Titanfall 2 Impressions – Frantic Fun on the Frontier

I am legit worried about Titanfall 2.

Since launching a couple weeks back, stories have already begun to circulate about the disappointing sales numbers and investors jumping the gun by assuming the game will have substantially disappointing sales numbers. Granted, the first game released in the spring time where competition was quite low and also on a Tuesday which gave it a few extra days to accumulate sales. Titanfall 2 released on a Friday and inside of one of the most release heavy months in the year. It’s certainly not an apples to apples situation or something that speaks to the games overall quality.

Titanfall 2 ronin

It appears to be getting overlooked in this crowded holiday season. Titanfall 2 is a very fun experience that improves upon the already solid foundation by adding a better than anticipated single player campaign and a ton of new multiplayer content. I’d hate to see the game get lost in the shuffle because in my opinion, it’s absolutely worth your time.

Here’s why.

Obviously a major hindrance is the fact that the game launched right between two behemoths in Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. Even with a popular and successful brand name like Titanfall, it may not be enough to topple or keep up with those legendary IPs.

Here’s hoping it can however because it’s clear that Respawn not only listened to feedback from the first game, but pulled out the stops to make it a better experience as a whole.

One of the biggest knocks on the first Titanfall was the limited variety of content and that the game did not have a traditional story driven campaign mode either. Instead, the game was entirely centered around PvP so naturally after a period of time, a feeling of fatigue set in for many players. Titanfall 2 manages to fix a good majority of that simply by simply offering more.

titanfall 2 jumper

Multiplayer remains the frantic and fun chaos that you may remember from the first game. However, it now has more gameplay modes, way more customization options for almost everything and has a wide range of pilot and titan abilities to pick from.

As expected, the controls feel buttery smooth and it feels natural and easy to control the often acrobatic moves of the pilots. Wall running, double jumping, vaulting, and sliding are all critical tools for getting around the map and increasing movement speed.

Pilots now have a ton of weapons to pick from, though from what I’ve found, it seems assault rifles and sub machine guns rule the day. Each has specific attachments and camo skins to unlock, just like pretty much everything else here. Pilots have a wealth of abilities to pick from as well and the grapple hook is probably the most high profile addition considering how it was shown off in the debut trailer.

The titans themselves now have more personality, as each fits a specific role with unique abilities to help them stand apart. While players won’t be able to fully customize them anymore (Tone will always be Tone and Scorch will always have his Thermite Launcher), players can still change a lot of things from various camos, nose art, Titan abilities, and more. Plus, with way more Titans to pick from, there’s one for each sort of situation you may find yourself in. For the record, I’m having a ton of fun with the quick moving assassin Titan Ronin, and the rocket powered explosives expert Tone. Honestly though, I’ve tried them all, and they’re all pretty fun to use in their own way.

titanfall 2 cooper and BT

The most surprising part of Titanfall 2 however is actually the campaign. I’ll be honest, I was looking forward to seeing what the team could do, mainly because these are the senior developers formerly of Infinity Ward that gave us some of the most memorable Call of Duty missions in the entire franchise. Remember ‘All Ghillied Up’ from Modern Warfare? Yup, that’s these guys.

You play as frontier rifleman Jack Cooper, who has aims to be a pilot someday. His dream is realized much sooner than expected and under dire circumstances when his pilot friend and mentor, Tai Lastimosa, dies at the beginning of the first mission. Before passing on, Lastimosa reconfigured control of his Vanguard Titan, BT-7274 to Cooper, officially making him a pilot. Stuck behind enemy lines, it’s up to BT and Cooper to find a way back to the Militia Corps and stop a weapon which could have dire consequences for everyone.

I have to admit, it’s immediately refreshing to see a different side to this Titanfall world. The first game had so much potential, but ultimately, I really wanted the game to do some more storytelling and world building. Thankfully, Titanfall 2 makes that a reality by reintroducing existing and new characters, who provide more context into what’s going on. Don’t get me wrong, the campaign probably won’t win any awards for story telling, but what is here is well made and provides so much needed context. It was satisfying and I had a ton of fun with it, so that’s a win in my book.

The standout aspect to this mode however is the level design. While it does feature heavy first person shooter elements, considering that this is an FPS, it doesn’t solely rely on it. Don’t expect Call of Duty style corridors with shooting gallery like enemies 100% of the time. What Titanfall 2 does really well is throw in a healthy dose of platforming and light puzzle solving, something that surprised me. There’s more than a few moments where the game puts a halt to the shooting to focus more on movement and traversal. There’s more than a few cool moments here as well, which I won’t spoil because it’s something you need to experience first hand on your own. Lets just say there’s a level that may or may not take a few cues from games like Portal. It works and is quite fun.

In the end, Titanfall 2 takes the solid gameplay foundations of the first game and completely builds upon it for a much better experience. Don’t worry about feeling like you’ll need to play the first game to understand what’s going on, you don’t. Titanfall 2 really is a standalone experience and is what the first game wanted to be. If you’re looking for a seriously well made shooter who isn’t afraid to try new things, has high production values, and is insanely fun, then Titanfall 2 is a game you absolutely need to take a look at.

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