Titanfall Beta gameplay First-impressions: Xbox One

When you enter Titanfall, you realize quite quickly you're inside a truly modern game. Even in Beta, we're not expecting many people to complain about the graphics, that is, even before we enter gameplay. This isn't a game where the developers (Respawn Entertainment) scrimped on the graphic design and user interface surrounding the in-game action – on the contrary. This game is ready to roll in a visually spectacular way right at the first screen.

Jumping in on a bit of multiplayer we're presented with a "Pilot Loadouts" screen. Here we're able to choose between RIFLEMAN, ASSASSIN, and CQB. Each base pilot loadout comes with a unique set of abilities and weapons, and eventually we'll be able to create a number of Custom Pilot setups as well.

NOTE: Built-in video sharing with the Xbox One outputs at 720p, regardless of the game that's being output – actual graphics look slightly better than you're seeing in these demo videos.

After selecting a Pilot, we're also asked to select a Titan. Here we've got ASSAULT, TANK, or ARTILLERY. Once again choosing a specific Titan means you're going to have specific weapons and features – that means different tactical abilities and ordnances (frag grenade, rocket salvo, etc). You've also got a different "Kit" depending on your Titan, with items that affect how your Titan survives – Regen Booster is an example of a Kit element. A Kit can also include a feature like Auto Eject for your Pilot.

What's important you understand immediately is that this game is not a traditional first person shooter.

Instead this is a game that's born of a diverse array of combat modes, where your ability to put together a combination of jumps, turns, and gear switches is going to be a lot more important than how good you were at your favorite FPS game from the past. The game is diverse, it's thick. It's involved.

This idea goes so far as to permeate the end of a multiplayer match – even when you've won a match like Hardpoint Domination, the match is not over. Instead the losers of the match are pointed toward an escape route via dropship. Here the winning team can deny any points their opposition would gain from escaping, kicking up dust like a "prove it" point in a game of H.O.R.S.E..

The game also seems exceedingly fair. While we're no pros at it yet, the learning curve seems to support both those that'll take to the game instantly and those that'll need a bit of time getting used to the slightly more multi-dimensional brand of combat the game presents. You won't be playing multiplayer here and have to rage quit because you can't get a shot off.

Not least of all because there aren't just opposing players in this game, there are bots as well. Artificial Intelligence on both your side and the opposing team, Grunt soldiers and robot Spectres, are smarter than we've ever seen comparable units in previous FPS games. Don't expect them to play nice, but do expect to nail them a few times right out the gate.

We'll be playing Titanfall throughout the Beta period then, when the time comes, will be reviewing the full game as well. Let us know if there's anything specific you'd like to know about the game, otherwise stick around and we'll let you know all the juicy parts as they bleed out!

UPDATE: Titanfall Beta has been made OPEN for all to play – have a peek at roll until the 19th of February!