Now that the Titanfall 2 teaser trailer has confirmed that we will indeed be receiving a sequel to the 2014 first-person-shooter, it is time to gather around the hype fire and bask in its warmth.
Of course, the brightest hype fires benefit from being tempered from time to time and, in the case of Titanfall 2, that means discussing the flaws of the first game. While Titanfall did quite a few things well, it also fell short in critical areas that ultimately shortened the game’s shelf life. It was a fairly ambitious take on freshening up the genre but ultimately felt like a prelude to something greater.
So to help make sure that Titanfall 2 is that something greater, let’s take a look at the five improvements it must make to ensure that it is everything it can be.
Fix the NPC Minions or Drop Them
One of Titanfall’s most hyped innovations was its inclusion of NPC robot soldiers that roamed the battlefield in an attempt to see who could die to the real players first. They were supposed to emulate the role of minions in MOBA games, but ultimately just proved to be an annoyance that didn’t really contribute much to the overall experience.
The path of least resistance would probably be for Respawn Entertainment to drop this idea entirely, but that doesn’t have to be the case. If Titanfall 2 can expand upon the first game’s customization and skill options by making them more impactful, then there is potential for the minion concept to actually provide a level of strategy that we don’t always get from this genre.
Make Titan vs. Titan Combat More Satisfying
Given that the whole “controlling a giant robot” bit was pretty much the selling point of Titanfall, the actual process of piloting a Titan often proved to be largely unsatisfying. This is especially true of the Titan vs. Titan combat, which lacked the fast-paced intensity of the on-foot battles.
For Titanfall 2, we need a Titan combat system that doesn’t just rely upon circle-strafing your opponent until one of you blows up. The recently revealed swords could be a great contributor to this element of the game, but what would really help is to make each Titan class feel more unique in the way they fight and maneuver. This would go a long way to lending a sense of urgency to Titan encounters that just wasn’t there before.
Implement Creative Multiplayer Modes
Capture the Flag, Deathmatch, Territory… the Titanfall game mode list often read like the report of an algorithm that analyzed the game modes of ever popular FPS of the last 10 years or so. Respawn Entertainment did eventually expand upon their offerings somewhat through semi-regular updates but often failed to provide modes that felt like they were really capturing the flavor of the game.
That’s a mistake that cannot be repeated with Titanfall 2. Burnout killed Titanfall in the long run, and a few more multiplayer modes that give players something that they couldn’t possibly find anywhere else would certainly go a long way to help combat fatigue. Even simple modifications like a swords only mode would be a great start.
Increase Weapon Variety
I’ve mentioned how a lack of combat variety impacted the Titan combat, but even the otherwise exceptional pilot combat eventually suffered from not offering players weapons more creative than an auto-lock pistol.
Given that we’re already accepting a world where giant robots are determining the future of warfare, is it that unreasonable to ask for a few more weapons that don’t seem so grounded in modern combat? Shotguns and sniper rifles are nice, but there is a lot more room here for guns that offer a unique line of play. At the very least, some more laser-based weapons would help to make it feel like we’re actually fighting in the future.
Give Us A Real Campaign
While Titanfall’s developers made it very clear that the game’s single-player mode was not meant to be much more than a prelude to the multiplayer, many players were still left unsatisfied by the final single-player experience. Even when viewed as a glorified training mode, the single-player still failed to really prepare players for the actual online combat.
Even an expanded upon version of that single-player would be an improvement, but a true campaign mode would help the overall experience even more. Titanfall hinted at a fairly interesting lore for the world it was based in, and using the campaign mode to flesh out that universe would help Titanfall 2 to distinguish itself as something different.