Titanfall 2 PS4 Review
Publisher: EA Developer: Respawn Entertainment Genre: FPS Players: 1-16
Age Rating: 16+ Other console/handheld formats: Xbox One
Titanfall was an amazing game that had so much going for it as a multiplayer shooter, but that’s all it was. The game sadly lacked a single player campaign, and many of us could see the potential for such a mode in a future game in the series. I’m happy to say that Titanfall 2 does indeed feature a single player campaign, which joins the amazing multiplayer options.
The story of Titanfall 2’s campaign stars a rifleman called Jack Cooper, who is also an aspiring Titan pilot. If you are not up to speed with Titanfall’s universe, Titan’s are the giant robots that you are able to pilot in the series. When Cooper is forced into live battle, he becomes the pilot of BT-7274, a Titan, through tragic circumstance. The story isn’t too bad at all for what it is, although the main point of interest is definitely Cooper and BT’s relationship.
Let me get it straight off my chest, Titanfall 2’s single player campaign is an absolute gem, and it has obviously been put together by people that know exactly how to create a successful single player component. This is a campaign that mixes things up superbly, with on-foot shooting and parkour, and stomping about in a giant robot with powerful weapons all making for a thrillingly memorable experience. I’m not being overly generous here, but I do genuinely believe that the campaign is amongst the best.
One of the things that I adore about the campaign is that it doesn’t put you into BT’s cockpit straight away, and there’s a bit of a build-up before you are able to pilot the Titan. Furthermore, when you do eventually get BT powered up, you aren’t stuck inside the giant robot for the rest of the game, with the campaign giving you plenty of opportunity to leave him, and to even fight alongside him at certain points in the story.
When playing as Cooper himself, he’s a lot more agile than BT. Cooper has various weapons he can make use of, and he can also run along walls and double jump. As for when you are seated inside BT, there’s a feeling of weight to the movement, and the Titan’s big guns, very hard hitting melee attacks, and special weapons also makes the giant robot feel very different from when you are controlling Cooper. This is all well and good as you’ll come face-to-face with other Titan’s in some memorable encounters.
When playing as Cooper, you are able to carry two weapons at once, and they can be switched between when you come across others. As for when you are inside the Titan, you can switch between various load outs whenever you want once unlocked, which is a nice piece of gameplay design. You’ll unlock load outs as you progress through the campaign, and experimenting with them and potentially finding a favourite is enticing, as is the fact that they can be switched between for different situations. The choice is yours.
The level design is also excellent, and environments are varied enough to stop them becoming stale. When I was making use of Cooper’s Parkour skills through the beautifully designed levels, I did receive a Mirror’s Edge vibe, and the game does make you think at times as to how to reach certain areas in the same way that it does in DICE’s game. Like that game, there’s also a hint system if you want it, showing a blue ghost performing the moves required to reach certain areas. This means that you’ll never be stuck for too long.
It’s a shame that it only takes around five hours to reach the end of the campaign, but they are a wonderful five hours, and developer Respawn Entertainment should be proud of themselves for what they have achieved with the single player portion of the game. To think that the original game didn’t even have a campaign, but the sequel has been gifted one that just so happens to be amongst the best.
As marvellous as the campaign is, the enemy AI does let things down somewhat, as they really don’t put up much of a fight. The on-foot soldiers display little intelligence, but this is covered somewhat by the number that are sent your way and by their more accurate shots when playing on tougher difficulty levels. In mentioning a final flaw, I must admit that some interesting and memorable tools in the campaign appear all too briefly.
Moving on to the portion that defined the original game, and multiplayer is unsurprisingly excellent, and it remains distinct in what is a bustling genre. This uniqueness is due to the combination of pilot and Titan control as well as the fact that those pilots and the massive Titans both appear on the battlefield, with the gameplay being balanced expertly with giant and powerful robots versus the much more nimble-footed pilots. AI grunts also appear on the battlefield in some modes (including the ever popular Attrition mode), which helps give any player a fighting chance.
New modes include Bounty Hunt, which has you earning money with each AI kill, and special and more valuable targets also appear on the maps for you to kill. As for if you manage to kill an opposing player, you’ll earn half the cash they were carrying, which is a reward that is always worth pushing for. Between waves, you are able to go to an area to bank your cash which adds to your team’s total, although if you die anytime before you are able to bank it, you’ll lose half of it. It’s an excellent new mode, and one that will surely become popular among players.
Respawn have also altered the Titans in the way that there’s now six of them to choose from. Each Titan has their own weapons and skills, and if you play the single player before the multiplayer, you’ll get an idea as to what to expect with each and every one of them. To give you some idea as to what to expect from each Titan, Legion has a mini-gun, a canon, and a shield, Ronin is armed with a shotgun and a sword, Northstar has a plasma railgun and can deploy a tether trap, Ion is armed with a rifle and can also fire lasers, Scorch attacks with fire and can release incendiary traps, and Tone can fire multiple missiles. There is also loads to unlock for the Titans as well as the pilots, with plenty of customisation options. This makes for a set of multiplayer options that are much more in-depth in comparison to the original game.
One of the new additions is the Pilot Boosts. These boosts replace the Burn Cards from the original game, and work in a much more sensible manner. You choose a boost at the beginning of each match, and you’ll eventually unlock its ability during the match in the same way that Titans come available to you, which means it is a bit of a waiting game before you are able to make use of these perks.
Titanfall 2 is a game that has both an excellent single player campaign as well as brilliant multiplayer. Absent in the original game, the first campaign to show up in the series is a masterful one that has plenty of memorable moments as well as a nice mixture of gameplay styles. This mixing up of gameplay styles is exactly what made Titanfall so distinct in the first place, and the multiplayer is once again just as successful in its man versus machine mindset. All in all, Titanfall 2 is a tremendous follow-up that has a lot more meat on its bones, and a good example as to how sequels should be done.