When it comes to video game sequels, people tend to be harsher towards the follow-up, regardless of if the previous game was good or bad. This Titanfall 2 review will take a critical look at the game with very little consideration of its predecessor, and I’ll explain why after the break.
When Titanfall 2 was finally revealed during E3 this past summer, I was skeptical about whether it would perform well. I did not play the original Titanfall, but from what I had heard, it didn’t sustain a player base despite positive reception. It seemed to got lost in the shuffle; plus the lack of a traditional single player campaign turned off many people. My main question coming into the sequel was, “Will this series learn and grow from its original game in the same way Borderlands improved with its sequel?”
The answer: yes, it did. Let’s talk about why.
Titanfall 2 Review
First off, there is an actual campaign, which is what the first Titanfall was missing and sorely needed.
When you begin the campaign, you get introduced into the world of Titanfall 2. It’s performed in a balanced way where you get the right amount of explanation: not too little, but not too much either. In addition, as a newcomer to the franchise, I wasn’t lost or penalized for having skipped the original game.
Your character, Cooper, does talk to his Titan during the game. Cooper is fully voiced for these interactions, which pleases me. Personally, I love it when the character I play as is a vocal participant in the story. What I find interesting is that you can choose the responses Cooper says but you won’t have all day to make these responses. I’m a huge fan of this approach because you feel like you have a bit more control in the game, as if you are personally inside the universe, but you have to think on your feet as well.
Throughout the campaign, you’re able to possess a “ghost,” which is a mechanism to help you in case you get stuck. This can help open the game up to players of all skill levels without having to get help from friends or walkthroughs online.
I really like the connection the game creates between Cooper, and his Titan, BT. It’s set up to where if you are out of BT and he gets destroyed, you still have to restart from the previous checkpoint; you’re responsible for his actions at all times. This creates a good teamwork mechanic and has you pay attention to BT so you can jump in him and keep him alive if needed.
While improvements have been made across the board in Titanfall 2 when it comes to both the narrative and its visuals (albeit slightly), this added human element between Cooper and BT is what won me over.
When you are introduced to the bosses in this game, there is a splash art that you see before you interact with them. This gives Titanfall 2 a less serious feel then one of its competitor, Battlefield 1, which deals with the horrors of World War 1. This splash art highlights on the fact that the game does not have a serious narrative or nature, which is something I look for in games.
I also like that you don’t feel left out if you did not play the first game. You’re not punished for, say, watching a movie that constantly calls out to the book it’s based on without reading the book. While I understand why many games pick up from where their predecessors left off, it can be jarring for those who missed out the first time. Titanfall 2 didn’t alienate me because I didn’t play the original. I played the second game on my PS4 –since the first game was only available for the Xbox One and PC and therefore I did not have an option to play the first one)– and it made me feel welcome when I picked it up based on its trailers leading into release.
Gameplay wise, things play out like your average modern first-person shooter (FPS), regardless of whether you’re in a Titan or not. However, when you are in the Titans, the movement can be a bit slow if you are used to running or sprinting in other games where you can contently run without stamina running out.
What Titanfall 2 does best is that it welcomes me in open arms. I’m not punished for missing out the first time. I’m not turned away for not being a professional gamer. I can jump in and play. This is the perfect definition on what a sequel should be: keep what worked with the original and improve what didn’t. Definitely worth the buy.