E3 2016: Titanfall 2 Preview

July 4, 2016

One of the centerpieces of the EA Play event outside E3 this year was of course the upcoming Titanfall 2, given its own open-air courtyard high above LA Live, complete with a garden, Titan, and futuristic tented area.

Of course, the big news from E3 was the introduction of a single-player campaign, a component that many felt was missing from the original multiplayer-focused release. Vince Zampella, CEO of Respawn Entertainment has admitted as much saying in a press release, “With the original Titanfall, we focused on nailing the gameplay and reinventing the way you move and fight in a first person shooter, with Titanfall 2, we’re building on that foundation by introducing a bespoke single player campaign backed by a deeper multiplayer experience that together will once again push the shooter genre forward.”

The story of this campaign focuses on Jack Cooper, a rifleman with the Militia who becomes linked to a special Titan in extreme circumstances. This link is suggested to go beyond the usual pilot-Titan relationship and turn into a real bond between partners, between human and AI, perhaps just like the similar Zone of the Enders plotlines. As both pilot and Titan find themselves behind enemy lines, they’re sent on a mission they were ‘never meant to carry out’.


That all said, the multiplayer is once again going to be a major component of the game, and it was the focus of the hands-on demo at EA Play. In the finished game, there will be six new Titans available, along with new Pilot abilities and more customisation and progression options.

In our demo, as usual, players could select from a number of loadouts and Titans at the beginning of the match, each with different weapons and abilities to use. The match was a race to capture and hold control points, with the players in the tent also playing alongside squads of AI mobs to flesh out the numbers, as in the original. One new ability available to our Pilot straight off the bat was a grappling hook that added a new dimension to the parkour gameplay of Pilots – allowing us to quickly dash, climb and get around much faster than ever before, making combat as a simple rifleman even more agile than before. Once you’ve racked up enough kills, you can call in your Titan, which is still the drawcard of the series. Titans seem to survive a lot longer than they did in the previous game, and with new abilities like a giant laser cannon that can rip through enemy shields like they weren’t even there. However, by the point we actually got to jump in our Titan, it was late in the match, where many other players had also called in Titans. Rather than feeling like a dominant threat to other players, the gameplay was similar to being an actual Pilot as everyone was on the same playing field.


However, from what we’ve played Titanfall 2 will continue to appeal to fans of the first game – in many regards it plays very much the same, and there’s not a lot here which would win over detractors. If you loved the taste of Titan action you got the first time around, there should be plenty to satisfy you this time, come 28 October on PS4, Xbox One and PC.