After spending time with Titanfall 2 I realised, this is the game Call of Duty wishes it was. Respawn created an interesting universe with fantastic gameplay in Titanfall, but it was lacking a campaign to flesh out the world and gameplay. This time around Respawn has made no mistakes. Everything has been improved, beyond expectations. Being a big fan of FPS games, including the original, I was still sceptical before playing it. Would the campaign be good enough? Can the multiplayer be improved? Thankfully, the simple answer is yes.
The campaign has you playing the role of Jack Cooper, a rifleman for the Frontier Militia. Cooper has aspirations to one day be a pilot. The deadliest weapons in the war between the IMC and the Frontier, pilots use advanced battle capabilities such as cloaking and jump packs to decimate their enemies. The deadliest part of their arsenal is the Titan. These bipedal weapons of mass destruction are every soldier’s dream. You will be introduced to the controls and gameplay through a virtual tutorial run by Captain Lastimosa; a current high ranking pilot who sees Cooper’s potential. The training is conveniently cut short before you get to use the Titan. You are ripped out of training and told to prepare for battle. Once crash landing on the planet Typhoon you are thrown into battle with IMC forces.
Everything was going hunky dory for me at first. I was wiping out sentinels and grunts left right and centre. Then an enemy Titan landed on top of me. Thankfully Captain Lastimosa rocked up in time to save me. Unfortunately, he is defeated by the mercenary gang and left to die. In his final moments Lastimosa transfers authorization of his Titan BT-7274 to Cooper. You are then sent to obtain power cells to get BT back online. Once he is back up and running you finally get to try out a Titan. Once you’re on board and BT is synchronized with Cooper, he advises him that they must still uphold the mission. But not before congratulating Cooper on his promotion to acting pilot. This right here is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Cooper and BT need to track down the mercs working for the IMC. They’re going to use a test weapon that could turn the war in the IMC’s favour. Without spoiling anything further this is one of the best campaigns I’ve played in a while. The ever growing relationship between Cooper and BT is so well done. You almost get a John Connor and T-800 vibe as the story develops.
On the gameplay side of things, ooh boy has this game got it going on. Respawn has done an incredible job at making the pilot feel like a super soldier. The mechanics really help you destroy grunts and sentinels and feel superior. Once you get a feel for the movement, you’ll be wall running and sliding like a pro. Trust me when I say you feel like a badass once you start nailing movement combos. The first time it happened I did a wall run to wall run and slid past the enemy cover to shotgun them in the face. I was so excited about pulling it off I forgot about the sentinels behind me and was wiped out. Eventually everything started to flow and it was rare I was found standing still.
The Titan mechanics work almost opposite to the pilot. When you’re piloting the Titan things are a lot more sluggish. Not in a bad way, but more of a hulking armoured vehicle kind of way. The weapons and functions of the Titans have been greatly improved from the first game. Now the core abilities have more variety and devastation. The different loadouts in the campaign can changed at any time from a menu. Of course you will need to obtain them as you progress or beat down a boss. Some of the new additions such as the scorch change up how you approach a fire fight. This weapon comes with canisters you can launch and then ignite. Once ignited they create an area effect which will wipe out ground forces. It’s also useful to push enemy Titans in to choke points or bring them nice and close. I found all the new loadouts and abilities have really enhanced the game play of the Titans and make for some interesting battles.
Multiplayer has been improved in all the ways it needed to make it more interesting. I was a big fan of the original title it was already a fantastic game. This time around Respawn focused on customisation of both Pilot and Titan. There are now seven different classes of Pilot, allowing very different styles. You have Cloak, Pulse Blade, Stim, Grapple, A-wall, Phase Shift and Holo. I main with the Grapple class as I like to move quickly and disorientate enemies with speed.
The Grapple class has a grappling hook which will pull you towards its latching point and give you a significant speed boost if used correctly. It’s also rather handy for rodeoing Titans as you can latch on to them drawing you in close. If you’re more into hunting pilots for the kills you’ll want to mix it up something like Pulse Blade. With this class you can throw a knife which as the name suggests sends out a pulse. The pulse will reveal any killable players or NPCs. Once you’ve selected a class you can then select the weapons and tactical advantages you want as well. Each weapon has its own experience and level so the more you use it the better the unlocks and attachments you can get.
There are some new grenades as well which are a lot of fun. My favourite is the Gravity Star. This is really handy for when enemy pilots are grouped up. You throw it amongst them and it pulls them in and leaves them pretty defenceless, long enough for you to do some damage. Alternatively you can use it defensively as well since it draws in projectiles.
Man o’ man did Titans get an upgrade. There are three new entire loadouts of Titans bringing the total to six. There are two of each of each class being light, middle and heavy weighted frames. Each one has a unique weapon and abilities allowing each of them to accommodate different play styles. The best example is the two light frame loadouts. One is a quick moving shotgun using class that focuses on heavy damage up close and personal. It has a core ability that allows you to use a massive sword that can be devastating to enemy Titans. The other light frame loadout is a ranged sniper class. It has a charging railgun that hits hard and is coupled with a flight core. With this you can hover in the air raining death from above. I love using all six Titan classes and found myself switching depending on the map that came up. Allowing me to play differently depending on my surroundings and enemy tactics. There is just something about every one of these Titans that really makes this game fun.
The game modes, features and maps have been overhauled in a very balanced manner. There are nine maps and all are different and unique. The maps will have you rethinking and fine tuning your strategies a lot. In a way, learning the maps and utilising the terrain made me a much better player after a while. The game modes see a return of the popular modes like Hardpoint, Capture the Flag and Last Titan Standing. The new game modes are Bounty Hunt, in which you must kill Pilots, Titans and NPC’s for points. Once a wave is cleared you must then bank your points and/or stop your enemy from banking. The other new modes are a straight out Attrition mode that replaced Pilot Hunter. This is just a Team Deathmatch mode, but all form of points count.
I was happy to see the burn cards were removed from the game. They have been replaced with boosts that can be unlocked as you progress. These can be activated once reaching a certain score requirement during the match. This means no more balancing issues with people smashing out Titans really early in a match. One thing I loved about these changes is the Smart Pistol is now one of these instead of a standard weapon. For those who never played Titanfall this is an aimbot pistol that was very popular in the first title.
This game has had me buzzing the moment I started playing it. The campaign is fantastic and the multiplayer will have me hooked for a long time to come. If you like FPS I highly recommend it. Even if you’re not a fan of multiplayer the campaign is worth it. Also Respawn has advised that all future maps and DLC will be free. It would seem they learnt from the first title which had the community split with DLC content. This is something we should all get behind and support. I’m continually coloured impressed by all Respawn have done with this title. See you on the Frontier Pilots.
Titanfall 2 was reviewed on PS4 using a promotional disc as provided by EA.
Game title: Titanfall 2
Thumbs Up - 9/10
BT's Javelin Skills - 9/10
Bromance - 10/10