If there’s one thing that Titanfall can boast that few other upcoming next-gen titles can, it’s that fan anticipation, excitement, and attention all exist after players have had a chance to experience the game for themselves. An open beta showed the industry that lumbering, heavy weapon-wielding mechs merely distracted from one finely balanced experience, but fans haven’t seen all the game has to offer.
Beta participants may have gotten familiar with the Atlas, the average Titan meant to appeal to the broadest swath of players. But with the Ogre and Stryder still yet to arrive, the developers have opened up in the latest peek behind the scenes, providing more details on the creation of the three Titan classes, and how each represent a distinct play style and strategy.
The team at Respawn have already opened up about the trying early days of founding the studio, but now the attention shifts to Titanfall itself. So how did the team arrive at the idea of mixing wall-running, jetpack-wielding Pilots with massive mechanized creations formerly used for deep space mining? Apparently, it’s best to picture the Titans as “weapons platforms, but with personality.”
The developers have explained from day one that the concept of Titans was originally conceived as armored soldiers, and eventually led to experimentation for bigger and bigger exoskeletons. The result is what fans have been awed by since the game was first unveiled: the Titan line from Hammond Robotics. So far the Atlas has gotten the most time in the spotlight, offering a mix of armor and attack power. But as the developers reveal, each player will want to experiment with the other options to find out how best to have an impact in combat.
Even a brief amount of time with the Titanfall beta showed just how surprisingly balanced the finished product really is (feel free to watch our own gameplay impressions and video), showing a clear – and seemingly equal – distinction between Pilot and Titan gameplay. So players can only imagine just how much more frenetic and chaotic the battle can become when Ogres – slow, stronger Titans – and Stryders – agile Titans best for hit and run tactics – are added to the mix.
The one question which seems the most intriguing, though, is how Respawn has managed to craft a brand of Mechs that are instantly recognizable, and seemingly refreshing, despite the games industry being filled with mech-based games. Artist Joel Emslie offers one answer, citing a blend of cultural styles:
“For years I’ve watched anime and I’ve looked at manga, and there’s a few of my favorites. I love Gundam, and I could go on about the Japanese influence in our design. It was important to take all of that Japanese flair and then bring it to… I guess we’re going to call it ‘Western’ design.”
It’s getting more and more difficult to hold off on optimism for what it clearly the most anticipated game for Xbox owners, so hopefully the finished product won’t disappoint. Respawn is clearly prepared for the amount of attention, so the other Titans had better prepare themselves as well.
For those who spent time in the beta, which of the Titans are you most interested to try out? Is the Atlas the best starting point, or are you looking forward to turning the tide of battle with a stronger, or faster Titan? Or perhaps most importantly, do you prefer to enter combat without a mechanical rig? Sound off in the comments.
Titanfall launches on March 11 for the Xbox one and PC. Xbox 360 owners will have to wait until March 25.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.