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Coming away from this year’s E3 conference “Titanfall 2” was certainly one of the titles generating a lot of excitement, even if it was overshadowed in EA Games presentation by their multiplayer demo for “Battlefield 1”. From what we saw though this appeared to be aiming to build on what the original game had established while adding not only a bunch of new gadgets and weapons for your pilot but also finally giving us a campaign mode that was sorely missing from the original game.
Being a fan of the original game there was of course much excitement about the “Tech Tests” which recently took place over consecutive weekends giving players a chance to play around with a limited version of the multiplayer mode with two different game modes “Bounty Hunt” and “Pilot Vs. Pilot” to play.
Bounty Hunt is a team game where players battle to eliminate waves of Remnant ground units before rushing to bank their point at the end of each wave to add to their teams total point with the chance to pick up bonus points by taking out the bonus titan which appears at the end of each wave and can earn the player which take it out a massive bonus.
Pilot Vs. Pilot is a classic 8 player mode where players battle it out to being the supreme pilot without the aid of their titans.
The Tech Test also showcased two of the new titans “Scorch” and “Ion” which both come with added titan personalities which advise the pilot on actions to take and tie nicely into the footage we saw of the symbiotic relationship between pilot and titan which looks set to be such an important element of the campaign plot. The downside here however is the changes which have been made to the titan meter which controls when pilot will receive their Titanfall drop. In the original game it was kept to a timer but while the time is essentially still present here, now the game appears to be taking cue from Call of Duty’s killstreaks as titanfalls can happen quicker for players who are doing well, arguably giving said player an advantage that perhaps they didn’t need which more bizarrely making Titanfalls less of a regular occurrence in a game based around getting to battle in giant mecha.
The comparisons to “Call of Duty” only continue to be drawn when we look at the maps given to us for this test period, with a large focus on open areas replacing the packed cityscapes which essentially balance out the original game with pilots often being able to cross the map without having to touch the floor, while also receiving an advantage over the lumbering titans with their superior firepower. Now with pilots having to cross such large open areas they are now easy pickings for the titan pilots while making me wonder how much Respawn Entertainment were looking to the COD games for ways to improve on their existing template and while open areas might be fine in COD, when your facing a lumbering titan they really are your worst enemy.
The new features also expand to the pilots as well with several new weapons being showcased including the new grapnel hook allowing you to easily assend buildings or cross large areas of the map, while getting to live out your Batman fantasies at the same time.
Of course the options are limited as to be expected seeing how this is a tech test. However getting to grips with the new gear or figuring out the best load out for yourself is hampered by the lack of any skill balancing and meaning that I spent most of the test period being gunned down every couple of mins by the hardcore FPS players that the test unsurprisingly attracted. Needless to say getting beaten down each round made it far from the most satisfying experience and what certainly made me hesitant to play more than I did over the test period so hopfully as we saw with “Overwatch” we will get something to balance things out and to give the less experienced gamer something of fighting chance.
What we got to the see over the two weekends frustratingly seems to be a lot of changes made by Respawn Entertainment to a game which was fine to begin, though judging by the amount of negative feedback this test period generated, they have confirmed that further changes are being made ahead of the official launch. For now though the game has got promise outside of its issues and with the Campaign still being heavily teased there is still plenty to look forward to even if its multiplayer element currently looks shaky.
Titanfall 2 is scheduled for release on October 28, 2016
Developer: Respawn Entertainment
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platform(s): Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Release: October 2016