Titanfall 2 expands on the original game with the inclusion of a singleplayer campaign and additions to its multiplayer including, brand new Titans, expanded Pilot abilities, and deeper customisation. Should Titanfall 2 drop into your game collection? Read our review below to find out..
Being a huge fan of the original Titanfall which released as an Xbox One console exclusive, I was eagerly awaiting the follow up game after it was promised that the sequel would have the great standard of multiplayer that the original had set with new modes, features and tweaked gameplay but would also be accompanied by a single player campaign for the first time in the series and something that had been highly requested by fans. As good as the original Titanfall was, it felt like there was something missing from it, like a deeper back-story of what was actually going on and more of an insight as to what was being fought for on the battleground and why.
That has been rectified for this game with the addition of a single player campaign and from the moment it starts you get the feeling that a lot of effort has gone in to making it especially with its level design and overall flow of how the campaign pans out. You are immediately put in to the shoes of rifleman Jack Cooper who gets thrown neck deep in a war and is given control of a Vanguard Titan nicknamed ‘BT’ where they are thrown together by chance and set on their way in completing the mission objective to bring down the ruthless IMC.
Whether you are a Titan or a pilot, Titanfall 2 is a joy to play with superb shooting mechanics that has come to be expected from the developers because of their history with this genre and it truly shines here, with great control and character movement that is both smooth and precise. The single player introduces new players to the series with a tutorial at the start but then you are thrown right in to the action and throughout my play-through there was never a dull moment that had me yearning for something different to do because there is a lot of variety in the tasks that the campaign puts in front of you. It is full of fantastic environments and through it all is a mixture of shooting, puzzle solving and some great platforming too and it was the latter that really stood out, as the wall jumping and platform rotation puzzles were superb and a part of me wished that certain sections went on for a little longer than they did because they were really fun to play through.
Without giving away any spoilers there was one particular level that I wished lasted longer than it did and anyone that has played it should know which part I am on about but all I will say is that it’s when you have to get to a meeting point to rendezvous with someone. I thought this section was very clever and something that not only worked well, but it was also quite refreshing to see a first person shooter have something like that in there. The campaign focuses around using the abilities you have as a pilot with a heavy emphasis put on utilising the wall running and this is what makes the level design so good because it encourages you to get a real feel of controlling a pilot and in someway it is preparing you for using these abilities to their full potential in multiplayer modes. The story of the Titanfall 2 campaign is something we have probably all seen a thousand times before so it is nothing revolutionary and the bond between you and BT doesn’t really hit the heights that Respawn were clearly aiming for with that ‘buddy’ feel that I can only compare to something like the ‘Big Hero 6’ movie and I probably didn’t care as much for BT as I should of but overall the campaign is great and plays well, although it is a little short with it lasting just over 6 hours.
Visually Titanfall 2 is a decent looking game with richly detailed environments that have a certain amount of openness about them and despite the campaign having a very linear feel to it there is also scope for you to drift off and explore for collectibles too, allowing you to really appreciate the great level design that I mentioned earlier and some of the lovely looking areas too. Weather, terrain and overall lighting effects look great and all add to the atmosphere that Titanfall 2 is aiming for and with smooth animations and impressive looking Titans on show, there is a lot to admire about Titanfall 2’s visuals.
Although the game overall looks good, there are a couple of criticisms I have with things like the character faces, as they don’t seem to be as detailed or represent the same quality of the other visuals in the game, some parts of the environment might not be quite as detailed as others and there is some texture pop on occasions but it didn’t really happen enough to notice too much and none of this spoilt the overall experience and fun I was having with it. All the weapons in the game sound as good as they control, with huge cannon sounds from the Titans sounding solid and dominant with the chance to unlock different loadouts as you progress, allowing you to try all the different weapons available for Titans while the many pilot weapons that you can get to use throughout the campaign all have their unique sounds that fire with a heavy impact and give you a real sense of the power that some of these weapons possess.
Having played both Beta’s for Titanfall 2, I came away from both underwhelmed and slightly disappointed at the general feel of it with the fact that it took far too long to fill the meter that leads to my Titan being launched for use and once I had my Titan it felt somewhat underpowered and I found myself being in it for around a minute before I was having to eject from it which was far from what the original game was like and what made it so enjoyable. I am happy to see that most of that has been rectified in the final build, with only a few things that still need a little tweaking to get that balance just right but the early signs are that Respawn have listened to the feedback and adjusted the multiplayer to make it more balanced overall.
My experience with the multiplayer was good with matches being found quickly with very little wait in between and with quite a varied selection of maps on offer too. There are some new modes added to Titanfall 2’s multiplayer and these were added to expand on the little choice of modes that were available in the original game, so the multiplayer this time certainly feels a lot more packed than before and although they are all good in their own right, the best of the new modes is one called ‘Bounty Hunt’ which I kept going back to the most along with the original Team Deathmatch mode, ‘Attrition’.
The multiplayer in Titanfall 2 is fast and certainly loads of fun that has been built on all the great things from the original game with plenty of wall running, leaping and shooting that made the original so good and everything you learn in the campaign you will find yourself utilising in the multiplayer. There are a couple of additional perks this time though including the grappling hook which was another feature requested by the community and there are some good points and bad points to it. The good point is that it made it far easier to get on to the back of a Titan by using it, but the bad point about it is there was very little else I found myself using it for and that is only my personal preference but I felt far less vulnerable by not using it to scale a building or to zip to another section of the map. On a sidenote, a special mention has to go to the fact that there is no season pass for Titanfall 2 and that is because Respawn and EA have promised that all additional map DLC will be available to every player for free, which is a massive thumbs up in my book.