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Review: Titanfall 2

by on November 7, 2016
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When the first episode of Titanfall came out back in March 2014, it was received in two ways: either completely forgotten in the minds of players, or some focused on the multiplayer universe which had some very good ideas. While most blamed it on the lack of a singleplayer and a lack of richness in content, Respawn Interactive worked hard on making sure the sequel has the same lightness and dynamism at hand, while offering something new… And so here I am with Titanfall 2 which I should let you know fierce enthusiasm!

We are at the heart of a modern totalitarian war in which the IMC, the villains in Titanfall 2, and the militia, including our main protagonist called Jack Cooper is fighting for a better world. This 3rd class rifleman has one dream: to become a great Pilot (aka Titan driver). After a short training sessions under the command of Captain Tai Lastimosa, one of the most respected veteran of the Militia, Titanfall 2 story arc bluntly stops your learning prand decides to drop you in the field.

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It all begins when the Militia decides to embark on planet Typhon, to intervene on a research facility controlled by the IMC. Unfortunately, during the mission, a tragedy occurs, and while I do not want to spoil the surprise, just know that our friend Jack will benefit of it, and forced to become a Pilot. His Titan, BT-7274, might have some technological barbaric name to designate a mecha, but he’s got the soul of a puppy and will do anything to protect you. Anyway, welcome to the wild Typhon, which you and your Titan will have to venture in and fight against the IMC before they unleash a dangerous plan to destroy your home.

The task will not be an easy one. The first mission start off by babysitting your steel partner, by recovering two batteries he needs to recover its system, which will be an opportunity to visit the site on foot and get a clearer idea of the land, but also controls and shooting mechanics (other than the training range at the begining of the title). At first, the visual render is not groundbreaking, but Titanfall 2 nevertheless offers a very satisfactory overall graphic engine, with amazing lighting effects, and varied settings. The planet Typhoon is a wild setting where the vegetation is lush with greenery, rocky surface and lots of water. From the first minutes of the game, I contemplated this landscape that made me instantly think of movies like Avatar, Jurassic Park, and other sci-fi flicks especially when prehistoric-looking monsters begin to attack me.

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Once BT is finally restored and on its two foot, the adventure begins, with finally a story worth of the lore Respawn tried to build in the previous game, but this time with some strong writing and a brilliant dialogues where humor punctuates the tone of our Titan friend regularly. The developer slowly builds on the relationship between the Pilot and his Titan, which will be impossible for the player to not get into it. As Jack explores the surrounding areas in places where BT can not go, the Titan companion gives you information, advice on the current objective, but also some “casual” chit-chats to creates a real link between the two protagonists, by “humanizing” the giant robot.

On that front, you should note that Jack is alone many times throughout the adventure, allowing to have a diversified gameplay as we play without his Titan. BT is obviously stronger than its pilot, but above all, will be able to pick up all loadouts from vanquished Titans, seven in total, each with its own arsenal and special attacks. These loadouts are mainly based on the Titan models found in the first and current Titanfall 2, with a wide selection of primary weapons like machine guns, grenade launchers, shotguns and other secondary options like tracking missiles, heat shield or the classical vortex shield that will block and return enemy fire. Each device offers basically a different approach and tactical advantage depending on the situation.

Now let’s jump on the root of the franchise: the multiplayer mode. On that front, I’ll go ahead and say that Titanfall 2 is maybe too classical, but it has the merit of having this mode fleshed out and make some significant new features, including 6 new Titans (instead of just 3 in the original), each with a main setup and a variety of weapons of its own. The titans range from the Ion chassis, which cleverly uses energy with his Splitter Rifle, offering powerful laser attacks and explosive mines laser trigger. Scorch is the king of incendiary attacks, heavily armed with a grenade launcher that fires termite powered shots and gas canister ideal for trapping other players. Northstar is the sniper class, equipped with an high precision plasma gun, and filled with anti-Titan traps. My favorite new chassis is the Ronin, armed with his shotgun, is the most agile of all Titans and an expert of close combat thanks to its Arc sword, phase dash and sword core. Finally you got Tone, very efficient with his Tracking rockets and rocket barrage attack, followed by Legion, the heaviest of all Titans equipped with the Predator Cannon, a powerful machine gun, which bullet can track enemies when activating its Smart Core.

