Titanfall 2 review: Superior to the original thanks to varied multiplayer and engaging single player campaign

Respawn/EA - £44.99 - PS4/Xbox One/PC

Jack Shepherd
Sunday 30 October 2016 18:28
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Despite looking phenomenal, the original Titanfall was slightly disappointing. Without a single player and a lack of varying multiplayer modes, the Xbox One console exclusive fell way to the superior Destiny, itself having multiple issues upon release. However, with the sequel (now also available also on Playstation 4) EA have delivered a fully formed game that improves greatly on the first.

The most notable addition is, of course, the single player campaign. You play as Jack Cooper, an inexperienced fighter who has yet to become a pilot. As you have suspected, a fateful twist of events leaves a certain captain dead, leaving his Titan - named BT - in Cooper’s control and with a planet-saving mission. From there on, Cooper travel’s through various sprawling maps with the highly loveable BT, attempting to uncover various mysteries and save the day.

While only six hours long - and with relatively little replay value - the short single player experience is primarily great, introducing the game’s mechanics to new players while offering varied gameplay. For the majority of sections, Cooper is without BT, requiring the player to defeat enemies - half being robots, the other half humans - with limited weapon load outs. As with the first game, when not in a mech, the gameplay is fast, with lots of running, double jumping, and bouncing off walls, leading to some very hectic moments.

For the rest of the adventure - and more towards the end of the game - you control BT, fighting other Titans, including a few boss battles (most of the characters looking directly from a Mad Max film). Being in control of BT slows down the gameplay significantly, offering room to breath despite the number of enemies increasing tenfold. Switching between the two forms of gameplay happens often, meaning neither gets too boring.

Alongside the action, though, there’s also an emotional core to Titanfall 2. While BT may just be a mech, his robotic sense of humour has a certain amount of charm: sure, the script’s not great, the story being at times confusing, often ridiculous, but their relationship Cooper and BT’s relationship keeps everyone together.

Then, there’s the multiplayer. Thankfully, the sequel improves of the first in almost every single way. The core fast paced action remains - something the single-player also achieves - while everything is more balanced.

Where Titans were seemingly indestructible, they no longer regenerate health, meaning they’re much more fragile. Also gone are the Burn Cards, one-time use perks that meant more experienced players were able to access Titans straight away in the game. Instead, players have access to Pilot Boosts, perks that are attained while fighting the same way Titans are, meaning everything is based on your performance.

Core mode Attrition remains from the first, while Bounty Hunt is the most welcome new addition. In it, players fight waves of neutral AI enemies and each other, scoring money for every kill. However, unlike in other modes, the player needs to cash in otherwise - upon death - you lose everything not in the bank while the other player gets half what you had. Other game modes include team deathmatch, Pilots v Pilots (no titans allowed) and Coliseum - which requires you buying tickets. Overall, the multiplayer experience is great - still not perfect, as the maps feel slightly lacklustre - but hopefully things will improve with the promised free DLC.

For anyone who loved the idea of leaping around multiplayer maps and calling in Titans, Titanfall 2 offers a much superior experience to the first. While not perfect - and the likes of Battlefield 1 somewhat overshadowing it - the additional single-player will keep many players happy, if only for a short amount of time. Fingers crossed for something a little meatier next time.

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