I am going to start this review by speaking about the mechanics of the game, while Titan Fall 2 has a solid campaign; it is rather short and not where I would expect most peoples time to be spent. Online Multiplayer is the meat of the game and where most people will be spending their time in Titanfall 2.
The gameplay is excellent, you move smoothly and are able to transition from wall running to sliding along the ground while turning your opponent into a pin cushion.
Each Titan feels unique and requires a different approach to how your opponent’s Titan will be transformed into scrap metal.
If you have played any First Person Shooter on the PC then you will quickly grasp the controls of Titanfall 2. As a frame of reference, I will be using Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), Call of Duty can be used as well but the last Call of Duty game I have played extensively was Modern Warfare 2. I suggest playing the Campaign before jumping into the multiplayer; the tutorial does a nice job of explaining the basics of wall running, sliding, and combat, but assuming your familiar with FPS games then you don’t need to have the basics of combat explained to you.
Wall running could be argued to be the second largest selling point of Titanfall 2, the first being the Titans themselves. This ability helps to even a duel between a lone Pilot and a Titan, allowing the Pilot to out maneuver the Titan. The result of having this ability is you looking at the terrain in a different manner. A building is no longer just a static object that you may be able to run though to the top for a good sniping location, or place to ambush an unsuspecting opponent, they become a method for you to maneuver.
Wall running does have it’s flaws, Walls can feel slightly sticky when you are trying to maneuver around, but this is a minor issue. What is a slightly larger issue is attempting to snipe when you are attempting to fire into a maneuvering battle. The more 3D nature of Titanfall 2’s combat means that it is much more difficult to hit an opponent. CS:GO, for example, is much more of a 2D battlefield, it is much easier predict where players may come from. Not to mention that a player can only jump to about wait height while in Titanfall 2 a player can jump 2-3 times there height. As a result of all of this, Titanfall 2 requires you to keep much more of an eye on the overall terrain.
Wall running lends itself nicely to when you are fighting Titans as a lonely Pilot, you can easily outmaneuver a Titan by jumping in and out of buildings and between walls. You will also have an anti-Titan weapon as your secondary firearm. Only problem that I have with them is that your primary weapon has unlimited ammo but your secondary weapon does not. I have had several situations where I am a pilot fighting a Titan (or several Titans) and I run out of ammo for my secondary weapon, this does not seem like it would be something that would severely affect game balance if it was changed over to unlimited. The issue of having to reload often would remain, keeping you from overusing them.
While you do have the option to use the sights of your weapon, when combat starts to get crazy I find myself firing from the hip to keep my ability to run and gun, but with the sacrifice of accuracy. This ability to run and fire at the same time does require a certain weapon level, but I have used it on every weapon I use with the exception of the sniper rifles.
The main selling point of the game is the Titans, Each one feels unique, but that would be expected for the six Titans. They basically are walking tanks, that is why the players need the ability to wall run and jump around all over the place to help to level the playing field. The Northstar has a Railgun that can be charged to do more damage, Scorch can cover the ground with Thermite denying movement to the enemy, Legion has a Gatling gun that can switch between short or long range. The differences go much deeper then that, from the simple, how much health each Titan has, to the more complex, the ways you can modify a Titan to help complement the way you fight with it. Where the differences between each Titan starts to really show is how you approach battling each of the other Titans. For example when battling a Scorch as a Northstar you would want to keep the battle at a distance, or trying to use your hover to prevent you from having to run through Thermite covered ground.
One thing enjoyable about the end of a battle is when you loose, there will be an epilogue fight. This entails that everyone is no longer able to respawn, and that if you are on the losing side you have to get to the escape shuttle. The winning side either has to destroy the Evac shuttle or kill all members of the opposing team. This adds a nice end to the battle, as it does not abruptly end and can be a nice way to grasp a victory for yourself from defeat, or rub some salt in in fresh wounds of defeat.
However, one fault of the format of the battles is it is very difficult, if not borderline impossible if you are starting to loose badly to recover and win. This is not a fault of Titanfall 2 so much at the First Person Shooter Genre in general.
One thing that is a fault of Titanfall 2’s game modes is the Titans abilities in Titan Brawl. In this game mode you are stuck in your Titan, you start there and you will die there. This means that abilities like Assault Clip, Stealth Auto-Eject, and Nuclear Ejection are completely useless. This is rather infuriating and you cannot have a custom set up specifically for Titan Brawl, you do have the ability to edit your kit in the middle of the battle but this should have been something that had been addressed in the beta stage of the game if not alpha.
Also one other note for Titan Brawl, the ability for the Monarch to steal batteries when performing an execution seems rather cheap, especially on maps that tend to force close quarters combat.
Now, I will discuss the campaign, it is short. If you are buying Titanfall 2 for the campaign then you may want to consider that the campaign is about 4 hours long and does not have much replay value to it. That being said; the campaign is fun, it does a good job of balancing the brief moments of quiet, with the action packed sections. When it is quiet all you can hear is your foot steps and occasionally the distant sound of battle. Contrast that with the action packed sections, running, sliding, and climbing all over the place to get an edge on your enemies. You will need to do all of these if you are going to try to beat the game on Master, if you stand out in the open for even a few seconds the IMC forces will eviscerate you.
If you are going to buy the game for only the single player content then, along with remembering the 4 Hour campaign you should also NOT pick up the deluxe edition, you will be wasting your money on multiplayer only content that you will not be using.
The story of Titanfall 2 revolves around the Interstellar Manufacturing Corporation, IMC for short, if you are like myself and not familiar with the lore behind it then I will not go into it. The story is rather simple and a but cliche when you boil it down to it’s basics, Big evil Corporation wants the resources of various planets. and is destroying them in the process. It makes for a story that is not ground breaking, but it does a good job of being the glue that gives you a reason to be on the planet Typhon.
I am going to slightly spoil one aspect of the campaign in this paragraph so if you do not want may part of this mission spoiled for you skip this paragraph. I will not go into details of the mission but you will be time travelling between the present and the past. This aspect is done surprisingly well considering how difficult it can be to time travel in a game. But usually when you are moving between the past and present you are dealing with two sets of enemies with nothing you do in the past affecting them, short of activating the occasional security system. This is something that has potential, for example having machine pieces on the floor after you destroy one or two in the past. It is fun listening to the enemy solders yell to one another how you, “… Must have some new cloaking device.” as the game follows the philosophy that you only travel in time you do not travel in location.
The banter between Rifleman Jack Cooper (The Player) and BT-7274 (BT for short) helps to form a strong bond and help you understand Jack better. I also got a chuckle out of some of the things that were stated by BT, as it is a Machine and does not comprehend human emotion.
I’ll take the time to summarize my thoughts. Titanfall 2 is worth your money and time, but I would suggest waiting till it is on sale. The campaign is short, and not really worth the price if you are paying more than about 5$. The deluxe edition only has items that are usable in multiplayer. Wall running is fun, gun play is familiar, and the Titans are a blast to use once you are able to call one in. Multiplayer will satisfy your FPS cravings and them some resulting in many hours spent on perfecting wall running and sliding. But once the game’s multiplayer population dies out, much of the praise I have for it will be nullified.