First-person shooters, we’re all familiar with the genre. It started with the original DOOM and Wolfenstien, which paved the way for more exciting and dynamic shooters, then we had Halo and Call of Duty which redefined modern shooters till this day. But since those fantastic games, we haven’t had anything that has wowed us completely. That is until I played Titanfall 2.
Titanfall 2 is the sequel to Respawns Titanfall, which was released in 2014 . Titanfall received positive reviews from both critics and consumers alike, the only negative thing was the lack of single player campaign. I also played Titanfall, and I thoroughly enjoyed my time playing it. But after playing the same maps over and over again I decided to stop playing altogether. That is until Titanfall 2 was released, and I jumped straight into multiplayer, not even bothering to play the campaign (something I would regret) and stopped playing after a week of its release. That is until I picked it up for $8.00 in the Xbox holiday sale and decided to sit down and play it. I had heard nothing but good things from friends that had played it, but my expectations were still low. How could Respawn go from making a completely multiplayer game to a story driven single player first person shooter? But as I started playing through the first few missions of Titanfall 2, I released that it was nothing like the first Titanfall, it was even better.
(WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD)
Titanfall 2 has you playing as Jack Cooper, a rifleman in the Militia fighting against the IMC. In the first few minutes of the game you learn how to shoot a variety of different weapons, and learn how to wall run and move swiftly throughout the battlefield. The player is then given control of BT-7274, a Vanguard-Class Titan. And that’s when the real fun begins. You feel invulnerable while running around as a Pilot, darting from one wall to other while firing your rifle at IMC troops, then using active camouflage to dart behind them and take them out with a well placed grenade. But you feel unstoppable in a Titan, rampaging through the battlefield Titans can take an enormous amount of damage, but can also dish it back. BT has a variety of loadouts he can use, all with different weapons and abilities. Some of these being you can stop incoming projectiles and launch it back at enemies, or you can fire a big red laser of death out of your chest that disintegrates all enemies around you. But what makes piloting BT so much more satisfying is the fact that you can only control him in certain areas, but those areas are perfectly placed throughout the levels.
Titanfall 2’s level design is incredible. Here’s an example: You and BT make your way to a secret IMC facility in search of your superior Commander Anderson. But the place is abandoned and even looks like a horrible explosion has happened there. You then find Anderson, but oh no, he’s stuck half in the roof and dead. So you collect his helmet only to find out from BT that there is a rift in space and time in the facility. And it seems the other half of Anderson is the epicentre. So you make your way upstairs to find Andersons other half, all the while getting hallucinations of the facility before the accident. You then find Anderson’s body sticking out of the ground with a “Fold” device on it. Which is actually a time jump device, in which you can jump from your time back into the past. And that’s where gameply gets interesting, you have to traverse the facility on foot using the device to get around barriers and enemies in both the future and the past. But most importantly, the mission strengthens Jack’s relationship with BT through small conversations, but what makes these conversations more important is that you can choose how to reply to BT, the conversations mostly end the same way, but it strengthens not only Jack’s relationship with BT, but the players as well. You begin to trust him not only as a tool to use in difficult situations, but as a friend.
That is the main theme of Titanfall 2, the relationship between Pilot and Titan. In the final missions of the game Jack and BT work in perfect unison, you have jumped in and out of BT so many times that you trust him to cover you as you traverse levels on foot, then jump back inside BT to take out incoming enemy Titans. The way you pilot BT depends on whether or not you succeed in battle, do you want to purely pilot BT throughout the entire battle? Sure you can do that, do you want to take out enemy titans on foot while using BT as a distraction? You can also do that. The game play allows players to express how they want to play, and are not forced into fighting a particular way.
But let’s talk controls, how does Titanfall 2 feel when you play it? The first Titanfall’s controllers were smooth but clunky in some ways, in certain sections of the game (namely when wall running) you felt like your pilot had no real control when leaping from wall to wall. But Titanfall 2 corrects this, moving from sprinting and sliding to wall running is seamless, you have complete control over your pilot. You know when someone says that when fighting with a sword that the weapon becomes an extension of their arm? Well the same applies when playing a video game such as Titanfall 2, there is that much control when playing as a pilot that jumping from wall to wall seems natural, and same goes for firing weapons as well. You become so used to firing weapons on the run that standing still to long feels unnatural. But that’s why Titanfall 2’s controls are so great, they keep you on the move all the time.
You’re probably asking yourself why play Titanfall 2 in 2019? Surely we have better first person shooters like Wolfenstien: The New Colossus or Destiny 2 to play? Well yes you can definitely go play them, but if you want an experience that has challenging level design and amazing controls, not to mention a fantastic narrative that keeps you on your toes, then I would definitely recommend Titanfall 2, because as much as it pains me to say it, I don’t think we’re going to see something like it again in a long time.
Hey everyone! I’ve started doing something a little different with my reviews, I’ve started making video reviews as well! So if you want more of a visual experience then check out my YouTube channel with the link bellow! Thanks for reading!