June 19, 2016 by Paul Curtin
Titanfall scored big with critics when it released back in 2014; unfortunately, the game’s console exclusivity, lack of a singleplayer campaign, and shallow multiplayer experience kept it from becoming the next big shooter of choice among the competitive gaming scene that many hoped it would be.
Now, two years later, Respawn is back at E3 2016 revealing potential fixes to all three of those problems in an attempt to bring the series back to more gamers than ever with a singleplayer story, upgraded multiplayer modes, and new Titans available on Xbox One, PC, and PlayStation 4.
In our hands-on time at EA Play right next door to E3, we got to check out the game’s new 5-vs.-5 Bounty Hunt mode on the “Boomtown” map. Map design was never an issue with the original, so it’s good to see that Titanfall 2‘s maps look and feel very similar to the original with plenty of buildings to wall run on, open streets for Titans to fight in, and tight indoor corridors for intense pilot battles on foot.
The new Bounty mode focused primarily on hunting down enemy Titans with the objective of executing them to score points for your team. The player’s own Titan is no longer on a timer and instead based on a meter that builds up when killing other players and bots. Our time with the multiplayer also allowed us to check out some of the new gameplay elements, such as the grappling hook and how the rodeo animation mechanic is no longer a button-mashing instant-kill on a Titan.
Rather than being able to quickly kill a Titan after rodeo-jumping onto them, Titanfall 2’s multiplayer requires the player to first jump onto a Titan and then steal a battery that takes only a chunk of the Titan’s health and does not kill it. That same battery can then be used to help restore a friendly Titan’s health in an effort to encourage more teamwork among players. Respawn also teased other things that could be done with the stolen battery, but said they weren’t ready to disclose that information just yet and that more details would be soon to come.
As teased in the trailer, there’s a new grappling hook class and new anti-gravity bombs which have been added to give the competitive gameplay more depth and help create even more controlled chaos on the battlefield.
But one of the biggest changes to the gameplay is being made to the Titans themselves. The three Titans from the original game will not be in Titanfall 2’s multiplayer, and instead we got to check out the two newly announced Titans named “Ion” and “Scorch” at E3. Ion has an energy beam that can melt other Titans, and Scorch can shoot mortars that explode into flames. There’s a slew of other abilities each Titan offers, and the Titan’s friendly AI has been cleverly updated to now talk to the player in real time during combat and suggest what maneuvers and abilities to make use of when being outnumbered by the enemy.
Respsawn hasn’t confirmed exactly how many Titans there will be in the multiplayer, but hopefully there will be more than three when Titanfall 2 releases on October 28, 2016.