I finally got around to putting a few hours into the Titanfall 2 Multiplayer Alpha Tech Test on the Xbox One. It seems to be reasonable to warn you that there is a warning right up front that lets you know that what you see and play is not the final version of the game and Respawn will not be providing support for any issues you might have. After reading that kind of warning you’d expect a bug riddled game but that’s just not the case. I haven’t encountered a single issue I would classify as a bug yet. The other half of the warning is that this isn’t final gameplay but based on our history with these kinds of demos, this is very likely going to be exactly what we get, unless they pull a Destiny and remove content from the actual game.
My first match in I did 8v8 Pilot Only combat and got destroyed. I’ve gotten so used to Overwatch (PC version) that people running randomly all over the place seemed wrong to me. It also left me wide open attack from pretty much every angle. The speed seems a bit faster than the original and the mobility functions are much improved but having been away from controller FPS titles since Halo 5’s launch I just wasn’t capable of taking advantage.
As much as I tried I couldn’t get decent at it so I switched to Bounty mode. It was a little more my speed because there was an objective to keep me focused and helped guide the randoms to group up a little better. In Bounty you have to destroy leftover forces from an invasion which earn you money to bank. The winning team is the tean with the most banked money. I liked this mode except the penalty for dying with unbanked money seemed a little steep, you lose half of whatever your carrying.
Combat-wise Titanfall 2 seemed like it was breaking away from some of the originals feel and took on some extra Call of Duty floatiness. I also noticed some similar problems with hit registration and strange kill cam oddities, probably related to the net code. I’m sure you’ve had those Modern Warefare moments where 2 magazines worth of hit markers don’t take someone down but you get blasted in 3 rounds, so you know what I’m talking about.
There are definitely graphical improvements over the original but in some ways the extra detail hurts gameplay. For a game that relies on pilot speed the extra detail is extremely busy and really hurts the rate at which you can determine where you are being attacked from. I’d think it might just be me but the mass adoption of the sonar equipment puts it into clearer perspective. Obviously it’s too late for any significant change to Titanfall 2 visuals but it would be a nice trend if future fast paced games took a page from Overwatch and made the action much clearer for the player. Simply fixing the color palette would help tremendously.
Another thing that seems a little excessive is the sheer amount of information presented on the screen every single moment of play. Yes, eventually you get used to it but it’s a little overwhelming at first and just because you get used to it doesn’t mean it couldn’t be presented better.
Overall I like what I’ve played so far even though I have some grievences. Maybe when I hit my stride I’ll be able to put some longer hours into the game. I was a fan of the original Titanfall and hope to enjoy this sequel as much or more. One thing that I am looking forward to is the single player campaign because there is so much they can do with the Titanfall franchise.
The quick and dirty verdict
“Great in short sessions but hasn’t kept me sitting for long.”