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Trialfall: Origin Kicks Off Free Timed Trials With Titanfall 

48 hours to play with stompy robots

According to Origin, I have played Titanfall for three hours. I enjoyed those three hours but look, the world has so many other video games, and I feel antsy staying indoors on a sunny day, and Titanfall's giant revolver is so far down the unlock line I couldn't bear to be apart from it. It is certainly worth a try, though, especially as it'll be free to play for 48 hours this weekend.

EA are launching an Origin equivalent of Steam's free weekends, letting everyone play the full version of a game free for a short while, under the name Origin Game Time.

While Steam's free weekends have fixed start and end times, Game Time works a little differently. The trial period won't start until you actually launch the game for the first time, EA explain, so time isn't wasted downloading it. Considering Titanfall is a 20+ GB download, that's an important difference. Once you've loaded it, the 'Game Time Clock' will start ticking down whether you're playing or not.

Multiplayer-only games don't really get demos anymore, probably because publishers realised some people are perfectly happy to just play that one map forever. How many years did Battlefield 1942 Wake Island demo servers stay full for? Timed trials are a fair compromise, and better in ways as they can show everything a game has, but it's a shame they're limited to special occasions. A healthy, replenishing community is vital for a multiplayer game. Given that EA hope to sell a load of Titanfall DLC map packs, it'd probably be good for them too. This is a tricky balancing act.

Were timed trials available constantly, some would inevitably keep registering new Origin accounts to play free forever. They would miss out on Titanfall's persistent progression and the higher tiers of unlocks, encouraging them to buy it. Though if they're okay with creating a new account and start from scratch every few days, would they even buy the game? And mightn't it be good to have all those extra players keeping the game alive anyway? I realise now that at this point I'm essentially advocating about a form of free-to-play locking people to low levels, which I hadn't intended to, and which would probably leave many who have bought the full game feeling cheated. Alice, RELAX.

(Levelling and unlocks always make an FPS feel a bit F2P for me, mind--the sort of unfun roadblock I understand exists in F2P games to be monetised but only frustrates me in paid games. I don't have the time or inclination to slowly unlock all the cool stuff. I want Titanfall's chunky revolver now.)

Anyway, you'll find the Titanfall trial over here. Should you take a shine to it, it's half-price on Origin right now too, down to £22.49. Stats and unlock progress will carry over into the full game.

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