Over the past weekend, thousands got their first taste of Titanfall 2. The tech test, while just the bones of what the full game will be, has me excited for October. Cleaner, fresher graphics, new titans, more weapons, and new game modes were on display. Titanfall was relatively well received and with the addition of these multiplayer features, as well as a full single player campaign, Titanfall 2 looks just as promising. In case you didn’t get a chance to play, we’ve broken down everything for you.
- Pilots vs. Pilots
- Returning from the first Titanfall. No AI enemies and no Titans. This is a straight up team deathmatch between pilots and only pilots.
- Amped Hardpoint
- A variation on the usual domination game modes found in FPS. Players must capture the three areas on the map to score points, but can double the earned score by sticking around and amping the objective. Pilots and Titans are both allowed and the latter can be earned through getting kills and capturing or defending objectives.
- Bounty Hunt
- Similar to original game’s Attrition mode. AI enemies are hostile to both teams and eliminating bots nets you a score plus a bonus. After each wave of AI bounties ends, players can bank their bonus to boost their team’s score. Bounties can be stolen by killing other pilots. Titans are earned normally in this mode also.
Pilots get some new toys to play with. The standard assault rifles and sub-machine guns are present but new abilities will determine how you play. The E3 trailer showed off the grappling hook, which can be used to move quickly and sang some fun melee kills. Other abilities include the cloak, a holo-pilot, the sonar throwing knife, and the stim ability.
- Returning from the original game, cloak is exactly what you expect. Invisibility may help you sneak up on inattentive players, but is more effective when trying to escape Titans.
- Holo Pilot
- A great tool for those who enjoy deception. Projecting a holographic copy of yourself can distract your enemies long enough to close in for a kill or beat a hasty retreat.
- Pulse Blade
- If you’re the kind of player that like to actively hunt down others, the Pulse Blade will be your bread and butter. Throw this towards an area and the knife emits a sonar pulse for a few seconds, marking any enemies in the vicinity.
- Stim could be considered the least interesting, but most adaptable ability. Giving you a temporary health and speed boost lets you enter or leave combat a step above the competition.
Even though there are three listed on the official website, only two titans were available during the Titanfall 2 tech test, but the differences between these beasts and the walking tanks of the first game are immediately apparent. Titans no longer have a customization load out, following the trend of shooters like Overwatch. Each Titan specific primary weapons and sets of abilities, making your choice a question of what you want your personal behemoth to accomplish. Titans also feel much more mobile this time around; a welcome change.
- My personal favorite during the tech test and a great choice for beginners, Ion is a basic assault Titan. The classic Vortex Shield can save you in a pinch and redirect damage back at your enemies, Trip Mines give you a tactical option, a shoulder mounted laser is great for stacking on extra damage between reloads, and the Splitter Rifle is your standard fare pulse gun with a twist. Hold down the left trigger and, at the cost of using more energy, the rifle will fire three shots instead on one. The Laser Core makes your feel like you’re in Dragonball Z as you fire a sustained and extremely powerful blast from your Titan’s chest. If you want to bring down enemy Titans in open combat, then Ion is the Titan for you.
- The other playable Titan, Scorch is all about area of denial. Heavy armor allows this fiery beast to withstand long firefights with other machines, but that’s not where it excels. Trapping enemies and defending objectives is where Scorch shines. Anyone foolish enough to wander into your Firewall will pay for it and your Incendiary Trap is hard to notice until you ignite the poor soul walking through its gas cloud with your Thermite Launcher. When enemies get to close, you’ve got a Heat Shield to back you up that will melt incoming fire and simultaneously damage nearby foes. Finally, activate your Heat Core so send a wave of fire in front of you, dealing massive damage.
Maps in Titanfall have never been spectacular and the same could be said of Titanfall 2. However, there’s enough variety to keep things fresh and learning the best spots to be in takes time. Two maps were available during the tech test, giving players a small taste of what’s to come.
- Wide, open fields surround a central collection of buildings. This is the perfect map for full on Titan vs. Titan combat and sneaky pilots. Take to the top of the middle tower for a great, but obvious sniping position. Stick to the fringes and learn where your can take cover quickly or else you’ll be an easy target for pilot and Titan alike.
- Cramped streets and alleys outline by buildings on either side make Boomtown an intense, close quarters frenzy. Rooftops give a good view of the battlefield while interiors provide cover from place to place. Mobility plays a big role as the closely spaced buildings enable pilots to chain wall runs. Titans may find themselves ambushed if they wander down the narrow streets and are better off sticking to the edges and looking for pilots to pick off.
There are plenty more features not covered here such as boosts and how leveling works, but I’d rather you see that for yourself. There is a second tech test launching this upcoming weekend, starting the 26th. More maps, weapons and abilities will be available so make sure to check it out. Titanfall 2 launches on October 28th.