Titanfall 2

One of Titanfall’s biggest gripes when it landed back in 2014 was it’s lack of single player campaign. The on-line only game seemed to have lost some depth by ignoring a storyline to set up the online action. Respawn have remedied this with a full single player campaign mode in Titanfall 2, giving you the name of Jack Cooper and throwing you into a VR training session essentially to learn the nuts and bolts of the games controls. You know the drill, wall runs, power slide, jump boost, and how to aim and shoot your weapons. Basic stuff to be sure, but essential just in case any un-trained players pick up a copy of the game!

Cooper – I mean, you – dream of being a pilot, so it’s good when your training is interrupted and you’re dropped on a planet called Typhon, where you are fighting the IMC, why you’re fighting them, you’re not sure. But it does fell great to be out of the VR sim and into real life.

Things however don’t go well, and the battle turns against you. Your mentor is cut down in battle and by the time you reach him, it’s too late to save him. As luck would have it, with his last breath he authorizes control of his titan, BT-7274, to you to finish the mission.

Your dreams of becoming a Titan pilot have come true. Oh wait, you’ve got to go find some batteries first…

Yes, your Titans are now powered by batteries that run out and have to be replenished. This even carries over to multiplayer to a degree offering some more tactical possibilities.

When you get into multiplayer its quick to realise that Respawn have taken their great concept and tweaked it. Changed a few things, added a few subtle things, and just made everything a little bit more awesome. The game looks and sounds amazing. The guns feel solid and the game play just flows well. Of course, coming into Titanfall after playing a ton of traditional first person shooters will get you killed real quick.

That single player campaign – don’t ignore it. Stand around looking for targets like you’re playing Battlefield is a quick way to die. There is a reason you have abilities like wall running, sliding and double jumps. It’s to traverse the environment quickly as you seek out your next target.

Titanfall 2 just like it’s predecessor won’s be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you stick with it and give it your time and energy, you’ll soon be having a blast with the fast and furious play styles offered in Titanfall.

Rating: R16 Contains violence.




One of the most anticipated first person shooters in years finally arrived last week, and I wasn’t actually that excited about it. A game that fused the typical Call of Duty mechanics, but set in a futuristic landscape where you could call down and battle in giant mechs, just didn’t seem like it would work to me.

I kinda had a similar feeling back in 2007 when Infinity Ward were about to release the first non-World War II Call of Duty game. Why the heck would you want to leave World War II behind when it still had so much to offer?

Then I played Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, and never wanted to play another World War II shooter again. Modern Warfare is still my favourite first person shooter, both for the single player campaign and the online play. It was that good.

But then Infinity Ward was locked into creating an endless supply of cookie cutter shooters because of their success with Modern Warfare.

Things soon fell apart with Infinity Ward’s co-founders, Jason West and Vince Zampella, being fired by Activision and half of Infinity Ward’s employees resigning to follow them to their new company Respawn Entertainment.

The Call of Duty franchise soon became stale and stagmented and I jumped ship and fell in love with EA’s Battlefield series. But even that has become bogged down in the same old same old tired routines.

So then the Titans arrive, and the first thing you notice is that it’s online play only. This is something I’ve been wondering about for years – when someone would have the balls to drop the single player campaign and put all their attention into the multiplayer, because let’s face it, the single player campaigns have been getting shittier and shittier as each year passes.

That’s not to say that Titanfall doesn’t have a campaign, it does, but it’s played out in a online environment, telling a story whilst at the same time introducing you to the basics of the game, some of the map and letting you unlock stuff and level up. Infact, some of the cool gear can only be unlocked by playing both of the campaigns.

What this approach means is that the entire development focus has been on the online multiplayer aspect of the game, and a hell of a lot more attention has been put into creating maps that work and a combat system that is balanced and fun.

Mixing elements of parkour in ways that Brink could only dream of, with the basics of first person shooters and dropping huge player controlled mechs into the game was a big ask, but Respawn have nailed it with Titanfall. It’s a testament to just what can happen when a company is focussed on creativity, originality and driven by a passion for gaming.

Sure, it retains the feel of a standard first person shooter, with a similar upgrade system and custom load outs, but the futuristic hints and the wall running, jet pack enabled double jumps, give the gamer different options, and with this heightened mobility, you never know just where the next bullet might come from, so campers beware!

And then we have the mechs. These giant robots that you get to climb in and control are awarded after a certain amount of time, and the time ticks faster with the number of kills you accumulate. These mechs are a lot of fun, and getting the right load out for your style of play is essential. But they never dominate the battlefield. One man can take down a mech by jumping on its back – but you have to know what you’re doing. Also, some maps are better for mechs than others. I’ve played games where I’ve never bothered calling for my mech, because I was having too much fun with out it!

And then there’s a different form of balancing play. My favourite first person shooter gameplay is domination, where you have to capture and hold various points on the map. In Titanfall it’s called Hardpoint Domination, and unlike most other first person shooters, where the top player on each team is ultimately the person who shot the most enemies, in Titanfall I’ve managed to be the top of my team on many occasions by taking and helping hold the Hardpoints. It’s a points system that encourages fluid gameplay and rewards players for playing as a team to win the game rather than getting the most kills.

Titanfall’s limitation to 6v6 matches would have to be about the only negative aspect to the game pre-release. People were moaning that it was going to be awful. Well, it is only 6v6, but it never feels like 6v6, because Respawn have included some AI bots to help the place feel more like a war zone. These give even noobs an easy kill and help attentive players power up quicker. It’s a game mechanic that sounds bad but works really well.

Whilst I was not one of the many people chomping at the bit to get their hands on Titanfall, I have seen the hype machine whip the gaming world into a frenzy, and I have to say, it does live up to the hype. It’s a solid entry into the first person shooter arena, and it carries it’s badge of originality with honour, creating a fast paced, but ultimately fun experience that will have you coming back for more. And more. And more.

Reviewed On: XBox One

Rating: R16 Violence.



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