Titanfall 2 Review
Titanfall 2 is a first person shooting game that lets you play in two different styles; you are either on foot, performing high speed actions including wall running, or you control a titan, which you can call in with a “Titanfall”. The game has just been added to the EA and Origin Access vaults along with getting its price cut in half. This gives us a great opportunity to take a look at the title and see, using our unique value based review system, if it’s worth its price 9 months after its launch.
About the game
Titanfall 2 is a sequel to Titanfall, which previously released in 2013 on the Xbox One and the PC. The game focuses on its multiplayer but in contrast to the first game, Titanfall 2 features a singleplayer campaign. The game is most easily categorized as a velocity based first-person shooter. The game allows you to run on walls and double jump, giving you the tools to become a hard target to hit. Further, once you achieved enough points, you can call in a titan, a piloteable mech, which gives you enhanced combat ability but greatly reduced mobility.
Let’s cover the singleplayer campaign of the game first before delving into the multiplayer. Here, you take on the role of Rifleman Jack Cooper, who is currently in training of becoming a pilot under the supervision of Captain Tai Lastimosa. However, you are interrupted by a call to arms during one of your training sessions, prompting you to deploy on a planet for a mission. This mission nearly fails though, as most of your troops and Captain Lastimosa are mortally wounded. With his dying breath, he assigns his titan BT-7274 to you to complete this mission, even though you are still quite far from finishing your training.
The story unravels from then on out and you will be forming quite a bond with your titan. You will converse with BT-7274 and you will oftentimes be given two dialogue options, which leave gameplay unaffected but let you, in a way, adjust Jack Cooper’s personality to your liking. The singleplayer campaign will put you through some very interesting and visually stunning levels. A good environmental variety, a nice ambient soundtrack and the fully voiced dialogue create a very pleasant atmosphere in this game.
Following up is the gameplay of the singleplayer, which could potentially be considered a tutorial for the multiplayer. This is meant quite positively though, as you will be able to use a variety of weapons and titan loadouts. These give you an idea on how to play the game and the campaign regularly introduces new mechanics for you to try out.
What the singleplayer does really well is the pacing and its varied gameplay. You will move from combat sections on foot, to platforming sections and then to combat sections in your titan. This keeps the gameplay from ever becoming stale and new things are around every corner. However, the guns lack a bit of variety and are mostly pretty basic rifles and shotguns. This can be considered nitpicking though as there is a lot more to the gameplay than that. It even is a lot more satisfying to try to get close to the enemies and melee them to death rather than shooting at them.
It’s also necessary to mention that a couple of supplemented mechanics make an appearance too, like a gun that activates platforms for you to stand or wallride on. There is one mechanic in particular that was really fun to play with in a certain level. We want to avoid showing it as it’s best if you let yourself be surprised by it, if you decide to play the game.
The parkouring and platforming sections are very fair and if you happen to fall, you instantly respawn back where you just jumped off. If you are unaware on how to solve a platforming section, you can also activate a ghost runner that shows you how to do it. Having this as an option is great, as you can still experiment yourself on what to do if you so desire, while also giving struggling players the clue they need. This shows that Titanfall 2 borrowed well from design choices present in good platformers. Overall, the singleplayer campaign is definitely worth playing with a decent story, a good atmosphere and fun and varied gameplay.
Moving on to the multiplayer of Titanfall, it makes a bit of an overwhelming experience at first with many available options and features. However, this is definitely a good thing as you’ll be used to it quite quickly and as it allows you to play the game to your liking. One thing that really stands out positively here is the ability to enter matchmaking for a selection of multiple different game modes by selecting the ones you like and unselecting the ones you want to avoid.
Entering a multiplayer match is also quite cool in terms of atmosphere. Here, a match starts with all players being in a single helicopter and getting an introduction by a commander. You then drop down with the rest of the team and the battle officially commences. This is a really awesome way to introduce a match and gives the game a lot of charm. This kind of interaction keeps going though, as there is an epilogue at the end of the match. There, the pilots of the losing team have to successfully reach an extraction point, while the winning team tries to stop them from doing so.
This extraction sequence is actually a benefit to gameplay as well as atmosphere, because managing to successfully get extracted after losing a match can give you a sense of victory too. However, this sequence can be annoying if you die early and are made to watch other people play. This can be considered nitpicking though, as you are left without penalty if you leave the match at this time.
