It’s been over 2 years now since the first Titanfall game launched on the Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC. The game had its faults like any games does but it was quite universally praised for its gameplay, feel, and mechanics. Titanfall just felt great to play, at its core the game was great due to it being so fun to play.
Fast forward to August 2016 and Respawn are hosting two “tech tests” which are notably unfinished versions of the game but we are just two months out before the games full release. Newcomers to the series might not find as many faults with this tech test for the sequel but fans of the original Titanfall are mixed, with many fans of the first game not impressed with the changes in Titanfall 2.
I’ve put in a lot of hours into playing the tech test over the last weekend and here’s a brief list of things I have enjoyed with the game and the parts I’ve had some issues with.
AI: Titanfall always felt very hectic in the original game. AI was dropping all around you and it felt more like a battle to survive. I think the problem with Titanfall 2’s AI is that there simply isn’t enough. Maps feel noticeably emptier and there’s no team-based AI anymore.
Titans: One of the biggest problems with the Titans in Titanfall 2 is that you get Titans less frequently and this makes much of the moment-to-moment gameplay in any given match feel more like a Call of Duty game than what made Titanfall such a unique and enjoyable experience. Titans are earned on a killstreak/scorestreak like meter but with game modes that divert your attention to other various objectives, it feels like actual Titan on Titan combat is too rare in this sequel.
Customization: Honestly, I didn’t have many problems with the gameplay in Titanfall 1. It was fun and fast-paced and the maps were fine also. My biggest problem with Titanfall 1 and why I stopped playing it as much as I did was due to the lack of customization or progression. There was no personal touch to the Titan or to your character and in the 2+ years since the original Titanfall, it appears for now as if Respawn haven’t addressed this issue.
Sound/Atmosphere: I’ve seen this argument made on Reddit and Twitter and it makes a lot of sense. The argument centres around that Titanfall 1 felt like a war. In the orignal Titanfall you had faction leaders making frantic call-outs and your calling in your Titan felt like a bad-ass moment with the sound of this giant robot mech dropping from the sky and Titanfall 2 seems to have lost this sense of atmosphere.
Spawns: I know from other FPS games that spawns can be fixed fairly quickly so I hope the team at Respawn have been collecting data on the spawn issues on Titanfall 2 because at the moment it does not feel up to par with the original. Spawn trapping and spawning next to enemies is far too common that it becomes a real pain-in-the-ass.
TTK: One of my biggest complaints with the Call of Duty franchise is how much the TTK has changed in that game and how low it is in recent entries. Low TTK’s might give the sense of a faster-paced game but all it leads to is people camping and not making use of the movement systems but also it doesn’t feel like you be rewarded for being a skilled player, there’s no opportunity to turn-on an enemy if there’s too low a TTK and any FPS game loses something if they lose that sense of skill.
Having said that, I do enjoy the addition of items such as the grappling hook which makes pretty much any game even more awesome and I loved trying to get some awesome clips to record using it. My very minor gripe with this is that I think it should be standard equipment for every pilot and not lost if you pick another ability. Levelling up weapons and titans feels like a better way to give players a tangible sense of progression.
It remains to be seen whether or not Respawn can make enough credible changes to Titanfall 2 to have it surpass the first one but at the moment it doesn’t do it for me. Even if they managed to fix most, if not all, the gameplay tweaks that I’ve listed above, it might take them more time to ensure Titanfall 2 has meaningful customization and progression systems because at the moment the tech test doesn’t feel like 2+ years of work on the original Titanfall formula.
Delaying the game could also be beneficial for the games sales. After all, it might have a tougher time going up against Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty so close to one another than were it to just release early 2017 in a less crowded release window.
Forum posters on the official Titanfall forums made their opinions known in the thread “Should they delay Titanfall 2?”
“Absolutely. Unless what they currently have is significantly different than the test build I feel like this game is going to need more than a fresh layer of paint.”
“This new game is totally a slap in the face to all of the core community I have been playing this game since it’s initial launch in March 2014 i.e I‘ve log 51 days three hours and 20 minutes in the original game I’ve killed 39,894 Titans just to put this into context for you. instead of you catering to us (The Core Community you know the guys that play LTS when there’s only 100 people playing worldwide) you have totally changed everything I’ve loved about titanfall instead of building upon a great game model you have destroyed everything.”
“They should either, rename it and release it as not titanfall, or bury every copy in a desert and start again.”
“I think they will take the data from the test and make changes as they can. If too many things are wrong, then yes they should delay it.”
What are your thoughts on the Titanfall 2 tech test? Let us know by leaving a comment below.