‘Titanfall 2’ Review: No Longer On Standby

titanfall_2_box_artIt’s not often the sequel to a hit multiplayer game gets a beefier campaign as an added on development plea but developer Respawn Entertainment leads the charge when it comes to evolving the First Person Shooter genre. Last seen two years prior in their first game with a fun barebones concept of jetpacks + wall-running working mostly in multiplayer mode, it finds its strategy aped by the majors Call of Duty, Destiny (review coming soon) and Halo. It’s a simple addition perfectly implemented and further refined here. There’s no getting stuck on walls or wondering if you can run between them. That last stand in multiplayer though? As you rush under enemy fire to save face by climbing aboard your getaway ship after losing a match? That’s still there. And yet after two years nothing else seems to come close to matching its formula. Along comes this sequel smashed up against even tighter competition (Battlefield 1 & Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare) and additional mechanics tacked on, and all this accomplished on Valve’s decade plus Half Life 2/ Portal source engine? The Titanfall development team are the only pros to still utilize this decade plus old faithful technology in years and yet they still accomplish wonders, the game runs smoothly with tight physics and it all feels more interactive compared to the pretty but museum style Frostbite engine of EA’s Battlefield stablemate.

This game also has the best sound of any game I’ve played in years. I realized this as I played entirely through my PlayStation Gold Wireless Headset, which pinches my ears after long hours of play but worth it to hear the fine tuned crack of futuristic and laser gunfire, or the whoosh of momentum as you run at top speed across the level. Similar to Dishonored I played through this less demanding game in two sittings and I wonder if this hot streak will continue with Infinite Warfare or Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. Will Vince Zampella’s former developers be able to come back and meet them in terms of a quality campaign? It’ll be interesting to say the least. The game runs fast and smooth and is a hell of a ride with landscape-1459859288-imageits perfectly paced campaign. It does for supersuit FPS sequels what Crysis 3 did only lighter, with less tedium and more fun. The greatness of the multiplayer I feel is slightly hampered by the rope launcher which doesn’t have a place in the campaign and feels like a gimmick, and the selection of Titans and classes right off the bat is daunting but kudos to the developer for adding so many new things as it works in favour of the game adding even more variety and quantity. I’m sure if I spent even more time on the multiplayer many of these feelings would be assuaged.

Companion and sidekick B2-7274 demonstrates along with E3N from Infinite Warfare how easy it is to give a robot a personality simply based on the novelty of animating them like a human being. There’s a snappy back and forth banter between the two protagonists (you play as generic hero #7274 Jack Cooper) that measures the pacing in slower parts and gives proper levity to a story of stopping a time level singularity event from getting into the wrong hands. The only problem which I suspect will be quelled in the future is you do not know who the enemy you’re fighting the IMC really is. They are other humans who I hesitated to tell apart from my own team members. Maybe a sequel will take care of that as the first game’s ‘campaign’ addressed both sides.

The game would’ve ranked higher for me had this wicked Time Manipulation mechanic present in one level  midway through actually stayed with you or come to fruition with the final level again similar to Dishonored 2 but that’s reserved for A grade material and with what the team at Respawn accomplished there’s plenty to be happy about. I’d say it’s at least worth $40 on sale.


–Reviewed on Xbox One– fOLLOw FilmGamer play on Twitch here: https://www.twitch.tv/wlhume 

Rating: B/ +1

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