What we want from Titanfall 2


Titanfall hero

Titanfall was a clever, fresh take on the competitive arena team shooter, but it quickly vanished from our regular playlists and seemed to peter out over a scattering of map packs. Nonetheless, we harbour fond memories of the month or so we spent dropping mechs onto the battlefield. Titanfall’s jetpack-powered traversal systems were a joy, the guns were loud and deadly, and battles were busy with NPC droids and dropships. It was great. 86% great, to be precise.

Titanfall 2 could be quite special. With only a meagre teaser trailer to go on so far, we’ve been thinking about what we want from the sequel. There is lots we’d keep, like those tense end-of-match chasedown sequences, but we’re always hungry for more. Here’s what we want from Titanfall 2.

More mechs, more customisation

Titanfall had three mech chassis with easily identifiable silhouettes. They had different special abilities and varying strengths and weaknesses—small and fast vs. big and tough, and so on—and could be customised with different weapons and gadgets. Extra classes are an obvious expansion point for a sequeI, so we have to speculate—is the sword shown in the brief Titanfall teaser be an inventory item, or part of a dedicated close-combat class of Titans?

New Titan designs means more tactical options and interesting counter play. More than anything It would be great if the Titans weren’t so grey. Where are the violent pink paintjobs and skull-and-crossbone decals? Imagine customising your Titan’s drop-in effect, adding a lick of red flame and, perhaps, the odd firework to set yourself apart. Decorative items give you a way to show off on the battlefield, and they let you build a personality in a way that loadout unlocks don’t.

Free maps

Season passes kill competitive games. Specifically, they kill first person shooters: including the first Titanfall. EA have stuck with this business model even as other publishers have started to move away from it, and it’s currently the biggest obstacle in Titanfall 2’s path. Respawn hit upon a tight competitive formula with the first game, but that doesn’t matter if people don’t stick with the game beyond the first couple of weeks after launch. Plenty of other online games have done player retention right, and the key is offering players exciting, low-barrier-to-entry reasons to come back. Charging the full price of the game again for a year of mediocre maps that divide the playerbase has the opposite effect.

The problem is that it’s very profitable. Here’s hoping that Respawn and EA look into other, less damaging ways to make money from the game post-launch. Again, Titanfall is a perfect vehicle for cosmetics, after all: I’d happily pay for a couple of Titan skins if it meant having free maps every couple of months.