Respawn Entertainment announced at Gamescom that Titanfall 2’s multiplayer beta will run this weekend on August 19 to 21, and next weekend from August 26 to 28. During the first weekend players will be able to play the ‘Bounty Hunt’ mode, which has teams killing AI opponents for points, and ‘Pilot vs Pilot’, the classic eight vs eight mode without the titular Titans. The second weekend will add the mode ‘Amped Hardpoint’ which is similar to ‘Hardpoint Domination’ but with higher scoring for defence.
The beta will only be available on Playstation 4 and Xbox One. The lack of a PC release is due to concerns about data-mining and optimisation issues, as Respawn CEO Vince Zampella stated on the Titanfall blog:
“We’re still making a lot of tweaks and changes to the renderer, the game, and effects so we haven’t run the game through the hardware compatibility lab yet to detect and handle a large variety of hardware – video cards, CPUs etc,” he said.
“Also, because the single player story has some wonderful secrets that we really want to preserve for launch, we also have to worry about leaks.”
If they’re worried about leaks for the single player that must mean it’s good, right? Unless they’re worried that we’ll find out it’s terrible…
Gamescom attendees had a chance to play Titanfall 2’s pre-alpha multiplayer, and with that came a slew of details about customisation and gameplay. There are six Pilot classes, which are primarily differentiated by their abilities:
- Pulse blade which utilises a ‘sonar throwing knife’ which exposes enemies through all surfaces, acting like a short range wallhack. And yes, you can kill people with it too.
- Cloak acts the same as the cloak in the original Titanfall where you’re harder to see by pilots and almost completely invisible to Titans.
- Grapple gives to a grappling hook to increase your manoeuvrability and speed as you get around the map. You can use it to grapple onto rooftops or onto Titans from a distance.
- Holo Pilot allows players to create a temporary hologram, mimicking their actions at the moment that it’s activated.
- Stim supercharges your speed and health regeneration, and may be useful for players who think Titanfall 2’s movement speed is too slow compared to the original.
The sixth class wasn’t available to players at Gamescom, but from previous trailers it appears to be a short range teleporter, allowing players to confuse enemies or teleport behind them for an assassination-style kill.
Each class will also change the appearance of the player’s Pilot, meaning you’ll be able to instantly recognise what ability your teammates and enemies have. Combining different abilities with different classes will lead to some interesting tactics. One gameplay video I saw had the player using Grapple with a perk that allowed them to hover while aiming in mid-air. They used the grapple to launch themselves above a building and then snipe people from their airborne perch.
There are a few new weapons and grenades shown. The weapons were mainly just different variants of your SMGs and rifles, but the most interesting appeared to be the ‘Gravity Star’ grenade. It creates a gravity vortex on impact, sucking in projectiles and enemies, and holding them in the air for a few seconds. It won’t kill a Pilot outright, but allows them to be easily shot with your other weapons. Grenades will recharge overtime, meaning you won’t be able to spam them but you won’t be limited to one per life.
Burn Cards are also gone, which is a plus and minus in my book. On one hand, they were fun because they could be ridiculously overpowered, and on the other hand they were broken because they could be ridiculously overpowered. They are replaced by ‘Boosts’ which are Titanfall 2’s version of killstreaks. The two Boosts shown at Gamescom were ‘Amped Weapons’ which increases the damage of your weapons, and ‘Ticks’ which are spider-drones that seek out enemies and explode. A wider range of Boosts will be available in the full game, and players will be able to choose which ones they are able to use in-game.
It looks like Titanfall 2 is shaping up to be a decent sequel to an already decent shooter. Hopefully the beta will only whet our appetite for the full release!