Light theme

Titanfall 2 review
by jorrybaby

Not sure what I expected from Titanfall 2 - I don't think I even knew that it was an FPS (maybe I thought it was some kind of third-person adventure shooter?) Finding out that it was an FPS, I braced myself for a middling time, but in the end I was really surprised by its excellence - the game exhibits a really elevated understanding of shooter design, never feeling one-note, and it knew just when to vary the mechanics to keep things fresh (the time travel section...! Really good.)

The seamless transition (both in terms of animation and gameplay design/balance) between playing on foot as a wall-running Pilot and piloting the Titan in the cockpit was very impressive - balanced just right to make both feel worthwhile and fun to play, which is not an easy feat at all. The game especially shines in how well-tuned the parkour mechanics are, and how well they mesh with the shooting. The game encourages you to push forward at speed, and when you pull off a good wall-run-slide-headshot combo, I have to say you feel pretty frickin' cool. I would say that some of the Titan loadouts felt a bit same-y or underpowered, and they probably could have cut 3 or 4 of them and made a more distinctive selection. Similarly, the on-foot enemy variety is a bit thin, but I think given the short campaign length that can be forgiven.

The narrative (and a lot of the characterisation) is also pretty slim, but it became clear very quickly that that's not what I was there for - the one shining exception is BT, who easily is the most likeable and memorable character amongst the cornucopia of Titanfall 2's otherwise stale FPS heroes and villains (including your desperately boringly named player character, Jack Cooper). The character and mech designs were great though, and the art direction in general was pretty on-point.

I very much appreciated the tight length - 10hrs for a main campaign which felt like it ended just at the right point (nothing worse than a game which overstays it's welcome, which can be said of a lot of FPSes...) Might just be one of my favourite sci-fi shooters, and the campaign certainly delivers more thrills than some of the Halo games did in their single-player modes...
«Blew my mind»

Other reviews27

Completed as of writing this review: Base Game

(This review is only for the Campaign of the game, since I haven't had the opportunity to play the game with my friends)
I've never played games from Respawn before SWJ: Fallen Order (except for Apex, where I suck) and it's amazing to see how two of their games are this amazing and so polished! Every time I launched this game up, I marathon'ed, strictly until I was tired. That's not common for me in games anymore, so I think this is a good enough compliment. The gameplay is very fast-paced which I like as a boomer-shooter fan but the difficulty felt too easy. Did I really play this bad in tutorial to get a "Hard" difficulty, which is so easy that I got only a small number of deaths? Most of the game I felt like Rambo, headshoting everyone on my way, especially on a Titan. The latter is overkill, since every boss behaved cocky until I blasted them in a minute or two.

The attention to detail is superb, can't complain. The optimization was also fine, apart from sound issues when the game cached itself. The story however, I thought would be a cliché "War is bad, nobody survives" and it was, yeah, but the relationship between the Pilot and it's Titan was the highlight of it. I won't spoil the ending, I'll just say that it teared me up. I can't call this game a masterpiece (I rarely do) but it was an awesome time all around. Definitely pick this one up, even for a full-price! (since I feel bad now after picking it up for dirt-cheap on sale)

If only the third game happened though...
«Blew my mind»
«Can’t stop playing»
In a chapter time stops and you walk and jump along the objects and people which blew my mind.
Second amazing chapter was a chapter where you travel back and forth in time.
«Blew my mind»
The story is good
«Blew my mind»
«Can’t stop playing»
Good game, but with a short Champaign. 
The only FPS game with a decent single player campaign that you can invest your emotions on, no kizzy.
Fantastic fps with a great (but short) campaign.
This is the best "triple-a" movement shooter I have ever played and I am shooting myself in the foot for not playing this until 2021. 
10/10 Score I haven't enjoyed campaign this much since Call of Duty: Modern Warfare oh be it a very short one, it was simply amazing no copying and pasting of levels, no over the top cinematics or speeches. Great Level design and missions and tells a wholesome story.

Good Story (Campaign)
Fantastic Mulitplayer Gameplay
Best bro BT
Great Secondary Characters
Amazing Gameplay Mechanics

Average Soundtracks
Story Felt Too Short
«Blew my mind»
The very moment I entered my first online match in Titanfall 2 was exhilarating. Enemy players and teammates running on walls and killing each other like it was a neighborhood sports match (in a good way). Then a little soon after these giant metal beasts starting to fall from the sky and the battle turned into a mess (in a great way), then at one moment I somehow managed to ride one of these enemy giants and snatch its battery, moments later my own Titan fell from the sky. We lost the match but it was great.

