The original Titanfall introduced a capable foundation with a set of interesting ideas in the realm of multiplayer-oriented first-person shooters. The mix of fast-paced on-foot and slower Titan driven combat paved the way for a relatively fresh multiplayer experience. The pilots were able to hold their own against Titans due to their superior mobility, while the latter had the strength and power advantage. All this was coupled with some great map design that gave pilots the opportunity to take advantage of their parkour skills.
With Titanfall 2, Respawn Entertainment has taken all the aspects of the original that worked, and refines them further. The on-foot pilot movement has been tightened up, and as a result, the traversal system is even more fluid and intuitive than ever before. You’ll find yourself seamlessly running along walls and springing over building rooftops in no time. The addition of grappling hooks in Titanfall 2 adds an extra layer of freedom to the traversal system, allowing pilots to latch onto and swing across structures. Thanks to this new gadget, pilots now have a better chance of holding their own when engaged with Titans.
The Titans too have received an overhaul, with more in-depth variants this time around, each with their own distinct attributes that affect handling, attack, and defense. Each of the Titan variants feature customizable abilities as well as upgrades, which can be unlocked via the experience points gained from playing one of the multiplayer modes. One Titan’s ability will exploit the weakness of another, and so on. It’s almost like a rock-paper-scissors situation, only there are more variables here. Figuring out what Titan is best suited for which situation is an essential component of the game, and is ultimately what adds some much needed depth to the Titan duels.
The multiplayer maps are intricately designed, though they’re generally larger than the ones featured in the first game. Compared to the frantic mayhem that Titanfall 1’s multiplayer maps brought about, the maps in the sequel are more thought out and pave the way for a more methodical approach to combat. There is still plenty of mayhem to be found here, of course, but there’s now some method to the madness. AI grunts still present in the sequel, and they’re still pretty effective when used to decoy enemy pilots.
As far as game modes go, Titanfall 2 doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it does introduce some neat twists of its own. For starters, the Bounty Hunt mode requires you to rake in currency via enemy kills through a series of waves. Towards the end of each wave, you’ll have the option to deposit your earnings at one of the indicated banks, for which you’ll need to step out of your Titan. This is where things get a little tricky, as enemy players will often be found patrolling nearby banks.
Much like in the last game, Last Titan Standing is fundamentally a game of elimination. Planning your approach is of the utmost importance during this mode, as the option to respawn is not available. In the end, the side that destroys all of the other side’s Titans wins. Other modes, Attrition and Pilot vs. Pilot, are essentially the standard Team Deathmatch variants, with and without the inclusion of Titans respectively.
Unlike in its predecessor, there’s a proper single-player campaign featured in Titanfall 2. You’ll assume control of Jack Cooper, a military soldier who’s circumstances lead him to becoming a pilot. Together with the BT-7274, he takes on the Interstellar Manufacturing Corporation and the Apex Predator mercenary group. While there are some interesting moments to be found here and there, the story is lackluster for the most part.
In terms of gameplay, however, Titanfall 2’s relatively short campaign delivers an engaging experience, with increasingly exciting scenarios unfolding one after another. Fans of old-school games will be glad to know that the game also features some traditional mech vs mech boss fights, with the spectacle of Hollywood productions such as Pacific Rim. There’s also some strategy in play here; you’re allowed to switch between different Titans at any point during the campaign, and it’s up to you to choose the one most appropriate for a given situation.
Respawn’s latest shooter performs reasonably well in the audiovisual department. While it’s clearly no Battlefield 1, it maintains a consistent art style with a larger aesthetic variety compared to the original’s mundane setting.
Ultimately, though, it’s the multiplayer that will hook you (pun not intended) and keep you coming back for more. With the added strategy and new layers of depth to the core gameplay, Titanfall 2 offers a more worthwhile multiplayer experience than its predecessor did.
Titanfall 2 is available now for the PS4, Xbox One and PC. It was developed by Respawn Entertainment and published be EA. This review covers the PS4 version of the game.
Titanfall 2 Review (PS4)
Titanfall 2 is Titanfall 1 done right. It offers a deeper multiplayer experience, and also brings value with its short but thrilling campaign.