Titanfall 2 released in the final quarter of 2016 to basically no fanfare. EA did a horrible job marketing since they seemed to spend their entire budget on Battlefield One which, while being part of an incredibly popular franchise, was as dull as watching paint dry on growing grass. This of course was a shame because Titanfall 2 is perhaps the best FPS to appear in years!
You disagree? Well if that’s not the case let’s just look at how most big name FPS games since then have copied at least some aspects of Titanfall’s gameplay. This isn’t just an opinion of mine it’s a truth we just can’t avoid. Titanfall 2 didn’t sell as well as developers Respawn might have hoped but it’s clear that everything they did was right! Since the launch of the first Titanfall on the Xbox One FPS games have taken a noticeable journey into the extremes of… Movement I guess? Wall running and double jumps have become the norm so we’ve gone from realistic war “simulators” to the imaginary battles I used to play in my head while gazing out the back window of my dad’s Honda on long journeys (Smart phones didn’t exist back then give me a break!).
The worst offender of this copy-cat gameplay is Call of Duty. Starting with Advanced Warfare players had the ability to boost around and double jump like a rabbit on meth speedballs. Did this fit the story? No not really it was pretty much shoe horned in to make the game stand out after a sea of previous CoD’s where naff all but the scenery changed. So what happened? It bombed… At least for a CoD game. It was the weakest reception they’d had for a while so maybe that wasn’t the right direction? Did they learn though hahahaha of course not! Black Ops 3 was EVEN MORE Titanfall with the addition of Wall Running and more advanced boost jumping. Now in theory that sounds awesome. Where it falls flat is that Titanfall NEEDS that level of movement since you’re fighting on gigantic open maps with 15ft tall robots milling around trying to turn you into a fine red mist. Pilots need an advantage so speed and acrobatic nonsense is where it’s at. In the CoD games the maps are all tight and claustrophobic to accommodate the fast paced combat its known for. This limits the use of wall runs and double jumps since rather than using them to find a new angle or outsmart and enemy you only ever use them to get into the fight 0.1 second faster after you’ve spawned. This is only made more apparent when you see Treyarch went through the trouble of basically highlighting the only walls where your wall run ability will actually work whereas in Titanfall every wall you see can be run on and bounced off leading you to chain together incredible parkour movements to cover ground and outwit your enemies!
So how does it hold up to the current Battle Royale trend? Let’s face it battle royale games shooters are here to stay and they’ve definitely siphoned off a good portion of gamers into their hideous bland blob of mediocrity (Too personal?) but there will always be a market for a good FPS. Sure a battle royale game can be exciting but you’ve got to set aside A LOT of time for a session. Each match is an epic that can routinely last out a full 45 minutes if you do well. As a gamer I just want to sit down and shut my brain down for a while. Do something quick and easy that makes me feel proud and yeah bouncing off 8 walls to shove a grenade down a mech suits arse really does scratch that itch!
So what about replayability? I guarantee you if you get online in Titanfall 2 right now you won’t struggle to find a full game. The servers have never died down from day one and if anything the community has only gotten better with time. I’ve been playing near enough non-stop for 2 years and still find something exciting about every match. It’s hard to find wall running and giant killer robots anything short of incredible so it’s got all the ingredients for a good time right off the bat! Titanfall 2 set a bar for me. Something no other FPS since has come close to. Maybe I’m just jaded but I really think the genre may have peaked here and everyone else needs to up their game significantly. I’m not suggesting more copies but maybe they can explore a unique take in their own way! Basically I’ll be happy as long as it isn’t more fucking loot boxes…