Will new features and more Titans help Titanfall 2 stay relevant?

Titanfall 2’s October 28th release date is just two weeks away. Which means now is a good time to take a look at some of the new features Respawn Entertainment hopes will lure fans, old and new, to their multiplatform FPS.

The original Titanfall, released in March 2014, was received very favorably by critics, but not so much by players: User counts dropped quickly, particularly on PC, which today sits below 1,000 concurrent users. Xbox One seems a little more lively, with some days seeing player counts as high as 5,500.

The first step to attract more players, is to add more platforms. While its predecessor was limited to PC and Xbox platforms only, Titanfall 2 will see a PS4 release. That alone essentially doubles the game’s potential consumer reach on consoles.

The lack of a single-player campaign was one of the biggest disappointments for fans of the original Titanfall. Respawn Entertainment appears to be addressing this with the inclusion of a full single-player campaign, which features platforming, puzzles, fighting robots, and of course shooting, to go along with their multiplayer experience. The inclusion shows the developers really want to address some of the criticism leveled at the first title.

The multiplayer experience will still feature the same fast-paced combat as its predecessor, combining FPS-styled combat with slower, but far more powerful, mech combat, through the use of Titans. However, Titanfall’s multiplayer modes featured NPC soldiers that populated the battlefields, while the more powerful human pilots and their Titans did battle. This gave rise to another criticism leveled at Titanfall: Poor AI. It remains to be seen if Respawn Entertainment has also addressed this issue for the sequel.

Finally, Titan customization has been streamlined. Instead of a more in depth customization, there are now six different models to choose from, doubling the number from the original title, each with their own play style and strengths. However, veterans from the original title may be disappointed with the extent of customization afforded to them for each Titan. In line with this, pilot abilities have also been expanded. Whereas the original Titanfall featured three abilities, Titanfall 2 provides players with seven distinct Tactical Abilities, one of the more exciting being the use of a grappling hook that can be used in an offensive/defensive capacity, as well as increased mobility.

With Battlefield 1 releasing just one week prior, one has to wonder if Titanfall 2’s sales will be cannibalized by the larger franchise. EA publishes both, and seems to have no problem pushing them out so close to each other, so perhaps they have confidence the smaller title will carve its own niche? Only time will tell.

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