Video Games

Hands On with TitanFall 2 Beta

Electronic Arts & Respawn Entertainment revealed TitanFall 2 at E3 2016. Recently, both companies held a worldwide Open Beta for PlayStation 4, and Xbox One players. Though Electronic Arts is calling it a “Open Tech Test,” but by the industry’s standards, it’s an Open Beta. For the Tech Test, the build was in Pre-Alpha, the same exact build from E3 2016 show floor.

What is TitanFall, and why is this the first time I’m hearing about TitanFall? That’s an excellent question, and I’ll run you through the details. TitanFall 2 is obviously the sequel to “TitanFall.” The series began as an Xbox-exclusive title. That means that PlayStation players weren’t able to play the game, but Xbox 360, Xbox One, or PC players were able to. TitanFall was developed by the very same people who created Call of Duty, the revolutionary Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, and the follow-up Modern Warfare 2. TitanFall is a First Person Shooter based on the very foundation they’ve set with Call of Duty: Fast and furious shooter with a futuristic setting, with the ability to obtain mini-Killstreaks via Titans.

I participated in the Open Tech Test. There were two weekends for this Tech Test: August 19th, to August 21st then August 26th, to August 28th. I Livestreamed it on both weekends, and I’ve embedded them for your viewing pleasure.

What I liked: First and foremost, I liked how different the weapons are. They’re futuristic, and they have different designs, and colors. There are a variety of new perks in TitanFall 2, however I don’t find much use for them in the Tech Test. Hopefully the final game has more perks to use. The attachments are the shining star of TitanFall 2, and you can see it when you equip new attachments. Respawn is giving attachments a lot of love in this game. A lot of people complain that the Heads Up Display (HUD) is “too busy,” I disagree. I think the HUD is fine, all you need to do is understand the icons. My biggest obsession in TitanFall 2, however… is the actual Titans themselves. There are a variety of ways to interact with a Titan:

– Shooting at a Titan.
– Throwing any type of bomb at a Titan to faze or weaken them.
– Getting into your own Titan.
– Jumping onto a friendly Titan, and piggyback a Titan to shoot at opponents.
Favorite: Jumping onto a enemy Titan, taking their battery, or dropping a bomb into a Titan.

What I didn’t like: My biggest problem with TitanFall 2 is the same problem I have with Call of Duty since Modern Warfare 2 came out: Spawns. Right now, Call of Duty’s Spawns has become so predictable, that you could Spawn Trap or Spawn Kill your opponents. The reason why Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was so special was because every match was unpredictable. Maybe it has to do with the maps, I don’t know, but I do know that COD4 was special because it was unpredictable. Likewise, the dropships landings are predictable, and should have been made harder for the enemy team to intercept your dropships.

Getting onto a Titan is sometimes hard. Watch any one of the streams, you’ll see what I meant. There are spots where I’d go like ‘WTF? I did! I meant to jump on the Titan.” I also didn’t like the fact that “Rodeo” was hard to counter. The only way to get a Pilot off your back, while inside a Titan, is by getting out of the Titan, and killing the Pilot, but even that is a risky thing to do.

Camping is a huge problem in TitanFall 2, despite the fact that the maps themselves are semi-large, complex map designs to cater to all kinds of Pilot gameplay. Some players think that the solution to this camping problem is to make the game more hectic like the first TitanFall.

For the most part, TitanFall 2 plays near-perfect, even in Pre-Alpha stage. The servers ran like a dream. This is something Call of Duty, still to this day, has never been nail: Almost-Perfect server infrastructure. Respawn says that they’re using a variety of servers to mitigate the load of the game. The only few problems I had in the beta were matchmaking lag, and in-game lag, but they were few and not really that big a deal. In some of the streams, you’ll notice that it was difficult to find matched player or matched lobby to get into… Which was solved by going to another server. But that was the whole point of the Tech Test, to learn how the servers worked in Real-World scenario.

How did you change servers? I don’t know if you notice. In the “Play the Pre-Alpha” screen, one that you press “play” to get into the Tech Test – you’ll notice on the lower right corner the server you’re on. Press the button (for the console that you’re on. I’m playing on PS4, so I pressed Square, it brings up the server browser.)

What other issues did you find in the Tech Test? If you watch the above stream, which is #3, you’ll notice that I came into a huge freeze across the entire map. The game’s obviously working, but I couldn’t move with my controller. I mentioned this before, but there were some instances where getting onto a Pilot took some re-adjusting. It should be easy to get into the Titan. Otherwise, not too many issues to report on my end.

What makes TitanFall 2 so special? The whole premise of taking down Titans. You can walk up, run up to a Titan, jump on it, and steal a Battery. What can you do with that Battery? You can either wait for your Titan to be ready to drop for you, or you can give one of your team members the Battery, helping evening the odds in the battle for victory. Either way, you are giving yourself or your team member(s) more Titan energy. If you jump onto a Titan without a Battery, you are dropping a bomb into the hole where the Battery is usually. This whole “Rodeo” system promotes Teamwork. I love it. If you’re able to take the Battery without dying, that’s your legendary moment.

All the Rodeo system needs is – a little work. All it needs is better counters for players who are inside Titans. As it stands right now, the only way to shake the Pilot on your back, is to get out of the Titan, and killing him. As far as I know.

Standby for TitanFall! TitanFall 2 arrives to stores worldwide on October 28th, 2016 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC!