The full package.
The original Titanfall landed following a hype train that boasted the brand new IP as the second coming of the FPS genre. Even though it certainly wasn’t a bad game by any means, in the eyes of history, it was ultimately viewed as a title that was over-hyped, and charged full price for what undoubtedly felt like an incomplete package.
Most of this stemmed from its single player campaign, which consisted of glorified matches against bots with some incomprehensible dialogue thrown in.
However, it seems that the folks at Respawn took the criticisms to heart when working on the sequel, and the result is a game that improves from the original on every front, and provides a value well worth the full asking price.
Platforms: PS4, XB1, PC.
Multiplayer: Online multiplayer modes.
Played: 15~ hours
Following the events of the original and the decisive Battle of Demeter, the fight against the IMC continues as the Militia struggles to take back control of the planets in the Frontier. Unfortunately, the IMC has a new weapon capable of laying waste to an entire planet, and it’s up to Rifleman Jack Cooper and a Titan that recently lost its pilot to team up and stop the IMC threat.
The premise for the story and the various plot elements found in the single player campaign of Titanfall 2 feel uninspired save for the Titan, “BT”, who was undoubtedly the most interesting character of the bunch. It’s just unfortunate that BT had to play off of one of the most generic and boring protagonists this side of space marine #51.
While I can appreciate the thought of Cooper being a stand-in for the player, the dialogue choices were far too limited for me to really sell his character as myself.
However, from a gameplay standpoint, the campaign moves at a brisk pace- never having the player stick around in one place for too long, and introducing new mechanics to spice up what is otherwise a relatively simple shooter with some parkour elements.
The campaign tries its best to tug at the heartstrings during some moments, but just as I would imagine the story writer has, I too have seen the “Iron Giant” and the more recent “Big Hero 6” so I saw those kinds of moments coming.
Lasting around seven hours, the campaign is a solid effort that I don’t regret playing through, but at the same time, it’s not one I would consider a must play like say, a BioShock or Half Life.
Luckily, the campaign isn’t all that Titanfall 2 has to offer, as the true meat of the experience lies in the multiplayer.
One thing that the original Titanfall did well was the multiplayer, with its satisfying gunplay and high octane mobility. Not much has changed in that regard, as it feels just as fluid and responsive as ever. Each of the available guns feel effective in their own way, and the different classes with their individual perks fit a specific play style, and it didn’t take me long to find a loadout that worked well for me.
The new multiplayer modes felt like they offered different experiences, and my personal favorite, “Amped Hardpoint”, was a twist on the already established “Hardpoint” mode, with the stipulation that a point could be amped to offer double the points by keeping it under control long enough.
It became a delicate balance of going out to take over points and trying to hold the points that we already controlled to earn double points.
Titans themselves have seen an overhaul in their variety of moves as well as their durability across the board, and made me feel like I had to be a bit more careful to make good use of my Titan, lest I waste it entirely and get killed in a matter of seconds.
Gaining levels and unlocking new perks, weapons and equipment felt well paced, as I was constantly earning new things with each game, and the sense of progression was steady throughout my time with the multiplayer.
If anything, my biggest complaint with the multiplayer would be the player matchmaking, as I often found myself in teams 2-3 players short of a full team quite often, already being dominated with no hope of a comeback.
I suppose it’s difficult to deal with people leaving games that seem unfavorable, but perhaps implementing a penalty for people who abandon their teams all willy nilly would help.
Titanfall 2 is the product of a developer that took to heart all the criticism that was thrown at the original. Even though the single player campaign treads familiar ground and falters in some areas, it’s a solid effort with some great moments that I’m sure to remember. The multiplayer is finely tuned, with a great variety of modes that offer different experiences. It would be an easy thing to discount Titanfall 2 as the lesser middle child between the juggernauts of Battlefield 1 and COD: Infinite Warfare, but that would be a mistake as the Titan has landed and it’s landed hot.
Fun Tidbit – Thumbs up will never go out of style. NEVER.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.