Game: Titanfall 2
Developer: Respawn Entertainment
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platform(s): Windows, Xbox One, PlayStation 4(reviewed)
Release Date: October 28th, 2016
Ever since it’s big trailer back at E3, I’ve been particularly excited for Titanfall’s sequel. After all, it seemed to be giving me the one thing the original game lacked. The first Titanfall established an epic sci-fi universe full of fast paced action and mech combat but didn’t provide us with a single player campaign to flesh out that universe in. Titanfall 2 delivers on all fronts with the same speed and parkour focused multiplayer combat and a short but incredibly unique and fun single player campaign.
Titanfall 2’s campaign follows Jack Cooper, a riflemen for the militia in the wake of the Battle of Demeter. After the death of Cooper’s mentor Captain Lastimosa at the hands of the Apex Predators, a group of mercenary Titan pilots working for the IMC, Cooper is field promoted to pilot and forms a neural link with Lastimosa’s Titan BT-7274, “BT” for short.
As I work my way through the big three shooters of 2016 ( Call of Duty, Battlefield, Titanfall) Titanfall’s story stands out to me in a special way. While the voice work on minor characters is less than impressive at times, Matt Mercer gives an incredible performance as Jack Cooper, and the real stand-out character ends up being BT himself. That’s right giving personality to the players Titan was the best decision Respawn could’ve made. As the story pressed into its second half not only did amazing platforming techniques and some very unexpected story direction, take shape(I won’t spoil that here), but I began to care for that hunk of metal more than anyone else in the game. “Please don’t let anything bad happen to good old BT” was my mantra through my final hours with the campaign.
Multiplayer remains mostly the same for those that played the original game. Get enough of a streak going to call in your Titan and reign down hell on the enemy. This time around the parkour elements seems a bit slower, but it does tend to help with the games learning curve, new abilities help level the playing field. The grappling hook allows you to slingshot yourself towards platforms or enemies during traversal; this becomes incredibly handy when trying to mount an enemy Titan. Among other new abilities are the sonar knife, a thrown weapon that tracks enemy location, and a decoy ability that mimics player movements. Lot’s of new weapons and Titan loadouts are fun to play around with like the scorch Titan, my personal favorite is still the Ronin, just something cool about that up close and personal melee combat.
Basic competitive modes like Pilot Vs. Pilot remain, I find myself still hooked on more strategic game modes like Capture the flag and my all time favorite Bounty Hunt which has teams taking out AI enemies in addition to players for “bounties” and banking them in set locations in between rounds. The more kills a player racks up between making a deposit increases the size of your bonus, but you also run the risk of getting your bounty total cut in half upon death.
Titanfall 2 may not get the attention it deserves being sandwiched between the release of Battlefield One and Call of Duty infinite Warfare but if I had to recommend just one FPS this year it would be Titanfall. In a time when both Battlefield and Call of Duty are taking new approaches to storytelling, Titanfall still manages to stand out. Let’s just hope it sells enough to merit a third game. Until then, I’ll be standing by for Titanfall 3.
Score: 9 out of 10