Titanfall 2 has to be one of the biggest surprises of this year, and I’m definitely not alone in saying that. The high praise for this game is what drew it to me in the first place, which for a title that was wedged between Battlefield 1 and the latest Call Of Duty, was not something I had expected—good games aren’t sent out to die by their publishers. However, just because the game surprised me, that doesn’t mean it’s as excellent as every other reviewer seems to be saying.
In its single player campaign, Titanfall 2 boasts great levels, fun missions, awesome gunplay, and a quite terrible narrative. It hasn’t been long since I have beat it, but trying to recount the main plot points of this story would be a harder brain teaser than any puzzle game I could recommend. It isn’t even that forgettable, as much as it is simply generic and mediocre. If spending a whole narrative trying to destroy an enemy superweapon (or something) doesn’t sound enough like standard sci-fi, perhaps you’ll take solace in the bland military protagonist with an even duller name: Jack Cooper. The only memorable character is Cooper’s titan companion, known as BT-7274. But unfortunately, even BT doesn’t progress past a predictable comic relief role, never developing to the likes of the T-800 from Terminator 2. However, dialogue options with him are a pretty neat addition to help spice up the relationship between the two main characters.
While the narrative of Titanfall 2 isn’t great, everything to do with the gameplay is. Even by only watching videos of it, you can tell Titanfall 2’s shooting and traversal mechanics are fluid, fast, and a joy to control. In both the campaign and multiplayer, the speed is aided by excellent levels that take advantage of lateral and vertical movement. With a combination of parkour and an array of fun fantasy guns, the game rarely bores with its main gameplay hooks. But there’s also a very respectable amount of new mechanics put into campaign missions, in order to keep things fresh; among them is a level where you navigate around homes built into the side of a wall, and a facility where you gain the power of freakin’ time travel. To say the least, Titanfall 2’s missions are well-crafted and keep players constantly engaged and surprised. On top of all of this, titan combat also breaks up any monotony that may arise from controlling a ground troop, with class options that allow you to switch titan types on the fly, during battle.
The only real gripes I have with the campaign, outside of narrative, are the boss fights and the game’s difficulty. I went through the game on its second hardest mode, yet the missions didn’t feel as if they had been ramped up. That wasn’t necessarily a problem until I reached boss fights with so-called ‘Apex Predators,’ who could be beaten in under one minute. Apart from that, the campaign remains an experience to not be overlooked.
Everything outstanding from the single player mode is carried over to multiplayer with ease. There is a myriad of game modes to choose from, but the main ones I stuck my head into were Attrition and Bounty Hunt. While the former is merely team deathmatch, Bounty Hunt is a new addition to the series that adds layers of intensity and nuance to what would normally be a standard game mode. The main draw of Bounty Hunt is the constant tug-of-war feeling that comes with the rewards and risks of cashing in money for your kills at banks that are often crawling with enemy players. It’s almost like the developers added an element of the Souls series into an FPS’s multiplayer, and hell is it a lot of fun. Furthermore, all multiplayer battles have a certain structure to them that always lead to a climactic end. After a game is over, an epilogue continues the fight for those who have lost, as they race towards an evacuation ship; this element gives the losing team an extra chance for redemption, and it always had me tensely excited.
Speaking of multiplayer, slews of unlocks and customisation options are bound to keep people coming back for more. The unlocks themselves aren’t all that inspired, (weapons, skins, perks) but they occur often enough to always reward good players.
While blasting through either single or multiplayer, you’ll notice that Titanfall 2 is quite a visually appealing game. Animations, in particular, are well suited to either weighty titans or agile pilots. There’s also a striking style to the game’s graphics, showing a range of colourful explosions, dangerous planets, and dystopian facilities. However, some of these visuals are lost when examined up close; specifically, faces appear to be covered in shiny vaseline, with no expressions shown through a glossy exterior. But everything that is inorganic still looks good enough to stare at for hours on end.
Titanfall 2 is a game I did not originally intend on purchasing; however, after playing it for upwards of several hours, my conclusion is that I’m glad I did. The campaign stumbles with a narrative that is neither fun nor memorable, but it redeems itself with basically everything else. Although it may have been sent out to die by EA, hopefully, enough people hear its praises and keep it out of the grave.
Titanfall 2 Is A Great Game