The first person shooter war keeps making casualties, and after Medal of Honour it seems Titanfall could be set to have the same sad ending in the Electronic Arts portfolio. One, two titles that try and come in support of Battlefield, looking to attack Call of Duty from different angles, and then the end, with no other games releasing in the franchise. What’s happening with Titanfall 2, then? Basically, it’s the same thing that happened with the original Titanfall. The game was, and is, pretty good, but support doesn’t seem to be (as) good and timing is at least very bad.
Launching it in the middle of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Battlefield 1 is just insane and, while it could make sense looking at it from a publishing perspective – they wanted to make pressure on Infinite Warfare with different settings and gameplay styles – for now it’s just resulting in Titanfall 2 being abandoned or very little populated in the multiplayer side.
Other design choices in my opinion have made Titanfall 2 even less charming than the original. Everyone was asking for a single-player campaign, so Respawn added it and did it well, but to be honest the original Titanfall was the game you could instantly recognize because of it is not having a single-player campaign and featuring huge robots – the Titans.
Now that the game is not exclusively single-player anymore, and vertical gameplay has been explored by almost each and every other competitor in the FPS scene, all that’s left are Titans. Could it be enough to save this title, despite its loss of uniqueness?
Looking at it from a multiplayer perspective, it’s a no: the original Titanfall’s balance was already put into serious risk because of these huge robots interfering into the regular gameplay, now it’s the same – when those things pops up, you know you’re dead, no matter where you run.
This makes Titanfall 2 being in the middle of a crisis of identity, where it has the pace of Call of Duty – offering faster and faster battles in multiplayer that (EA is right on this) builds a very different gameplay in comparison with Battlefield – but constantly see it smashed down by the interference of Titans. It’s an unfortunate occurrence, as in comparison with the previous entry, this time multiplayer has lots of customization and different modes to play, but none of them look like a mode you would embark on for a long time.
In single-player, things work pretty well instead. Respawn built a neat mixture of Call of Duty and Mirror’s Edge, with some nice bits of Portal, and while it is pretty short and it’s an intriguing journey through the first piece of proper story mode in the Titanfall universe. This story explores the relationship between Pilots and Titans, and has the latter talking and thinking like a giant human being with quite a good sense of humor.
Sections with platforming and dynamic level forming are among the best things you will experience this year in gaming, as the developer strived to continuously change things up and offered a variety of situations throughout the campaign. It’s not your usual story mode, somehow shooting your way from the beginning to the end, exploring instead a nice set of different things – no matter how short it is, it’s never repeating situations which you’ve already met.
All in all, this is something you’re going to really appreciate, but in my opinion first person shooter games like this – one which was meant to be a multiplayer experience first and foremost – need to be longeval and supported in the long run. I wouldn’t buy an FPS, like Call of Duty or Battlefield, because of their story modes, mainly because we’ve not been used to think of them as story-driven titles.
They can have a good balance, like Battlefield 1, and when they do, well they ultimately are the first person shooter games you should be looking at.