The original Titanfall remains one of my favorite FPS games of the current generation. Respawn Entertainment created a fast paced game that is split evenly between the swift pilots and the lumbering Titan mechs. The only real issue with the game was one of depth, and many players found the amount of content originally on offer slim. Respawn seems to have heard these complaints, as Titanfall 2 will feature the full multiplayer experience as well as a fully realized single player campaign.
At EA Play, I got to play a match with nine of my gaming press peers, and I immediately felt at home in the new game. The graphics have improved, and the AI voices are a bit less British by default, but the gameplay was as breakneck as I remember from the original. We were playing a new mode based around killing a certain number of AI Grunts, Spectres, and Titans inside a certain zone. It isn't a co-op mode; there is an opposing team that wants to claim the kills as well, so it's a strange three-pronged balance that make's the AI's incompetence stand out less than it does in a regular round of Deathmatch.
As a Pilot, I chose a class equipped with a plasma-based assault rifle as well as an anti-Titan charge rifle. Both weapons were straight out of the first game in function if not form, and I had no issues knocking down Titans and destroying Pilots with ease. The grenades were a bit more interesting, with a throwable radar bomb that reveals enemy positions, as well as a Pilot-sized EMP smoke grenade that works well against foes both robotic and humanoid. I didn't see any Pilot abilities available on the loadout, although that could have been an oversight considering we've already seen the game's new grappling hooks and holograms at the press conference.
As always with Titanfall, the giant mechs are the star of the show. I picked the Scorch, a mech focused on burning the world down with thermite grenades and a flaming Vortex Shield. His other moves involve pounding the ground and creating streams of fire that rush along the ground. Scorch did feel a bit less mobile than I remember Titans being in the first game, and I wasn't able to pick up if the Titan dash was still available. There are six new Titan classes this time around, and I tried to ask if this would include or be additional to the classes we saw in the original game. Alas, the Respawn rep I spoke to only had smiles and distractions for me, and the question will have to be answered another day.
Overall, I'm happy to see that Respawn isn't reinventing the wheel when it comes to Titanfall 2's multiplayer experience. A version of the original game with more options and more modes is exactly what I was looking for in a follow-up, and I see nothing in what I've played to discourage me from having hope for the sequel. The game is coming to Xbox One, PC via Origin, and PlayStation 4 in October of this year.