Titanfall 2 is one of those games that has been released very awkwardly between COD and Battlefield leaving it slightly estranged from the mainstream consumer but this is one release nobody should miss out on and is well worth full price!
Respawn Entertainment’s original Titanfall was a surprise success when it released back in March of 2014. The blend of heavy mech combat and fast paced ‘pilot’ shootouts brought a varied and refreshing FPS to the market that captured may console and PC player’s hearts alike, it was an overwhelming hit for a debut title from developers that had previously been behind the Call of Duty franchise. The only issue with the game that most critics and fans had was the lacklustre single player that missed the mark in so many ways. This time round however, the single player stands out as easily one of the best of the year even with its short length.
When you first load up the single player you are dropped straight into a live action/CGI cinematic, akin to some of the HALO launch trailers, that sets the pace and overall gameplay to come. The chaotic and parkour style free running you see in the cinematic is exactly what you experience during the single player. I chose to play through it on hard difficulty as I had played many hours of the multiplayer before even getting to the single player. I’m glad I did. The challenge was refreshing, enemies were never bullet ‘spongy’, there was always a good amount to fight but not so many I was easily overwhelmed and their damage output posed a serious risk but playing smart limited this.
Overall it took me around 5 hours to play through it with stops for small breaks in one sitting. At no point did the game frustrate me nor did I feel disconnected from the science fiction world that Respawn built around me. This can be taken as a massive endorsement when you consider that I stopped playing through Battlefield 1’s campaign early on due to its poor characters and disconnected world. I can’t speak for the other major multiplayer FPS release recently, Call of Duty Infinite Warfare, as I chose not to buy it after the PR disaster that it encountered before and after release.
I’m not going to spoil and of the twists and turns of the story for you but what I will say about your titan, BT-7274, is that he is one of the most engaging supporting characters in a video game in a long time, akin to something like GLaDOS from Portal 2 or Claptrap from the Borderlands franchise. He is written perfectly and outshines all of the cast from the game, not to say their performances are bad at all as all the characters are great, they are simply overshadowed by the connection you get from BT.
Titanfall 2 exceeds in what it sets out to do. It effectively creates a beautiful and gritty sci fi world around you and then throws in a story that feels like the perfect mash up of Edge of Tomorrow and Saving Private Ryan with the brutality of the latter and the chaos and futuristic feel of the former. For a developer that has focused entirely on this franchise all I can say is that their work has paid off and they were right in leaving Infinity Ward to focus on their creative vision, I can’t wait to see what they will bring to the table with the TBA Star Wars project they are reported to be working on.
To sum up the single player I would say in terms of campaigns for multiplayer focused FPS releases this is easily one of the best if not the best of recent time if not ever. I would easily put it up there with games such as Battlefield Bad Company 2 which had one of the most ridiculous but fun campaigns, or the original Modern Warfare campaign with its step change in FPS gameplay for the time. It’s a short, chaotic and challenging play through with a great variety of challenges similar to DOOM that is all encompassed in a story that makes you care about your character and those around you.
The overall art style and graphical fidelity of the game are another high point of this title. Although the game breaks no new boundaries in terms of graphical fidelity or shocking new art style it performs perfectly as a PC release and looks beautiful and immersive. On my current system (Fx8350, Gtx1070, 16 GB Ram, SSD for game install) it ran well over 100 FPS at all times making it a perfect match for my 120Hz monitor. The free running and jet pack gameplay looks so smooth and the general movement system is easily one of the best of current times, I honestly can’t explain fully how jumping from wall to wall at high speed whilst people are shooting bullets and rockets at you feels on PC with a setup like this until you experience it.
A quick note on the multiplayer too, it’s the best multiplayer shooter out of the three that have released in the past month or so and I’ve basically stopped playing BF1 because it has nothing on the pace and competitive feel of Titanfall 2.
Titanfall 2 is out now on PC, Xbox One and PS4.