I Got Titanfall 2 a Couple of Weeks Ago but I Should’ve Gotten It Way Earlier
After completing Doom (2016) for like the third time, and since I abandoned Battlefield 1 back in summer without thinking about returning, I started thinking about continuing my FPS gaming mode. The game (Battlefield 1) was terrific at the start, but soon become an unorganized mess where teamwork is nonexistent and where everyone is chasing those damn achievements and unlocks, not to talk about the fact that 64 players on some maps is just too much. At least hardcore mode is good enough and it could be the sole reason for my return to the mud and smoke of the Great War sometime in future. Anyway, back to the point. I finished Doom and wanted to continue my killing spree with another shooter.
Doom’s multiplayer mode didn’t interest me, every time I played the game it would be uninstalled after its campaign ended. The new Wolfenstein was played too soon for another run, same goes with Prey which was finished a couple of months ago (the game is my GOTY even though I needed like six months to finish it, but it is a near-brilliant experience worth playing by everyone).
So, a decision has to be made, which game should I play? I remembered trying out Titanfall 2 at friend’s place and not liking it very much. I got rekt in multiplayer time after time, and all others were like 100th level and looked like Titanfall pros. But, since the game was on a discount, and since I suck at Rainbow Six Siege, which was a choice for about ten minutes, before realizing that the last time it visited my hard drive it got away in two days (I suck at it, plain and simple), the decision has been made. Let’s check out Titanfall 2.
Now, I didn’t get the game earlier because of few (well more than a few) reasons. Firstly, I was one of those who bought Battlefield 1 day one and played it insanely for months, only to be left feeling empty after a couple of months, playing the game less and less often until, during the end of August, I abandoned it altogether. And that was the first problem with Titanfall 2, the fact that the game probably hates its birthday.
It got out between to giant titles, Battlefield 1 and the yearly CoD title, and those two managed to grab like 95 percent of sales while Titanfall had to satisfy with breadcrumbs.
Next, I, like everyone else, thought the game is long dead, left with a more than a humble player base and populated only by a hardcore zealots that will destroy anyone who dares to try sitting behind commands of a huge metal beast each Titan is. But, to my surprise, the game has relatively small but faithful following. No matter the time of day you will find at least 1,200 players on a server, and during weekends the number can go up to 3,000. Yes, that’s incredibly humble compared to Battlefield, Rainbow Six, CoD, or some other multiplayer shooters, but it is more than enough to quickly find games.
You can find a match in no time, but there are other matchmaking-related problems I will talk about at the end of this piece. Also, there’s the problem of AI controlled grunts that populate every map and that make cannon fodder live players (Pilots) kill in order to reap points. I thought that this could make the game tedious and uninteresting and that finding another live opponent would take a minute or more, with time in between filled with sending incredible amounts of lead (or energy waves) into bodies of poor bot opponents. And no, weak-skilled players and teams cannot win a game just by shooting grunts. In all matches that I played not a single one was won by a weaker team just by killing a ton of bots.
But the reality is quite different. You see, you stumble upon live players every couple of seconds because the game is extremely fast-paced and because most maps are designed in a way to enable live opponents to often run into each other. This makes for a frantic and fun experience in which you shoot at grunts trying to earn some easy points while at the same time keeping your eyes focused on finding enemy pilots and most of the time this is an excellent way to experience multiplayer, more fun than you thought it would be.
Next, there’s a huge number of maps, and they are greatly varied so you will learn them after just a couple of days. Most maps are well designed, and they have main parts were most clashes are taking place, some buildings for close-range combat, corridors for surprise gunfights and lots of open space for Titan battles. In general, most maps are excellent and offer lots of different approaches to a match.
Ultimately, Titanfall 2 is a game that still has a solid player base, that offers one of the best multiplayer experience, and that just had a misfortune to be published in the worst possible moment, so I decided to get it, no matter what. If I get bored, at least the campaign should be good, right?
I bought the game and impatiently waited for it to finish downloading. Since Origin offers a brilliant (this is like the only brilliant thing about Origin) feature that lets you play a game before it finishes downloading, as soon as that download progress read “playable” I was in. The campaign was one of the game’s strongest points and trying it before jumping in multiplayer slaughter seemed reasonable.
And it was more than a pleasant surprise. It isn’t too long, but also not too short, and really gives a taste of most weapons and well as an introduction to Titan controls (important for someone like me, someone who didn’t try the original). The story is excellent, especially for an FPS game. Dialogues aren’t too cheesy, and the main character is interesting, even likable. And what to say about your Titan, BT, who’s probably the best character in the whole campaign. He’s interesting, has a personality and Jack and BT will become best palls during the course of nine missions.
The majority would probably say that the campaign is too short, and that’s maybe the case, but for me, it was an exciting experience that ended a bit too soon. But that’s the best point for a single campaign to end, in any game and especially in multiplayer-based ones, like Titanfall 2 is. Just when you want a bit more shooting, jumping, and wall-running the thing ends, and you have a superb multiplayer to dive into.