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Each Titan chassis offers as well its own customizations which are all upgradeable throughout your playthrough. But what I believe is the best thing renovated in multiplayer is the way you unlock the Titans during the game. You see back in the first Titanfall, players could easily just “wait” for their Titanfall gauge to fill, so that they could call upon their steel beast. In Titanfall 2, you will have to actually be an active pilot, killing grunts (AI powered enemies), other Pilots and of course Titans to fill your gauge. This helps a lot to break the flow of the game, instead of relying too much on the Titans, which I feel are less powerful than before, making the Pilot-Titan game a bit better in terms of balance.

Pilots also have different classes, which affects your play-style and range of abilities you can use during the game. While the usual abilities are there such as wall-running, some deeper function have been added such as the grapple which can allow you to zip to one attached point, or my favorite, the pulse blade which emits a sonar that can catch the location of enemies on the field of view.

Titanfall 2’s multiplayer modes has a wild range of action, ranging from traditional deathmatch, pilot vs pilot only games or even Last Titan Standing. If most of the modes are familiar ones form the previous Titanfall, the whole range of options is wider in this one. Hardpoint for example is there, but has an Amped Hardpoint which adds subtlety to original mode: here the player will score double points if they stay in the “amped” area, which can alter the whole game style. There is also the arrival of Skirmish, Bounty Hunt and Coliseum.

Coliseum is a great experience, pitting two players against each other in a small area, and requires entry ticket. Players needs to win 3 out of the 5 rounds to succeed, and unlock gifts or items. Everything happens very quickly, and if this mode has a strong addictive potential.

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As for Bounty Hunt, it represents the best surprise of the multiplayer. In this mode, you need to eliminate pilots (and AI bots, which complement the teams) in a 8v8 setting, all in order to earn money. This money will then be deposited in banks spread in specific points on the battlefield, which are opened only for a certain period of time after the completion of the waves. If the player is killed before he cash-in his money, he loses half of the amount raised from the kills. The team with the most cash at the end of the game obviously wins. These basic but harsh rules provide a unique strategic aspect to this mode, which is the one that seduced me the most.

Also note the arrival of 12 “Boosts” which you unlock as you progress in the multiplayer ranks, and replace more or less the “Burn cards” from the original Titanfall. These Boosts are actually Killstreaks which offer valuable benefits on the battlefield, such as Amped Weapons which upgrade the firepower of your weapons, Radar Jammers, Map Hacks, and much more.

Ultimately, these new attributes bring a lot of spice to the multiplayer modes, making the experience fresher than the first Titanfal. While the first episode was already offering a muscular gameplay, it gains in nervousness in this sequel. The Titans are more swift, have more fluid movements. It moves in all directions, the pace is dynamic, the action is frantic, and it never seems to stop you from having fun. If I had anything to say bad about the multiplayer mode, that would be the design of the maps, which I believe lack behind the original game choice.

Titanfall 2 was reviewed using an Xbox One downloadable code of the game provided by Electronic Arts. The game is also available on PlayStation 4 and PC via retail and online stores. We don’t discuss review scores with publishers or developers prior to the review being published

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What we liked

• A successful singleplayer campaign.
• Great lifespan
• Solid gameplay and mechanics
• A rich and solid upgrade to the multiplayer modes

What is not fun

• Not a big fan of the multiplayer maps
• Lack of a good soundtrack
• Visually not that astounding

Editor Rating
 
Concept
8.9

 
Graphics
8.7

 
Sound
8.2

 
Playability
9.2

 
Entertainment
9.1

 
Replay Value
9.0

Final Score
8.9


Our final verdict
 

With finally a real singleplayer campaign, and refreshed multiplayer mode, Titanfall 2 is a successful sequel! Offering a robust story with some very good ideas, it is complemented by an nerve-racking multiplayer gaming experience full with new titans, abilities and the removal of these damn burn cards from the original title. A great and fun title, even if i'm worried that it won't last against the two major FPS shooters of the season.

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