Titanfall 2 aims to take the frenetic shooting, wall-running, mech-blasting gameplay of the first title to new heights, tightening up familiar mechanics while adding a few new toys to play with. A few members of Team GamesRadar+ got to play a round of the upcoming sequel at the recent EA Play event outside E3, and here are some quick thoughts on how it feels and how it compares to the original.
If the first Titanfall was all about making you feel like a badass sci-fi action hero, Titanfall 2 is all about making you feel badder-asser (…that’s the proper term, right?). The most obvious addition is the grappling hook, and while it’s as thrilling to use as it looks, it’s a little tricky to figure out at first. You point your reticule at where you want it to go and fire, but doing so will launch you right into a wall, so you need to boost jump to angle yourself up and over while you’re speeding forward. It introduces even more verticality, if you can believe it. But the grappling hook is a specific class skill, so not everyone will have access to it. You can grapple into enemies, like grunts, other pilots, even Titans. It makes rodeoing them much easier – which is good, because it seems like it’s an instant kill on Titans now (once you’re latched on, you rip their battery out or chuck a grenade in and they’re done).
Speaking of Titans, I played in the Ion Titan (the pre-demo video made sure to call the mech out as a ‘she’, compared to the other one which was a ‘he’ (maybe that’s dependent on their AI voice?). It’s a little like the standard Titans from the first game – energy shield, powerful machine gun – but Ion’s damage core ability is a giant energy laser that rips through enemy health and shields like tissue paper if you can properly line up the shot. One thing I noticed during my brief demo is that Titans don’t arrive on a set timer any more. Instead, their arrival is based entirely around your kills – take out grunts and pilots to fill up the meter. Once it’s full, you can summon your mech from the sky. Unlike Killstreaks in Call of Duty, your meter carries over between deaths, so it’s much more newbie friendly while still allowing their presence on the field to be more about skill than inevitability.
Somehow Titanfall 2 is even more over-the-top than the first game, and a lot of the changes Respawn have made seem to be about refinement, as well as giving combat a little more personality and edge. And if its single-player campaign can match this pace, it could be incredible.