Xbox

Titanfall 2 – Review

Just over 18 months since the release of their maiden voyage Titanfall, Respawn entertainment return with the sequel Titanfall 2.

The original was widely regarded as one of the first great games on Xbox One, and without a doubt it was a console seller on it’s multiplyer gameplay alone, but one thing it didn’t manage was a single player experience.

Titanfall 2 provides a single player campaign as well as an enhanced multiplayer experience so let’s take a look..In the career, you control Jack Cooper, a Rifelman who’s thrown into the ranks of a pilot after being given a link to a Titan you’ll lovingly call BT for the duration of the 5-6 hour campaign.

The story begins as you’re introduced to battle with a quick tutorial and the chance to run a timed gauntlet reminiscent of the early Modern Warfare titles. You’re slowly introduced to combat and a handful of enemies before things start to pick up in both pace and numbers.

You’re soon taking on larger groups and more powerful enemies and before you know it, you’re in a room with 2 or 3 titans and confidently taking on boss characters.

While many people see Titanfall as a fast-paced game, you’ll find the Campaign perfectly balanced, it’s a smooth transition from jumping across platforms to wall running and while you’ll soon be killing people as you leap from one wall run to another, it never feels ahead of your abilities and the pacing means the vast majority of gamers will soon get to grips with the more agile sectionsThis also counts for combat, as enemies gradually get more powerful and come at you in increasing numbers, if you jumped straight into the later levels you’ll find it a struggle, but experiencing the campaign teaches you to perfection and while I can pretty much gaurantee you will die, sure enough you’ll progress within a few attempts.

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As well as the pace and momentum of the campaign, there’s a believable and enticing atmosphere about the whole thing, the battle between the SRS and IMC continues, and a band of Titan-clad mercenaries make up for some interesting boss characters who help to narrate proceedings, the high quality graphics and audio just further bolster an already solid campaign  and the experience is thouroughly enjoyable from start to finish.

Sadly the campaign did only last me a single evening, but that’s because I was so hooked, I was still playing after 3am, the constant variety between styles without relying too heavily on those giant metal beasts, the mini-cliffhangers between each section and I was left gooked, unable to put the controller down until the credits where rolling.

 

Very few Campaigns have had that effect, and it’s safe to say Titanfall 2 has been one of the most enjoyable Xbox One campaigns to date, there’s so many elements from fantastic games like Halo, and of course Call of Duty, while still offering enough unique like the time bending mechanics similar to Quantum Break without overdoing it.  So it’s safe to say everything feels well cooked, without being over baked.

Looking closer at Graphics and Audio, it’s not quite as perfect, some of the facial textures aren’t as clear as I would like and you have just a handful of ‘quiet times’ where you’re reliant on putting a grenade in someones face to fill your speakers, thankfully these instances are few and far between, and I only noticed one graphical glitch in the whole game which was a lighting issue for 1 second during the final sequence. Very few games can have such an impressive record, and in the days of constant patches and bug fixes, it’s truly a pleasure to see a game release that feels so complete and refined with only a very small handful of issues.

Otherwise everything is sharp, incredibly impressive and a pleasant mix of locations, and styles make for an enjoyable experience wether you’re watching an apartment getting built, blowing up multiple Titans at once, or maybe both.

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On to Multiplayer, and it’s safe to say Titanfall 2 had a great headstart, even 18 months after, the original Titanfall is highly regarded as one of the best Multiplayer experiences of this generation and Titanfall 2 follows in it’s footsteps and then steps out from the shadows to smack you in the face.

It’s fast, it’s frantic, but it’s equally smooth and controlled.

With a variety of modes, including the impressive Bounty Hunt where kills and actions give or lose cash, and then periodically banks open for you to deposit your winnings. There’s always plenty to do aside from just firing bullets towards your enemies, the maps seem varied and well designed, and of a similar sort of scale to the original with some made more for closer quarters, while others often plenty of space for taking your Titan out for a spin.

 

While there’s (currently) 6 choices for a Titan, with a range of cores, weapons and abilities on offer there’s plenty of variation for outfitting your beloved mech and each of them feel different to the next while still offering enough options across the board to allow gamers to gear their outfit to a more unique style of play.  Weapons seem varied, powerful and feel weighty and while the old burn cards are removed, a good run will let you amp your guns at any time, much of the original is in place, so while there’s plenty new, there’s also more than enough to keep returning players feeling familiar.

Overall the enhancements on Multiplayer go a long way, I had very little to complain about anyway, but this time round the fluidity of the gameplay just feels perfectly balanced with a refined polish unlike the vast majority of big name shooters you’ll get your hands on.

The seamless fluidity of the gameplay carries on throughout everything you do, wall running and sliding have enough pace to be worthwhile, but they hold long enough so you wont need cat like reflexes to get a kill, it’s in a stark contrast to another futuristic shooter due soon, but Titanfall 2 has a pleasing pace about it, things don’t feel sluggish, but they aren’t too quick to process during gameplay.

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The best thing about Titanfall 2, is one that’s carrying over from the original, and that’s how much fun it is to play, stringing together kills, wall runs or abilities give you a feeling of invincible power, and while it won’t be too long before a Titan stomps on your pewny little pilot, even the novice players will find plenty of opportunity for calling out to their Xbox to ‘record that’.

This adds greatly to the longevity, on top of the 6 hours campaign (which is easily good enough to play through multiple times) the Multiplayer side is deep, packed with unlocks and a constant reward for a good run or a lucky streak..

On your own, it might only last a few days, but online this could easily last you many months, especially with EA’s promise of all future maps, modes and DLC being completely free.

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(all screenshots where captured during gameplay, for videos you can click here for single player and here for multiplayer footage from our live streams.)

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