On October 28th, 2016, Titanfall 2 was released to the masses worldwide. Now that three years have passed I wanted to make an article detailing what I had really liked about Titanfall 2 and its history. There is, of course, no better time to do that than after the surge in popularity recently. This “surge” was most likely caused by Apex Legend’s success. Respawn Entertainment hit the jackpot with Apex, and that caused a build-up effect for Titanfall 2 which contains gunplay and movement very similar to Apex Legends. You can read some more Apex Legend articles on the site here. This article will contain major spoilers for the story of Titanfall 2.
To start things off we’re going to talk about the thrilling history of Titanfall 2. Why it maybe didn’t get so much reception and have a small discussion about the Titanfall series as a whole. Back in 2014, the first Titanfall launched; gaining mostly positive reviews, it was intriguing, it was different, and it was was a whole lot of fun to play. There had not been many similar experiences to it. People had flocked to the internet to request for a campaign and that must’ve sparked a flame in Respawn Entertainment as Titanfall 2 ultimately released with a campaign.
The release window for Titanfall 2 was extremely busy, releasing around the same time as ‘Battlefield 1’ (October 21st) and ‘Call of Duty Infinite Warfare’ (November 4th) with Titanfall 2 placed slap bang in the middle of the two. It was a battle of the titans—literally—two major series competing for the interest of people around the globe. Titanfall 2, unfortunately, did not sell too well at launch; the game, however, was being nominated by many places for the “Game of the Year award”. It was a massive success reception-wise but the question remained, if that release window was moved a few months before, or after, would Titanfall 2 have gained even more public interest?
A story which evoked a sense of companionship and elegance in combat
When I first started my playthrough of Titanfall 2 I was entranced by the idea of the campaign so I dove straight into the story, unsure of what to expect, but still, I had a high degree of optimism as I was very much looking forward to it. I was not disappointed at all, the campaign had some moments which I will look back on in future years. The second mission ‘BT-7274’ introduced us to our Titan after its old pilot was killed protecting us, with rights of access now transferred to our protagonist ‘Jack Cooper’. From that point on you and BT feel connected in some way. Jack looks out for BT as BT looks out for Jack; BT wasn’t just an AI in a fancy piece of kit, BT was living, and Respawn had crafted the character to make us feel this way.
The main story itself places players into meticulously crafted levels which allow players to determine their own route to take within a certain area. As you run along walls seamlessly to flank an enemy, while throwing a grenade to take the next out. Everything felt smooth but impactful at the same time. Whether you were piloting BT and punching foes with a 3-ton arm, or sliding along the ground and headshotting your enemy instead.
Effect and Cause
I of course can’t go into all of my favorite moments throughout the story but I would like to list one I felt that was ingenious in terms of mechanics. This would have to be from the mission of ‘Effect and Cause’. About a quarter of the way through this mission you are sent into a scientific research facility. Jack finds a device on the arm of one of his fellow soldiers who unfortunately had been trapped and killed in a wall (it’ll make sense in a moment). This ‘device’ allows whoever’s using it to transport between the present and the past effortlessly. This created for a mission that was extremely fun and did something that hadn’t been seen in many FPS’s if any. As you zipped through the passage of time; the enemies in the past were rightly very confused at where Jack was disappearing to before reappearing right behind them to deliver the final blow.
This mechanic wasn’t just useful in combat however; it was also very useful for platforming throughout the rest of the level. Challenging the player to think quickly and carefully while they wall jumped between platforms in different moments of time. New gameplay aspects were frequent throughout the main campaign which was ultimately an experience filled with joy and brilliant level design…
The area where I spent most of my time in Titanfall 2 would nevertheless be in the multiplayer. This allowed you to go up against other online players with access to the same equipment, same weapons, and who may also have the same titan as you for fast-paced and enjoyable combat. The modes where diverse, you could go opt-in for your basic team deathmatch and capture the flag-esque game modes. Or you could go into those like ‘Last Titan Standing’ which pitted you against other titans where you fight to the death until you were the only Titan left in the round.
Regardless of whatever mode you had decided to play that day, the maps that you get shuttled into all are distinctive to one another. Offering the player choice on how to traverse the map, grappling in Titanfall 2 feels phenomenal, like a monkey on a branch you can swing perilously to build up momentum to catapult yourself to the other side of the map. Taking out other players in mid-air of course too. The fluidity of the combat is what makes Titanfall 2, in my opinion, one of the best fps’s whether you’re in a Titan or running on foot.
Titanfall 2 combined the best areas of the first-person shooter genre and flooded those aspects into an amalgamation of diverse gameplay. The story was well paced with memorable moments, losing BT at the end was very emblematic to how you could say that Jack and BT had merged into one singularity. It almost seemed like Jack lost a half of himself when BT was saving him. The multiplayer on the other hand was always entertaining, rewarding and kept you grasped for a long time.
If you are yet to try Titanfall 2, and are considering to; I would definitely recommend trying it out. You’ll get a lot of playtime out of it if you liked the original Titanfall or series like Call of Duty.
Thank you very much for reading and as always, have a lovely day!
Images- A mixture of official Titanfall 2 trailers, and my own screen-captures.