Hands-on with Titanfall 2: more Titans, less falling

More curious about the singleplayer

As of yesterday, we confirmed that Titanfall 2 will have a singleplayer campaign, six new Titans, that multiplayer will be tested before launch, and that’ll be out October 28. Yesterday, while at EA’s pre-E3 event, I had a chance to jump into a match and a half of the new multiplayer mode ‘Bounty Hunt:’ an evolution of the Attrition mode from the previous game.

After walking by approximately 93 EA employees who just kind of glanced at me to acknowledge my existence, I happened upon the Titanfall 2 booth. It was set up like a big tent, with projectors illuminating the ceiling with lightning and the game’s name. It was dark aside from the ceiling, so when I aimlessly wandered in and came across 60 or so PCs, I had to awkwardly ask one of the employees if I was supposed to jump in or wait. He just shrugged with blank eyes, so I did it anyway.

Every so often, a crack of thunder would shake the tent, but as soon as I put on headphones to play I completely forgot that the silly set dressing was happening.

Bounty Hunt is a team deathmatch variant that includes both AI and human opponents just like Attrition before it, but there are now shifting objectives. At one point, an enemy Titan that was wreaking havoc became my team’s bounty. I used my grappling hook — a very welcome addition to the series — to propel myself over a building and onto a Titan to remove its battery and jam a grenade in there.

I enjoyed the mobility of being a pilot in the first game, but the hook makes it so you can almost take evasive maneuvers. It has a cooldown and feels mechanically similar to using Widowmaker’s hook in Overwatch, which is a compliment in my eyes. From the start, there seems to be more weapon variety than the first game, which felt limited to me. I used an assault rifle, a charged blast, a sniper rifle that was designed for double tapping, and there were plenty on the ground that I didn’t have time to pick up. I also spent much more time in the actual Titans than I expected.

Since Titans are only earned through skilled play and not just time, and I am just so amazingly talented, I was mech’ing it up for quite a while. Amusingly, one of the EA reps finally decided to acknowledge me towards the end of the match when he saw my Titan was ready to be summoned. “Zummon your Titan!” he exclaimed, quite Frenchly. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I had spent the majority of my session as a mech and wanted to try running around as a pilot, so I jumped back in.

Titanfall 2 is still impressively fast, and the grappling hook is a smart addition. I’m personally more interested to see what the singleplayer is going to play like, but multiplayer is shaping up nicely thus far.

Zack Furniss