Titanfall 2: Review

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The first Titanfall was released in 2014 as an exclusive on Microsoft platforms, and many argue that the franchise suffered a blow to both sales and popularity as a result.  Looking to broaden their audience and perhaps avoid such a situation the second time around, developer Respawn decided to release the sequel across all platforms and at the same time.  Exclusivity is something that’s hotly debated in the gaming community (such as Rise of the Tomb Raider, which wouldn’t come out on PlayStation 4 until a literal year after it’s release), and this game was no exception.  Praised for it’s fast and frenetic shooting, tight controls and beautiful visuals, the first Titanfall set the bar high for it’s successor.

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Standby for Titanfall

While the first game established much of the story for the game, it essentially boils down to the following: Humanity has spread across the cosmos and our story takes place in a vast region known as the Frontier.  Titans and other mechanized entities are used in a wide variety of applications such as industry and cargo, agriculture, and military use.  While there are several factions at play here, the two primarily focused on in the story are the Interstellar Manufacturing Corporation (IMC) and the Frontier Militia.

The IMC seeks to conquer and develop as much of the frontier as they can, and the Militia sees this as problematic for the free peoples of the region.  In this story you play the role of Jack Cooper, a Militia rifleman and hopeful pilot.  After a serious of events during a mission, you’re given control of BT-7274 and your journey as a pilot begins.

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The story unfolds on the planet Typhon as the Frontier Militia attempts to capitalize on their victory at the Battle of Demeter and take the fight to the IMC.  To tell you any more would sort of spoil the story, but I definitely enjoyed playing it.  Not only is BT a really interesting way to present a mech, but the campaign does an excellent job of introducing you to the mechanics of the multiplayer experience such as different Titan loadouts and Pilot weaponry.

The Last Frontier?

The multiplayer is precisely what you might expect if you played through the campaign or have an interest in this kind of game at all; where it shines, however, is in how smoothly it is executed.  The combat is fast paced and is an absolute joy; weapons felt responsive and snappy, while also have quirks that you need to overcome to use them effectively.

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The multiplayer has something of a story itself, or rather is a continuation of the main story: various factions at war with one another for control of Frontier territory.  You gain access to these factions (such as Mercenary factions like the Apex Predators) by leveling up, much in the same way that you gain access to new weapons and equipment.

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End of match performance determines how directly you progress along a chosen line, and sticking with a certain weapon or piece of equipment will see you rewarded by leveling up that weapon and unlocking attachments and perks for it.  Some of these you may purchase early by using credits you earn during gameplay, but don’t worry: there are no microtransaction shortcuts here.  Additionally you can earn weapon and Pilot camo patterns, in addition to paint jobs and nose art for your Titan.  These are a nice way to customize your look.

Conclusion

All in all I would definitely recommend this game to fans of science fiction and shooters in general.  The story told here isn’t exactly a robust one, but it’s not bad either, especially for a game that’s mostly focused on it’s multiplayer experience which is pretty great all by itself.

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Respawn get points for making an effort at giving campaign fans something to do without sacrificing what is probably the most solid multiplayer shooter on the market right now, excepting of course Destiny.