I didn’t play much Titanfall when it came out, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. I bought it on sale for PC and played it a little, but not as much as I would have liked to, as I’m just not really a PC gamer. But when I heard Titanfall 2 was coming to the PlayStation 4, I was thrilled. And I was even more excited to hear the developer was hosting an “Open Technical Test” this weekend. I logged in this weekend and I have to admit – Titanfall 2 was way more fun than I thought it would be. I’d say I’m hooked, but it’s more than the grappling hook – it’s the whole package.
Platforms: PC, PS4 (Version Played), Xbox One
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Respawn Entertainment
Genre: Giant Mech Free-For-All
Release Date: October 28, 2016
ESRB Rating: Mature
Titanfall 2 has a lot of the same basics as the original game. You’re pilots fighting each other in different game modes, completing objectives and working towards getting your Titan, a giant mech, to drop. You can sprint, double jump, and – my personal favorite – wall run, but now you’ve also got a sick grappling hook that lets you climb on enemy Titans and really wreck someone’s day.
In the Technical Test that passed this weekend, August 26 to 28, they were testing out three game modes – Armored Hardpoint, Pilots vs Pilots, and Bounty Hunt. I played a little Armored Hardpoint, which was basically just capturing control points, and of course, had to try some Pilots vs Pilots, which was just a team deathmatch. But the real fun was in Bounty Hunt, and that was where I spent most of my time.
Players fought waves of enemies, in between which they could deposit kill and assist bonuses in a shared bank. Titan “bounties” came out in one wave, and all the while, your team and your opponents are all summoning Titans. It can get chaotic, but it’s an incredible amount of fun. Oh, and when you get killed, you lose half your bonus, meaning that’s less to put in the bank. Whichever team gets to $5,000 first is the winner, and, much like in the original game, the losers have to run back to a drop ship and get out – but the winners can spawn the location, kill their opponents, and blow up their ship.
There were some great unlockable weapons in the game, but my favorite was the C.A.R. SMG, mainly because submachine guns are my jam. Once I unlocked some sweet sights, it was all over. The initial clip was small, but I was able to time my reloads – or eat a spray of bullets from an enemy I’d only managed to put a few into.
Of course, the real stars of the show were the Titans themselves. The two available were Ion and Scorch, and they were heavy duty. Ion’s Splitter Rifle mowed down pilots, and dug into enemy Titans. He’s also got a Laser Shot, Vortex Shield, Laser Core, and my favorite: Tactical Tripwires, which are mines that have laser triggers. Scorch mainly uses fire abilities, starting with his primary weapon, a Thermite Launcher. He’s also got a Firewall, Thermal Shield, Flame Core, and what are called Incendiary Traps – flammable canisters that can be blown up.
That’s not to say the pilots themselves aren’t awesome as well. Different loadouts give you access to different abilities – the Grapple (which, like I said, is badass), the Pulse Blade (which also acts as sonar), the Holo Pilot (which sends out a mimic), and the Stim, which makes pilots move and heal more quickly for a limited amount of time. I used the Grapple almost the entire time, and I got really good at wrecking enemy Titans. It was so much fun.
One thing I feel I have to comment on was the utter smoothness of the game. I didn’t experience any glitches, the framerate never dropped, and I’m excited to say that the test never crashed, and all my matches were full and well-balanced. The climbing animation was fluid, and getting into a Titan felt better than ever. The only minor issue I had was with the Grapple, and that was only when one of my teammates was already on top of an enemy Titan. The Grapple would just kind of hit the sides of the Titan and not let me climb it, most likely because only one pilot was allowed to be stowing at a time. Oh, and I forgot to mention when you jump on an enemy Titan, there’s an animation showing you either pulling out their core or dropping a grenade inside of them. It feels great.
As I mentioned, I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with the original Titanfall, and in general I’ve been playing fewer first-person shooters lately. But there’s no denying the excitement I felt while playing the Titanfall 2 Technical Test. My heart was racing, I was shouting at the screen, and I got that rush every time I took out an enemy. It has the same appeal as Call of Duty games I’ve played – there’s so little downtime that you can’t really get discouraged when someone snipes you, or you come around the corner and get surprised by an enemy, or you make a wrong move and a Titan sees you and, well, if the Titan sees you, you’re already dead. It’s fast-paced but still playable for those who aren’t hardcore FPS gamers.
I’m definitely pre-ordering Titanfall 2, and I’m hoping a lot of my friends do as well so I can take on enemy Titans with an entire crew. I’m really looking forward to October 28 when Titanfall 2 – and hopefully my first of many Titans – drops on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.