Brandon Schneider ’19 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
The story of Titanfall 2 follows Rifleman Cooper of the 41st Militia Rifle Battalion, and after you go through a standard FPS tutorial, the game hits you with a real challenge, The Pilot’s Gauntlet. The gauntlet is a timed obstacle course that is supposed to test a pilot’s maneuverability and combat skills. After doing it once, the game says you can keep running the course or wait for the initial install to finish on your console. Whether or not this was by design, it allows players new to the franchise to mess around in the gauntlet and get proficient with the movement style.
After completing the tutorial and running through enemy lines, an enemy titan lands in front of you and right before he stomps on you, Captain Lastimosa, Cooper’s trainer, comes out of nowhere in his titan, BT, and saves you. Out of nowhere the titan speaks, informing Lastimosa of encroaching enemies. This is your first of many experiences of the bond between pilot and titan. Lastimosa and BT, get surrounded by a group of pilots and titans, the Apex Predators, and are defeated. The Captain hands his titan over to you before he dies.
The rest of the campaign has you traverse various terrains and scenarios that showcase the game’s movement and combat in and out of the titan. Every mission feels fresh and creative. Respawn Entertainment took advantage of the movement style in Titanfall 2 and built the levels around it. The development team made each level with the idea that the player could take different paths of varying difficulty. If you wanted to experience all these paths, you would have to use the environment in new ways every time and
rethink what you could do with the movement.
The game’s mechanics were excellent and the story was good but there were moments where it lacked depth. Throughout the story you would encounter ally titan/pilot pairs and also take on enemy pairs, the Apex Predators. While you saw BT share dialogue and characterizing moments with Cooper and Lastimosa, there was no other titan/pilot team that shared such moments. Even though the game is all about the bond Cooper and BT share, it makes sense for other teams to share some sort of bond. The other titans were voiceless and uninteresting and because of this the Apex predators were just an objective to complete and nothing more. This doesn’t drown out the story you experience between Cooper and BT.
After a disappointing release of the first Titanfall, Respawn Entertainment put all their efforts into making a blockbuster experience with Titanfall 2. Titanfall 2‘s multiplayer is fresh and exciting. There are currently nine maps and twelve game modes. The game’s matches are well paced and the mpas are designed to put players in multiple combat experiences. The maps in this game are fantastic functionally. Visually, they are lacking. Regardless, the multiplayer is dense with Respawn planning to release DLC updates with new maps, all completely free of charge.
The game also has a new Pilot vs Pilot mode that is essentially team deathmatch but without titans. This is a great way to have players that are new to the game learn how to move around in the multiplayer space before placing them in the impressively flashy, explosive and fast paced environment that is essentially every other game mode. There are six titans, each with unique traits, equipment and abilities. Each weapon has numerous functional and visual customization options as does the pilot and all of the titans. Many options are offered that really make each player feel like they have made their own style. Titanfall 2 has a feature that allows you to join a group called a network. Similar to a guild in World of Warcraft, these networks help find groups of social or competitive gamers.
Leveling up is different than other FPS games. Instead of getting experience points, you earn merits. Merits can be acquired by leveling up a gun, leveling up a titan, winning the match, and completing other challenges that can be seen when in match. When merits are earned, they are put in a bank, and can be spent to unlock weapons and other class items early. It makes players look at leveling differently and focus more on getting better with titans, weapons and also play the objective as well.
Titanfall 2 may be predictable at times but it definitely has originality and provide a compelling experience in a short amount of time. Where the story lacked in moments, it made up for it in others and then made up for it even more with gameplay itself. Titanfall 2 has so much variety to offer in its campaign and multiplayer experience. A game like this is great for people who want a game worth $60 packed into a six hour story and an even longer multiplayer experience.