Robert Dominic Ventre II Staff WriterThe highly-anticipated first-person shooter, Titanfall, is up and running as of February 11th, and lucky players may now sign up for codes to participate in its beta. Having gone home with over 60 awards after being revealed during last year's E3 video gaming expo, Titanfall has captured the imaginations of gamers across the country and much of the world. The title boasts a creative staff that is sure to appeal to almost any fan of the FPS gaming genre: key developers responsible for the massively-popular Call of Duty franchise, including one of its original creators, have been on board since the game's inception. Their experience in the development and refinement of shooter-based gameplay mechanics has paid off, as Titanfall is all but guaranteed to fly off the shelves (or digital shelves, as it were) upon release, if the hype and anticipation surrounding it is anything to go on. In Titanfall, players assume the role of free-running “pilots” who may also take control of high-powered and surprisingly agile “mechs”, known as Titans, in online multiplayer-only matches. There are two factions to choose from, which act as opposition to one-another when on the battlefield: the Interstellar Manufacturing Corporation or the Militia. When acting as pilots, players are not at all helpless; the pilots build momentum as they sprint across the map and are able to run along walls and chain jumps together. Titans operated by opposing players may also be hijacked by wandering pilots and stolen. The Titans themselves vary in scope, with different abilities, appearances and animations. They can even be programmed to act autonomously when put in guard or follow modes if no pilots are present. Each round includes up to 12 human players, who select their pilot, mech and are then dropped into the map, which begins the game. A timer indicates when factions are allowed to deploy one of their Titans, which decreases in duration for every enemy player killed. Games conclude with a frantic race to the losing team's evacuating dropship. Despite being played exclusively online, Titanfall incorporates elements of single-player gaming such as a central plot, character dialogue and even NPCs (non-player characters) that can affect the outcome of each round. Distinctive features of the title's gameplay range from being able to shoot around corners while on-foot as pilots, deploying “electrified smoke” which repels a pilot attempting to scale and hijack an enemy Titan, and the “vortex blocker”, which stops and returns enemy ammunition in midair. The exact number of beta codes available is not currently known. However, it has been established that the Titanfall beta is not available to everyone, and those who have already per-ordered the game are not guaranteed a spot. Fans have already been clamoring to get in on the action, with many speculating on the game's content and play-style in forums and comment sections across video-game-centric websites worldwide. The game's developers, Respawn Entertainment, promise to revolutionize how gamers look at multiplayer gameplay as well as the first-person shooter genre at large. Judging by Titanfall's reception thus far, they might just have made good on their claim.
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