Frontier Defense originated in the first Titanfall, where it was released as free downloadable content seven months after the game’s launch. In the horde-style mode, a team of four players must defend a machine known as a Harvester from five waves of increasingly challenging foes; Respawn is promising new enemy types.
Kills give you cash, which you can spend between waves on tools to help your squad, such as sentries and arc traps. By completing Frontier Defense sessions, you can earn titan upgrades in a new progression called Aegis Ranks; the upgrades will be exclusive to this mode, at least for now.
It will be possible to choose between five difficulty settings: Easy, Regular, Hard, Master and Insane. Frontier Defense will initially be available on five maps — Homestead, Forwardbase Kodai, War Games, Blackwater Canal and Rise — and Respawn said it will add others in the future.
If you’re confused by the appearance of Rise in the list, well, Respawn also announced today that the update containing Frontier Defense will bring that map into Titanfall 2. Rise, which Respawn described as an “abandoned desert reservoir,” was one of the original Titanfall maps. In addition, the update will add a new map called Township to Titanfall 2’s Live Fire mode.
Respawn is also including new paid content in the form of elite warpaints for weapons and titans. Both will provide XP boosts, although the titan warpaints will only be available to buy until Aug. 28.
The update, which is called Operation Frontier Shield, will be released July 25 for free on PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One. The following weekend — Friday, July 28, through Sunday, July 30 — Respawn will hold another free trial for Titanfall 2 on all three platforms. Players will be able to check out the training gauntlet and the story mission called The Beacon, and they’ll have “full access” to multiplayer.