Don't ignore Titanfall 2, you'll regret it if you do

Titanfall wasn't perfect by any stretch, not least because many complained about the lack of a single player campaign mode. That has been rectified for the second outing and this time around Respawn and EA are hitting Xbox One, PC and PlayStation 4 simultaneously.

The first multiplayer tech test is now live but we had a chance to get a sneak preview of it at Gamescom out in Cologne. Even in its early stages this is one shooter you should definitely play.

Titanfall 2

Titanfall feels like a more accessible FPS game compared to many, in that it's fairly easy for new players to pick up, learn the ropes and not get completely destroyed by other players. The mix of real players and AI bots provides a mix of ways to score that mean everyone has a good chance to post some big numbers.

Titanfall 2 doesn't seem to be straying from the original too much in its core mechanics. There are still AI bots to mow down in some game modes and the control scheme is largely untouched from its predecessor. Sidearms seem to have gone, with the Y button press now bringing up the anti-Titan weapon, and there's also a new Black Ops 3-esque power slide activated by long pressing B. Other wise you've got the same jumping and wall running shenanigans as we've grown accustomed to.

The tech test isn't a full snapshot of the final game, nor is it likely an indicator of final graphics and performance. It is, after all, a test, designed to see if we can break it while still having a good time.

Titanfall 2

One thing that at least seems different this time around is the vast scale of the maps. It's both a blessing and a curse of the original that the maps are so massive and diverse. Spawning 30 seconds away from the action has always been frustrating, but no-one could ever accuse them of being dull.

The maps we've seen so far seem to mix that diversity we're used to with a scaled down approach to size. The maps don't feel as enormous to traverse and after someone took you out you're not so far away from the action. This could be a key factor for tournament play, something which you'd expect will be coming down the road. It feels well balanced so far.

There will also be new game modes introduced for Titanfall 2. At Gamescom we had chance to try out two of the tech test modes, Amped Hardpoint and the all new Bounty Hunt. The first is an enhancement of the Hardpoint mode from the original title, but now controlled Hardpoints can be "Amped" by staying inside and defending them after capture. This results in double score and faster wins.

Titanfall 2

Bounty Hunts pit you against players and bots and reward you for your kills and achieving set objectives. The twist is that these rewards have to be banked at one of the set locations around the map before they count towards your team score. The banks open intermittently and you'll have to watch out for sneaky opponents waiting by them to pick you off.

One thing that was immediately apparent in our first play is that it's incredibly fun. Titanfall has never felt like the grind that some other FPS games get in to, and our own Jez Corden simply said this is a "must play" after we finished our initial run (I had the better score, by the way!) Respawn looks on track to deliver a winner, and while the final release is still a couple of months out, the tech test is live and free to play for everyone on Xbox One and PS4. You'd be silly not to look at it.

The open multiplayer tech test is now live in the Demos section of the Store on your Xbox One.