Believe me that the game is worth it just for the campaign. It shines while takes you through diverse levels while throwing crazy and unforgettable moments at the player, and while it steady serves a series of moments that slowly bonds you with your faithful BT. None of the missions feels like it is dragging too much, and once it finishes you might get disappointed about the fact that BT won’t be with you during multiplayer matches.
And Titanfall 2 is best when played against other, live players. I quickly realized that, when playing the game on friend’s PC, I was rekt because other players had super high levels, and I was just another rookie who doesn’t know how to use the game’s unique parkour mechanics properly or to aim weapons while jumping and running and using the hook.
I knew that Respawn is made out of veterans from the original Infinity Ward (the current one isn’t the same studio that brought us cult classic CoD 2, or the best game in the series, CoD Modern Warfare) and that those guys know how to make a quality shooter, but once I played about half a dozen matches I realized just how an awesome experience these guys made.
The pure joy of running faster than a sports car, jumping around and using hook to reach roofs or to enter a building through window in a second, all while killing the poor guy who wanted to camp inside it is hard to describe, it is a pure adrenaline rush just a select few games can cause. And every new match was better and better until I realized it is 4:20 am. Also, only hardcore fans played the game at that point, making me lose the last five or six matches, so it was time for bed.
During the course of the next couple of weeks, I had the time of my life. The game is great when it comes to unlocks. There are lots of weapons to unlock, and all are placed behind a level wall. But, the currency system, which makes you earn a small but steady amount of in-game currency, gives new players means to unlock some stuff that’s unreachable and will stay unreachable for weeks to come. This is awesome since you can decide to get something you will unlock on level 50, and since there’s not much currency to be earned the majority of weapons and gear will have to wait for your character to reach high levels.
And while playing as a pilot is super fun, Titans are a completely different story, making the game a superbly diversified experience in which you have two completely different games in every single match. Jumping on a Titan transforms Titanfall 2 into a strategical, slow-paced shooter in which you lead a super-strong, but slow giant mech with the only goal being surviving as long as you can. Because once your Titan is destroyed you have to grind for another Titanfall, and that can take minutes. Usually, you will ride a Titan for two or three times per one match, and every time you will want just a couple of more minutes.
And this is a great way to motivate players to play better and better because every action, whether that is a kill, assist, damaging a Titan, or even killing it while you are a pilot, is slowly charging Titanfall meter. This means that everyone who likes riding Titans will try to get better and better in order to have a chance to ride them again, and not many games made a motivation system this good.
Titans are also great because every single mechanical beast is a different story. The first one is made for newbies, it is easy to play with and has simple but effective weapons. Ronin is made for experienced warriors who know how to stay alive long enough to destroy a couple of titans every time. I personally didn’t like Scorch. It is too slow, and I like playing as kamikaze, just rushing toward the enemy while avoiding their projectiles and filling them with lead at the same time. I think Northstar isn’t my type of Titan (I never play as a sniper), and the other two are still unlocked (leveling is a bit slow, to be honest). So I’m currently playing as Tone, and it is a great experience. It is fast, has a solid main weapon, and cool abilities. At the moment Tone is my favorite, but we will see will it stay favorite in foreseeable future.
Overall, multiplayer is an excellent experience. Matches aren’t too long; there’s that incredibly cool development in every match when stronger grunts start to appear, giving players a sense of transition from the beginning, where everything is nice and slow, to the end where all hell breaks loose. Simply dumfounding.
But, as every single video game out there, Titanfall does have its downsides. First of all, some maps are just poorly designed and are successful in choking the game’s signature movement mechanics. When playing those couple of maps you feel like playing another game, a game not knowing what to offer to players, a game that feels cumbersome and not at all as it feels on most other maps where parkour mechanics can make you a nimble acrobat who fills everyone with lead while jumping from wall to wall in a deadly ballet dance.
Next, Attrition is the only mode that offers fast matchmaking. It is the game’s main mode, a team deathmatch of sorts, with Titans and all. The problem is that Titanfall 2 offers plenty of interesting multiplayer modes that no one’s playing (when you want to try a new mode get ready for loooong waiting times, at least three or more minutes and that’s during weekends). But, Attrition does offer the best Titanfall experience so you won’t get bored easily.
Last, but not least, one downfall is of completely subjective nature. The game isn’t for those who like their multiplayer to be on a massive scale with dozens of players on both sides. If you’re like that, stick to Battlefront 1. Everyone else with love Titanfall 2, especially once they get their hands on a Titan and start wrecking havoc all over a map.
So yeah, I should’ve got the game way earlier, but fortunately, it still has lots of players, and it still is a phenomenal multiplayer experience. The game’s available on Origin Access so if you still have doubts get a one-month subscription (it will also give you access to lots of different games) and at least play through its single-player campaign, which will give you around five or six hours of superb fun.