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Titanfall 2 REVIEW – Pilot, your Titan is ready

by Joey Davidson | November 1, 2016November 1, 2016 7:00 am PDT

Titanfall 2 released last week. You’re forgiven if you didn’t know that.

Someone at EA or Respawn elected to drop it in from orbit between Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty. Why not, right?

I’ve played Battlefield 1. It’s a solid game. Titanfall 2? As I look back on the campaign and forward towards the multiplayer, I think I like it more.

That’s a shame because EA seemed to cannibalize its lineup with this launch timing decision. I just hope Titanfall 2 manages to earn as much as it’s worth.

This is a fun game, friends. And it’s finally available to the PlayStation 4 crowd, too.

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Dropping in with the complete package.

Respawn’s decision to hit the PlayStation is only half of what was requested by fans with the passing of the first game. They also shipped Titanfall 2 with a complete single player experience.

Yes. A story mode. Offline. Played alone. With a concise narrative. Look, I won’t sit here and suggest that Titanfall 2 features Pulitzer Prize-level writing. It doesn’t. There are moments where story threads are lost to set pieces and characters show up for no good reason, but it works. It serves as a solid set of road markers on the way to the good stuff.

This game was obviously built like Call of Duty from a story standpoint. Respawn sat down and drafted out a few setpiece moments, and then they connected each with a storyline and some pacing. Here’s the thing: Titanfall 2‘s pacing is among the best I’ve experienced in the AAA FPS genre in years. Thank goodness.

I’ve talked about this before. If a game comes at players with the volume set to 10 throughout, pushing it to 11 goes unnoticed. Quality pacing comes when a game drops to calm levels for good stretches to elevate moments of intensity. Call of Duty has struggled with this. Medal of Honor struggled with this. Battlefield 4 struggled with this. Respawn nails it.

Heck, Respawn even managed to craft fun boss fights between Titans. I quite enjoyed those.

Hold on, quality first-person platforming?

You’ll work with BT, your Titan, to fight back against the IMC. But, there are plenty of moments when you’re out of your Titan. In fact, I’d wager (without counting) that time spent out of the Titan is the majority in Titanfall 2‘s campaign.

Don’t worry, Respawn made platforming and movement sections that feel really good.

You’ll spend around six hours in this campaign. It’s brief, but not in a particularly bad way. Over those six hours, you’ll face increasingly difficult wall-running and platforming segments that blend unique weapons, enemies and even time travel.

Yes. Time travel. I’ll leave that on the table without explaining any further.

I thought I’d hate being away from BT, the Titan. For chunks of the game, I wished I was with him. That wasn’t because of boredom with the mechanics. Instead, I actually wanted to continue being around BT because I liked him.

Respawn made a campaign where Titan gameplay was great and, for a lot of the story, where being a Pilot was fun, too.

Consider those stress test gameplay issues addressed.

I really disliked Titanfall 2‘s multiplayer during the stress test hosted by Respawn a month or so back. I felt they stripped Titanfall of what made it great, and I argued as much in a previous story.

Jump to today, and I actually like what I’ve played of the multiplayer. Admittedly, I haven’t spent as much as I want with it. I played last week, over the weekend, yesterday and a bit today.

I’ve had an issue with matches in the variety modes, simply because I tend to game in off-peak hours. Matchmaking takes a long time to search.

When I play in the evening hours or in a mode like Attrition or Hardpoint, games are quick, largely lag free and stable. I’m playing on PC.

A lot of the issues I had during the “beta” were resolved. Titans drop sooner, they feel much faster and more powerful, the maps provide plenty of cover and opportunities for traversal and camping is, largely, not a good idea.

I even welcome the return of AI. In Attrition especially, the AI enemies scale as the match wears on, and you actually have to concentrate fire on a few rather than treating them as target practice on your way to earning your Titan.

Unlocks seem paced well, though I’m not a fan of the credit system. I’m an old-timer, I guess. I miss the days when things were unlocked simply through leveling without drops of any kind. I get the appeal, but it’s not for me. I want my multiplayer experience less cluttered. Titanfall 2 is definitely one of the more minimized efforts in recent years, but there’s still a lot to navigate.

Titanfall 2 is exactly what I wanted from a sequel.

Respawn created a fun campaign, addressed complaints from the stress test and packaged a great experience in Titanfall 2. PlayStation gamers now have a shot at this thing.

I’ve played a lot of games this year. Titanfall 2 is a good one. I don’t know if it has a shot at scooping up awards or ripping through sales charts.

I do know this, though: I’m glad I played this game. I’m excited to keep rolling through its multiplayer. The passage of time since the original debuted has dulled the shine on its crazy movement mechanics, but Respawn proved Titanfall 2 is still a blast.

Fans and first-timers should pick it up.

Buy.

Disclaimer: We received a code to download and review Titanfall 2 for the PC from EA.


Joey Davidson

Joey Davidson leads the gaming department here on TechnoBuffalo. He's been covering games online for more than 10 years, and he's a lover of all...

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