisfying aspects of Titanfall are the executions.
Considering the fast-pace environment of Titanfall, settling down to camp alone leaves you more vulnerable than you would expect. Especially factoring in the importance of wall-running and movement, settling into a position leaves you open to run-by executions and fast kills. On the move, you’re less vulnerable to the executions lest you find yourself ambushed by a stim-boosted Pilot from behind.
Engaging enemy Titans is a pretty exciting experience; you rodeo aboard, wrench open their core, and start firing away. Some will not realize that you’ve climbed aboard, but many will have countermeasures for boarders: their Titan may pack Electric Smoke or the Pilot may simply disembark to take you down on foot.
On the other hand, piloting your own Titan is the main draw and gimmick of this game:
While much of the fights in the Beta revolved around strafing, deflecting bullets, and desperate punch-outs, this is mostly due to the limitations of the Beta itself. As only the Atlas Titan was available for use, most Titan versus Titan fights became rinse-and-repeat mirror matches without much creativity. Once the other Titans are released, mech combat is expected to become a much more varied experience.
The Beta was definitely a different experience compared to the usual FPSes. While being in Beta limited what was available for use, the already-implemented features found in the Beta were an enjoyable experience.