Prepare for Titanfall
When Titanfall was originally unveiled prior to its release in 2014, it was widely anticipated to be the refreshing jolt that multiplayer first person shooters needed at the time, and for the most part Titanfall did the job. While it was certainly lacking content and any satisfying sense of progression, it introduced the most polished, fast, and fluent mobility system in a multiplayer FPS ever seen for its time, combined with strategic Titan battles scattered throughout matches. Regardless of how good it was, Titanfall was incredibly successful on the Xbox One and PC, so it was only natural that Respawn Entertainment were to do a sequel, but does it fix the problems of the first game?
One of the biggest complaints about the original Titanfall, was that it lacked any meaningful campaign. What was given to us simply teased the universe, as a story unfolded over a number of multiplayer matches. There was no single player experience in Titanfall, and Respawn definitely listened to the outcries of fans begging for the opportunity to further explore the universe. Titanfall 2 features a single player campaign, which unfortunately only lasts about 5-6 hours (depending on difficulty and how you play) it is, hands down, the best shooter campaign I have had the privilege of playing this year. You play as Jack Cooper, a simple rifleman fighting for the Militia against the IMC in an intergalactic war. The Militia launch an assault on the IMC, but during the battle Cooper is almost killed by enemy Titans, only to be saved by a Militia Pilot known as Captain Lastimosa. The result of this battle sees Lastimosa pass away, and in his last few moments he establishes a link between his Titan and Jack. I won’t go any further to avoid spoilers, but Titanfall 2’s story is an absolute treat to experience, albeit it’s predictability. I constantly interested in the relationship between Jack and his Titan, BT-7274, and furthermore in how it developed. They have some genuinely funny moments together, and some of the writing is truly excellent. The villains in Titanfall 2 are fairly substandard, but are very well voice acted, and they’re generally a quite likeable bunch in terms of bad guys. One thing that really surprised about Titanfall 2’s story, was that I very quickly became invested into its characters, and I honestly shed a tear at the end of the story. It’s refreshing to see so much effort put into the story of Titanfall 2, Respawn really did listen to the fans, and they delivered in a spectacular fashion, even if it could’ve been a few hours longer. Titanfall 2 is a shining example for single player FPS experiences.
A True Twitch-Shooter
What made Titanfall so refreshing and new when it originally came out, was its fast paced mobility system. With the ability to wall run, double jump, and to properly utilise both of these tricks to quickly traverse maps, Titanfall revolutionised what it meant to play a first person shooter. It was truly genre-bending, refreshing, new, and now it managed to stay at the top among other twitch-shooters in terms of mobility, that is, until now. I say until now because Titanfall 2 takes the seat upon that throne with ease, improving on almost every single aspect of what made Titanfall’s gameplay great in the first place. Wall-running, jumping and sliding feels truly exhilarating, and it’s something I will never get tired of doing, but more on that later. One of the shining stars of Titanfall 2 is it’s fantastic level design – ESPECIALLY – in the campaign. It’s been so thoughtfully crafted, and well put together, everything feels so natural as you move through each level. Titanfall 2 has some excellent platforming throughout the duration of it’s campaign, and more importantly, it gives you breathing room when you need it most, which leads me on to my next point. Titanfall 2 is incredibly well paced, I never ever got had a dull moment playing Titanfall 2’s campaign, and I honestly enjoyed every single sweet second of it. Some of the mechanics Titanfall likes to play around with in the campaign are truly innovative, and never overused. I don’t want to go into detail, because these things should be experienced by yourself, but Titanfall will mess with a mechanic, and do away with it once it starts to wear out. It’s truly fantastic level design, and each and every moment of the campaign had me enthralled, especially during the high octane set pieces that regularly occurred. Anyway, enough of me gawking over the campaign, because arguably, Titanfall 2’s main attraction is its multiplayer. For the most part, it’s more of what Titanfall brought to the table, with some minor changes that further refine and improve it. For those who are unaware, Titanfall works on a fairly simple system, as you play as a Pilot (soldiers), you’re ever building towards Titanfall, which calls down a massive hunk of metal robot called a Titan. Titan’s are significantly slower than Pilots, but dish out tons more damage, and my god are they terrifying to go up against if you don’t have one of your own. Titanfall 2 does away with the variations of Titans that Titanfall had, and instead replaces it with 6 different Titans, all of which are unique and different. Whether you use the shotgun-toting, sword wielding Ronin, or the extremely healthy Scorch, all the Titans feel very balanced, each with there own weaknesses and strengths. You’ll definitely have a favourite, but all of them are a threat, and none of them should be underestimated. Titan gameplay is as satisfying as ever, as 1 on 1 duels feel like a strategic game of chess, where one slip up could mean the need for an ejection. Pilot gameplay is incredibly fast paced, and the parkour system is as innovative as ever. You can build up momentum by chaining wall runs, double jumps, and slides, and once you get going it’s incredibly hard to stop. Titanfall 2’s weapons feel futuristic enough to be unique, and one in their own, and while they need some balancing, most of them are in a good position as is. The level of customisation in Titanfall 2 has been significantly increased since the first game, further personalising your Pilot, weapons, and Titans. New to Pilots, are Tacticals, which significantly change up Pilot gameplay, giving them the ability to turn invisible, make use of a grappling hook, or use a deployable shield. They further add to Titanfall’s fantastic multiplayer, and I hope they stay in future installments. Gone, are the burn cards from the original game, and they’re now replaced by Pilot Ordnance. You can choose to have one active at any time, and they range from map hacks to homing explosive ticker bots. They’re a neat addition, but I feel like keeping burn cards would’ve been a better option if they had been balanced a bit more. Titanfall 2 plays it very safe with all of it’s game modes, but that isn’t a bad thing. There’s the usual capture the flag and domination, and Titanfall’s signature mode, Attrition has made a return. The only one real unique mode in Titanfall 2 is Bounty Hunt, which sees players killing Pilots and grunts to earn cash that can be deposited at the end of a round. There’s nothing quite like sitting on a large sum of money while you wait for the depots to open up. One problem with Titanfall 2’s multiplayer is that, much like the first game, there’s no satisfying sense of progression. I’m finding myself slowly pulling away from the multiplayer, and the initial hook that was there has started to fade now, which is quite unfortunate.
The World though a Titan’s Eye
Another area where Titanfall 2 excels in is in its visuals, performance, and overall polish. Titanfall 2 looks amazing, at 900P for the whole experience. Environments are well detailed, character models are polished, and the game in general is just really nice to look at. I never experienced any bugs in Titanfall 2, and the whole expereince ran at 60FPS, no stutters, no frame-drops, and it was beautiful. The net code is also fairly strong here, with minimal lag and connection issues.
Titanfall 2, in my opinion, is a shining example of what a modern shooter should be in gaming today. Although its campaign may be short, it’s truly fantastic, with an excellent story, stellar level design, and incredible pacing. Multiplayer has the additions it needs to make it better than it was, and the fine tweaks may have hurt the formula a bit in the long run, but there are some definite positive additions too. It’s no lie that I absolutely adored Titanfall 2, and I cannot urge you enough to buy and play this game! It needs more people playing it, and it’s a shame it had to be overshadowed by other major releases, which was a horrible move by EA. Titanfall 2 needs the publicity it deserves.
-Excellent level design
-Unique and well-balanced Titans
-Quick, high-octane, fast-paced mobility
-No real incentive to keep playing
Thanks for reading guys, up next is Dishonored 2! Thanks again, Harry :).