After taking a digital copy on sale, I was looking forward to having a mindless fun time with my friends. I haven’t played the original so I didn’t know what to expect, yet I have seen a lot of comments regarding the game’s quality so I was more or less confident.

Uphold The Mission

From what I read, the first game didn’t have a proper main campaign to tell its story but it gave some glimpses of lore here and there to make sense of its universe. Titanfall 2 kickstarts with a pre-rendered cinematic talking about war and how the pilots (that is how they call the ones who pilot titans) are the most badass and skilled warriors on the battlefield. This opening not only gives you a resume of what you’ll get in the game in terms of gameplay, but it also tells you between lines that this game is not about its world but you the pilot. Or at least that’s how I want to see it, as I’m still a little lost of what its story about, this is not a bad thing mind you.

The main campaign was notably entertaining and fairly challenging, I played it on hard and while it wasn’t the most punishing experience ever, I did see the continue screen quite a few times. While the enemy AI wasn’t that great, they were aggressive, and it didn’t felt to me that they rely on extremely long HP to increase the difficulty, which I appreciate a lot. What I wasn’t expecting to find on its campaign was interesting lore with colorful and charming characters or at least some of them. In contrast with its universe, the presented story is pretty basic, yet serviceable, military good guys Vs. greedy and obviously bad guys. It comes with all the conventions and military bravado you’ll expect in a war blockbuster game or movie, and at times it felt a little propagandistic to my taste but that is just a personal opinion, still, the main narrative isn’t too interested to explore the game’s universe, what you need to know is that you’re a pilot on a mission, which is ok after all is an action-focused game so the story and lore are more like a complement to its gameplay. The main character is more or less in the same knowledge as you, so you’ll get some exposition dialogue here and there to give you enough information to move along through the events unfolding.

The game’s exposition device is BT, a Titan AI that accompanies you through all your adventure, at first I didn’t know what to expect but I liked him soon enough, it is a well written, charismatic, and amazingly performed character, not to mention that is full of dry humor, however, I found some discrepancies with BT, and is when the story tries to make their development in a similar way like John Connor and T-800 in Terminator: Judgement Day, as if BT needs to learn how to be human, the issue is that from the very beginning BT is pretty humanized to begin with, so it felt too forced every time the game showed a moment of how BT was “understanding” and interpreting human emotion, this was not a big problem but it keep me from fully believe their relationship. The dynamic between you and BT also reminded me a lot of Portal 2′ Interaction between Chell and Wheatley, it is not the same but I enjoyed my time with BT in a similar fashion, and I don’t think this Portal 2 is a coincidence. Later in the game, its puzzles and use of verticality seems pretty influenced by Valve’s game, the puzzles are not as thrilling neither as imaginative, but they felt fresh nonetheless. Of the stuff, I knew from this game this wasn’t one so it was a pleasant revelation.

The main star of this show, however, is the gameplay, mobility on land is standard for an FPS but once you add double jumping, sliding, and wall running to the mix, it adds a lot of energy and dynamism to the combat. Weapon selection is nothing to write home about but the basics are covered, snipers, assault rifles, shotguns, etc. everything is covered so it wouldn’t be a problem for anyone to find the right one. The stages evolve through the chapter and have a lot of diversity, so you will be seeing different types of environments. The rhythm of the campaign is great, and even if it uses the same formula over each chapter: take this item, then kill some enemies, then go to point B and take down the boss, it never felt tiresome or repetitive, since you will be making puzzle solving and fighting titans in the mix you always have a sense of going forward.

The cherry on top of the cake might be the boss battles. During every stage interact in some way or another with the enemy pilot of that area. These characters are a colorful bunch that seems to have a lot of influence from the bosses from the Metal Gear Solid series, at least in a superficial way. Once you clear all the challenges of the stage it will culminate with a neat introduction of the enemy pilot, they will give a short monologue to establish their feelings toward you like: “I’m doing it for the money” “We have no other choice” etc. and starts the fight, these little introductions work great as they build a strong sense of rivalry and makes you care for defeating them. These battles are fun and can get intense, I particularly have a difficult time defeating one of the late bosses that use a sniping Titan and their stage is basically a straight line, I was dying again and again, but the game lets you try other titan loadouts (that you collect through the campaign) and then I chose the right weapon to beat them, after a few tries I was victorious. These fights are basically a showroom of what each Titan is capable of doing and in that regard, the main campaign can be also like a tutorial for the online mode which can be quite fierce, still, single-player mode holds quite good by itself.

