Electronic Arts debuted Titanfall 2 with great fanfare on Sunday at its big press event. It had a thundering trailer and a rousing pitch from Vince Zampella, head of Respawn Entertainment.
Just after the EA Play press conference was over, I was able to get a hands-on play session with Titanfall 2. I played just one session on the PlayStation 4 (which is new this time around), but it gave me a taste of what is coming on October 28 for the PS4, Xbox One, and the PC.
Titanfall 2 is one of the most anticipated games on EA’s slate and in the first-person shooter community. It sold nearly 1 million physical copies alone in its first two months. It is Respawn’s second game for EA. The original Titanfall came out in March 2014 on the Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Windows (we liked it so much, we thought about what we wanted from a sequel in April). But this sequel is going to hit the PlayStation 4, too — and include a single-player campaign, which some players wanted in the original, multiplayer-only release.
Single-player takes you to The Frontier, where your militia rifleman teams up with a veteran Titan pilot behind enemy lines to finish a mission.
In my play session, a lot of the combat was familiar. I picked my mech and my infantry loadout and started the match in a six-on-six multiplayer combat session. Although I was using a PS4 controller, a lot of the gameplay and controls were familiar. I started out as infantry and ran around the corner into immediate combat with non-player combatants.
I immediately shot the Grunts and Spectres, earning myself a few points and feeling pretty good. But as soon as a human pilot appeared on the scene, I got skewered. This cycle repeated itself a few times.
Then the other side started getting big mechs, which you earn after getting so many kills and other points. I fired my assault rifle at the mechs from around corners, but I got nailed a few times doing it. So I could get kills now and then, but it was still hard to survive against human players.
I immediately noticed that I could send out a grappling hook at a mech and then pull myself to the top of the mech. Once on top, I was about to do some damage, but I got shot. I tried this again and found that I could get to the top of the mech and pull out a battery. I tossed the battery to the ground for a mech on my side to pick up. Then I got killed again.
This part of the gameplay seemed like a fun change. I also had familiar weapons and could run on walls. Finally, I got my Titan. It landed on the ground and I jumped in. Then I started shooting my relatively weak and under-powered mortar cannon. It wasn’t that satisfying, as I realized I would have to try to upgrade this weapon quickly.
I hid behind some buildings and fired at mechs who were preoccupied in other firefights. I took a couple of them out, but then I got attacked. I had to eject from my Titan. I flew up 100 feet in the air and landed perfectly on a tower. From there, I was able to pick off more mechs from above. Then a human player showed up and shot me from behind. Damn pilots.
Overall, it was a lot of fun, intense excitement that builds on the outstanding gameplay of the original. I’m looking forward to the launch of Titanfall 2 in the fall.
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