Titanfall 2 is already looking to be a pretty major leap over its predecessor, which in its own right was a solid if a little shallow multiplayer experience on Xbox One and PC.
The most important news is that PlayStation gamers will get their hands at the explosive action that is Titanfall‘s wall-jumping, jet-packing action. I played a hell of a lot of Titanfall back when it was released, and I always felt that it was more of a really big “demo” for a broader vision in the works at developer Respawn. The fact that Titanfall 2 is coming to PlayStation 4 shows Respawn and EA are ready to show the game to a bigger audience.
So how can Titanfall 2 improve upon its predecessor?
Explore the relationship of Titan and Pilot
This is a fairly obvious one. While Titanfall technically had a “campaign”, it was merely an online-only flow of matches that attempted to tell a story through pre-match cutscenes: complete the match, and move onto the next “scene”. It did little to expand the plot of what was actually a rather fascinating Titanfall lore, one that had subtle political undertones that correlate with real life issues. The problem was that it failed to explore the world’s most interesting relationship, that of Pilot and Titan. We were told that the two form a “bond”, but we were never told why, and that made it hard to really feel part of the world. At least with Battlefield there is some sort of contextual element leading into the multiplayer, and Call Of Duty has always done a sound job of contextualising the online component. Overwatch is saved by the depth of its character roster and the world they occupy. Titanfall, however, lacked much in the way of story, and so Titanfall 2‘s campaign must go beyond just human-vs-AI quasi-multiplayer matches, and actually look to explore the world of Frontier.
Make Titans feel earned
One thing that I came to dislike about Titanfall was just the sheer amount of Titans that could be on the ground in the match at any one time. The wait time was usually 2-3 minutes, which could be sped up with kills, but the problem was that often, most players on the team were in a Titan already. I get that it’s kind of the point to have Titans battling it out, but sometimes it almost felt too easy to earn that illustrious mech. I’m not sure how Respawn could address this, but I’d like to see the whole “Titan fall” element be a little more rewarding and earned compared to the first game. Make players really fight for it, rather than make it a surety within only a matter of minutes. It doesn’t need to be a killstreak like in Call Of Duty, and I like the idea that everyone can get one, but perhaps limit the automatic cool-down, and boost it further with kills and good team play. That way players are encouraged to play the objective and take out human-controlled Pilots and Titans, rather than simply aim at AI minions to boost up the Titan drop meter.
One thing I like about Overwatch is how hard it makes you work for skins and sprays. Sure, Blizzard wants you to suck it up and fork out for loot boxes, but I love the thrill of reaching a new level and hoping for a legendary skin for one of my favourite Heroes. I want something similar in Titanfall 2, at the very least. The first game tried to paint a picture of a bond between Pilot and Titan, but aesthetically that bond didn’t exist. I’m sure they’ll address it in the campaign, but from a design perspective I’d love to be able to personalise my favourite Pilots and Titans, from the sprays and overall Titan design, to the cockpit and noises it makes when it drops and fires.
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Work on those damn minions!
The AI-controlled minions that filled out multiplayer matches were good for boosting XP and building towards your Titan, but they were mostly just “there” and added little to the fight at hand. This sometimes made for a jarring experience as the focus often shifted to these AI-controlled nobodies who didn’t really have much influence on the match itself. With a 6v6 match structure I can appreciate the need to have them there, and I wouldn’t call of them to be removed completely, but I think they could be used in a way that better utilises team dynamics.
I spoke with Respawn briefly back in 2014 about Titanfall‘s entry into eSports, and while they seemed keen on it, it was obvious that they were holding back and looking to jump in with Titanfall 2. This is a franchise with a game style that suit eSports perfectly, and EA and Respawn would be crazy not to look at taking it up to the Call Of Duty Championships. Titanfall is very watchable game, and this sequel would be the perfect time to set it up on the professional circuit.
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What are you hoping to see improved in Titanfall 2? Sound off in the comments below!