It’s worth to note that it is a short campaign, it took me around 6 hours to beat it, so if you’re looking to play this game for single player, you have to consider this, still, its adventure is for the most well packaged of everything, and it has some replayability in the form of collectibles but nothing special.

Apex Predators

Online mode however is where most of your time is going to be. I appreciate the effort Respawn put into making the single-player mode as complete as it is, given that the core gameplay is built towards an online experience but still, in a similar fashion like Splatoon (a game that I think has the same energy as this game), the real reason you’ll likely are going to get this (unless you’re from a future were the servers are dead and the only way to enjoy this piece is by its offline mode) is to have epic battles along with your friends and random people.

Before entering a match you’ll be selecting your type of pilot and Titan, each with a customizable loadout of skills and weapons. In the beginning, you’ll start with a few selections of everything but you can unlock more stuff when leveling up your base level. To unlock things more quickly you can use credits (the in-game’s currency), these credits are obtainable by achieving goals in battles like winning, level up a weapon, have a good performance, etc. this is called the merit system and the better you play the more credits you get. You can also level up each weapon and Titans, to unlock better mods and skills. As for the aesthetic customization, I think it was disappointing, each type of pilot and Titan are different from each other but you are stuck with their default designs, you can unlock and purchase color skins, there are a lot of them but frankly they don’t look that different, I am all out for aesthetic customization but here I didn’t care since the result would not be that different, this didn’t affect my gameplay experience of course, as it is a superficial matter, nonetheless as for a game as online-inclined as this, it would benefit with more customization freedom.

Titanfall 2 comes with a wide range of modes, but given the time I played it, each mode seemed almost dead or the queues too long to wait, everything except Attrition. Attrition is the main and seemingly standard online mode on which 6 vs 6 players go into death-match, the purpose of this mode is to gather 650 points before the opposite team to win, it is frenetic, it is fantastic but it is also unforgiven to newcomers. To collect points you have to kill enemies from the other team, these come as pilots, titans, and different AI like regular soldiers, robots and “tiny titans” called Reapers, all of these give fewer points than killing humans but they still sum up to the final score, so if you’re feeling that you can’t take down pilots you can focus on these enemies instead and get more familiar with the map and mechanics. Differently from the main campaign, you can’t fight with your Titan from the beginning, instead, you have to wait for it to be ready, the progress is shown on the lower screen and it also shows its percent, you can speed up this process by killing enemies and even by stealing Titan batteries, and once your meter goes to 100% you now can summon your Titan, you can extend the lifespan of your Titan by getting enemy Titan batteries by acquiring them by yourself or if a player steals one and give it to you. The Titans can change the game flow, if you use them correctly, you can turn the tides and have a more satisfying victory.

Fights can get thrilling, the verticality of the maps and fast navigation within its gameplay mechanics make for fast-paced and kinetic fights, there is a good selection on maps and the game doesn’t seem to repeat them on a playing session, so you’ll hardly have moments of Deja vú. The only issue I encounter while playing online is that its team distribution doesn’t seem to be that fair, in more than a few battles it seemed that I was paired with players as newbies as I, so the opposition overkilled us, the same can be said the other way around, I teamed a lot of battles with an OP team, maybe it was just luck or they were always parties, so who knows, overall I had and I’m still having a great time on these battles.

Down To Business

I wasn’t expecting to enjoy Titanfall 2 this much, I don’t tend to play a lot of FPS or TPSs but it is rare for me to get hooked this much by one of them. If you’re looking for a single-player experience I think this game will cover you up for a few hours but most of them will be good, however, if you’re looking for a deep and lengthy experience you may pass on this one or get it on sale (which I think on the PSN store goes pretty regularly). On the other hand, if you’re looking for a great online multiplayer experience look no further, although its customization is limited or repetitive, you’ll have a blast still. Like a good action movie, Titanfall 2 delivers in what is required and excels at it, its clever mechanics and gameplay fluidity overshadows its shortcomings and makes for a well-wrapped and satisfying experience.
«Just one more turn»
«Can’t stop playing»