Developer: Respawn Entertainment
Release Date: 10/28/2016
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Titanfall was a highly anticipated title for the Xbox One but disappointed everyone with an online-only component and no campaign. Titanfall 2 completely changed things around with a solid campaign, better gameplay, and improved multiplayer.
You play as Pilot Jack Cooper who was part of a squad tasked with finding a super weapon called the Ark that a warring faction planned to use on a human-colonized planet called Typhon. You gain control of a Titan (you normally shouldn’t as you’re just a rifleman) called BT, and you storm off to save the day. It sounds like a typical Call of Duty-style story, but it’s a bit more than that and actually has some heart and soul.
BT and Jack are a great pair as they banter back and forth with each other. Jack is sarcastic and BT has a sterile robotic sense of humor. It kind of reminds me of Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation. The best part of the campaign is the level design. Each level is completely different and incorporates the Pilot’s abilities such as jetpacking, and wall running. One level is comprised entirely of a fabrication factory and with walls and pieces still moving around, it gives Jack the ability to wall run and maneuver his way around the facility, unlike most other shooters. My favorite level was when Jack got ahold of a time-altering device and had to recon a facility for information on the Ark. At the press of a button, I could jump back in time to create new ways to get through the level, but this included enemies in that time period as well. It was awesome wall running and switching back in time to latch onto a wall that was present then. Very cool stuff.
The shooting in Titanfall 2 is satisfying with awesome weapons and various grenade types. The shooting was punchy with heads popping and limbs flying off. The action was intense and going from ground to the Titan kept things fresh and the entire campaign felt solid and entertaining. The boss fights were fun as well as each one was weaker against certain Titan loadouts which required strategy, usually not seen in shooters today.
The visuals are stunning with fantastic lighting effects and highly detailed textures, a lot of time was put into this game and some love as well. I only thought some of the indoor environments were dull with too much sterile steel and blank walls, but the outdoor environments were awesome. The sound design was packed with explosions, crunches, and various action-oriented effects that made me feel like I was in a war.
Multiplayer is where you will end up after the 6-hour campaign. It’s fun, for sure, but just didn’t keep me interested for more than a couple of weeks. Fighting other Titans is fun, as it works just like the campaign, but doesn’t seem to register as well against other players. There’s nothing unique that stands out over other shooters outside of Titans, and the player base is fairly small. I won’t get into too much detail but your typical modes are here such as capture the flag, team deathmatch, pilot only mode, titan only mode, and deathmatch. It’s fun for a while, but like I said, just doesn’t seem as satisfying as the campaign does (which is quite replayable by the way).
At the end of the day, Titanfall 2 is a solid and well-made FPS that isn’t getting the attention it deserves. With amazing sound and visuals, a surprisingly interesting story and characters, and edge-of-your-seat gameplay, this is hard to pass up. I would like to see a Titanfall 3 with a longer campaign and more build-up of the unique level design.