E3 2016: Titanfall 2 Impressions - Collecting Bounties in Multiplayer

A refined grappling hook and new Titans remind fans that Titanfall 2's multiplayer won't take a backseat to the sequel's much-sought-after campaign.

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Forget all the hubbub around the presence of a real, honest-to-goodness campaign in Titanfall 2. That wasn't on display when I went to battle against other attendees at Electronic Arts' EA Play event. Instead, the same mechanics that comprised the cornerstone of the first game, with plenty of refinements rolled in for good measure, served as a reminder that frantic multiplayer action is still the primary draw in Respawn Entertainment's shooter.

My fellow Titan pilots and I squared off in a game of Bounty, one of Titanfall 2's new multiplayer modes. Certain Titans get bounties put on them, and players collect by either rodeo-ing them as a pilot or blasting them into submission from the cockpit of a mech. The catch is that rappelling up a Titan doesn't earn you an instant kill. Instead, you clamber up top, drop a grenade down a hatch, and yank out a battery that you can use to either heal a wounded mech, or power a disabled one.

This approach to wrangling Titans solves two issues. In the original game, many players opted to forego operating giant robots in favor of utilizing their pilot avatars' parkour-like maneuvers. Prioritizing batteries places a greater significance on Titans, while at the same time introducing more tactical options--namely, prioritizing which mechs should be healed or powered up once you've got your hands on a battery.

Different Titans boast different abilities. Scorch Titan lives up to its name by unleashing a bevy of fire-based attacks. You can launch a mortar shell that explodes and covers wide areas in flames, aim a flame cannon that comes with a cooldown to force you to direct your wrath carefully, and a fire shield that melts rather than absorbs or deflects projectiles. Each mech has an ultimate attack, and Scorch Titan takes the simple yet effective tack of canvassing a wide area in fire.

Ion Titan is the yin to Scorch's yang. Where Scorch calls upon direct, high-damage attacks, Ion favors those players who prefer to a more calculated approach. Dealing critical hits repairs injured spots on Ion, and the Splitter Rifle fires multiple shots to wipe out several targets. Ion's ultimate attack is a bright red beam meant to obliterate single targets. I've taken to calling it the Titan toppler: get a rival 'bot in your sights, power up the beam, and that bounty is as good as yours.

Pilots are even more fleet of foot. One of the game's classes, Front Rifleman, carries a new-and-improved grappling hook able to latch onto any surface. In tandem with the pilot's smooth movements like running along walls and flitting about using a jetpack, the hook's stickiness lets you dictate how to navigate terrain.

The Counter Sniper and Hard Tracker classes also tout unique abilities, such as the Tracker's gravity bombs that open a vortex and suck nearby pilots into a tidy clump, like bowling pins ready and waiting to be knocked over.

These and other design decisions seem intended to foster longevity. In a recent announcement, Respawn confirmed that all maps released for Titanfall 2 will be free. Making it easy and cheap for all players to invest time in learning new maps, combined with the wider range of gameplay options and the inclusion of a single-player campaign, are poised to give Titanfall 2 a shelf life its predecessor will envy.

Titanfall 2 will release on October 28 for Xbox One, PS4, and PC.

Contributing Editor

From The Chatty

  • reply
    June 13, 2016 9:15 PM

    David Craddock posted a new article, E3 2016: Titanfall 2 Impressions - Collecting Bounties in Multiplayer

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      June 13, 2016 9:29 PM

      This looks good!

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      June 13, 2016 9:40 PM

      All new maps will be free!

      Yes, that settles it, I am buying

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        June 13, 2016 9:59 PM

        I've been playing a little Titanfall since yesterday, and it is still really fun. I'll be tempted to pick up both BF1 and Titanfall 2 on launch.

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      June 13, 2016 10:11 PM

      I don't quite understand this emphasis on the batteries in the mechs you mention. Is it just that mode?

      You say rappelling up a titor no longer earns you an instant kill, but it never was an instant kill. You had to hop on top and then tear through the armor and guts with a pea-shooter, basically. And were vulnerable to enemies the entire time you were doing so.

      Is it now impossible to do that in the sequel? What happens to the big guy when you remove the battery, it just becomes a sitting duck for other titans to destroy? Can only anti-titan weapons now destroy titans?

      Sorry for the questions, there's just not a lot of info out there and I found it all slightly confusing.

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        June 13, 2016 10:34 PM

        Thanks for the questions! I can't answer all of them because I only know what I played, but I'll do my best to answer:

        - I changed "no longer." Got confused for a moment. E3 days are long days!
        - I'm not sure if the old way of disabling Titans is viable or possible. Each group played one session of Bounty, and batteries played a big role there.
        - I was able to deal damage to mechs as a pilot.

        More details will become available down the road when preview builds and such go out.

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          June 13, 2016 10:36 PM

          Ah, thanks for elaborating!

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      June 14, 2016 12:26 AM

      Which engine are they using? Source 2 or whatever? Or just a more modified Source from the first one?

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      June 14, 2016 3:47 AM

      Great write up!

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      June 14, 2016 4:33 AM

      Do want. Ask them why there's no CE for PC.