Richard Devine
Managing Editor - Tech, Reviews

Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at

  • All EA games suck nowadays. The last proper game they did was Battlefield 2.
  • lol Sorry, I couldn't be less constructive, you set the bar too high for me.
  • Betafield 2? This must have been sarcastic:D
  • bad company 2 vietnam and battlefield 4 are pretty solid imo..
  • "Look at me, I'm so edgy. EA hasn't made any good game in the last 11 years, waaah".
  • Battlefield 2 is darn awesome.  Goat
  • Still bots, jeez. One of the worst idea I've ever seen in a multiplayer competitive game : bots.
  • Umm that's why there are different game types. I like the bots so I play those matches, you don't like them so you play something else. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Except that I love the gameplay of Titanfall, that's why I'm not happy with bots : awesome gameplay but not enough room to experience it (and by room, I mean "too many bots, not enough challenge").
  • Bots are one of the best parts. They provide good filler between actual enemies. Keeps you busy. If you can find players relatively fast with ask the tracking tools.
  • But you shoukdn't have to fill your multiplayer games with bots. Why don't they allow more players to join ? Bots lower the level and the intensity of the game ('cause they are too easy to kill). To me, that was the biggest issue of the first one : not enough players allowed in games. For my friends who play a lot of FPS too, same problem with the game. I'm sad they did nothing to bring a mode with only players and not bots :(
  • There is a mode without bots in the first TitanFall, just not as enjoyable imo.
  • You must be kidding, right? Bots were the most amazing thing ever! We could use them smart and even people that are not pros could do something for the team! And Titanfall 2 even has no bots mode
  • Ow, if there is no bots mode, it's fine to me. Didn't ask anything else (I really don't care about the solo campaign) !
  • Titanfall was excellent, started playing again a few months back and it's so much fun. Really looking forward to the sequel!
  • Haha, me 2 :D so exited
  • I'll watch with cautious optimism, Titanfall didn't wow me at all.
  • Really liked Titanfall 1, I will definitely want to try out the new single player campaign
  • Titanfall is one of the most easily ignored series this gen tbh.
  • Wasn't on PS4. PS fans will buy any game Sony tells them. Even though it is a poor game. Look at NMS for example. Only 1 good game this year for PS4, yet it is gods machine. Thankfully people are wising up and starting to buy Xbox One instead.
  • Obivous troll is obvious.
  • Doubt it. Not buying the hype this time.
  • What? It lived up to the hype and then some. Reviewed amazingly and easily destroyed COD, Battlefield and the like. For Multiplayer fans its nigh on perfect.
  • Not to me.
  • Agreed with many of the others here - ill be sitting this one out - thanks for the preview though :)
  • Downloading now will check it when I get off work
  • Stuck at Connecting... It never connects to a game... will try again later.
  • The open beta starts at 9am pst time
  • is it open for everybody ? or do i need to buy the game to access the beta?
  • Open.
  • I will skip this.Too many good games to buy this coming months like skyrim, mafia 3,tomb raider,battlefield 1,final fantasy,
  • There's no new Tomb Raider out this year. There is DLC coming this year though.
  • I'm confused. All the points in the article that were negative for the original were actually positives fans loved. I'm concerned about a single player. Concerned about smaller maps and concerned about spawning closer to enemies. Only single player only lovers complained. And the original was nigh on perfect in balance. Your article worries me as an original fan.
  • I 100% agree! Titanfall was perfect :D
  • Also its not live yet. Goes live at 4pm GMT. 9AM PST.
  • Don't tell me what to do, and don't ell me what ill regret.
  • Those saying about bots being useless. Bots were awesome. An essential part to a good players strategy. You could mingle with them so other players wouldn't see you. Among other strategies. Bots done properly in Titanfall made Cod look terrible.
  • Yupp :)
  • This review conserns me. Titanfall did it perfect with amount of bots and big maps! 30 seconds to come to combat? You must suck in parkour then xD The smaller maps in Titanfall 2 and closer to combat conserns me alot. Think of all the spawn kills! Something that NEVER happened to me in Titanfall! Oh god, when i play Titanfall 2 today i hope it will stil be as good as my hopes say.
  • I'm all really nervous now to play Titanfall 2. I hope its not turned into a CODFEST with a single player tacked on.
  • haha, that comment about 30s to get to combat raised one of my eyebrows too. I cannot recall getting back to combat taking that long. the maps in the first game were fine.
  • The singleplayer campaign teaser / trailer looked good. Too bad it won't be available for Linux, since I won't play FPS on a console (and I won't install W10 on my desktop again).
  • I don't understand people not wanting to give it a try when it's free and most likely to be one of the best games of this end of year. TF1 was great without being perfect but the second definitely should be tried. Don't sit out based on what you read. I didn't pay the first one (thanks to free weekend on PC and EA Access Vault) but had a great time on it.
  • To be honest it's EA games and i don't trust them but the game looks promising!
  • Played for an hour or so on the Multiplayer Tech Test tonight on the XBone.  Looks wise its significantly better than 1, gameplay is about the same. Don't think I'll bother getting it on release, I'll wait until it's in the EA vault.  
  • Is the campaign co-op thought?
  • I really hope they speed up the ground movement like the original TF, TF2 just feels slow. Titans are also way too hard to earn. That's half the game, plus rodeoing a titan dumb now, it took skill to kill a titan as a pilot, now it is a QTE. BORING!