Reviews - Updated on April 15, 2022

Choice Stopgame

It’s hard to say how successful EA’s decision was to release Titanfall 2 right after the release of Battlefield 1. Passions for the latter will blaze for a long time, and Respawn Entertainment’s creation may simply wither in the shadow of the DICE shooter. But it is not for us to discuss the marketing strategies of the greats of this world. One way or another, Titanfall 2 is already on digital shelves, and therefore it’s time to get out of the trenches of the First World War and start saddling iron mechs.Titanfall 2 review

Today is Decepticon Day.

Reluctant friends

The Battlefield and Titanfall series have one thing in common – a dismissive attitude towards the single-player campaign. However, both shooters have made progressive steps in this field. If BF1 gave us an unconventional approach to the organization of the “single”, then Respawn Entertainment gave us a fairly canon-tailored campaign with a relatively short duration. What can by no means be written down as minuses – those six or seven hours that you spend in it perfectly reveal the potential of Titanfall.

True, the campaign is swinging slowly. The script of its first half is built on regular partings and reunions of the two main characters – the BT titan and the pilot Jack Cooper. Either we need to make our way to the console that opens the door so that the fur can pass, then the enemies will kidnap the iron friend, and we will have to return it. In general, at first it seems that the whole plot will develop according to the designated pattern.

However, in the future, non-standard solutions in terms of the interaction of two partners become more. In general, the relationship of the characters is the core of the plot. We can ignore the clichéd narrative of the failure of some large-scale militia operation against the IMC, which resulted in the only survivor of our charge – aspiring fighter Cooper, who made a rapid career rise to the pilot, as more qualified fighters hurried to throw off the skates.

It is better to ignore the stereotyped negotiations of “villains”, climbing out of their skin in an attempt to kill a talented upstart. Boring threats, assurances of an imminent death and self-confident “Yeah, this time you got caught!” None of the characters are distinguished by special charisma, their images are spelled out badly. Against the backdrop of all this, interest in events is completely lost – you aimlessly make your way through hordes of enemies, wreaking havoc and disappointing the bad guys.

All of this is rather banal and unattractive. But what you can’t miss is Cooper’s perfectly written line of relationship with BT. Their attachment to each other gradually increases, and conversations abound with jokes built on the contrast between the perception of the world by man and artificial intelligence. Having found the dead pilot Anderson, the titan regards this event as a “meeting”, and cold-bloodedly remarks on the reproach of heartlessness: “Indeed, the heart does not function.” The jokes are quite well integrated into the gameplay and coolly enliven the story. And the drama by the end reaches such a degree that at a certain moment it is impossible to hold back a tear.

Titanfall 2 review

Probably the most touching moment in the game.

Entertaining acrobatics

The levels are organized in accordance with the requirements of the mechanics, so that we can enjoy running around the walls to our heart’s content. The locations are diverse: the endless jungle is replaced by huge factories and military installations. Literally on every corner there are racks with various weapons. There are many “guns”, and their combination with the pilot’s sprinting abilities gives many spectacular scenes. True, the dominance of robotic bobbleheads makes the shooting gallery not so exciting.

Nevertheless, the developers squeezed almost everything out of the “parkour” elements. Here you have electrified walls, and the tasks of self-installation of vertical surfaces, and many other conditions that complicate and enliven “inter-wall” walks. The same applies to the game for BT: gradually the robot acquires new weapons and abilities, the sets of which correspond to the classes of titans in multiplayer.

When the monotonous clearing of the area starts to get boring, Titanfall 2 throws in details that cheer up the gameplay quite well. So, the time travel level is filled with many non-standard design solutions – it’s very fun to “turn off” hordes of enemies with one click, sending you to the future or the past.

Then the developers send us to a location covered with deadly turbines and give us a tool that erects protective platforms. The pilot has to maneuver between moving obstacles, and this is also perceived as a rather interesting find. The lack of spectacular scenes at the beginning is also compensated for in the second half of the game. It can be seen that the designers approached the design of levels with a share of creativity, which is enough to diversify the shooting of enemies.

“Single” is built like a textbook: the difficulty gradually increases, the player acquires new abilities, the central mechanics are played out in different variations. That is why it is boring in terms of plot, and exciting in the gameplay at the same time. In general, the single-player campaign copes with its goal – you go through it lightly and with enthusiasm, despite the crumpled history.

Titanfall 2 review

Did someone say something about destructibility in Battlefield 1?..

