Written by Tom Dore.
I am going to be honest with you. I didn’t particularly enjoy the original Titanfall. First person shooters aren’t my favourite and I generally don’t like competitive multiplayer games -because I’m bad at them. So seeing as the original Titanfall was solely all about the multiplayer, I didn’t stick around for long.
Titanfall 2 is a different creature than its predecessor and come out a whole lot better by including a single-player campaign that gives us a deeper look into the fighting between the IMC and the Frontier militia. You take on the role of Jack Cooper, a Frontier rifleman and pilot in training when his mentor is killed in battle and transfers his Titan (the titular giant robot soldier you hop can inside) to you. Right from the off, it’s clear that, unlike the first game, the Titans aren’t just war machines but actually have AI personalities.
BT-7274 (or just BT) starts off as a fairly cold character, mechanically committed to completing his mission and protecting his new pilot. At first, I thought that this would mean spending the remainder of the game with a humourless sidekick. But BT opens up as the game progresses, even noting when Jack is being sarcastic (possible through a small number of interactive conversations) and a touching moment where he struggles to give you a thumbs up.
The levels themselves are well-designed and perfectly-suited for the free-running and gunning style of gameplay. Some levels involve different pieces of tech you can have a play around with, at one point you get a device that allows you to flit between two points in time. Think Prince of Persia meets Halo with mechs.
The graphics aren’t particularly groundbreaking but you won’t be staying still long enough to care. Weapons are abundant throughout and can be a lot of fun. One particularly enjoyable energy rifle has enemies exploding into hot red pieces of gore. The series-favourite smart pistol (perhaps one of the top ten weapons in games) only makes a short appearance towards the end of the game.
Unfortunately, the single player campaign does let itself down with a lack of context, not that I expect a lot of exposition but I do like to know things. More background information on the individual Titans and the other characters would have been appreciated. The campaign is short, but I’d certainly take a look at single-player expansion if Respawn were in the mood. Given the ending, there’s certainly room for more.
Titanfall 2’s multiplayer holds up against the best of them. It has the levelling system that we’ve come to expect of the genre and the free running handles just well as it did in the first game, with the grappling hook being a personal favourite. The matchmaking could do with some work as I was regularly thrown into the fray against players of much higher levels than myself, which can be off-putting if you’re not used to regular multiplayer action. That being said, I especially enjoyed Attrition mode, as I could still rack up points for my team by killing AI minions.
The Short Version: Titanfall 2 is an improvement on the original thanks to an enjoyable and engaging story mode and fun multiplayer. While certainly a good game, I would suggest waiting for it to come down in price if you’re mainly interested in the campaign. We already know the future multiplayer DLC will be free, but I’d be tempted to pay for a bit of extra single player content if Respawn would be so kind.
- Parkour aspects are fun
- Single player campaign is fun
- BT is a likeable character and not just another mech
- Campaign is too short
- Matchmaking could be better
- Controls are initially tricky to get used to
Written by Tom Dore.