The first Titanfall was released on a single premise: controlling big-ass robots.

And who doesn't love big-ass robots? Kids are practically taught to love big-ass robots. The cartoons, the action figures, the movies, you think humankind would have found a way to make these things real by now.

But with a multiplayer-only focus that included five game modes and three titans, there's only so much you could do in Titanfall before going back to games that let you stomp online strangers' faces in other, more creative ways. 

Still, there is that certain charm to controlling a giant Megazord while firing missiles in a densely populated area; that's why the people at EA and Respawn Entertainment have decided to give this literally huge franchise another shot.


For a game whose main selling point is giving you full reign of an Autobot, Titanfall 2's solo campaign takes its sweet time getting you anywhere near a fifteen-foot object with which you can plonk your ass into.

Getting acquainted with the human protagonist, generically-named soldier boy Jack Cooper, is the first order of business as he gets caught in a war between the Militia and the IMC. Cooper's segments usually involve a lot of running and jumping (things people do to stay healthy instead of playing video games), all while shooting the local wildlife, robots, and people who don't do as much cardio as he does.

While these segments seem similar to Call of Duty's fast-paced Spider-Man homicide runs, Titanfall 2 does provide levels that make full use of your adhesive abilities.


And these levels are HUGE!

We're talking "yo mama" huge, here. Catwalks, sideways buildings, assembly lines, this game puts a lot of emphasis on platforming while simultaneously reminding you how small and insignificant you are amidst these seemingly endless locales. While platforming in any first-person shooter is usually a bad idea, the game's checkpoint system is pretty forgiving and allows you to jump to your death several times before getting it right.

For each chapter introduced, there is always some gimmick that the level revolves around. In one chapter, for example, you are given a wrist-mounted time machine that lets you shift between the past and present. However, instead of using it to win the lotto like I would, you jump back and forth through time to avoid dangerous traps and confuse both yourself and enemies. 


Now onto the good part: the robots.

Titanfall 2's other, much larger half has you controlling BT-7274, a gigantic Voltron-like titan that can use all the loadouts in the game's multiplayer. Though you may think that this robot has as much personality as Nicolas Cage, it is his relationship with Jack that brings out the most interesting parts of the single player story.

As you see BT evolve from calling Jack "pilot" to using his real name and making as many bad jokes as myself, you can see the bond between the two protagonists evolve over the game's nine sprawling levels which usually end in a boss fight against adversaries that look right at home in a Mad Max film.

But enough about the story; you just want to blow up stuff with a robot, don't you?

While Jack's portions involve fast-paced reaction, BT's combat is more cover-based and methodical. Starting out with the Tone loadout (which has you using a 40mm cannon to return enemies to their makers), you eventually get all the titan classes that help you determine your preferred playstyle before getting your ass handed to you online.


Multiplayer is where the fun's at, pitting you against like-minded players who want their robots as fast as a kid wants his Christmas presents. Featuring nine game types, almost all of these multiplayer modes pit you against an opposing team as well as some AI enemies that serve as fodder to fill your titan callout bar.

Running around killing people on foot is really Call of Duty-esque as you start with different classes and loadouts, unlocking more guns and attachments as you level up and get kills with each weapon. But once a titan enters the fold, everything changes dramatically.

Hearing a titan... fall can be a good or a bad thing depending on whose side it is on. With six titan loadouts to choose from, each one brings its own unique set of death-dealing skills. 


The Ion titan utilizes a singular energy bank to get ammunition for its various weapons (it even comes with a unibeam-type core move that easily kills opposing titans). The Ronin titan delivers a polar opposite playstyle, giving you a shotgun and a sword the size of a skyscraper to close gaps and kill enemies in close quarters.

Apart from the three aforementioned titans, there is also the Scorch (which is a medium-range titan that loves overcooking things with its flamethrower), the Legion (who moves slower than the rest but has a predator cannon that revs up to let opponents know that they will be respawning in a while), and the Northstar (which has a railgun that serves as an oversized sniper rifle).

Though you can choose which loadout and titan to use for every match, some levels demand that you use a specific combination in order to stay alive (which is pretty important, last I checked). Close quarters maps require you to use the Ronin, while larger, more open-ended locations call for a Northstar or an Ion.


While being the size of a ten-story building, titans are relatively fragile and easy to take down even when on foot. A pilot's mobility combined with anti-titan weapons serve as great counters to the clunky movements of giant robots. Controlling a titan actually involves more positioning than anything else, making you flank enemies in hopes that your health bar doesn't drop too low and forces you to eject from your robot like an overzealous pimple.

It's kind of weird that a game which puts so much emphasis on controlling a titan makes it so that you stay in the cockpit for about as long as it takes to make toast. While teammates can steal batteries from enemy titans in order to get you some health, there is little else that keeps your titan squeaky clean and functioning.

Though the multiplayer is fun, the release of Titanfall 2 amidst other multiplayer-focused games has dampened its online community. With Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare both fighting it out for jaded kids' money, Titanfall 2 seems pretty low on the list for games that you would want to play this holiday season.

But it is worth a shot. 


Though its single player campaign has a generic protagonist coupled with an equally generic plot, the level design (which is home to collectible helmets and audio logs) and partial emphasis on the relationship between a pilot and a titan more than make up for the story's shortcomings.

As for the multiplayer, while being very much like Call of Duty, teaming up with your allies to take down opposing titans is a joy you cannot find in any other video game. I'm actually hoping that the developers will add more varied multiplayer modes and titans so that players will keep coming back to get themselves stomped (literally) by opposing titans.

Speaking of multiplayer modes and titans, every single piece of downloadable content for Titanfall 2 will be free, meaning that you won't have to spend more than the initial price for the video game (just like the good old days). It's a little gesture by Respawn Entertainment, one which proves that triple-A developers haven't sold their soul to the corporate evil that is money.

On the whole, I'm not sure on how to feel about the game. This is probably due to the fact that most of its success depends on its multiplayer mode and how it will fare along the line. Titanfall 2 is an acceptable game as of now, one which might fall under the radar just because of the competition that released around the same time that it did.

 If controlling big-ass robots seems like your thing (and let's face it, whose isn't?), Titanfall 2 scratches that large itch that only a titan can reach.




About the author: Carlos Zotomayor

Zoto can see your underpants. Mmm... tasteful.


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