Titanfall: people need to be broken in to its verticality, Respawn suggests

Monday, 30th September 2013 13:13 GMT By Dave Cook

Titanfall’s community manager Abbie Heppe has suggested that if you play it like a flat, boots on the ground shooter then you’re going to have a rough time. She’s explained why you’ll need to think vertically in a new interview.

Speaking with OXM Heppe explained that Respawn’s internal testing phase revealed some interesting play-styles. In short, people were playing it like Call of Duty. “We do tests with random players internally too, so you get that sort of usability feedback,” she explained and added, “I’ve been working on the game, I know what this icon is, I know why this is happening – but does the average person who picks up the game understand that this means this? Stuff like when there’s somebody on the back of the Titan, what you can do about it.”

Dispensing some pointers, Heppe continued, “I still watch everybody come in and play it like they’re playing a less vertical shooter. They come in, they hide behind cover, they pop out and shoot a dude, they run for the next cover. When we play we’re immediately on the walls and roofs, running around like crazy.

“You have to break people in a bit, and then I see them jump into a wall and they’re like ‘oh, I just ran along it’ – and by the end of the match they’re going crazy and playing more like how I would play.

“Even if you tell them, ‘No no no, you should do this’, it takes them doing it themselves to realise that – ‘oh, you really can! Even after seeing the trailers and the gameplay videos we’ve released, you’d think [people would know], but it’s about breaking people out of how they’ve always been playing.”

To be fair, Titanfall’s base control scheme feels a lot like Call of Duty, but as I said in my own hands-on preview, once you realise just how vertically adept your pilot is, you’ll never want to return to street level again. It’s a blast.

Did you manage to play it at Eurogamer Expo last week? If so, let us know what you think below.



  1. Arcnail

    Not a big FPS fan at all, but with the mechs and the wall running/vertical play, it does look like it’s bringing something new to the table.

    I’ve yet to hear anyone say anything bad about it once they’ve played it.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. povu

    FPS players don’t tend to look up very much. That’s going to be something they’ll have to get used to for Titanfall.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Llewelyn_MT

    While that’s true for console players there’s more then a few shooters that do it already: Hawken, Tribes: Ascend, PlanetSide 2, any recent Battlefield, to name the more popular titles.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. Llewelyn_MT

    I forgot Warframe.

    In short: nothing particularly new about Titanfall.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. DrDamn

    Uncharted MP was very vertical too, completely different pace mind. It does require you to rethink things a lot though.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. DSB

    I’m not gonna like hail it as a revolution of any kind, but Gotham City Impostors was so close to being an amazing game.

    When it “clicked” it was really some of the most batshit insane fun I’d ever had in a shooter. The verticality made it so intense.

    The balance was terrible, the mechanics were kinda shoddy and obviously the online functions were completely broken (forcing me to write something like my third ever piece of videogame journalism) but just allowing players to jump, fly or zip across the maps made it feel like CoD on drugs.

    It was an absolutely brilliant idea. It’s a shame it was defenestrated by Monolith and Warner Brothers.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. DrDamn

    Shadowrun (the overpriced but very well balanced 360 game) – that had lots of verticality in it too.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. YoungZer0

    @6: I think they fixed a lot since it went free to play. Should check it out if you don’t have already. I had no trouble with the online functions.

    #8 1 year ago
  9. VibraniumSpork

    @6 “defenestrated” –

    (Bravo, in other words :D)

    #9 1 year ago
  10. DSB

    @9 Haha! It’s my single most favourite word in the entire world :P

    It was love from the first time I looked it up in the dictionary.

    #10 1 year ago
  11. VibraniumSpork

    @10 You were right to fall in love. Dat verb….

    #11 1 year ago
  12. SplatteredHouse

    @2 you’ll hear the bot coming most likely before you’d see it, as a ground soldier?

    #12 1 year ago
  13. TheWulf

    I’m a little bit interested in this because my jadedness about it has been broken down — it has robots, at least. Though I’m still bothered by how desaturated it looks, which worries me in how much they’re desperately playing up to mainstream preconceptions of reality.

    If that’s the case, then the movements of players are going to be painfully slow, and I’m going to lose interest very quickly. After the gamut of old-style shooters on the PC, like Rise of the Triad, Hard Reset, Shadow Warrior, and so on… I can’t go back. They’ve all served to remind me just how painfully awful to play the slow-walking FPS games are.

    And, yes, even Warframe has contributed to that. Props to #4 for mentioning it as I love Warframe so, so much. It embraces the soul of speedy movement and parkour. I want more parkour shooters. Warsow was really great for that, too.

    I mean, with Warsow, if you’re standing on the floor for any amount of time then you’re just playing it wrong. And when you learn how to play it right, it’s like little else you’ve ever experienced.

    I guess parkour FPS games remind me of superhero games, which I do love so very much. I was a huge fan of the Indestructible Hulk way back when, Prototype was okay, and The Amazing Spider-Man was incredible. There was a fantastic sense of verticality in ASM, it was breathtaking. Saints Row IV also fits into this particular niche and furthered the scratching of those itches.

    See, in a video game, I don’t want to be restricted by real world mobility. I want unrealism in my movement, I want to be doing crazy, inhuman parkour all over the place. I want to be running at almost car-like speeds with precision that shouldn’t be possible. That’s what I like about those sorts of games, I don’t want realism there, I find that realism is a cancer that makes games less fun.

    So yeah. How much I’ll like Titanfall will depend on the non-robot players. It’ll depend on whether parkour is necessary to play well, and whether they move at Call of Duty speeds, or old-school shooter speeds.

    And, you know what?

    I’m actually hoping that TitanFall will be more like old-school shooters and that it’ll help the mainstream realise once again why unrealism of movement is so fantastic in these sorts of games.

    I can hope, can’t I?

    Edit: On the topic, it’s probably kind of odd that in liking parkour so much, I don’t like Assassin’s Creed.

    Welp, with Assassin’s Creed, part of why I don’t like it is its obsession with parkour and contemporary views of historical settings. I’m bored with it before I even begin, as it tells very clean stories that don’t really touch upon the truths of any era it sets itself in.

    It’s more than that, though. In a game like Mirror’s Edge, Warsow, Overgrowth, Warframe, or any of the others I’ve spoken of? You have to control the parkour yourself, it’s about reaction times, reflexes, quickness, spatial awareness and so on. But with Assassin’s Creed you can push/hold two buttons and it pretty much plays itself. I’m not a fan of that.

    I don’t want to watch parkour (which I feel I’m doing in Assassin’s Creed), I want to play parkour. I remember in older games like the very first Prince of Persia, Another World (also known as Out of this World), Flashback, and so on where you needed pixel perfect jumping and movement in order to do well. Those games were amazing.

    I also have bizarre memories from the ’90s of some game that was basically Flashback with dinosaurs. I loved that game. I can’t remember what it was called for the life of me, other than it might have had Bermuda in the title. I dunno! Brilliant game, though. Great parkour funtimes.

    So, yeah. I’m hoping that TitanFall will have unreal mobility and require us to use our wits to play, rather than treating us like cattle and playing it for us. If it does? Hey, I might actually seriously get into TitanFall.

    #13 1 year ago
  14. TheWulf


    Yeah, agreed there. That was another nice example of a parkour shooter. I still remember the jumping pads. It was a pretty fun time while it lasted.

    #14 1 year ago

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