Titanfall 2

Dane Dorius, Academics and Arts Editor

Titanfall 2 is a new first-person shooter by Respawn, a team mostly made of the developers of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and MW2. Taking place far into the future, the singleplayer and multiplayer deal with a struggle between two factions of humanity. You play as “Pilots,” elite troops who have boosted movement and the ability to call down a Titan, a twenty-foot tall giant robot. The singleplayer locks you into playing on a specific faction, while the multiplayer uses the two as replacements for Attack/Defense or Red Team and Blue Team. It’s easily my favorite shooter done in CoD’s style- that is, an FPS with fast kills, regenerating health, weapon mods, and mix-and-match boosts. The singleplayer is one of the best in Triple-A gaming this year, with a nigh-perfect length and incredible variety. The multiplayer is ridiculously fun, with something for almost anybody. The developers are genuinely passionate about making it and are affable if you face them ingame.

The single player is a pleasant surprise when compared to the lackluster one in the first game, with selectable dialogue, fun levels, and plenty of variety in each level. The developers know when to move onto the next mechanic, preventing each individual one from feeling like a drag. For example, shifting between two separate time periods is perfect for a level or two, but it would wear thin if it were present throughout the entire game. There isn’t a lot else to say about it without making it the centerpiece of the review, but it’s another marker of Respawn’s mastery over making fluid, fun gameplay.

Speaking of which, the game deserves a paragraph dedicated to its gameplay. Both sides of its gameplay, Pilot-side and Titan-side, are both incredibly fun. The double jumping and wallrunning is satisfying in a way hard to articulate, and the weapons all have certain niches. I’m particular to using the default shotgun while going as fast as I can, swinging around on a grappling hook to blindside enemies who aren’t expecting buckshot flying at 120 kilometers an hour. The Titans are slower, feeling more like a traditional FPS- you can’t jump, let alone wallrun, but Titan-on-Titan combat feels epic and fighting Pilots as one feels like stomping very fast bugs under your feet. Even then, the anti-Titan weapons Pilots have lets the tables turn quickly- a rocket to the face will still hurt.

Titanfall 2, despite being a AAA sequel to a futuristic military shooter, is somehow a breath of fresh air this year, with a sense of fluidity, pacing, variety and balance that’s a rare treat. Even so, it’s a spectacle where you always feel like the tables can turn at any moment- you might be smaller than a Titan’s toe, but your grenade launcher can still fell it. You might’ve lost the match, but you can still get to the dropship and escape. You might be falling behind in scores, but you can kill a “grunt” for more progress towards your Titan. Even if you can’t stomach multiplayer, the singleplayer is honestly worth a purchase on its own merits. This game is genuinely worth the full price, which is a bold claim to make in the current world where discounts are everywhere.