Titanfall 2's First Weekend Open Technical Test - What We Noticed

Last weekend, Titanfall 2's servers opened the gates to those that downloaded and patiently waited for their time with the multiplayer mode of Respawn Entertainment's upcoming title. It was only for the weekend, but the content available was enough to give us an idea of the changes in Titanfall 2. 

It's Still Fast-paced and Fluid

Remember your first time playing Titanfall? The feeling of going fast -- wallrunning for momentum, jumping into windows, boosting up, and switching to your titan once you get the signal your Titan is ready. It's intense. You feel like a beast in the battlefield, and the action never stops. 

That experience can still be found here in Titanfall 2. Veterans of the franchise will get a sense of nostalgia, and new players will find it easy to traverse through the map with the mobility given to the player. Oh, and Titans are still a huge threat in the battlefield. It was easy to get accustomed to the gameplay once again, and the added grappling hook loadout option gives more mobility and is just loads of fun.

Each Titan Will Have Their Own Unique Set Of Weapons

This time around, each titan will have a set of weapons and tools only available for that Titan, with perks you can change based on what you think will work best with that play style. This gives personality to each Titan available in the game. Two titans were available during the first  weekend Open Beta -- First one was Scorch and is what I consider a Thermite Specialist, lobbing thermite rounds, spreading fire in an area, slowly damaging enemies caught in the blast; the other is Ion, and specializes in beam attacks that share one global cooldown across all of it's weapons, so a little micro management with this Titan is required. To top it all off, each of these special titans have unique core abilities to really make a dent against your opposition, like Ion's core ability taken straight out of Iron Man's book. 

There's No More Attrition

This surprised me -- the developers replaced the one mode that made the game so special to begin with. What's special about this mode? It gave us the feeling that you are in a chaotic battlefield; Enemies everywhere, with pilots being the rock stars in the fight. Despite it only being 5v5, there's always someone to engage in, thanks to the AI grunts roaming around, and all kills contribute to the overall effort. This mode supports players of all skill levels and really shows how unique pilots are in the world of Titanfall, with the subtle banter heard by grunts as you pass by. It was the most played mode back in the day.

They now have Bounty Hunt - a mode that requires you to kill AI grunts, Titans, and opposing pilots for cash. Then, at a certain point in the match, you will be given a small window of opportunity to deposit your cash before you die (You lose half of your cash earned per death). This mode is currently the only mode with AI, and the AI are against both teams. There's no two sides going against each other, just grunts caught in the crossfire against two group of pilots. What makes it worse, the neutral grunts are dropped into the battlefield and isolated in one area of the map and they are targets for both teams. It literally becomes a shooting gallery. This mode lacks the feeling you get in Attrition, and you can feel it barren and empty once you've eliminated all AI targets.

Yes, they can simply add Attrition or more modes with AI fodder, but what the Technical Test pretty much highlighted is how big of a role these AI grunts have in the world of Titanfall. 

Titan Rodeo Made Simpler

There were a series of features that made Titanfall really stand out to an already crowded space. The fluid switch from pilot gameplay to Titan gameplay is still in check, but the famous Titan rodeo received a major change - you no longer get to stick around shooting the Titan's exposed core and have the decision on when to jump out of the Titan's back. What's replaced once you get to jump on top of an enemy Titan is a quick animation of you removing a power cell or you dropping a grenade inside  the empty power cell slot (if it was removed by another player).

That's it. Damage is done to the enemy Titan. It's not as thrilling as seeing how long and how much damage you can deal with this now exposed beast. 

I had a blast during my time with Titanfall 2's Open Beta last weekend and pretty excited to go for it again this weekend, but the overall feeling of the multiplayer makes me feel like they've set aside features that made Titanfall truly special. Of course, there's still time to make the changes since Titanfall 2 hits this October, but you can't help but be a tad bit worried with a franchise with so much potential. 

Don't forget, the last Open Beta weekend hits this Aug 28. If you haven't and want to give the game a try, start that download!

Titanfall 2 is being developed at Respawn Entertainment and will be out on October 28 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.  

Written By: Carlos Hernandez