Respawn Entertainment/Electronic Arts
Our boots hit the ground with solid thuds. I’d scanned my teammate’s weapons while we were on board the dropship moments earlier. They were carrying submachineguns and assault rifles, while I favored a sniper rifle. The Kraber – AP wasn’t the easiest weapon to acquire targets with, but a single 14.5 mm round from this beast of a weapon was more than enough to take down any human scale targets.
We split up and I quickly sought out high ground in order to get the best vantage point, and therefore the widest view, of any enemy combatants. The map that I was on, Boomtown, featured groups of buildings with stretches of vegetation between them.
Soon, I could hear the rapid staccato of assault rifles as our two teams collided. I took my time, however, stalking my prey like a hungry eagle. Blam! One target down—Blam! Another one bit the dust. In no time, I’d amassed a dozen or so kills, just by hanging back and being patient.
Suddenly, bullets flew by my avatar’s head. I’d been using a cloaking device to disguise my presence, but it would only afford me brief periods of camouflage. Someone had seen me when I’d re-emerged from my temporary concealment. I quickly acquired my target, a fellow genetically enhanced pilot wearing a uniform that included a death’s head emblazoned across his helmet’s facial armor. Serious business. But I was well prepared…
I quickly leapt up and ran alongside one of the metallic walls of the building I had been hiding out on. My enemy’s genetically augmented reflexes attempted to track my movements but I jumped off the wall so fast that his assault rifle’s bullets bounced harmlessly off of it mere milliseconds later. Instead of landing on my feet, I hit a powerslide and slid along the ground towards him. I was so close to the enemy pilot that I merely aimed my sniper rifle’s barrel at him and pulled the trigger. My hip fire gamble paid off, and my foe went down hard, in a splatter of deep red arterial blood.
Just then, an ironically calm female’s voice announced in my headset that my titan was ready for deployment. I activated the trigger and looked up at the sky for my incoming mecha. But wait a minute, someone nearby had summoned their titan as well. Whoever’s arrived first, of course, would have a distinct combat advantage…
Ever since I was a kid I dreamt about being able to pilot giant mechas in a digital format. I mean, watching Robotech was cool and all, but I wanted to get my virtual hands on a giant robot and wage war against all-comers. I did get the chance to play a couple of the Mechwarrior games, but somehow, there was still something missing with those titles.
That is, until, Respawn Entertainment came along and dropped the original Titanfall game on us back in March of 2014. Someone’s ingeniously creative mind came up with the concept of pairing genetically enhanced super-soldiers called Pilots with big badass mechas known as Titans. While the original game was indeed the brilliant execution of a unique and novel concept, there were a couple of gripes here and there. One of them was that it moved too fast, pretty much as fast as your typical Call of Duty title. Another was that there weren’t enough mechs on hand to play with.
Well, Respawn recently went back to the drawing board and not only addressed these relatively minor issues, but also heaped on a whole new batch of content. Titanfall 2 is loaded.
Let’s start with the titans themselves. Now, there’s six totally different types of titans to pilot. Two smaller, nimble scouts, two medium-grade mechs, and rounding out everything—you guessed it—a pair of gigantic, heavily armed and armored titans. Each titan also comes complete with their own individual offensive and defensive capabilities and unique weapons, such as Scorch’s firewall that can literally melt incoming projectiles, or Legion’s ferocious mini-chaingun that can whittle down a foe’s armor in no time.
Experimenting with each titan in order to see which ones suit a gamer’s individual playstyle can be a blast, and sometimes I felt as though I was a kid in a candy store while piloting all of the different kinds of titans. My favorite ended up being the Northstar class, which wields a chargable railgun the size of a bus, and that can hover in the air for short periods, VTOL-style. Oh, and it also has shoulder-mounted cluster missile pods that can result in quite a bit of “death from above” bolt-busting goodness.
Naturally, the larger titans are lumbering death machines that are bristling with weapons and armor, but slow moving, while smaller ones are fast yet don’t pack as much punch (unless you activate their special Core powers). The medium grade models, of course, are a balance of both firepower and mobility.
The original Titanfall also didn’t have a campaign, much to the chagrin of some gamers. Titanfall 2 addresses that this time around, with a full-fledged campaign that deftly fleshes out the franchise’s universe in further detail. It tells the tale of a young, untested pilot, Jack Cooper, who goes up against a huge, evil megacorp and its numerous minions.
The campaign is all fine and dandy, but when you’ve gotten an idea as to the game’s mechanics, there’s Titanfall 2’s full suite of multiplayer modes to jump into. Pilot Hunter is free of titans, where one team of pilots goes up against another. Attrition is an everything-goes mode that included AI opponents. Capture the Flag, is well, Capture the Flag, while Hardpoint Domination sees pilots and mechs vying for control over three strategic points. And last but not least is Last Titan Standing, which is my personal favorite. In this sadly lesser-played mode, two teams start off in titans. When a titan gets demolished, that’s it—no replacement titans. Nothing. I think this makes each battle more intense because you not only get one titan, but you only have one life to live as well. No respawns.
Titanfall 2’s visuals have certainly come along with the recent developments in computer graphical power, and the original Titanfall was no slouch so that’s saying a lot. The weapon and titan models are especially magnificent, and each rifle or pistol feels weighty as opposed to that floaty feeling you get with some of the other shooters on the market. The environments are equally great looking. The game debuts with nine maps, however the developers have announced that more maps will be released in the coming months—at no cost. So not only have they released a solid product packed with content, but they’ll be releasing more stuff in the future, for free.
If it’s not already apparent, Titanfall 2 is one knockout of a game. It features slick production values, fun and challenging game modes and game mechanics, and giant mechs—I mean what could be cooler than piloting gigantic killer robots?
Titanfall 2 has some of the best visuals that a triple A developer can offer. However, you have to have an equally fast gaming PC in order to play it at a decent framerate. So, you may just want to invest in a decent gaming rig:
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