I’m going back to Titanfall 2 as I missed it the first time around. I’ve heard so much about the game, and its original tough release squeezed between Battlefield and Call of Duty. Since 2016 and the original release Respawn have gone from strength to strength with Apex Legends and have started bringing in Titanfall elements there. I wanted to experience it first hand, and run through the campaign I’ve heard so much about.
Respawn have a rich history with first-person shooters from Medal of Honour to Call of Duty Modern Warfare, and then Titanfall. I’m sure everyone out there knows about Apex Legends, and we have the recent move into a more standard PVP within Apex with the Arenas mode. Titanfall 2 stands out among the rest though given the sheer amount of innovation, ideas, and a touching buddy story between the pilot and the Titan.
The pace of the campaign is something that strikes you with Titanfall 2. You start out in the simulator with your teacher, and in the blink of an eye your in a Titan of your own, taking on the enemy. Respawn mix in action, great story, and great gameplay mechanics to take you on a short, but very satisfying campaign adventure.
The gunplay mechanics in the game are very good. I often look to Bungie as the best in the business for gunplay, but Respawn is running them very close these days. Given Titanfall 2 is a few years old, you can see and feel the iteration through Apex Legends. In Titanfall 2 you have many of the original weapons which we can now see in Apex, plus you have the great gameplay switch up of jumping into the Titan and having huge mech fights.
Respawn do a great job of focusing on a single concept for levels, implementing it really well, and then dropping it and moving on quite quickly. The basic level controls and feel of the game are great, there are solid foundations to build and use these new concepts on. For example, the gunplay is top-notch and the wall running feels very fluid.
At its core, Titanfall 2 is a first-person shooter and the interplay between the Pilot and the Titan works really well. You often find yourself separated from your Titan and levels can be consumed by trying to get back to him, but once you team up then it’s all-out destruction. The Titan Vs Titan battles are particularly fun.
The writing in the game is great too breathing life into the characters with skill. It could be easy to go through the game just using the Titan as a weapon, however, he’s got such personality woven into him through the writing, it humanizes him and makes for a much more compelling story experience. Many refer back to Titanfall 2 as having one of the best first-person shooter campaigns, and now I can see why. First-person shooter campaigns can often feel dry, full of trope you’ve been through and seen before. Titanfall has those for sure, but it also has surprises and heartfelt moments too.
The game has seen a resurgence recently and I managed to play on Xbox Series X. It’s been given an FPS boost to run at 120fps. It’s also available on Xbox Game Pass through their partnership with EA Play, so if you have access to this service and the next-gen Xbox then I would thoroughly recommend picking it up and playing through.
Titanfall 2 has a great multiplayer mode too. Now a few years after release, it’s not going to see any major updates since the teams have moved onto service Apex Legends and all the innovation is being directed through that pipeline, but Titanfall 2’s multiplayer is great fun. Hopefully, more of Titanfall 2 will come into Apex Legends in the future. I know fans were hoping for mechs with the Season 9 release, however, that’s not quite happened yet. But we have our fingers crossed for the future.
There are not loads of guns in the game, certainly not like something like Destiny or Borderlands, but given the base guns and additions, there’s plenty of ways to craft loadouts for your Pilot. Respawn introduced gun leveling here meaning you can unlock perks in a nod to the original Destiny which came out 2 years before in 2014.
The multiplayer is fun, but I would come along for the single-player campaign experience. First-person shooters have changed a lot since 2014. We’ve had the emergence of the Battle Royale, an area in which Respawn has been very strong and also went in there early not long after Player Unknown Battlegrounds and Fortnite came onto the scene in 2018. Apex Legends was soon after in 2019 and since then has gone on from strength to strength. EA has a money-making machine in the form of Apex Legends and has recently launched the Arenas mode, which is most likely going to become the default place for PVP play. If you’re into PVP then I’d check out the new mode in Apex, if you like story campaigns then Titanfall 2’s is second to none in the first-person shooter space.
If you’re like me and heard much about Titanfall 2, but haven’t dipped in then do yourself a favour and download it and play through the campaign at least. It’s one of the best FPS campaigns and you see trace the roots of Apex Legends to this point. Plus you get to know more about the world Respawn are crafting, and for me that adds up to a richer gameplay experience.
Platforms: Xbox, PC, PS4 – Reviewed on Xbox Series X