While we waited for the Titanfall Beta to accrete, we talked about our Valentine’s Day plans. Or, I should say that he talked about his plans. I have a very hard time with things like that. It’s no excuse, or it is an excuse, but not one that bears any kind of explicatory power and will not result in any kind of authentic amelioration. I freeze up to this day when it comes to any kind of scheduled romantic overture. You can get married, have two children, and still experience “first-date” style paralytic events!
So, you have that to look forward to.
Ultimately, accretion of Titanfall reached one hundred percent, and we jumped in or whatever and it was whatever. It is quite possible to play it wrong, which is what I was doing. And if you do, you won’t really understand the din that surrounds it. I’d even played it before, and I still went awry, because the habits are so ingrained. It is not Call of Duty, even if it is essentially from the people who invented that. Titanfall is a series of concentric rings, and manipulating the relationships between them is the game.
When I got home, the game I played there was completely different. I seem to have some kind orbital, surface-scan type mode of assessment when I look at things here at the office that doesn’t initiate at home. It misses things. Some of it was a result of the “vanilla” experience, the first few levels where you have limited gameplay “kits” and no opportunities to cobble together the experience you want. Some of it is that playing it solo is still better than other things, but playing it with a friend - seeing your friend in there, riding around on their huge robot while you act as a living turret - elevates it. Some of it has to do with the fact that even though Titanfall is not hard to play, its traversal doesn’t reveal itself fully without experience in actual environments. You start to find intentional “lines” through places, in the manner of Tony Hawk’s baggage carousel, that give you material advantages. And then, you’re just… lost. It’s got you. It’s not atomized: that’s the fear, when you see this two (I might argue three) tiered gameplay. That the two don’t really inform each other. It ain’t the case. There’s a sort of foodie pub type place near the office where they make a cheeseburger not by placing cheese on a burger, but by ladling some kind of elixir over it. We asked what it was, and they said it was a mixture of beer and cheese. I nodded, slowly. Yes. I understood, now.
Titanfall is beer cheese. And once you’ve had it, other things feel like settling.