Titanfall 2 Tech Test: First Impressions

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It’s a big year for EA, with several games coming out in the next few months. One of these being Titanfall 2, the sequel to the multiplayer-based FPS. The beta was released on two consecutive weekends, and I got to play a few games of it. Many people felt dissatisfied with the first game, but did they improve the sequel?

While single-player wasn’t available in the beta, we had access to a few multiplayer modes. These were Bounty Hunt, Hardpoint and Pilot vs Pilot. Hardpoint is your standard Conquest mode; capture three different points on the map and hold them to get points. Pilot vs Pilot is team deathmatch without the Titans. Bounty Hunt, on the other hand, is a new mode that spawns in neutral AI grunts and spectres for teams to take out as many as possible. Each kill gets you money, which, once the timer on each spawn runs out, must be deposited in the bank to contribute to your team’s score. Cash can also be stolen from the enemy team by killing their players and dumping it in the bank. It’s a fun mode that offers something different from the usual “kill the enemy team for points” scenario. Overall, the three modes we had access to were fun and fast-paced.

The gameplay felt familiar to the speed of the first game, with smooth and fast movement. Players were sprinting around, grapple hooking off buildings and onto Titans, which gave a fast and urgent feel to the matches; keep moving or you’ll probably get killed by a Titan or enemy Pilot. Titans, meanwhile, had improved since the first game. The two we had access to (Scorch and Ion – Ion being my favourite)  felt less clunky and slow compared to their predecessors, with Titans sprinting and boosting along the ground. Of course, they still WERE slow – they’re giant mechs – but they definitely felt faster and easier to move and control than before.
Combat and customisation had also seen an improvement and several changes. Weapons felt fun to use and powerful, and a larger selection of weapons were available. From the regular R201-Carbine assault rifle, to the D-2 Double Take (a twin-barreled sniper rifle), everything was fun to use. My personal favourite was the L-Star, a LMG with unlimited ammo that fires energy rounds, but needs to cool down often. The two Titans played differently too. In Titanfall 2,  each Titan is different in its weaponry and design; Scorch had a fire whip that travelled along the ground when hit, and Ion had a shoulder-mounted laser cannon. They also had a new feature called a Titan Core Ability, which is essentially an attack that charges up as you use your Titan, usually resulting in a devastating attack. Scorch had a ground pound fire shockwave, while Ion had a massive laser cannon that fired out of its chest. In the first game it felt like Titans weren’t that great. Sure, they were huge mechs with big weapons that can take a lot of damage, but it felt like they were really only good against other Titans, with players too fast for the slow mechs with guns that mostly fired slow. And when Titan v Titan fights happened, it quickly came down to who could shoot who the most, with not much strategy involved. Now, with the ability to throw down trip mines for Titans, Titan combat becomes more tactical, as you either push forward on a fleeing enemy, or retreat as fast as you can and lay down mines to cover your escape.

I’ll admit, I had my doubts about the next Titanfall, with the first game being  fun-but-not-for-too-long. However, the beta shows that Respawn have really got the multiplayer down. Let’s hope that the single-player is just as fun.


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