TITANFALL 2 [Review]: Electric Boogaloo.
It’s finally here. The sequel to the much anticipated–and then rather upsetting–Xbox One exclusive, Titanfall, has finally landed. So many questions to be answered. Is the campaign any good? How does the multiplayer compare to the original? Is it worth the price of admission? This “Saint” has the answer to these questions below. Soldier, prepare for Titanfall!
While the visuals won’t blow away EA’s other heavyhitter, Battlefield 1, it does have an impressive visual experience. The character animation is mostly good where as the human facial look and textures are a bit on the mediocre side; definitely not the strong point of the game. Sometimes layers of clothing or armor clips through upper layers, but not often enough or large enough parts to annoy me or really subtract any points from the game. It isn’t always noticable and doesn’t detract from the game or story.
Running through the scenes, across walls, blowing up other titans, punching enemy soldiers with your titan’s fist… so many great visual moments that really shine in this game. It may not have the best game engine visually, but it does really well to keep your eyes entertained anyways. I especially liked the use of DOF, or Depth of Field, throughout the campaign, and when aiming down the sites or with a scoped rifle. The effect is done really well and smoothly transitions between whats in focus and what is not–even when moving around and changing your view point. And in multiplayer, where generally a game will slightly lower the graphical levels or complexity of the scenery to provide a smoother gameplay experience, the game still looks great.
This is another tough area to take top score in. Again, EA’s BF1 does an amazing job at this, and Titanfall 2 just can’t beat it. But while it doesn’t meet or beat the other GOTY contender in this category, it still doesn’t disappoint. The music comes in at the right moments and keeps you engaged in the story, and the audio effects fill your ears with the ambience of the scene and the heat of the battle. The voice acting and dialogue is pretty good and carries the story as well.
If you played the tech test, the feel is very much the same. Its hard for me to compare against the original (as I haven’t played that in a while), but of what I remember it’s perhaps a slight bit slower movement wise. It does feel quick until I’m being chased, though, or after I’ve been running around in my titan. I mean.. who hasn’t had a dream of being chased and felt like you’re moving slower than normal? And titans move pretty quick, so of course being on foot will feel slower. Running, double jumps, wall running, clambering, sliding, etc. are still as great as I remember. And the new option to grapple and sling up to locations or onto titans only adds to the gameplay, providing new ways to get around the area and take down your enemies.
Many also remember the weapon options, titan choices, and configurations available in the tech test. While the limitations of the test may have made it seem shallow and boring for some, the final build and options give new methods of attack and defense on the battlefield. While the 3 new titans are, style-wise, copies of the 3 from the tech test (i.e. tank, medium, and light), the weapon and support options they provide differ and offer new playstyles in the process. Respawn did well here, though I’m hoping they continue this trend and add more with free DLC.
OK, finally we get to enjoy a story for this series. Don’t worry, I won’t give any spoilers. It’s better to experience on your own. While I went into it with my own expectation of what it would/should be about, the actual story is not was I was expecting. At first I was hesitant, but still ready to give it a fair chance (expecting it would still be OK). I played through to the first boss type character and felt a bit let down at the comedic and cartoonish character of which I had to battle (an easy kill, too). I pushed on though and was immediately given a pleasant surprise as the story proceeded to build up and take itself more seriously. Not BF1 serious, but similar to Halo.
In fact, during the campaign — mostly the beginning as a sort of revelation — I felt a sort of familiarity, as it feels a bit like playing a Halo campaign. While some will disagree, if you give an open mind during play you’ll understand what I mean. The single player campaign has that not too serious and not too whimsical feeling in a space epic. I completed the campaign just recently and now I’m anxious to continue the story in Titanfall 3.
The maps feel open like before in the original, but the paths and areas have better routes and structures. They just feel more convincing and give better layouts for the game modes. Also, Attrition was brought back! Many feared it was gone since the tech test didn’t have it, but Respawn listened and made sure it was in the final build. Alongside that are Pilot vs Pilot, Last Titan Standing, Amped Hardpoint, Capture the Flag, Free for All, Bounty Hunt, and Mixtape (which is a mixed playlist).
If adding more modes and weapon choices wasn’t enough, they also gave us the ability to customize out pilot, guns, titans, and titan guns. There are 5 pages of skin options and titans even have a “nose” skin option. The downside of these is that they are 1.) unlockable based on your rank, 2.) not really exciting pattern wise. Most of the skins are a color variation on 4-5 different patterns. It’s still a step in the right direction, and hopefully they take it further with deeper customization in Titanfall 3. For now, I’m just glad that we can do customization in general.
Titanfall 1 definitely left us wanting with zero campaign, a thin background story that doesn’t really hold your attention, and a multiplayer that got stale after a few weeks. I’m happy to say that Titanfall 2 definitely gives us what we were looking for in the original. And while some will hold off thinking its too late, give it a chance. Whether you rent it at Redbox, wait for a $40 or $30 sale, or spend the full $60 today, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at this new release in the series.
This “Saint” is happy with his $250 purchase (uh-huh.. Two-Fifty). I bought the fancy Vanguard Edition with the helmet, and let me say that the helmet does not disappoint in the slightest. If you are also a fan of game collectibles and/or helmets, grab this one if you can find it. I have mine sitting right beside my Titanfall 1 collector’s edition statue and it looks great!
That said, I think I’ll get back to taking down more enemy titans in Amped Hardpoint. EA/Respawn’s Titanfall 2 available everywhere good video games are sold.