TitanFall 2 Review (Spoiler-Free)

I grabbed this spontaneously the other day both due to the sale on Amazon and me not having played a good single-player FPS for ages.  Multi-player Titanfall (1) was supposed to be great so I was a little tempted by the multi-player too but what I really wanted was a cool campaign to run through.

Titanfall 2  delivers, in spades.titanfall-2-11-23-2016-17-30-18-02

As this is going to be spoiler-free, I can’t go into too many details about the plot.  It’s a FUTURESPACEWAR where elite soldiers (Pilots) and their mentally-linked MECHAROBOTSOLDIERS rule the battlefield.  There’s an ongoing story but that just drives the adoption of different, cool mechanics on each level.

It’s the “driving enormous robot-soldiers” that seems to be the big attraction of the Titanfall games (it’s in the title and everything) but the intro-movie barely even shows them.  It focusses on the super-agile pilot while free-running, jumping and mantling around huge groups of enemy soldiers obliterating them at will.

This, to be fair, looks just awesome and a giant robot which is saying something.titanfall-2-11-23-2016-11-50-11-04And the actual gameplay is just as cool when you try it.  You don’t spend all your time mooning after your mechanised buddy when he’s not around.  Instead you’re working out just how fast you can go along a wall while blasting five enemy troops with your automatic shotgun.  And maybe at the end of it you decide to slide under a blast-door to get behind a shielded captain and flank him with your pistol.  And actually, as you still have all that momentum what about double-jumping to mantle over the top of some cover while throwing a frag grenade at the reinforcements who’ve just wandered in?

But of course, stomping around in a massive robot has a certain, je ne sais quoi.  Though really you know exactly what the “quoi” is and it’s an enormous railgun.  The titan fights are great and give a real sense of weight while still relying on your mobility skills as well.  Titan-robot-buddy is pretty well realised in the game too and they came him a cool companion without over-playing either the comic relief or po-faced “brothers in arms” grittiness.titanfall-2-11-24-2016-18-43-16-02The graphics are gorgeous with some beautiful vistas, battles and scenes of uber-technology.  While the environments are nicely reactive with some brilliant set-pieces in chaotic environments they mix them up nicely with the structure, tool-set and enemies all changing regularly.  They’re quite happy to have brilliant mechanics that are only used for a level or two before being replaced for something else awesome.titanfall-2-11-23-2016-18-40-06-03

And while I didn’t get it for the multi-player, I did dip my toes in the water to see what it was like.  My level 1 grunt ran ahead as the level started, looking over her shoulder to see if the team was following only to see them all dashing across rooftops and along walls way ahead of her as she ran along the ground.

“That looks awesome!

I want to learn how to do that….”

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