Fans of the original Titanfall had great expectations for the sequel, for some those expectations are left unmet.
The verse and tone were set for Titanfall 2 by its predecessor and poor use of those assets were made with this game. The multi-player only original was a flash success on the PC and Xbox One platforms giving one of the best on-line versus experiences in a long time. The fast paced movement and agility of a pilot was balanced with the lumbering power of the giant titans. In Ttianfall 2 these things still exist but do not play or feel as good as before. Competitive maps do not have the same effortless flow where you could endlessly wall-run with carefully placed jumps previously players now find strategically placed objects set to hinder said movement by intent. The ability to scamper from wall to wall with precision has been removed as walls have been placed in the just out of reach area where a jump is bound to fail but trick you into trying anyway.
What was a beautiful multi-player versus system has been turned sideways for no more than the sake of doing so. Re-working an experience based system between games is nothing new and not the issue with Titanfall 2. Unlocking weapons and abilities has not been greatly changed and can still be easily handled. What is less amenable to players is the lack of ability to change one’s loadouts both on pilots and titans. It may sound like a small change but going from having three weapons to only two is drastic and conditionally harsh. In the case of a pilot-vs-pilot game it would be fine to have a load out of only two weapons both designed to decimate other pilots. When playing in modes that involve titans and pilots the two weapon system reaches a break. In the original game if you failed to slay your pilot nemesis with your primary weapon it was a quick switch to your secondary for one last chance but in this sequel that secondary may be your anti-titan weapon that could likely be ineffective at dispatching your foe. With your titan your are now hamstrung to preconfigured armaments. The developers made the choice to not allow players to mix and match titan abilities and weapons as they did before. If you find that you enjoy a titans primary weapon but not its other abilities you’ll just have to learn to live with it because you can do little else about it.
More proof that change isn’t always progress, look at just two examples. First the absence of the Frontier Defense game mode. This co-op mode was grafted into the original after its release and it absence is odd in the sequel. Granted it can be added in later as it was in the original but the fact that it was a prebuilt game mode makes it a peculiar mode to be missing. The only thought is that they wanted to limit the number of modes available to keep player counts up in playlists. The second instance is the change to rodeoing a titan. In Titanfall 2 you remove a battery and jump off. You only get to damage a titan if the battery is already gone when you rodeo it and you’ll get to drop a grenade into it. This is far less satisfying that ripping open the titan’s skull and discharging your weapon into it for the kill. Maybe removing a battery can be a strategic maneuver, especially if you can return it to a teammate, but it almost negates the fun and functionality of the rodeo.
For those that lauded the original for its lack of a proper campaign there is good news and bad news. Respawn took the time to develop an actual campaign with character and story to replace its somewhat hilarious excuse for a campaign from the first game. Playing as an actual character is positive for the story given the modern contention to make the hero nameless and voiceless. That was the good news, now the bad. The storyline is somewhat jerking and nonsensical taking you between events and places that are held together by reasons resembling fishing line. As for the gameplay itself, it was a sadly ill-conceived notion to make a campaign for a first-person shooter more of a platforming game than an actual shooter.
Where the original Titanfall stood out Titanfall 2 will lurk in a corner. By not furthering any of the most innovative points this successor doesn’t offer the same appeal as the original. Time will tell how much the thrill of replaying a game that was replayed ad nauseam with little change can keep this game alive.
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A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.