In 2014, EA released Titanfall, a multiplayer first-person shooter game developed by Respawn Entertainment and some of the co-creators of the popular Call of Duty franchise. Titanfall received acclaim for its robust and enjoyable multiplayer but received criticism for its lack of a real single-player campaign mode.
With Titanfall 2, EA and Respawn Entertainment look to build on their success by complementing the already popular multiplayer experience with a full-fledged single-player campaign. This Titanfall 2 review will provide a detailed look at the ins and outs of the game. We’ll try to determine how well the developers delivered on creating that desired campaign mode.
|Type of game:||First-person shooter|
|Multiplayer/Co-Op:||Multiplayer, and single-player|
|Total Play Time:||6-8 hours for the main story|
|System Requirements:||CPU: Intel Core i3-3600t or equivalent
GPU: NVIDIA Geforce GTX 660 2GB, AMD Radeon HD 7850 2GB
RAM: 8 GB RAM
OS: Windows 7 or higher
HDD Space: 45 GB
The World of Titanfall 2
In this first part of our Titanfall 2 review, we’ll take a board look at the Titanfall 2 universe. Titanfall 2 presents a familiar but well-conceived premise for its single-player campaign mode. Any veteran of the sci-fi first-person shooter genre will feel right at home with the controls and game mechanics, such as the now-standard two weapon system, requisite double-jump ability, and auto-regenerating shield that requires you to find cover to heal.
By addressing the most glaring flaw of its predecessor, Respawn Entertainment and EA have earned the passing grades that most major publications have assigned Titanfall 2 in reviews. IGN’s Titanfall 2 review was consistently positive, lauding its efforts in addressing complaints of the first game. IGN ended up nominating the game for 2016 Game of the Year, Gamespot’s Titanfall 2 review was a 9/10. Titanfall 2 reviews across the internet are largely in agreement, as Metacritic currently has the game scored at 89% overall.
These are high marks, but they are reflective of the polish and attention to detail that pervades each aspect of the game. The environments and background music create a mysterious atmosphere that fits well with the storyline, and the main characters are well voice-acted and likable. Titanfall 2 also boasts a whole bunch of extra content in the form of free DLC expansion packs, with more content still to come.
We’ll now examine each of these aspects in a little more detail, breaking down the pros and cons in each category.
Atmosphere & Location
The atmosphere created by the environments and background music set the stage for a tense and action-packed adventure. In typical sci-fi FPS fashion, Titanfall 2 will have you traversing futuristic exoplanets colonized by future humanity’s ever-expanding intergalactic reach.
However, the planets themselves aren’t overly exciting. Aside from the somewhat uninspired (and murderously aggressive) alien animal life, which mostly consists of mish-mashed elements of Earth animals (“what if we put leathery wings on this lion?”), there’s not much on these planets that you couldn’t find on good old Planet Earth.
Throughout the campaign, you’ll often be navigating through massive super facilities owned by the evil corporation of the world(s), known as the IMC. While it feels like a missed opportunity to travel all the way to the edges of the galaxy, only to spend time indoors, the air-tight level design and surprisingly enjoyable platforming sequences more than outweigh this complaint.
Platforming is usually an unnecessary evil in first-person shooters, but the wall-running mechanic in Titanfall 2 makes for enjoyable challenges in between battle sequences. Though there’s a little bit of a learning curve to it, the wall-running soon becomes second nature and adds a strong layer of depth to the gameplay.
Meanwhile, the music and sound effects won’t be winning any awards, but they are perfectly suitable for the game and don’t take anything away from it. It’s not a standout orchestral score, but it appropriately ramps up tension and anticipation to help pace the campaign.
Players assume the role of everyman grunt Jack Cooper, a low-level rifleman who has just begun training to become a pilot aboard a Frontier Militia spaceship. During an introductory training exercise, the evil IMC attacks the Frontier Militia ship, sending it crashing to the planet surface below and mortally wounding Cooper’s captain.
Left with no other choice, Cooper inherits his former mentor’s role as the pilot of the Vanguard Titan BT-7274. The Vanguard is a giant mechanical exoskeleton with an AI personality. BT-7274 is as much an individual character as it is an extension of Cooper. Cooper establishes a neural link with the machine to enable seamless control of its abilities while embarked within it.
Cooper and “BT” engage in generic yet occasionally humorous dialogue that relies on the typical human-vs-AI tropes throughout the campaign. For example, BT is overly literal, failing to understand the irony or metaphors that Cooper uses. While their relationship is not particularly inventive, their bond grows stronger over time, and they develop a relatively rewarding friendship.
The main antagonists of the game are a group of mercenaries that are working for the IMC. The first mercenary that Cooper encounters is a man named Kane. After defeating Kane, Cooper and BT obtain the means to intercept the mercenaries’ radio transmissions. This even shapes the storyline for the rest of the game.
The mercenaries each have unique and insane personalities, and as you progress throughout the campaign, you learn more about their motivations from their frequent back-and-forth communications. Overall, the writers have done a good job fleshing out a handful of individual characters on both sides of the battle that add depth to the story.
After the surprise attack during the early in-game training sequence, Cooper’s personal mission is simply to survive. His best bet for survival is to team up with BT, so that’s what he does. Along with the neural link to BT, however, Cooper also inherits his former mentor’s mission, Special Operation 217.
Cooper sets off to rendezvous with Major Anderson of the Frontier Militia. However, he runs into interference along the way in the form of the aforementioned team of mercenaries. After dispatching Kane in an early battle, Cooper steals a communication device. From then on, he can listen in on conversations between the mercenaries.
Cooper battles the mercenaries one by one along the way. Eventually, he reaches a destroyed IMC laboratory filled with time-travel affected corpses. This is where the story kicks into sci-fi overdrive. Cooper discovers the true nature of the IMC’s presence on this planet: They are researching a superweapon called the Fold Weapon, which can warp time and destroy planets.
Naturally, the IMC wants to use this weapon to destroy the planet Harmon. Planet Harmon houses the Frontier Militia’s primary headquarters as well as a large population of peaceful civilians. After learning of this objectively evil plot, Cooper and BT have no choice but to do everything they can to prevent the IMC from succeeding.
DLC & Expansion Packs
EA and Respawn Entertainment boast a variety of upcoming additional content for Titanfall 2. Starting in April, Titanfall 2 players will receive several rollouts of free multiplayer maps, a new Titan model, as well as some other surprises that will drop periodically throughout the summer.
Other extras will be available for purchase. These include the prime versions of the Ronin and Tone Titans, as well as other upgrades. Developer Respawn Entertainment says these updates are still being developed and improved upon. However, they say they should be ready for release alongside the paid DLC and new map packs.
Overall, we were pleasantly surprised at how well executed the debut campaign mode for the Titanfall franchise ended up being. The storyline is fun and entertaining, but it’s also unobtrusive and doesn’t take itself too seriously. The gameplay and controls are tight, making for occasionally challenging yet accessible levels due to the consistently excellent level design. Though a dangerous area to integrate into an FPS, even the platforming is well done and unique.
What’s your take on Titanfall 2? Did we leave anything out from our Titanfall 2 review?