It’s become common place for sequels to popular games to just follow in their predecessor’s footsteps. Why try something new that might deter old players? This isn’t a horrible ideology, as many games like this do turn out good. But it can make gaming a bit boring at times. The team over at Respawn seemed to have noticed this. They’ve taken what was a successful game and turned it into something truly special. Titanfall 2 is how you make a sequel.
Titanfall 2 is a visually impressive game; while it might not be able as stunning as Battlefield 1 or Uncharted 4, it’s held up by solid graphics and a great art style. The game also runs at a smooth 60 FPS on Xbox One, which is desperately needed for the game to keep up with the insane battles.
Titanfall 2 sports an art style that feels realistic while still having a scifi aesthetic; if humanity were gain Titanfall‘s tech right now, it’d probably look exactly like how it’s presented in the game. This leads to the game having a ton of great designs; everything in Titanfall 2 just looks cool. The pilots, the Titans, the enemies and the weapons are all wonderfully designed. I feel these designs may one day become very iconic.
The environments you’ll fight in are beautiful, while being unique from each other. You’ll traverse lush jungles, war torn cities, science facilities (both active and abandoned), among many others; each level and map feel graphically different from each other. This really helps the game avoid monotony; a common issue with most modern shooters is that levels/maps generally have the same feeling, leading to them just being mashed together in one’s mind. Titanfall 2 avoids this with how each level and map looks; you can easily remember where a specific moment happened because of its environment. Trust me there a ton of great moments from Titanfall 2 that you’ll want to remember.
Titanfall 2‘s immersion is boosted by its sound design. The sound in Titanfall 2 is nothing short of phenomenal; its clear that Respawn put in the effort to make their sounds impressive.
Pilot weapons have a powerful oomph to them; there’s no pea shooters here, as the guns sound like the real life versions of their respective counterparts. Pistols let out rapid sounding bursts, LMGs sound like the meaty weapons they are and sniper rifle shots can be heard across the map. The normal weapons would be more than enough for more games, but they’re backed up by the more science fiction-y sounds of the equipment and Titans.
Every time a Titan stomps around the battlefield, you can feel the weight and all of the metal composing the mechanical beast through sound alone. You can feel how powerful the Titans’ weapons are just by their sounds. It really helps create a stark difference between the “fleshy” little Pilots and the rugged Titans.
Another major problem with most modern shooters is their forgettable soundtracks; it seems as if the direction for most of these games’ scores is “Just do background music that sounds vaguely” epic. It’s disappointing as some of gaming’s best soundtracks have come from shooters such as Halo or Modern Warfare 2. Yet again, it seems like this is something Respawn realizes as Titanfall 2 is backed up by a beautiful score.
Composed by Stephen Barton (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare), the score of Titanfall 2 really helps bring out the emotion in several of the campaign’s scenes. The score is intense, it’s dutiful, it’s heroic and yes, it’s even sad. The score also really utilizes the game’s theme in a great way; this is some that even today’s blockbusters should take notes from. However, there is a downside in that the score can often be tuned out by the intense fights you’ll find yourself in; it is a bit sad that this is the case, but you can always change the sound settings yourself.
Titanfall 2‘s story maybe the most impressive aspect of the game. The original Titanfall did not have a single player campaign; it had a half-assed “story mode” that took place during multiplayer matches in an optional game mode. It was really disheartening as it seemed like the Titanfall universe was ripe for great story telling. Yet again, it looks like Respawn realized this as Titanfall 2‘s campaign is the best FPS campaign since Modern Warfare 2.
The story follows a soldier named Cooper as he gets thrust into the role of an elite Titan Pilot. Cooper must stop the villainous IMC from gaining control over powerful technology; Cooper is accompanied by the Titan (BT) of his former mentor. The relationship between is Cooper and BT is the heart of Titanfall 2‘s story; the friendship between the Pilot and his Titan is wonderfully written, you really feel the bond that develops between these two.
One of my favorite aspects of the game was the many boss battles. Boss battles seem to be a dying video game trope, less and less games have what was once a staple of the media; but Titanfall 2, yet again, taps an untouched source of fun. Each boss battle in Titanfall 2 is against an enemy Titan and each boss Titan is drastically different from each other. You’ll have to stay on your toes and figure out the best loadouts to defeat these guys. The boss battles offer a wonderful break from the constant carnage of the normal enemies.
The campaign is filled with tons of memorable moments; just about every level has an awe-inspiring battle or set-piece to keep you hooked. You just want to find out how they keep topping their selves and they somehow manage to do it on every level. I don’t want to mention any specifics because they are better left unspoiled; I haven’t played a shooter campaign this chock full of memorable moments in a long time.
Titanfall 2 takes the gameplay of the original game and improves on it in almost every aspect. The game is faster, the gunplay feels smoother and the platforming is near perfect, once you master the controls. The original Titanfall was already an amazing gameplay experience, so it is borderline insane that the development team found ways to improve it. The new weapons and abilities, offer new gameplay options that just weren’t there in the original game. The grappling hook, in particular, opens up a bevy of opportunities.
Underneath the base gameplay, there’s a more in-depth style of gameplay that the community has discovered. Gamers have been discovering tricks and techniques that expand Titanfall 2‘s potential and really hearkens back to old school shooters like Quake and Halo 2. It’s really nice to have extra depth to a major shooter again. It’s add an additional level of fun to the game for those who want to learn these tricks; especially after years of shooters where the basics is all there is to it and anything discovered getting patched out.
The map and level design are yet again near-perfect; as mentioned before each level/map has a unique feel to it graphically, but it applies to the layout of each level too. Each area has its own personality, its own story to tell, they all feel different from eachother. This generally leads to better gameplay experiences, as something that happens on one map wouldn’t happen on another. Meanwhile, each campaign level has just as many memorable moments through its level design as it does the story telling.
Outside of the gameplay and map design, the gameplay will keep you hooked through its many unlockables. A common complaint of the original game was that there wasn’t enough to unlock, it left many gamers without goals to reach within it. Titanfall 2 addresses this problem by having a larger selection of unlockable weapons, as well as cosmetic unlocks. This can be problematic in some games, but Titanfall 2 handles it perfectly. No complaints here.
Titanfall 2 is easily one of the most well-rounded gaming packages in years. It packs an incredible campaign with a multitude of memorable moments; I haven’t played a FPS campaign that I’ve adored this much in a while. Titanfall 2‘s multiplayer is one of deepest shooters in years, only rivaled by the likes of CS:GO and Overwatch; the depth underneath the game’s gameplay ensures that the game will have a dedicated player base for years to come. It’s clear that Respawn put a lot of love into this game, this is their passion project and it clearly shows. Titanfall 2 is a must-buy for any FPS fan.