When Titanfall first launched back in 2014 on the Xbox One and PC (with a 360 port not long after), everyone was saying the same things: It’s fun, the gameplay is great, the titans are awesome, you have a feeling of accomplishment in each match, it hasn't got much depth, no private matches and lastly; no single player campaign. Titanfall 2 arrives to us some 18 months later, and it does everything to correct the missteps of the previous game, and succeeds.
You play the role of Rifleman Jack Cooper, aspiring to one day become a pilot while secretly getting trained on the side by your friend, Captain Lastimosa. When a mission goes horribly wrong and Lastimosa is killed in action, it's up to you to pilot his Vanguard Titan, BT 7274, and together you need to find Lastimosa’s unit and complete the original mission. What follows is a buddy cop like story of survival and friendship, but with giant robots. Over the course of the story BT becomes more than just a giant robot killing machine, he becomes Jack’s friend and partner through a series of trust moments between the pair. It doesn’t hurt that the monotone delivery of some of BT’s dialogue does more to improve on the character rather than detract from it. Overall the story is fairly simple, and easily not the greatest thing ever written, but it plays on the standard sci-fi tropes and just feels fun.
The level design is some of the best I have seen in a first person shooter, with the verticality of the levels making good use of the Pilot’s maneuverability. Even some of the campaign mechanics like the ability to switch Titan loadouts on the fly, and others which may spoil the story, add an extra layer to both the combat and the platforming that it adds to the overall experience. Sadly the whole experience clocks in only at 6 hours. And while Titanfall may not be the prettiest game on the market, it still manages to hold its own graphically.
Over on the multiplayer side of things, several improvements have also been made. With the inclusion of the standard modes back from the original Titanfall there are also a couple of new game types. In one of the new modes, known as Bounty Hunt, pilots have to kill AI controlled grunts and titans to collect money to be deposited into banks. If you get killed however you lose half your cash and the enemy player steals it from you. This can lead to tense moments running back to a bank to make a deposit in the brief window it's available, not knowing if an enemy is lurking, ready to steal everything you have earnt on the battlefield. Meanwhile the other new mode, Coliseum requires you to pay your way in for a one on one fight with a set loadout, but rewards you with packages for customisation unlocks.
While the subtle changes that Respawn has made to the gameplay at first may seem off, or wrong, when first comparing it to it’s predecessor, Titanfall 2 actually holds up really well. As someone who liked the first one, it took some adjusting but eventually a rhythm forms and you can’t imagine playing the game any other way. With more customisation to your pilot and 6 different Titans to choose from you can find the right combination to suit your play style.
Overall Titanfall 2 is a very well polished game and what we should have got with the original title. If you like piloting giant mechs and blowing stuff up, this is definitely the game for you.
4 out of 5
+ Excellent Single Player Level Design
+ Great Fast Paced Gameplay
+ Titans are Fun
+ Excellent Multiplayer
- Campaign is Short
TITANFALL 2 WAS REVIEWED ON XBOX ONE