Titanfall 2 review: Mechanized warfare in a refreshing package


The original Titanfall brought with it a lot of criticism. With no proper single-player campaign and very little depth in its multiplayer modes, Respawn’s 2014 FPS felt just a little too stale for my tastes. So it may come as a surprise then, that Titanfall 2 is one of the best shooters you can pick up right now, and it’s well worth a go.

When it was announced Titanfall 2 was going to have a fully-fledged campaign this time round, I’ll admit I was a little sceptical. I could see Respawn shoehorning in a single-player campaign as a sort of brief tutorial experience to serve the multiplayer, something other shooters are already familiar with. Luckily, I was wrong.

I should have been a bit more optimistic. Considering Respawn is made up of ex-Infinity Ward devs, its 5-ish hour campaign feels distinctly Call of Duty-like. Epic set pieces abound and its pacing is fantastic, but it’s Titanfall 2’s blend of mechs and parkour free-running action that really make it stand out. A rewarding combination of Portal 2, Mirror’s Edge and Call of Duty, Titanfall 2’s campaign has it all.

Titanfall 2 review

Putting it bluntly, It’s one of the best shooter campaigns I’ve played in quite some time. Sure, Battlefield 1’s single-player was great, but Titanfall 2 kicks things up a notch, offering an incredibly engaging experience with some stand-out characters and memorable gameplay moments that’ll stick with you for years to come.

Titanfall 2 nails those epic moments. Stomping around inside your mech, brushing off enemy soldiers like ants at a picnic, you feel unstoppable, and I really believed I was inside a machine that can turn the tide of any battle without so much as a scratch. Fights are incredibly tense once you’re put head-to-head with enemy titans, with the outcomes often feeling too close to call.

On-foot, your character jumps around like a circus-trained acrobat, making it one of the most thrilling movement systems I’ve ever used in an FPS. The parkour tricks you pull off are not only incredibly impressive to watch, but they’re also super easy to pull off. You’ll soon be combining wall runs, slides, double jumps and multi-kills without breaking a sweat.

Story-wise there’s not that much to go on. Titanfall 2 presumes you’re already familiar with the lore of the first, thrusting you straight into its world without so much as a short narrative intro. Not to worry if you haven’t played the first, though, especially considering there was no single player to be found there, as it’s a pretty simple story to rack your head around.

In short, it’s your typical good guys versus the bad guys fare, with the Militia (the faction you’re a part of) taking on the rebellion role, bringing the fight to the Empire-like IMC. It’s all very Star Wars, a sci-fi plot that’s decades old, but one that’s still just as enjoyable to play through.

The main thrust of the story focuses on your player’s progressing relationship with his mech buddy. Think Terminator 2 levels of man and machine bonding, but that you’re also climbing inside Arnie and taking full control of everything he does. It’s this relationship that carries the game forward, with different dialogue options and a constant back and forth between both the protagonist and his mech BT. You’re frequently a Yin to his Yang, going places he can’t go, with BT often lobbing you over to an enemy base in the distance.

Titanfall 2 review

Say what you will about the original Titanfall’s multiplayer, but I thought it was superbly crafted with top-notch gameplay, even if it was a little lacking in content. That pitch-perfect multiplayer experience returns, but with far more content to hold your attention here.

It’s an incredibly fast and fluid experience in the short time I’ve spent with it, with the relatively brief matches crammed with jaw-dropping moments. No other game lets you free-run across walls while shooting at enemies, double-jumping away onto an enemy titan only to take out its power core and lob a grenade inside. You feel like a badass every time you play.

The progression system is far deeper than the first game, with plenty of abilities, like the grappling hook, along with sci-fi weapons and titans to unlock. Each class of titan feels remarkably different, too. Some are fast and nimble but can’t take much of a beating, while others are the heavy-hitters, able to dish out damage and tank a lot of incoming fire.

Sandwiched in a week between both Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Titanfall 2 certainly has a lot of competition this year, but it’s clear that this shooter is up there with the very best and shouldn’t be overlooked. Battlefield 1 may well have a bit more longevity in the long run, and Call of Duty will probably sell like hotcakes, but Titanfall 2 offers one of the best shooter campaigns I’ve played this year, bringing with it a fun, action-packed, multiplayer package. It’s still no Call of Duty usurper, but Titanfall 2 is easily the game its predecessor should have been. It comes highly recommended.

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