Standby for Titanfall: An In-depth Review and Summary of Titanfall 2

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Standby for Titanfall: An In-depth Review and Summary of Titanfall 2

Eric Carr (12th), Editor

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In an era of oversaturated shooter franchises, Respawn Entertainment’s Titanfall 2 brings the first person shooting franchise to a titanic level. Its fast, mobility paced gameplay, mixed with its slower, mech based gameplay adds an interesting mix on the standard, Call of Duty-esque game.

Building off of the original Titanfall, Titanfall 2 brings players back to what made the first game groundbreaking, the large, beautiful multiplayer maps, as well as the iconic Titans themselves. However, the sequel fixes many issues of the first game, as well as adds much more content.

One such case of new content was the addition of a single player. Running about 6-7 hours (depending on difficulty, and skill), the single player offers a “Hollywood” type story of friendship and a fight for survival and glory.

The player takes control of Jack Cooper, an ordinary rifleman in the Frontier Militia, a militia of settlers who defend the Frontier planets from the IMC, an interstellar mining corporation that hires mercenaries to attack Frontier lands for their resources.

However, Cooper seeks to be a Pilot, an elite soldier capable of taking control of a Titan, which is an armored war mech that can communicate with the Pilot, as well as helping the Pilot in combat by self control, or direct control from a Pilot.

After a quick simulation that teaches the player basic foot combat, Cooper and a large group of Frontier forces crash onto the planet Typhon. Severely outnumbered, many die as the rebel forces are wiped out. One casualty is Captain Lastimosa, a Pilot and Cooper’s mentor. As he dies, he links his Titan, BT-7274, to Cooper.

After BT teaches Cooper how to control him (as BT’s AI is male), the story kicks off as the two attempt to rendezvous with a Frontier commander.

The level design is breathtaking. From the lush green jungle, to a giant conveyor belt that builds props for combat simulations, Titanfall 2 delivers a single player experience that does not feel constrained.

Players can choose to run towards combating enemies, or outmaneuver them by wall-running and hurdling across massive set pieces. Instead of the standard shooter, where the player hides behind cover and picks enemies off, Titanfall 2 gives the player the ability to wall run and drop down on enemies, power slide across them, or double jump to get a height advantage.

Titan combat is what you’d expect from controlling a 25 foot tall war mech. It’s slow and sluggish, yet very satisfying. Throughout the game, the player can collect loadouts while controlling BT. From a standard machine gun, to a weapon that fires a ball of explosive gas, single player Titan combat allows the player to play how they want.

Since the core idea behind Titanfall 2’s single player campaign was to show the relationship between the Pilot and their Titan, the majority of the game has Cooper and BT on their own. Cooper’s own comedic personality, and BT’s robotic artificial intelligence offer a few chuckles.

One memorable scene is when BT recommends throwing Cooper across to a platform that he cannot reach. “There is a 62 percent chance of success” BT reports. Cooper replies with “What about the other 38 percent?”, and BT replies with “There is a 38 percent of an incomplete transversal, resulting in catastrophic trauma, massive internal bleeding, and multiple compound fractures. Dismemberment may also occur.  There is also a possibility of electrocution and disintegration within the toxic fog below.”

Despite being a weapon of destruction, BT tends to be a gentle giant. Imagine the Iron Giant, yet armed to the teeth and capable of wiping out a small army. BT does not “want to lose another Pilot” and acts as a mentor to Cooper, giving him advice on where to go or saving his life multiple times.

One such scene is after BT grabs Cooper as he is falling into an abyss. Cooper gives BT a thumbs up, and BT pauses and looks at his own hand, and twitches his fingers until they he makes thumbs up too.

However, other than level design and the relationship between BT and Cooper, the story is generally bland (which is expected of many first person shooters.) Many plot twists are cliche, and most of the mini bosses, who have Titans that supposedly reflect their personality, have little to no development to them.

The only thing that separates Titanfall 2’s single player from a Call of Duty or Battlefield is the amazing level design and the lovable characters of BT and Cooper (which both worth playing single player alone)

In all, Titanfall 2’s single player aspect delivers solid gameplay, which focuses more on fun than story. It’s probably not something one would play more than once, however. (The only exception is the battle simulation, as it gives players the chance to run an obstacle course as much as they want, which can prime their multiplayer acrobatic skill by analyzing how fast they are moving and time taken to complete the course)

However, where Titanfall 2 really shines is its multiplayer. Titanfall 2 offers an experience that is just a heck of a lot of fun.

There is over 10 game modes, the most popular being Attrition, which is Pilots versus Pilots, and as the match progresses, players can call down Titans and compete in Titan vs Titan combat. There’s also Pilots versus Pilots, which is just Pilot combat, no Titans. The large amount of game modes adds a rotation that keeps the game feeling fresh.

The game is also very fluid when it comes to online play. Joining a match doesn’t even take half a minute, and actual matches do not take longer that 15 minutes (depending on your game mode). The UI is simple to understand, and it is organized that a player can change specific aspects in their loadout in the few seconds before a match begins.

The online strives at its customization. Nearly every aspect of Titanfall 2’s online can be customized. Every Pilot and Titan weapon has about 75 unlockable skins, the Pilots camouflage can be changed, and the player can add camo and nose art to Titans.

Other than aesthetic customization, the player can create loadouts based on their preferred play style.

Players can change their Pilot, such as human that can shoot a grapple hook for added mobility, to a robot that can phase out of time to escape harm. In all, there’s 7 Pilots to chose from, each offering different styles to suit the player.

