One thing that has been captivating to me since childhood was the idea of robotic mechs duking it out. Be it Gundam, Robotech, or Mechwarrior there is just something enamoring about the prospect. So does Titanfall 2 live up to that dream or does it rust over?
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Respawn Entertainment
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: October 28, 2016
Price: $59.99 (Review copy bought)
This is a review coupled with a supplemental video review. You can watch the video review above, or read the full review of the game below.
Titanfall 2 is a brilliant looking game. Everything from the interior of your titan to the map layout is highly detailed. When it comes to visuals there are three distinctive parts to look at: single player, multiplayer, and character design.
Single player presents the player with an interesting world that has some intriguing concepts, which are captured beautifully. Everything seems to propel the player forward at breakneck speeds, while also feeling open. The game is designed in such a way to funnel the player forward. This keeps the game fun and fast paced while not feeling like a set of hallways.
The multiplayer switches gears to accommodate arena style play. The design perfectly suits the style of play, while not looking generic or bloated. The maps here are thematic with levels from the single player while not rehashing it, making sure they fit with all modes of play.
The last thing to really examine is the character design. Pilots are well designed for the most part, looking sharp in their full helmet and sleek suites. However, anyone showing skin suffers from plastic face syndrome and generally looks like a plastic doll dipped in oil. This is a rather popular western design style, and it never works.
Before I dive into gameplay let’s talk about some technical issues the game has. Within my total playtime of finishing the story mode 2 times and getting level 32 in multiplayer, the game’s data was corrupted four times and has frozen my PS4 multiple times on load.
This is a pain in the ass but is not life ending as the campaign is 6 hours at most, with most of your game data stored in multiplayer on the cloud as well. With that said, this game is fantastic from a pure gameplay standpoint.
Movement, parkour, gun controls, and titan controls are extremely well executed. I have to say, I was burnt out from all things shooter for a long while because of just how mundane and boring they have become in the last 5 years. Luckily, Titanfall 2 sparked a level of enjoyment I have not had in some time with the genre.
While the single player campaign is really short and only really serves as a lead up for the multiplayer, it’s really enjoyable. There is a nice technical flow to each mission with titan battles serving as a strong finale for each section, which many shooters just fail at doing. The single player has such potential, if there was DLC that promised to flesh out more of the world via a fresh campaign I would make that purchase.
The real meat of the game is is the multiplayer, which uses all the mechanics seamlessly to provide a fast past and action packed experience that works on every level. There is also a large variety of modes to play with Attrition and Bounty Hunt being the standouts, but also including:
Pilot vs. Pilot, Skirmish, Amped Hardpoint, Capture the Flag, Last Titan Standing, Free for All, Private Match, Ground War, Variety Pack, and Coliseum.
The multiplayer also tends to weave AI into matches as a third combatant, which sounds weird in writing, but it simply works, giving a DOTA style spin of the FPS genre.
Titans are unique to the loadouts players pick and can unlock. Each titan has a level of weight that makes them all feel different but equally functional and devastating. Pilots and titans both have a huge level of customization available: primary weapon, tactical skills, perks, grenades and even the skins for the weapons used and pilot and titan outfits/paint.
Even the way you can use a titan in battle is extremely versatile, be it trying to drop it on another player’s titan, setting it to guard mode while you bank funds, or trying to set up a pincer attack between you and your titan.
While there is not an amazing focus on the music, it works well when the game utilizes it. The real standouts are the pilot and titan voice work, as well as the ambient sounds of the world. The voice work is direct and believable while not being over the top. This helps this world of space travel and giant robot mechs fell plausible. The world is reinforced by the sounds of the titans foot steps, each unique gun being fired, and every grunt calling for backup as you dance through them in a ballet of bullets.
The story is rather light, being completable in about five hours if you rush though it. It mostly functions as a device to sets up the world, factions in it, and the basics of the conflict to propel the player into the multiplayer.
The inner workings of the titans, the politics involved, and the over all world of Titanfall 2 gets the groundwork laid out, but it will leave you wanting to find out more. This is really disappointing because I really felt they had something here with the world they created. I would actually consider buying DLC for this game if it fleshed out the single player more, as the world is just that interesting.
Titanfall 2 is an amazing multiplayer gamer, and could have also been an amazing single player game. The fast paced multiplayer with a clever use of AI combatants really makes every match enjoyable, and shows that there are still legs to the FPS genre. Its just a shame they did not push for more single player missions as the world of Titanfall is one well worth exploring. Out side of save data issues, the game’s core mechanics are damn near flawless. It’s a must buy if you like giant mechs, fps, or interesting combat.
Titanfall 2 was reviewed on Playstation 4 using a downloaded purchase on the Playstation Store. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here.
The Verdict: 8.5
- Amazing Combat, Mech and non mech
- Fantastic world building
- Flawless multiplayer
- Single player save data issue
- Plastic face models