Titanfall 2 Review
At the time of writing this review I have logged in excess of 200 hours into the first Titanfall game on Xbox One, and probably 200 hours on the Xbox 360 version. Even though I have unlocked everything there is to unlock I still find myself going back for a few games as there is something uniquely satisfying about how the game plays. My initial reaction to the announcement of Titanfall 2 was excitement, however the online tech test (beta) that they put out a couple of months before the game released had me severely worried due to how it played. After playing Titanfall 2 extensively over the last couple of weeks I can safely say that my concerns have been alleviated, as this could just be the best release of 2016.
Amazing campaign – One of the biggest complaints people about the original Titanfall game was that the campaign wasn’t really a campaign. If you wanted to play solo you were out of luck as everything was online but it seemed Respawn Entertainment took the criticism on board, as what they have delivered is an exhilarating six hour adventure that constantly surprises you. You play as Jack Cooper, a militia rifleman who through a series of unfortunate events ends up linking to Titan BT-7274. Those who have played Titanfall before will know that it was famous for its super smooth movement system, and this has transferred effortlessly into a single player setup. As well as fighting on the ground and in your Titan there are also a surprising amount of platforming sections, which actually break up the action very well and never feel out of place. There are also some spectacular set pieces as well as some epic battles, but the main star of the show is definitely BT-7274. If you fancy yourself as a FPS veteran I suggest you tackle this on the master difficulty. It’s constantly challenging without ever making you feel like you can’t progress to the next part of the game. Checkpoints are generously distributed too, and if you are really feeling adventurous you could try and locate all of the 46 collectibles scattered throughout the nine missions.
BT 7274 – BT-7274 could well be the best character in any game released in 2016. Initially I was reminded of Optimus Prime when I heard BT talk for the first time, but actually Glenn Steinbaum has done a wonderful job voicing him. During some of the quieter sections in Titanfall 2 you’ll have the chance to converse with BT. It’s a very simple set up (you use up or down on the d-pad to pick your answer) but it’s still very effective and allows you to build up a relationship with your Titan. As you progress through the game you’ll notice BT is pretty humorous and drops some very witty one-liners that you’ll definitely chuckle at. It helps keep Titanfall 2 from feeling too serious and helps make BT a character you actually want to spend time with.
Superb multiplayer – As I said above, the online tech test that released a couple months before Titanfall 2 was launched had me worried as the multiplayer didn’t quite feel right. Luckily Respawn Entertainment must have been paying attention to all the feedback as it’s ended up producing another fantastic multiplayer experience. There are more weapons, twice as many Titans as before as well as some new movement mechanics which had more traversal options, and also a plethora of game modes for you to choose from. Gunplay is as satisfying as ever and I don’t think I’ve ever complained about hit detection or lag in any of the 20+ hours I’ve spent online. The weaponry all feels balanced and nothing has stood out as being particular overpowered, I also am incredibly glad to see the smart pistol taken out of the gun rotation and included only as a timed perk.
No need for a season pass – Continuing on from the excellent move Respawn Entertainment made with Titanfall, Titanfall 2 will receive all of the DLC released for it for free. Having played the first game at a time when the DLC was a paid extra I can safely say that this is fantastic news as the first game suffered with a very fragmented player base until everyone was given access to the DLC for free.
Titanfall incoming – Sometimes it is the simple things in gaming that make me the happiest. The sound of an incoming Titan drop gets me every time, as you hear the crackle of rockets in the air as it bursts through the planet’s atmosphere before slamming into the ground with a mighty thud. It’s something relatively common but it still makes me smile every time I hear it.
No stat tracking for online – As much as I love playing the online modes in Titanfall 2 one thing I feel is sorely missing is any real inclusion of stats. At the end of each game you get a screen showing you your total score and how many A.I and human opponents you’ve killed and that’s it. There’s no screen you can go into that shows you your stats for each weapon or your k/d (your total deaths are actually never shown to you anywhere) which is really disappointing considering how in-depth Titanfall was in this regard. I understand that they may have taken these away to encourage players to try and work as a team but unfortunately this never happens so I hope that they patch in a stat tracking page in the not too distant future.
Fixed Titan classes – Titanfall 2 has upped the ante by increasing the number of Titan types from three to six; however the cost of this is that you cannot customise them in any way other than aesthetically. Each Titan has a set weapon and core ability so if you have a favourite Titan weapon but hate their core ability there is no way of changing this. One of the best things about Titanfall was how you could pick any weapon for any chassis so to see this disappear is a bit of a shame. Although the first game only had three types of Titan the endless customisation possibilities made it feel like there were more.
If Titanfall 2 had released as another online only game I don’t think I would have complained as I thoroughly enjoyed the first game and would have been satisfied with more of the same. To their credit though Respawn Entertainment have managed to not only improve on what made Titanfalls multiplayer great they’ve also managed to build a wonderfully entertaining campaign that will sink its hook in and leave you wanting more.
Titanfall 2 was developed by Respawn Entertainment and published by EA. The game released on Xbox One on October 28th 2016 and is also available for Playstation 4 and Steam. A press review copy was provided for The Hidden Levels. Many studios submit copies for site review but this is in no way factored into our review scores. Games are scored on their individual merits and our rating system is explained here.
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