Over the last few weeks there have been a couple of gaming tests available to look at. This has given me a good taste of what to expect with a couple of really big multiplayer releases – Titanfall 2 and Battlefield 1 (both games will also have single player experiences as well).
Titanfall 2 Technical Test
Over a couple of weekends Titanfall 2 gave us a taste of what to expect when it ships in October. After playing during the first weekend a lot of gamers had noticed just how far Titanfall 2 had moved away from the original game. There was generally a lot of constructive feedback and I agree that with the main consensus that it was becoming more like Call of Duty than the classic Titanfall game play we all know and love.
After playing the first weekend I was pretty disappointed and not sold on the changes made. Titans were no longer on a timer was the really big change – it was linked to how well you are playing, much like kill streaks in Call of Duty. I didn’t like this at all. The Titans themselves didn’t seem to be as powerful either. Mapping the anti titan weapon as the secondary weapon is an interesting choice and one I could probably get use to. There seemed to be less AI to kill in general as well.
It seems Respawn Entertainment took a fair bit of the criticism on board and for the second weekend of playing the technical test it seems they had reversed some of the drastic changes. The timer was back for a start, which meant that even if you weren’t playing that well (I fit into this category) you would still get a Titan eventually. It was hard to pin point the other changes made but the second weekend definitely felt like they were heading back to what made the first game so great.
On top of that the extra three years development time has done wonders for how the game looks. It must be running at a much higher native resolution now because it just looks great. Having said that I’ve decided to hold off on getting this at launch. This is mainly because the second game I played the beta of is coming out the week before.
Battlefield 1 Beta
Now this is the multiplayer game I am really looking forward too. An Open Beta was released late last week and finishes tomorrow for Battlefield 1.
Night Owl has already posted up some great first impressions but I thought I’d add mine into the mix. I absolutely love the direction DICE and EA are taking this series and the World War 1 setting is fantastic. In the beta you get to play Conquest and Rush on a desert type map with plenty of broken buildings in small towns that provide ample close quarters combat. The weapon sounds as always sound perfect and have a real weightiness to them. You have the benefit of a bayonet charge as well now, which is a super fast sprint mode that only lasts for about five seconds. It can be absolutely brutal though as the attached video shows. It means also you are completely worn out for a few seconds and can barely walk, due to the extreme burst of energy required.
Like Titanfall 2, the graphics here have improved incredibly from Battlefield 4 (especially on the Xbox One version). When a sandstorm hits it looks absolutely amazing and the draw distance is great. Everything about this game has a much less cluttered / hazy feel about it, probably due in part to the increased native resolution.
The modes in the beta haven’t changed at all – they are still the tried and tested Conquest and Rush modes. They both play great although I felt in Rush the attackers definitely had the advantage because they seem to get a few tanks spawning at the beginning for them. Being World War 1 these tanks take some serious coordinated attacks (via anti tank grenades) to take down. I usually found the attacking side in Rush won because of this so a little bit of balance tweaking may be required.
The level of destruction has improved a lot with this game. It may not reach the quality of destruction that Battlefield Bad Company 2 had but it is a lot better than the Battlefield 4 style of blowing shit up. I watched a tank run right through a building, almost knocking it completely over so the destructibility has definitely taken a big step in returning to its former glory.
The vehicles are great, from flying bombers, to fighter planes (biplanes), tanks and as Night Owl has mentioned, horses. I usually found myself shot off a horse by a passing biplane so I didn’t get to wreak as much havoc as Night Owl. I was pretty good in a tank though and it really helps having the main driver alert you to the enemies around you. Sound is equally impressive although I found the tanks to be way too quiet for my liking. It would be more impressive hearing and feeling them trundling towards you.
The only issue of note was that the menus were very laggy – sometimes up to 30 seconds to actually catch up with the scoreboard or even just getting to the menu to exit the game. I still can’t wait for the final version of this game to come out in October 21st. EA Access members will get to play it a few days earlier too. I’ve pre-ordered this game already because based on what I’ve found with the beta I think they are definitely on the right track.
Both games played on Xbox One.