Titanfall 2 is here to address all the shortcomings that gamers had with the original. And it does so in spectacular fashion.
In many ways, the first installment was a glorified tech demo. It was released just four months after the start of a new console generation and while the breakout title from Respawn Entertainment did a lot of things right, it ultimately fell short in several areas -- namely the barebones bot-centric “campaign” and not enough content to keep the players coming back.
Well, fixes abound.
The most obvious improvement in Titanfall 2 is the addition of a fully-fledged single player campaign, with a plot that explores sprawling intergalactic vistas and introduces users to the lore and character of the Titanfall universe.
Some may pass this addition to be an afterthought, after all, isn’t the meat in the multiplayer? Well, after completing the campaign, this reviewer does not hesitate to say this is one of the best shooter campaigns of this generation, up there with the likes of Wolfenstein: The New Order and Doom.
Titanfall 2 is fun, fast, fluid and absolutely bonkers. That’s why it works so well.
The campaign levels are beautifully designed and wonderfully expansive, taking us back to the solid gameplay design from the original Halo trilogy. Balancing Pilot and Titan gameplay, the game never bores you with its forced removal of features. Going in, you might want to stay in the Titan the entire time since, you know, Titanfall, but I can promise, that fades fast as you wall run, slide and kick as a Pilot through most of the campaign.
The game also shakes things up fairly often, introducing unique weapons, abilities and Titan classes, the most exciting of which is probably the Ronin class, which gives your Titan a big ass sword. Yes, we Pacific Rim now. Oh, and the Smart Pistol is back, sort of. I won’t spoil it.
The campaign also succeeds because its plot doesn’t hinder on a universe-breaking war, aside from the fact that it centers around a bomb similar to a Halo. This isn’t a problem, though, because the game doesn’t blatantly force you to acknowledge it.
Standout moments include traveling through time without seeming cliche at all. The way time travel is done in this game is so sudden and fluid that games like Quantum Break wished they had thought of it. Seriously. Without spoiling much, the campaign felt like a mix between the Modern Warfare Trilogy, Bulletstorm and WALL-E. It’s charming characters, fluid gameplay and subtle, yet gripping story all complete this mostly masterclass shooter.
Moving on, there is of course the game’s multiplayer, which you are utterly prepared for after completing the campaign. Once the servers finally kicked up, it was a blast to jump into the original Titanfall’s heart, Attrition.
Quick-handed multiplayer hasn’t felt this fun since Call of Duty 4 came out. Honestly, even if the game itself doesn’t hold up its community all that well, at least we’ll have these first few months. The multiplayer customization and loadouts are simple, yet effective. Gone are burn cards from the first game, and they are simply replaced by leveling up and unlocking new weapons, gear, skins, classes and abilities for both your Pilot and Titan.
And Attrition isn’t all there is to play, with different riffs on Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag and Free-For-All available. And if you’re like me and just want to jet around shooting other pilots, then there is a playlist for that as well. The maps are also fantastically designed, as you’ll wall-run on monorails, jump through towns and pilot your Titan through fields and alleys.
While you may be tempted to pick up either Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare or Battlefield 1 as your shooter fix holiday season, I urge you to reconsider. Games like Titanfall 2 should not be glazed over. It’s inventive, classy and, oh yeah, it won’t have a Season Pass. All of its content and updates will be free, and that alone is a thing of the past.
The reviewer completed the game’s campaign in just under eight hours on Playstation 4 and tested multiplayer on both PS4 and PC.