Titanfall has private matches now, and last night I tried some with a friend. They’re great, and lots of large and little touches make them pretty interesting.
For example, you can go one-on-one with a single other friend, and the game just dials up the AI grunts and specters on the map for each of you. While in lobby, anyone invited to the private match can make changes to the map and play mode. I’m not sure if that one is more of a bug or oversight, but I hope they keep it. It’s convenient.
The most interesting thing we found is that the grunts will actually play certain game mode such as Hardpoint, where you have to fight the other team for ownership over three key points on the the map. My friend Kyle and I were practicing wall running and hanging in Hardpoint (I think it offers the longest playtime. Anyone know for sure?), and suddenly we noticed hardpoints were being captured, lost, and taken over by… not us. We investigated, and grunts were not just fighting each other (which is normal in all non-private modes), they were taking over hardpoints all on their own. They can’t do that in public multiplayer matches, so it was kinda fun to watch the AI play out in this setting.
Side note: Hardpoint does offer a lot of time to play if, like us, you’re looking to practice things like parkour and wallrunning/hanging, but watch out for this. The score was 228 to 18 just a few minutes into the match where we figured this out; if you’re not careful, one team’s grunts might dominate the other’s and end your practice session early.
It’s great to see big Titanfall additions like this show up post-release—no season pass required—and the team is being very transparent about what else is in the works, including new game modes and other perks. Many new features won’t require a pass, but I’m going to get one this evening for the stuff that will, such as new map packs. The game is a blast, the story we haven’t seen nearly enough of is intriguing, and I’m excited to this new franchise evolve.