ByTim Horton, writer at Creators.co
Senior Writer at Now Loading. I play from within a couch pillow fort. Twitter: @TimHortonGame | Email: [email protected]
Tim Horton

The Good, The Bad-Ass & The Holy Sh**! Gamescom 2016 went down in splendiferous fashion as hordes of game hungry fans from all over the world descending on Cologne, eager to get hands on with their favorite games. Gamescom panned out to be a real treat; the convention went all out showcasing some of the biggest star-studded line ups of the world’s biggest and most hyped games.

More Gamescom 2016 coverage:

But I am a shooter gamer by trade. What did the show have to offer me? As it turns out, more than I could ever have hoped for.

fnatic
fnatic

2016 has definitely been the year of the shooter, with Call of Duty reaching new heights of technological achievement and Battlefield 1 taking us back to the Great War it seemed, for a while at least, that our shooter top spots were nothing but a foregone conclusion. That was until we arrived at EA’s press booth and spoke with the Titanfall 2 team.

My impressions of 'Titanfall 2' pre-alpha test phase (everything you need to know)

Welcome back pilots. Titanfall is a franchise on the up, there is simply no other way to put it due to our time with the pre-Alpha build of the game being utterly mind-blowing. In advance of the "technical test" on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One (available to the public this weekend and then running again August 26 through 28) we managed to explore the new mechanical world that is Titanfall 2, in all of its titanic splendor.

Story mode

That’s right, Titanfall 2 now has a single player campaign – and it is good! Ironically, it was the genius of the original that brought on such a heavy reaction to the lack of campaign. Titanfall was so good that it just didn’t make sense to us that there was no single player campaign. If you remember, the original narrative for Titanfall was loosely sown into the multiplayer element, so players were not able to delve very deep into a titanic adventure. Until now.

You play as Jack Cooper, a rifleman who earns the right to become a pilot. Pilots in Titanfall 2 are the elite and only the elite are able to pilot the titans. Titans in the new game will not allow non-elite soldiers to interface with them – it is kind of like Avatar in that way – you have to earn your right to connect with a mighty titan.

Pilots and titans in Titanfall 2 all have bonds, like a cavalryman and his horse if you will, and once that bond is established it is never to be broken. As Rifleman Cooper, you are assigned to a mentor pilot – at the very beginning of the game your mentor is killed (as seen in the trailer above). It is at this point that the pilot assigns his titan to you (cue jaw drops). From here you begin your journey with BT7274 or ‘BT’ for short.

The craziest thing about the entire game is that the titans in Titanfall 2 now have personality, they have independence and any relationship, trust and/or respect must be forged in battle, earned and sealed in blood and oil.

The game revolves around the relationship between Cooper and BT. It's a classic tale of a partnership that, in theory, shouldn't work, but it does. It is just brilliant – the evolution of an unlikely relationship.

The story truly is great, it is true goosebump inciting stuff, I can assure you. If this is not a movie by 2019 then I don’t know what will be! The narrative is overflowing with emotion and personality. Respawn have clearly poured their hearts into this and it shows.

To me this is Transformers meets Pacific Rim with a dash of Avatar thrown in for good measure. At the end of the demo all I could do was sit back, in awe of what I had just witnessed, and give the team a long slow clap. This is the best FPS game I have played in years.

Multiplayer

The original Titanfall multiplayer was great, as far as the double jumping, wall running and exosuit mechanics go, Respawn’s Titanfall series has Activision’s Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare series beat every time.

The action is fast, it's varied and it's damn exciting. Thanks to EA we managed to get a ton of time with Titanfall 2 at Gamescom 2016, before the first beta phase took place, and there really is something for everybody in Titanfall 2. The game modes on display allowed players to jump into matches and experiment with a wide range of game styles to suit specific multiplayer modes.

From pilot vs. pilot to Titan vs. Titan, Titanfall 2 really is the multiplayer FPS of the year for dynamic and multifaceted gameplay. Respawn have also introduced a new network system that allows players to create their own networks in which to battle. This means that you will always have people to play against.

Movement

From the moment you step foot inside the world of Titanfall 2 you know that you are experiencing something very special. It all feels immediately more balanced and caters to almost all play styles. The accessibility of each specialist class allows for almost immediate immersion whilst, at the same time, offering the pros plenty of scope for progression and advancement.

The Titanfall series, as far as fluidity of movement goes has the genre beat, and Titanfall 2 has securely riveted that achievement to the ground with the new and improved mechanics that are now available.

The double jump and wall running mechanics have been tweaked and pulled into the most perfect gravity defying fast paced fluid motion I have experienced in a game yet. With its multitude of multifaceted perk items available to a pilot, the game is able to expand its reach still further as players exercise and explore even more approaches and play styles.

There is a clear and very noticeable difference between Titanfall 2's classes: pilots and titans. As a pilot you are able to skip and dash across the map – it feels almost effortless, like this is exactly what you were born to do. Piloting a titan, however, feels totally different; there is a genuine feeling of weight to the gameplay when in control of the titan. This again allows for a far greater level of immersion into your role as a pilot.

Customization

The level of customization that is available in Titanfall 2 is amazing, and was totally unexpected, players can now customize their characters' armor, outfits, player cards and more, before they head out into battle.

Map Design

The map design in Titanfall 2 is, again, something to be admired. Striking the correct balance of open space for titan battles and close quarter segments for pilots to do battle in is a tough one. Although we have only played through three maps in our pre-Alpha test, the maps explored in Titanfall 2 were on point.

They seem to feel bigger, but Respawn have engineered the flow in a way that allows for pilots to jump into the action quicker and in totally unique ways.

The promise

Titanfall 2 was the best shooter at Gamescom 2016, for sure. This game genuinely was the shock of the show – the entire Now Loading team were hooked after the first session.

Respawn’s revamped Titanfall franchise is so good it almost isn’t fair on the competition. By all means buy Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, but you MUST buy Titanfall 2 too. There is no comparison to be had here, each game is very different and I refuse to put them head to head. 2016 is the year of the shooter and Titanfall 2 is a must buy. Standby for Titanfall! Trust me. Be sure to sign up for the second technical testing beta starting August 26.

Have you managed to get any time with Titanfall 2?