Titanfall was an anomaly among my group of friends, all gamers who love story driven games and would step away from games that were Multiplayer only, but Titanfall was a game that they would frequently dive into. Being the only one in the group with a PS4 instead of a Xbox One, I missed out on the game, having to settle with whatever iteration of Call of Duty came out instead, poking fun at the fact that at least mine had a story to it, whether or not it was any good was another story.
With the success of the original, Respawn has come back for Titanfall 2, this time bringing it to PS4. For the first time I got to experience the joy of hearing “Prepare for Titanfall” blast through my TV speakers and see my 10-ton Walking Destruction in the form of an awesome Mech rain from the sky to take out pesky/agile pilots.
Titanfall 2 tries its best to explain what is happening in the world around you without making it too confusing, in the best way I could describe it, it follows a similar story to Firefly/Serenity. You have the IMC and The Militia fighting for control over The Frontier, a vast system of planets that have become home to many people. With the IMC looking to extend its reach for resources as well for profit, has attempted to take over many of the colonies by force, which has caused the Militia to fight back.
In Titanfall 2, we see the Militia on the Offensive. As Rifleman Jack Cooper, who is still going through Pilot Certification, we are thrown into a losing battle thanks to a run in with a IMC Paid Mercenary group called the Apex Predators. During the battle, Jack’s piloting mentor dies but not before transferring command of BT-7274, a Vanguard Titan. Jack and BT are behind enemy lines and must work together to uphold the mission and return to base while taking on members of the Apex Predators who stand in the way.
As of the first actual campaign for Titanfall, it does a lot of things right. It never weighs you down with an overly complicated story, and provides enough time between Titan and Pilot mode to keep things fresh and interesting. The bond between Jack and BT are evident and are probably the best part of the story, as BT focuses on his objective while adapting to Jack’s speech and metaphors, almost similar to Draks and Star-Lord in Guardian of the Galaxy or The Terminator and John Connor in Terminator 2.
Titanfall has two main focuses for playing the game, Speed and Power. The Speed aspect comes from the Pilot, while lacking the ability to take a hit, Pilots can manoeuver around the level easily. They do this by using slides, wallruns, double jumps and the new Grapple-hooks. Pilots carry the more unique weapons from hip-fire friendly SMGs, to one-hit sniper-rifles, and of course Anti-Titan weapons such as Magnetized Grenade Launchers, Charged Lasers or Energy blasters.
When the Titans come in play the game moves to Power. With slower movement, but more firepower and health, Titans become an imposing force to come up against. There are several different Titans to choose from in Titanfall 2, from the sword wielding Ronin, to the rapid fire Legion, each Titan feels different in terms of movement and the damage they can take and dish out. In the Campaign, players are able to choose which loadout best suits their needs, however in multiplayer players are confined to one titan type.
There are several modes for Multiplayer available in Titanfall 2 allowing for different party sizes and different rules. Modes like Bounty Hunt will have players attempting to earn money by attacking AI controlled Grunts who fall periodically on the map, the team with the most money banked wins the round, other modes like Attrition uses the AI as an actual kill count in a race to 500. More traditional battles such as Titan vs Titan, Pilot vs Pilot, Free-For-All and others are also available to round out the experience.
The game also gives a different take on Levelling up your character and weapons. Based on a Point system called Merits, players receive Merits for completing goals such as an amount of kills with specific weapons or Titans, as well as completing and winning matches for their chosen faction. Upon levelling up or completing the goals, players unlock new gear or perks, ranging from Player Cards to attachments and upgrades to their weapons giving players plenty of reason to keep coming back into multiplayer.
A really cool feature that feels somewhat underused is the Networks, it works in a similar fashion to the Clan Tag, highlighting working with other players under the same group, however it goes a step further by adding an actual chat room just for Clan Members to join in and play together. Networks are separated by Social and Competitive groups, and players can create and join new Networks easily. A bonus to the Networks is the Happy Hour, which gives you double the Merits, allowing you to level up faster. (PS4 players can join the GameItAll Network at any time by searching GameItAll or GIAC)
Titanfall 2 is fast pace, exciting and a blast to play. It will be hard to find something more fluid in gameplay while delivering an awesome story and kickass multiplayer that will keep you playing for days. With Respawn also promising that all future DLC will be free there are definite benefits to picking up this shooter which is guaranteed a contender for Game of the Year.