The original Titanfall blew me away when it was premiered at the Xbox showcase at E3 a couple of years ago. I’d never seen a game play so smooth and have so much variety and action. Calling Titans down from the sky was pretty impressive and it never got old when playing the game at home online. However, there wasn’t actually that much to it and my friends quickly moved onto other games, as did I.
This time around Titanfall 2 expands on the original game with loads more ideas for multiplayer and a single player campaign which gamers were amazed didn’t exist in the first game. In the campaign you play as Cooper, a grunt who’s sent out on a mission against the IMC. It’s not long before you inherit your very own Titan called BT when your mentor is killed in action. He hands the mantle over to you and then begins a buddy buddy action game where you and your Titan go on a merry jaunt to discover what the IMC are up to and try to put an end to it. What’s fresh this time around is the fact that you and your Titan have conversations as you play through the game. There are times when you can choose to pilot the Titan or have it fight alongside you, and times when you are forced to go on foot, with BT in your ear providing information and some light robotic humour now and again. It works, and adds another layer onto what is some very tight gameplay. It runs super smooth at 60fps, and in a similar fashion to Doom, you can really feel it. Jumping, wall running and boosting all feel great here and the weapons are also meaty, whether you’re sniping, firing full autos or blasting at close range with shotguns. You can also pick up weapons for BT on the fly and change your class at a touch of the D-Pad, meaning you can scorch opponents with flames, fly high and fire a salvo of rockets from above or just go in there with machine guns. The shield is back, as is the ability to mop up bullets and throw them back at enemies and deploy electric smoke. You’ll also be fighting bosses mid-game in the form of other IMC pilots who want to kill you. These break up the action and in an old-school way provide a challenge in an arena.
One of the really cool moments in the campaign is when you get the ability to time travel in one of the levels. Enter a facility, and you can tap LB to jump forward and backward in time. You’ll be using this to puzzle through some of the platform game scenarios, and also to avoid enemies and gun turrets that exist in one time zone and not in another. It’s a really fun concept and probably the best execution I’ve seen of this type of idea.
Multiplayer offers up a couple of new ideas. There are new Titans to play with and this time you have to earn your Titanfall. You won’t just get one by waiting in a corner, the only way to get one is to score points and build up the percentage meter before you call it in. The grapple is new for pilots, and you can use this to swing and pull yourself around the levels and also grab hold of Titans to mount them and collar people to zoom into them and get a quick kill. Invisibility and quick run are also up for grabs and there are new modes including Amped Hardpoint where you must capture areas and then stay there in order to amp them for even more points. There’s also a decent take on Team Deathmatch called Bounty Hunt where you kill enemies can capture points and then get extra points for banking them at certain times. This creates choke points and a great risk reward system where you’re always guaranteed some action. Other modes include Attrition which is basically a normal TDM with Titans, Pilot vs Pilot where it’s all about mobility and reactions and less about brute force, Last Titan Standing and a cage match mode where it’s one-on-one.
What’s great is that almost everything is upgradeable. Every gun is enhanced as you use it more and you can customize almost everything, including the liveries on your Titan and what boosts you have. Burn cards are gone so now you can apply boosts such as decoys, amping your weapons, having an extra battery for your Titan or a personal turret you can deploy to help protect you.
There really is a lot more to Titanfall 2. If you saw the first game as almost a bit of a tech demo, this one is the real deal and has plenty to keep you amused for a long time. I’d got as far as to say it’s one of the best first-person shooters released this year so it gets a titanic 9 out of 10.
Get the game now
New: Buy Titanfall 2 from Amazon.com