Let’s face facts. Releasing Titanfall 2 in between the two biggest FPS releases of the year was not a wise decision. There was an immediate fear that this would squash a great game. In fact, this reason alone almost prevented me from acquiring this title, since I was content with the wonderful Battlefield I. I decided to give Titanfall 2 a chance and I’m glad I did. Titanfall 2 isn’t shying away from Battlefield or Call of Duty. It’s proudly claiming it can stand among the giant franchises and hold its own. Maybe not by sale numbers at first, but by a uniquely fun campaign and a fantastically addicting multiplayer that truly shines in all the best ways.
Titanfall 2 puts you in control of Jack Cooper. A standard rifleman in the militia that has been taken under the wing of a Titan pilot. After a brief mission that goes horribly wrong, Cooper finds himself trying to survive on a hostile planet with a newly acquired Titan called BT.
The story itself is pretty basic. It follows the standard concept of an unexpected hero rising to save the day by doing the impossible missions. The enemies have some powerful weapon that must be destroyed. Preventing you from this missions are a bunch of colorful mercenaries. They have obvious stereotypes, but they get the job done for someone you need to focus your combat against.
The best part of the story are the characters interactions. Cooper and BT have a great buddy relationship that develops as the story goes on. I enjoyed their simple banter and had a few laughs on the occasion. The story itself isn’t anything amazing, but these two characters were very delightful to listen to.
The narrative may not be ground-breaking, but that’s okay because the campaign missions themselves are some of the best I’ve played in a long time. Many levels are the typical run here and shoot everything that moves. Others, specifically one, introduces an incredible mechanic that made my jaw drop. Titanfall 2 officially has one of my favorite FPS campaign levels in all gaming…ever.
What helps this amazing feeling throughout the campaign isn’t just the levels themselves, but how smooth the controls are. I rarely – if ever – moved slowly through a level shooting heads that popped up and hiding my own to reload. I was always sprinting, running off a wall as I fired, sliding up to an enemy to slam them with a haymaker, and sprinting off again. I felt like these levels were my playground as I hopped, punched, and slid around merrily.
The movement always felt precise. It had the perfect amount of light-footedness while still having the tough impact of bullets or fists colliding. The enemies are a little dumb, and they never really put up much of a fight (I played on regular difficulty). It would’ve been fun to play a level where enemies jumped around as much as me. That would’ve been hectic and thrilling. Instead, they stand on the ground in a cluster as I wall-run them into hell. It does make me feel like a super powered soldier, but I felt there could’ve been a little more resistance.
While you aren’t running around like a spider-monkey on all the walls, you can hop in your Titan, BT. Throughout the campaign you’ll be able to switch loadouts on your Titan at the touch of a button. There are moments where you may need to go in and out of your Titan, but a majority of the game splits the two different phases pretty blatantly. This section will be on foot and this section will be in your Titan.
I enjoyed the mini-boss battles that would take place against the evil mercenaries, but they often were shortlived. The real fun I had in my Titan was facing off against all the generic foot soldiers and enemy Titans. They may not have been tough, but nevertheless, running through these areas kept my reactions precise and mind cranking. One level involves a massive Titan battle and taking down all the different enemy Titans in this giant battle was a rush. Overall, I enjoyed any moment I could get in my Titan during the campaign.
Onto the multiplayer, the feature that everyone really wants to know about. There are a variety of modes that range from massive battles with A.I. controlled grunts running around to Titan only battles. The maps are a little lacking, but I’ll get into that in a bit.
I played the open beta last month and I did not like what I played. I had a lot of issues and concerns. I was happy to see many of them were addressed and I urge anyone who didn’t enjoy the beta to keep an open mind. The full game changed my mind completely and I’m glad I didn’t solely rely on an ‘in-progress’ demo.
There are different classes that give you a unique skill like a grapple hook, faster speed, or my favorite, a knife you throw that pulses out a radar to reveal enemies. Naturally, having a good mix on your team is the best scenario. When playing Capture the Flag I teamed up with my friend who equipped a speed boost. I would always go first into the flag room throwing my pulse dagger to see where the enemies were located. After I cleared them out (or failed horribly), my friend would grab the flag and speed boost away.
The combat feels as fresh on the ground as it does in the campaign. So far, a lot of people are keeping on the ground, but I’m starting to see more and more parkour players sprinting on the sides of buildings. I’m awful with the grappling hook, but I’ve seen some insane plays with it. I can’t wait to see how the game evolves and the routes people will discover.
Most game modes start with everyone on the ground ready to kill. After killing enough people or completing enough objectives, you can call in your Titan. There are several classes to work with and having a good mix on your team is important. I didn’t play the first Titanfall as I previously said, but apparently the Titans are much weaker this time around. I actually enjoy the aspect that Titans are still vulnerable to pilots on the ground.
My favorite aspect is climbing onto an enemy Titan and ripping out their battery. Not only does this damage them, but it also gives you a battery that you can give to an ally Titan for an extra shield. Climbing on an enemy Titan is no easy task of course, but the payoff of having an extra battery is definitely worthwhile.
Don’t misunderstand, Titans are still a powerhouse and any good pilot can take out people on the ground easy. In the right hands, a Titan can change the game. I’ve been on both ends of that aspect. I’ve been skilled enough (or lucky enough) where I managed to take down three enemy Titans in quick succession. The other enemy Titans weren’t ready to spawn yet or were destroyed by my teammates. That quick flip gave my team the superiority in firepower and we got a sizeable lead until the enemy could get their Titans back.
I’ve also watched as one enemy Titan takes out me and my two friends. Trying to fight back against a team that all have their Titans while we have none is a true underdog mission. I think this is a great balance. Titans are still powerful enough to sway the entire match if piloted correctly, but singled out, a couple soldiers on the ground can destroy a Titan.
My biggest issue is the maps currently. There are only 9 maps, but I’m more troubled by their sheer size. This is for obvious reasons of being designed for pilots and Titans alike. However, in some modes like Pilot Versus Pilot, these large maps aren’t restricted and can make finding enemies troublesome. The wide open maps are great for Titan fights, but getting caught out there restricts the movement to only the ground. The beauty of Titanfall 2 is wall-running, flying, grappling, and parkouring all over the place. Being stuck in a wide open area ruins that fun.
This isn’t anything game breaking, and some maps are definitely more enjoyable for specific modes. I think fine-tuning the maps for specific game modes would’ve gone a long way to making them more manageable. We’ll have to wait and see how the new maps address my concerns. I am very pleased to know that all future DLC and maps from Respawn will be delivered free to the players. This is something Rainbow Six Siege has done and it’s been a tremendous success.
Titanfall 2 is a fantastic shooter from the first campaign mission to the twentieth hour I’ve spent in its multiplayer. The movement is exhilarating. It can feel so rewarding when you parkour all over the place and land with a fist in someone’s face. Calling in your Titan feels like a true reward and being able to wreck another Titan will always bring a smile to my face. Whether you are on the ground or in your Titan, the fights are always a stimulating experience. It’s a fast-paced, wild, comically powerful, and seriously addicting game that any FPS person will enjoy.
This review is based off a retail copy of the Playstation 4 version of Titanfall 2 developed by Respawn Entertainment and distributed by Electronic Arts.
- Seriously Entertaining Campaign
- Fast Moving and Thrilling Gameplay
- Fun and Addictive Multiplayer
- Short Campaign
- Spacious Maps Diminish Ground Gameplay