Just like in the singleplayer, moving around on foot and getting great velocity through wallrunning is a very rewarding experience. This fast-paced fps gameplay makes the game stand out from other shooters and gives you a reason to try it out. The game gets a lot of depth with the additions of the titans into the gameplay, as you are now trying to fight both people on foot and pilots in titans. The great thing about the game is, while titans are very strong and can easily shoot down enemy pilots on foot, they are still counterable.
This requires you to go behind cover or onto a vantage point where titans struggle to fit, to try and shoot them down with your anti-titan weaponry. This dynamic is great and requires you to be thoughtful on either side of the situation.
Titanfall 2 greatly encourages teamwork, as the increased mobility really enhances the ability to flank your opponents. It also adds a lot more verticality to the title compared to other first person shooting games. Teamwork will make you more successful in your matches, especially when fighting as titans.
It generally is a good tactic to try to have more active titans on your team than on the opposing side. As titans lack the ability to regenerate health, conserving it is one of the most important tasks. Therefore, it is best to try fight together and focus down single enemy titans. Doing so will give you the edge in the current match. Overall, the great movement abilities on foot, the titan gameplay and the dynamic between those two enable a great experience, which is definitely worth trying out.
Moving on the the performance on the game on PC, which is fairly decent to say the least. We’re able to play at 1080p with over 100fps at high to ultra settings using an RX480 graphics card and and FX8350 CPU. The game even looks great at that performance level. We did however notice some mild to heavy stuttering in a few sections of the game. This issue seems to be reasonably wide spread between players. We found that disabling sound occlusion in the game’s options menu seemed to have helped, but the situation was still less than ideal.
A couple of things to note quite positively about the game are its menu options. A nice and clear selection of settings is great and what especially stands out is its texture quality setting. Rather than saying Low, Medium, High or Ultra, it instead asks you how much VRAM you want to make available as a texture budget. This makes the texture selection much clearer than the previously mentioned ambiguous texture settings. This is, because you can easily look up how much VRAM you have but knowing how taxing the standard settings are requires experimentation. We definitely wish that more games use this texture budget setting in the future.
The player population on the pc version of the game is still quite decent nine months after its launch. You might end up playing with a couple of people that know what they’re doing when you jump into the game though, but you’ll probably get the hang of it quite quickly.
As Red Value Gaming, we try to review games a bit differently to others, by giving a second review score in form of a monetary value. With this value, we try to give you an objective measure of the content of the game, which is evaluated seperately from the review score we give to the game.
Since Splatoon 2 recently came out and seems to offer quite a similar structure to Titanfall, we’ll use it for comparison purposes, which we valued at around $45. Splatoon 2 currently features 8 maps, while Titanfall has 21. The standard weapon variety is probably greater in Splatoon 2, as it manages to change up each individual playstyle by quite a bit more. However, Titanfall 2 also features the titan gameplay, which adds extra value to the game. There are a lot more available game modes in Titanfall 2, with 9 compared to the 4 that are available in Splatoon 2.
Picking and choosing which game mode to play in Titanfall 2 is another plus to its value. Both games feature a 6 hour campaign worth a playthrough and a great atmosphere, along with a Horde mode. Both games also feature Microtransactions. Here, the Amiibo in Splatoon 2 are considered as such. Both titlse avoid shoving them into your face and as they are purely cosmetic, they leave the values unaffected. We are however penalizing Titanfall 2 slightly for its shaky performance. Overall, we believe that Titanfall 2 edges out Splatoon 2 in terms of value with $48 as it is simply packed with quite a bit more content at this time.
The great gameplay combined with a cool and unique atmosphere prompt us to give the game a score of 82. This means that Splatoon 2 slightly beats Titanfall 2 in score and vice versa in value. Splatoon 2’s gameplay is simply a bit more unique and fresher than Titanfall 2 and supplies just a slightly higher adrenaline rush during play. Titanfall 2 is still a great game and can actually be tried out for the low price of $3.99 for a month using Origin or EA Access. Doing so will even give you a 10% discount on its current price of $29.99. Overall, if you are looking for a fast-paced and action-packed shooter, you definitely should give Titanfall 2 a shot.
(out of 100)
If you are looking for a fast-paced and action-packed shooter, you should definitely give Titanfall 2 a shot.
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