Battle of Titans (BoT) developer Red Button announced Friday, leading into the long holiday weekend, that their beta version 0.5.0 had been completed and its release was imminent for another round of testing on iOS. Better yet for gamers following the game’s development, over four thousand new test applicants were invited to join in the fun of testing BoT as it takes one step closer to release which is hoped for at the end of this year. The large addition of testers is noteworthy as applicants previously were only added in groups of a few hundred at a time.
Included in the list of changes in 0.5.0 were adjustments to some of the weapons. As I mentioned in a previous article, the heavy weapons, Hammer and Sarisa underwent significant changes. M.A.O. even received Hammers, in their new assault configuration, to replace its previously standard equiped Sarisas. The machine gun, called Mangler, also underwent a big adjustment. As one of the earlier testers I was quite curious as to what these changes would be. I’m glad to report that by in large the changes seem practical, intuitive and go a long way to bring BoT to that ever elusive yet ever sought after target called balance.
Both the heavy weapons felt much more controllable and aiming was simpler. New visual effects for both weapons also made using them easier as well. The Mangler’s big change was the addition of a short wait period for it to reload. Other weapons seemed to undergo minor adjustments too. Of particular note, the medium to long range automatic cannons, called Tormentors, were a lot of fun. The new UI for weapons, displaying remaining ammunition and reload times was a noticeable improvement and added to ease of use and enjoyment.
Weapon and UI improvements as good to see as they were aren’t the most important changes that came with 0.5.0. Red Button’s release announcement included a long list of fixes for seemingly mundane details, but the cumulative effect of these changes has netted an overall improved experience. Two of these items really stand out from the rest of the list.
Control of the titan’s tower has been worked on, particularly when it is in a damaged state. In the game’s previous version a titan’s turret, or tower and weapons became almost impossible to control once they had sustained moderate to severe damage. That challenging effect had been implemented to add to a sense of realism and immersion, but has been wisely dialed back to the point of being noticeable but entirely manageable at the same time.
Another unique feature of BoT that has ‘realism and immersion’ written all over it is the movement of titans and their interaction with terrain. BoT terrain is noticeably rough and uneven, with hills craters and debris everywhere. Even in the first round of beta the game’s animations were very reflective of how a giant walking war machine should interact with terrain and how it should feel. It’s hard to describe without just playing, but it feels right. Some issues involving collisions with terrain pieces or difficulty moving through what visually appeared to be traversable terrain did occur in older versions. The current build goes a long way toward removing these nuisances and further unlocks the potential of BoT’s titan movement and environment interaction.
The total sum of this version’s improvements, and the large addition of beta testers
indicate that Red Button has taken care of much of the heavy lifting needed. There was a much quicker turn around between beta builds than in previous versions. With another map, and other content already revealed BoT has managed to not only sustain but also build enthusiasm and interest on its journey through beta and on toward release.