Titanfall 2 - Xbox One

Release Date:

28 October 2016

Also on:

Xbox One PS4

Viewing UK:

Also on USA.
9.2

Summary:

Pilot and Titan unite as never before in Respawn Entertainment’s highly anticipated Titanfall 2 for the Xbox One. Featuring a crafted single player campaign that explores the unique bond between Pilot and Titan, and backed by a deeper, more robust multiplayer experience that includes six new Titans, expanded Pilot abilities and a deeper, more robust customisation and progression system, Titanfall 2 delivers fun, fluid, fast-paced action brimming with inventive twists.


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Posted:
2016-11-16

Jamie_Hall

Writer

Xbox One

9.2

Titanfall 2 is a first-person shooter video game which was developed by Respawn Entertainment and published by Electronic Arts. This is the sequel to Titanfall, the game was released in October 2016 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

When the current generation began, the FPS genre was dominated by war-zone shooters like Call of Duty and Battlefield and Sci-Fi tinged ones like Halo. With the onset of greater processing power and more PC-like online infrastructures, console gamers looked forward to expanded game ideas and play style. While some games foraged into MMO territory like Destiny, other titles promised complexity and a mashup of styles with the presence of new technology.

The flagship title of the latter was the first Titanfall, a game that utilized the new tech to throw together dazzling FPS mechanics with aerial combat and giant mech battles that weren't previously possible. The game was extremely well received and served as Microsoft's first big exclusive. Years later, Respawn (formally of Call of Duty fame) has returned with a sequel, that while failing to match the hype of the first title, hits every note the first one did and finds an almost peak Bungie-level of polish.

The core of Titanfall was its online experience and character progression and like the first game Titanfall 2 excels in this regard. While it has a definitively better single player experience (we will touch upon this later), the game's meat and potatoes is streamlined to near perfection here. Online matches are fast and fluid, and the variety of modes highlights the 'big dog vs. little dog' combat between mechs and humans. Modes like 'Last Titan Standing' allow for methodical teamwork between fast moving humans, while ones like Bounty Hunt provide strategy on an individual level. The latter mode asks players to collect currency after waves of enemies with a strategic option of leaving their mech to deposit said currency after each wave. This risk / reward aspect presents tension and gives players incentives for exploring the maps and mixing up their strategy.

One important change to the multiplayer is understated and that's the size of the maps you engage upon. Where areas the first game stressed crazy action at every second, Titanfall 2 expands its levels and lets players develop tactics across topography instead of pushing a Rambo-like mentality. It's more methodical, more nuanced, and it gives players more opportunity to consider their approach (be it within a mech or on foot). It's this aspect that gives Titanfall 2's enhanced character progression a greater impact and allows for a more diverse style of play than the first title. Improvements are tied to both player level and the in-gamer currency, and with the added dimension of combat, individuals will put more consideration into their progression decisions (whether cosmetic or actually performance enhancing).

On the whole, the entire multiplayer experience is more nuanced and with greater lasting appeal than the first title. Beside this improvement, Respawn has managed to create an alluring, if short, single player experience. Clocking in just over six hours, Titanfall 2's silly story won't win awards but its pacing and action is totally worth the investment. We follow Cooper and BT (man and mech) as they run and fly through a variety of crazy set pieces and surprisingly elaborate boss encounters. Each of these seems to build on the previous level / boss' craziness and it escalates into an ending, that while a bit disappointing, is at least batshit crazy enough to be endearing. All in all, the single player services as a side distraction and a potential offshoot if the series can continue its momentum.

The first Titanfall was notable for its combat but also for its slick presentation and great performance. Titanfall 2 continues this trend with solid and extremely functional graphics that haven't once hiccuped for me. Each and every match I've encountered has been fast and fluid and the 60 FPS action operates at a premium efficiency. Helping these graphics are controls that are as smooth as butter and the synergy between performance and input can't be understated here, particularly when there's a diverse set of systems and styles happening.

In terms of presentation and sound, Titanfall 2 excels as well because it keeps things simple. Sounds are distinct and meaty, and the music that plays hits the notes but only at the right times. We never feel overwhelmed aurally and Respawn definitely understands its pacing and how sound (or lack thereof) can enhance it. Touching upon the direct presentation, menus are slick and well-considered and picking our mode direction is fast and fluid. The game is perfectly tuned for a quick match or two or for the long haul gaming binge. This intangible quality may be crucial to Titanfall 2's long-term relevance as an online shooter.

In Titanfall 2's case, more of the same, with slight tweaks, appears to be the right formula. Respawn has learned a lot from its first go-round and has made the right improvements to its series for new players and old fans alike. While players can be fickle in what they pick and choose to invest their time in, this here hopes that people give the Titanfall series (another) chance.

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By:

Electronic Arts

Release Date:

28/10/2016

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