Titanfall 2, where parkour and giant mechs come together at last, is straight up fun. It’s not perfect, by any means, but it’s the first game in months that has me daydreaming about the next time I can fire it up. The addiction is too real for me.
But the more I play Titanfall 2, the more I realise that it isn’t for everyone. And while I may be shooting myself in the foot (because I really, really want more people to join this game), I think it’s only fair that I share the bad points of Titanfall 2 along with the good. (But seriously, if you feel the good points outweigh the bad for you, get this game stat.)
Without further ado:
Pro: The pace.
In the spirit of Marla Singer in Fight Club, I hadn’t been fucked like this since QuakeWorld. As a pilot, your twitch reflexes will be tested by the very low Time To Kill. Chaining wallruns to propel yourself onto a Titan, or over the heads of an enemy squad, is nothing short of exhilarating. The guns match the tempo of the game’s movement: short, sharp, and lightning quick. The Titan play and NPC farming helps to temper the breakneck speed. And executing an enemy Pilot or Titan triggers an animation that acts like a little calm moment in the storm before you’re off and running again.
Con: The pace.
If you’re not a fan of twich shooters and lack the reaction skills, you’ll probably struggle here. This isn’t a game that rewards standing still. Titanfall 2 doesn’t just throw you in the deep end; it treats you like a young recruit at Stalingrad, thrown at the front lines as cannon fodder. If you survive, you will emerge wiser, harder, and more focused. If not…well, at least the respawn timer is short. This game is all about fast reactions and effective character movement – lack either one, and you’ll spend most of your matches respawning.
Good: The single player campaign.
It’s gained near universal critical acclaim, and for good reason. It’s not a complex, sweeping epic that spans scores of hours. It’s not an emotional, complex tale of what it means to be human and if a Titan has a soul. It’s just a classic buddy story, where two dudes are thrown into a situation that they need to work through together.
The main draw of the campaign is that the levels are fun. They stretch up and out, with plenty of opportunities to stretch your pilot’s legs on walls and cliff faces. You’re introduced to the game’s armament, and you also get to sample each of the Titan classes by piloting them (and duelling them too). It’s a neat little package that is good to the last drop.
Bad: It doesn’t last long.
All good things must come to an end, and even if you take your time, the campaign will only last around six hours. If you’re looking for a nice single player experience, Titanfall 2 won’t scratch that itch for long.
Good: The community.
For an FPS like this, I was honestly expecting a lot more toxicity, but Titanfall 2 has pleasantly surprised me. Perhaps the game is still in its relative infancy, but for now it’s refreshing to see everyone supporting the game they enjoy.
Bad: There aren’t enough of us, and it’s harder for new players every day.
I’ll be blunt: player numbers in my region (Australia) are struggling. On the nights I log in I see about ~3000 players online, and only a handful of those are actually in matches. What’s more is that hardly anyone branches out into other game modes, and there are plenty of them, but the majority are stuck in Attrition, like the bad old days of Titanfall 1.
The free weekend was meant to encourage more people to join the game, but poor matchmaking resulted in new players being fed to multi-Generation veterans, who chewed them up to the point where they were completely turned off by the game. And who wouldn’t be? If your first impression of the game was that you were going to be curb stomped repeatedly by Day 1 vets, would that encourage you to drop $30?
Good: There’s a fair amount of variety.
The Titans are varied enough to cater to different play styles, whether it’s burst melee, area denial, or long range sniping. The weapons are also pretty varied, and the customisations are neat as well. But…
Bad: Balance is a work in progress.
The meta is well established, and the memes have already emerged in full force. Pilot sentries are automated machine guns that can track you through walls. The Devotion, a machine gun that ramps up in firing rate and damage the longer you pull the trigger, is very powerful, especially when paired with a personal shield that amplifies your attacks. And Tone – a Titan that is armed with a splash damage 40mm cannon, homing rockets, a shield that it can shoot through, and a special ability that enables it to direct a barrage of missiles – is very versatile and easy to use, which can result in stacking. The game isn’t ruined, by any means, but it could definitely use a few tweaks.
Good: Major DLC is free, and paid DLC is good value.
Respawn has chosen to provide all major content updates free of charge to avoid a fractured community, which is a great move and a fine gesture of good will. Paid DLC is purely cosmetic, and is actually very reasonably priced. At the time of writing you can get a pack of 20 skins for $3, which ain’t too bad.
Bad: The game could definitely use that major DLC sooner than later.
You can tell that Respawn tried to offer a wide range of map types in Titanfall 2, but most of them boil down to simply being a series of lanes – pick one, head down and kill folks in your way. There are also some odd map designs in there. The map Homestead has a huge open field that spells death for pilots, especially when Titans are down. Complex, a map that is almost entirely fought indoors, is riddled with winding corridors that end in choke points, and by the end of the game Titans are huddled around like they’re waiting to enter a nightclub. Crash Site, my least favourite map, opens up with one team in a building facing the other team attacking from a high point. Campers can set up shop, and if one team is steamrolling, it isn’t hard to spawn kill with Titans.
The latest major update for Titanfall 2 included Angel City, the famous suburban arena from Titanfall 1. After playing it, the differences are clear between the map design of the two games. More Titanfall 1 remakes, or even new maps inspired by the original’s design ethos, would go a long way here.
Titanfall 2 is just straight up fun. I’ve said this at least once before, right? From the addictive combat to the chill community, it’s ticking all the right boxes for me. I understand it might not be everyone’s thing, but if you’re the least bit interested in fast-paced shooters, this really is what you’ve been looking for.