Weapon perks can be unlocked, such as various scopes and increased ammo capacity or faster reloading. Numerous types of throwables, like grenades or flaming shurikens are also unlocked.

Unlike like most games, Titanfall 2 does not rely on experience points to level up. Instead, it has merit points. Completing challenges, winning a match, or leveling weapons or Titans reward merit points, adding to player progression. Its similar, however it seems to go much faster by only going by increments of one.

Once a player hits the maximum level of 50, they have the option to “regenerate” (essentially it’s like Prestige from Call of Duty).

By regeneration, a max level player will drop back to level 1, and lose unlocks normally unlocked by leveling, such as weapons, abilities, and Titans. They have to play again and reach the required level to unlock it again. (There’s an exception, which will be discussed later) However, they do unlock rare camouflages to show off their feat.

Weapons can also be regenerated as well, as hitting max level and dropping down to level 1 for the weapon again unlocks a kill counter on the side of the weapon to keep track of kills with said weapon. The player also unlocks aesthetically pleasing weapon skins with regeneration.

So, that’s progression and customization. However, what’s a shooter without a large arsenal to take down enemies with?

Titanfall 2 really strives at its list of available weapons. Like standard shooters, there’s the jack of all trades assault rifles, close range SMGs, large magazine LMGs, shotguns, sniper rifles, pistols, and heavy weapons, like a minigun that shoots rockets.

As imbalanced as those all sound, there is no clear “best gun in the game” or “over powered noob gun” Respawn really hit the nail on the head when it comes to weapon balance. Shotguns are typically not a one hit kill at close range, and even a pistol can compete with an assault rifle.

High level players, who probably have all the weapons unlocked, do not have overpowered weapons . A low level player with the same skill can easily take down a high level player with a higher level requirement item.

Even Pilot vs Titan combat is balanced. Instead of a pistol for a sidearm, players can opt in to substitute in an anti-Titan weapon, such as a rifle that charges and releases a laser beam or a magnetic grenade launcher, which although aren’t all that powerful, can be used to finish up a weakened Titan. A player can be quick enough to out maneuver a Titan, and destroy it. This requires much skill though, as Titans are armed with Anti-Pilot measures.

However, one of the most surprising aspects of Titanfall 2 is not gameplay at all.

In an era of companies churning out unfinished games, and expecting players to fork over another $30-$50 for a so called “season pass” to get extra content as it’s released, it’s obvious that gamers everywhere are sick with it. Major games such as Call of Duty and Battlefield 1, have season passes, forcing players to cough up more money if they want to get the most out of their game.

Titanfall 2, however, does not have a season pass. Everything that affects gameplay, such as new weapons, new Titans, abilities, and maps, will be totally FREE. There’s also a plethora of free in game content as well, content that other developers would use to squeeze out more money from its player base.

Already, Respawn has released a DLC pack, called Angel City’s Most Wanted. This pack added in a game mode, a “new” map (actually it’s a remaster from one of the most popular maps from the original Titanfall, called Angel City), a new pistol, an in game store, as well as more weapon customization for Titans. All this free of charge.

In the in-game store, the only thing that players can choose to spend real money on are “Prime” Titans, which are just different looks for the default Titans, and an exclusive camouflage pack for weapons, pilots, and Titans. And the prices aren’t ridiculous at all. $1.99 gets you a Prime Titan, or a 20 skin pack. None of that effects gameplay, just more (you guessed it), aesthetic purposes.

However, Titanfall 2 does have an in-game currency system. The player can get virtual currency that they can redeem for weapon camouflage, early unlocks to a weapon, ability, or Titan, as well as perks for their Pilot.

But guess what? This virtual currency can only be gained through gameplay. No in-app currency purchases for real money. No “coin packs” that cost real money that flood other games. (Respawn humorously replied with a simple “No.” when asked if currency would be able to be bought with real money)

Is there a gun that you want to try out but you’re not a high enough level to unlock it? Just play and earn points that you can spend to unlock the gun early. (Remember that every gun is balanced, so don’t expect to buy the highest level gun and be overpowered!)  And remember earlier how regenerated pilots lose all weapon unlocks? Well, their favorite gun that requires a high level can be purchased with points at any level , and permanently unlocked, no matter their level or regeneration.

The points are fairly easy to get through leveling, but not plentiful that they discourage players from leveling to try new things.

There’s also Advocate Gifts that are in the game. After the player levels up to a certain level, they receive a gift. The gift can be opened to reveal one of hundreds of customization items (of course!), such as exclusive camouflage that cannot be purchased with the in-game currency, exclusive banners and icons (a banner is a card with an image as well as the player name, and the icon sits on the bottom left.of the card. The banner and icon is flashed on the screen for a player you kill), as well as additional in-game currency.

And, just like the currency, Advocate Gifts cannot be bought with real money. Player progression rewards players with the gifts. And unlike games like Counter Strike, you do not need to buy a “key” to open a single crate. Just one free click of a button while selecting your free crate and boom, a free item for you.

It’s evident that Respawn really cares about its player base, and doesn’t see them as nothing but potential profit. By creating a solid and finished game, that’s balanced for players of all skill level, Titanfall 2 delivers the punch of an amazing first person shooter. It’s definitely worth a shot for any fan of shooter games, or people wanting to break free from traditional shooters by trying Titanfall 2’s awesome acrobatic combat, and for players fed up with games loaded with a large amount of content only available to people who throw additional money towards the developers.

The future only holds positivity for Titanfall 2, as Respawn had promised even more free content. So what’s stopping you? Hop into your Titan and experience all the Frontier has to offer!

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Standby for Titanfall: An In-depth Review and Summary of Titanfall 2