The frontier is worth fighting for

You should also plunge into the adventures of Jack Cooper so as not to feel like a white crow when you first enter the online battlefields. Getting lost looking at the endless slots in the equipment of mechs and pilots is a simple matter. But after passing “alone”, you will already learn the information about the number of robots. There are six of them, and each is suitable for a certain style of play. So, “Ronin” is a master of hand-to-hand combat: he is able to quickly fly up to the enemy and chop him to pieces. And the Nordstar is a sniper who stays away from opponents. Compared to the first part, each mech in Titanfall 2 is more specialized in a specific tactic – the vortex shield is now the property of only one class, and each robot has a cannon assigned to it and a “trump” skill.

Initially, only three titans will be allowed to saddle us – the rest must be earned in battles by completing various tests. And the last here is darkness – after the match, a list of feats that, it turns out, you managed to accomplish, will fall on your head like a hail. The “leveling” system here is great – we always have the opportunity to ennoble some detail in our arsenal, so the path to the most delicious skills does not seem endless. The level increases both for the pilot and for each mech and weapon individually, and they improve as they are used.

Opportunities for “customization” are just a lot. Can’t shoot straight? Take the EPU – a cannon that hits a small area. Lacking mobility? We select the skill “Stimulator” and rush around the battlefield faster. Each weapon is allowed to install a couple of modules, modifiers can be hung on the titans, and the pilot can be equipped with power-ups.

It’s a pity the balance of improvements is questionable. “Ticks”, which independently find the enemy, do not leave the enemy a chance if they are placed correctly. Map Hack, which highlights all opponents, also gives too much advantage to a team with good internal interaction – Pulse Blade with a limited range to detect opponents, in my opinion, is enough.

If the pilots’ tuning is quite satisfactory, then I would like to see more options in the modification of the mechs – the effects of many sets for the titans are not particularly felt, and we are no longer surprised by ejection. Also in the early stages, a problem with the balance of power is discovered: for the first time entering multiplayer and seeing a “pumped” Legion on the battlefield – a mech that opens after many hours of play – is a little unpleasant. It is clear that compensation occurs at the team level, but this does not make it easier for the green beginner.

Titanfall 2 review

A bit of cognitive dissonance.

Small but distant

The scheme of most online battles has remained the same: pilots enter the battlefield “naked”, and when they score a certain number of points, they call in a titan to be dropped from the sky. Since the latter provides a colossal advantage, it is desirable to saddle your iron friend as quickly as possible, and keep him intact as long as possible.

Pilots are thin-skinned creatures, but damn mobile. Double-jumping with a jetpack, sliding, running up walls – Titanfall’s hallmarks still work great. Not bad effect on the acrobatic skills of the soldiers of the future hook-cat, allowing you to hook on an object in the distance. Many of the maps are geared towards vertical gameplay, however some are fairly linear in design and feel clunky to navigate.

The balance of confrontation between pilots and titans has been slightly shifted towards the latter: now it will not be possible to saddle and destroy mechs alone. Climbing on the back of an enemy robot, the soldier will automatically take out one of its energy batteries, which will cause only a small amount of damage. And if you manage to transfer the stolen to a friendly robot, he will receive a corresponding increase in “health”. The innovation is great because it enhances the value of teamwork.

The modes of Titanfall 2 are almost entirely taken from the first part. In the classic “Extermination” it is necessary to destroy the enemy forces, represented, among other things, by artificial intelligence. In its new variation – “Hunting for Prey”, in order to win, you must regularly turn in your points into the overall standings. A fighter rushing with a big score can be shot down and robbed, which brings intrigue to the battle. Upon reaching the sixth level, the Colosseum will open, which is a duel of two pilots in an open space. This is a great chance to really evaluate your combat skills. And that’s it – really fresh ideas for modes in Titanfall 2 are still not enough.

Titanfall 2 review

There is one plus in quick death – you can relax and enjoy the failures of your comrades.

***

However, the multiplayer formula invented by Respawn Entertainment works. The authors did not experiment with its core, but only complicated it with new ideas. The system of interaction between the pilot and the titan is enriched with additional details, high-quality “pumping” and “customization” are instilled in the multiplayer, and the game itself has acquired a good single-player campaign, which, if you close your eyes to the sluggish plot, runs in one breath. Fans of fast competitive shooters should not pass by.

Pros: interesting game design decisions in the single player campaign; various locations; high dynamics of network battles; rich “customization” and a well-thought-out development system in multiplayer.
Cons: weak and dull characters; uniformity of opponents and weak AI; lack of new network modes; there could be more sensible sets for titans; linear design of some cards; visually, the game falls short of today’s AAA standards.

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