Titanfall was one of the first Xbox One Exclusives when it hit the market back in 2014. Praised for its combat dynamics and the scale of its multiplayer campaign, Titanfall 2 has gotten even bigger by adding a single player campaign and being available on PS4. With the promise of free DLC modes and maps for all players after release, Respawn Entertainment looks to be putting a great deal of effort into fan satisfaction. While free continuous content sounds like a great deal, one can only hope that Titanfall 2 doesn’t fall victim to micro-transactions the way that Gears of War 4 seems to have soured gameplay.
Two of the features that players were most looking forward to were the grappling hook and a single player, offline campaign — and both seem to be highlights of early reviews. However, one point of contention is the length of the single player campaign, which has been clocked at about 5-7 hours. For those looking for a more immersive experience, it looks like multiplayer is still the crown jewel of Titanfall 2.
The highest praise of all comes by way of combat dynamics. Fluid transitions, new methods to get around the battlefield, better pace, and the requirement for more intelligent strategies point to a follow-up game that truly improved upon its predecessor. For all the boxes Titanfall 2 appears to tick, the overall sentiment is that it is sorely lacking in the narrative department. If players don’t remember the intricacies of the conflict from the first game, it could be easy to get tripped up on the main character’s motivations.
That said, early reviews fawn over the sheer enjoy-ability factor of Titanfall 2 and many note that despite its sequel status, it’s a great starting point for players that are new to the franchise. Take a look at some review excerpts below.
Polygon – Arthur Gies
Consistency is a problem for Titanfall 2 in general, and it’s a game that seems to struggle with a confident direction for its changes. The end result is a collection of fantastic mechanics across its campaign and its multiplayer that often feel hamstrung by difficult to understand design choices. There’s clearly more here than before, and the package is offering something more “complete” by today’s standards. But Titanfall 2 throws the series’ dynamics off enough to make for something that just doesn’t quite click together as well as it did before.
Gamespot – Mike Mahardy
Titanfall 2 is a game about momentum. It knows when to rush forward at a breakneck pace. It knows when to give us time to breathe. Both in its single player campaign and its multiplayer modes, Titanfall 2 has a more measured pace than its predecessor, making the build-up to its climactic battles just as enticing as the events themselves. It’s every bit as kinetic and fluid as the first Titanfall–but in many respects, it’s a much better shooter.
Xbox Achievements – Dom Peppiatt
In terms of pacing, the story is good. It reminds us a little of Halo 3: ODST – high praise! – and the rhythm you fall into throughout the game works wonders with the mechanics Respawn slowly unveils to you. We assumed – perhaps arrogantly – that everything you have access to in the multiplayer would slowly be introduced in the campaign. How wrong we were! There are many surprises to be had from Titanfall 2’s single-player mode – Respawn isn’t scared of going kinda high-concept with this story, and that’s what sets it apart from the other, more ‘grounded’ FPS campaigns out there.
GamesRadar+ – David Houghton
Titanfall 2’s level design often has the grammar of more traditional FPS, but the language used to travel between each piece of punctuation is entirely new. Its campaign is built of familiar, concrete forms, but the total, creative freedom afforded by its free-running, double-jumping traversal systems reshapes everything you know about firing angles, terrain, cover, attack, and defence. This isn’t simply an FPS highlighted with isolated sections of Mirror’s Edge-style platforming, as it could have been. This is a game in which the entire fabric of everything you do, in combat, in navigation, in environmental puzzling, and in the many seamless, hybrid sections that blend two or all of the above, is powered entirely by the unprecedented, truly three-dimensional movement Titanfall 2 affords you. And you will always be moving.
US Gamer – Jaz Rignall
But really, it’s the action where Titanfall 2’s campaign shines brightest. The game could so easily have been a straightforward first-person shooting gallery, but it’s much more than that: A mash-up of platformer, arcade adventure, and shooter that mixes and matches the genres very well. Most of the platforming isn’t exactly taxing – anyone with moderate skills should have no problem succeeding – but it is creative and inventive, and very satisfying to play through.
Hardcore Gamer – Kevin Dunsmore
Titanfall 2 takes what works with the original and builds on it. The same addicting momentum-based movement system is back and it’s still fun to use. Built on top of this is a campaign that, while not the most original, manages to create a relationship that feels genuine with a unique mission structure that embraces the movement system to create unique gameplay scenarios. Then you have the multiplayer that may not have as many weapons as some other games, and a few maps that don’t play to the game’s strength, but still manages to produce hours of fun. Titanfall 2 breathes new life into the concept and has solidified it as a franchise.
Titanfall 2 will be available on Xbox One, PC, and PS4 on October 28th.