Two years after dazzling the gaming world with its fresh take on mech combat with Titanfall, Respawn Entertainment is back with an even more impressive shooter that makes the original seem like little more than a warmup to the main event. Armed with a full-figured single-player campaign in addition to the deep, engrossing multiplayer established in the original, Titanfall 2 comes out with guns blazing, determined to jostle with the likes of Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare for the hearts and minds of online shooter mavens.
Game: Titanfall 2
Consoles: Xbox One (reviewed), PS4, PC
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Respawn Entertainment
Release Date: October 28
While visually indistinguishable from the gorgeous, Xbox One-focused original, gameplay has advanced in many ways. Taking a cue from the hunter/prey feel of the recent Call of Duty games, online play rewards aggression and punishes indecision. You, your allies and enemies lock horns in an all-out sprint to snap up the best weapon and ammo drops, which help you land more kills and assists and allow you to gain the advantage when it comes time to take the helm of a titan and unleash devastating attacks that tilt the field in your favor. While it’s just as exhilarating as ever to stomp around as a titan, Respawn took strides to make it more exciting and rewarding to play as a pilot. Hone your skills properly, and you can be just as deadly scurrying around the war zone as an underpowered gunman with a jetpack and power suit, slipping your way through gaps to elude and surprise your vastly larger rivals. A revamped progression system gives you ample reason to log back in for a few rounds day after day.
The campaign focuses on Jack Cooper, a farmboy militia member who gets a chance to be a pilot and join the war effort. Through his wide eyes, you experience the majesty and wonder of completing your first wall sprints, double jumps, power slides and gauntlet runs, only to be thrown prematurely into battle and summon and enter a titan, exerting your will on the battlefield. Far more than a glorified tutorial, there are some interesting twists and must-see set pieces that make it a necessity to run through the campaign before you take to the multiplayer arena. While the single-player experience is too thin to stand on its own, it’s a vast improvement from the throwaway training missions the first game gave us, and makes Titanfall 2 feel like more of a full experience.
The most convincing reason to buy Titanfall 2 now rather than wait a few months for a game of the year edition is the promise that all post-release maps, weapons and game modes will be free. Sure, you can open up your digital wallet to cough up microtransactions for cosmetic items, but there is no pay-to-win path in sight. Even better, there will be no maps walled off to those with season passes or $15 to spring for new map packs. This focus on keeping the community cohesive and engaged will be a titan-sized weapon in the game’s battle with its rivals.
Titanfall 2 won’t shock you with its experience. If you spent some time with the original, you have a good idea of what to expect with the sequel. By sticking confidently to its proven formula, while adding in crowd-pleasing adjustments and tossing in a campaign that does wonders for fleshing out the lore surrounding the mayhem in the online arena, this game does exactly what a follow-up to a beloved original should do. Its lumbering giant vs. agile weakling dynamic keeps things fresh and unpredictable even after plugging away for hours. Although the imbalance makes the translation to e-sports weak, the potential for comedy in Twitch and YouTube videos more than makes up for that lacking. Every time you suit up, you feel as though you’re about to enter an action movie of your creation. That’s a sign of the Titanfall franchise’s continued rise.
Titanfall 2 Reviews Around The Web:
“Respawn did a lot of work to keep you from falling into the predictable shooter loop.” –IGN
“Titanfall 2 is gorgeous. There’s no denying it.” –Business Insider
“One of the biggest shocks, and indeed, greatest achievements of this game is that over the 6-7 hour campaign it manages to make you care about a futuristic, giant mech soldier-suit you can get inside.” –Stuff
Titanfall 2 Screenshots
The publisher provided a review copy.
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