Friday, 21 April 2017

First Impressions: Titanfall 2

A good old impulse buy of my own! I was debating this or Battlefield 1 and as I played Battlefield's beta and couldn't run it at the time (:( ) I opted for Titanfall 2, being a fan of the first one. It's developed by Respawn Entertainment as a sequel to the first Titanfall that died out quite quickly due to the lack of single player mode, not enough progression and a season pass that split the community across different versions of the game. Here are my first impressions of the single player and multiplayer on PC.

I must admit that due to playing the originally I decided to jump straight into the multiplayer rather than a tutorial and what was likely to be a slow to start single player experience. However, this meant that my Titanfall skills were very rusty going into my first few maps, as well as the fact that 3 of the 6 new titans are locked behind progression rewards and, being late to the party, meant that I only had the three starter ones while most people had at least one of the other new ones, being Scorch - a Titan that wields a Thermite Launcher and lays down ignitable gas and shoots out fire pillars to ignite the gas clouds, Ion - a Titan with a rapid fire splatter rifle and laser triggered mines, a vortex shield that captures and returns projectiles shot towards it as well as a laser beam that cuts down anything in its path and Northstar - a Titan with a railgun, flight, a tether and missiles as the starter Titans and Legion  - a Titan using a minigun that isn't very mini that has a shield that can be put on around it, a shotgun burst to knock enemies away and a mode switch for the not so minigun that changes it from long range mode to short range mode, Ronin - the one with a sword and Tone - the Titan with a sonar lock-on gun that requires a few hits on target before a barrage of missile can fire towards the enemy, being the unlockable ones.

I found myself picking up Ion, as who doesn't love a 10-foot laser being shot out of their chest? Ok, just me? This led to me using powers of electricity to slay my opponents, or rather, the AI grunts. The laser beam that could instantly take out any Pilot I hit with it, assuming they weren't in a Titan of their own.

Now, in the original Titanfall, I hardly ever played as a Titan, instead setting it to guard mode while I ran around and killed others as a Pilot. This was due to my disliking of the weapons and other abilities the Titans had. They weren't all different enough to make me wanna keep playing with them, yet I loved the Pilot mobility and guns (but, but, but, that is contradictory). However in Titanfall 2 the Titans all have different abilities rather than chassis's that make very little difference, this meant that I was much more inclined to play as all of them and find myself rotating between which one I used for a match.

The movement in the game is very fluid with the wall running flowing very nicely, like the first game, especially when combo-ed with the new grapple hook, leading to very fast traversal across the map. This means that good aim is essential if you wish to get other Pilot kills as they shoot off around the map, however, this isn't necessary for the A.I. grunts who stand still on the field and still count towards time off your Titan being built. The movement works well with another returning feature that has been upgraded, rodeoing a Titan. In the first game, this took the form of jumping on, removing a cover to a weak spot and shooting at this to avoid shield and deal large damage quickly. Now it has been split into two stages. First, you grab the battery out of the Titan and jump off again, this can be used on your team's titan to give them a health boost and takes some health from the titan who's battery got nabbed, but if you die holding a battery then anyone can come and pick it up for themselves. The second stage involves tossing a grenade down the hole formed by removing the battery of the titan, this stage is repeatable but likely to get an angry Pilot deploy anti-rodeoing methods such as electronic smoke that will damage you if you stay in it.

The single player:
I put off trying the single player for this game as I had no reason to expect it to be better than the standard COD style single player that serves just to pad out extra time that can be spent on the game when the multiplayer servers are down. However, when first jumping in the game shows that this isn't going to be a: walk here, shoot these people, repeat sequence as the movement available to be used in Titanfall 2 allows for some good platforming segments as well as the game throwing in some story mission specific gimmicks, including a glove that allows you to travel between two versions of the same place, the present and the past where the factories were inhabited and up and running rather than the destroyed mess it is in the present. These gimmicks help the single player to feel fresh after you start to get tired of the current abilities that you have at your disposable.

The single player allows you to pick up enemies' weapons and utilities such as grenades, from drops and downed foes. This allows you to experiment with different weapons and find ones you like and want to use in the multiplayer as they are the same set of weapons used in both. However, to stop players sticking to the same weapons the entire time, the ammo on them is limited, leading to sections of the game with lots of ammo for shotguns and plasma guns and no rifle ammo. The game also gives your Titan for the single player, BT-7274, different modes that can be switched on the fly after you find them initially, these are the base Titans from the single player along with others that have special abilities that don't appear in the multiplayer. This means that the Titan combat doesn't get stale and allows you to try the chassis's in a more relaxed environment rather than the heat of a multiplayer battle.

See Ya,

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