Dispatches From E3: Titanfall 2

I went to E3 today and got to play  games

Titanfall  was one of the most popular games released during the time just following the launch of the  XBOX One, and PS4  and later this year on October 25 a sequel is coming. I managed to get hands on the new game for a couple matches and have some thoughts.

A note for those who haven’t played the first game: Titanfall is a First Person Shooter set in a Science Fiction future in which warfare is conducted using giant humanoid mechs called Titans which are controlled by human pilots who also fight while dismounted from their machines.

The version available to play included three Pilot loadouts, a standard rifleman, a close quarters fighter, and a sniper. I did not have a chance to play as the close quarters class so I won’t speculate on how it plays.

The Rifleman class was equipped with a new mobility item, the grappling hook, which replaced the double jump provided via a jetpack of the previous game. The mechanics of the hook are different enough to be tricky at first but by the end of the first match I was able to pull off some fairly impressive maneuvers, If I do say so myself. Other than the grappling hook the Rifleman class played roughly similarly to the class in the first game, which is to say a really solid medium range fighter in a first person shooter.

Moving around with the Sniper, which was equipped with the old game’s jet pack instead of the new grappling hook felt almost exactly like the previous game which is a good thing because simply navigating the environments of Titanfall was a huge part of what made the game so much fun. The only real complaint about the demo that I played is that it seemed to be that side-arms were removed from the pilot’s loadouts and it was with the sniper that I felt their absence the most. A couple times I was killed in a situation where in the previous game I would have just switched weapons and probably survived. There wasn’t much time with the game so pistols may still be there or they could be part of the progression system of the game. Even so this a fairly small feature the absence of which will probably not be missed for long.

I was able to play as both of the Titan types available. One of these was a small fast machine and the other was somewhat bigger and more lumbering. There didn't seem to be much difference in actually piloting Titans from this game to the previous one, in contrast to the pilot’s new grappling hook. The main factor that differentiates the Titans in Titanfall 2 from the machines in Titanfall is personality. In the previous game the Titans felt somewhat sterile and cold but in this new game based solely on  their ability and weapon loadouts feel a bit more differentiated and fleshed out. It makes sense that this would be the case considering the recent news that a story mode including a Titan as a character will be part of Titanfall 2.

A came away from my time with Titanfall 2 pleased immensely with my what I’d played and looking forward to the final game. There’s going to be another Titanfall this year and that’s a very good thing.