Titanfall 2 (2016) PS4 Review-In-Progress

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This review in progress is based on the multiplayer portion of the game.

With Titanfall 2, I broke a few of my own rules in buying it. First, it’s the first EA published game I have purchased since Battlefield 3 and secondly, I don’t normally buy shooters on console (although I did play Black Ops 3 on PS4, but that was a gift). But so far, with about 10+ hours of the multiplayer, this feels like a superb shooter, perhaps one of the best in the past few years.

Titanfall 2’s mechanics should feel like putting on a comfortable pair of gloves, with it’s responsive controls and smooth frame rate that keeps a stable 60fps, anyone who has played any recent Call of Duty should be able to quickly get themselves accustomed to the feel of this. However, the movement system here is far better than any recent Call of Duty that has attempted a similar thing. Here, unlike last year’s Black Ops 3 whose wallrunning and added movement systems onto the standard CoD feel felt quite clunky and often superfluous, doubly so in the campaign, the movement system in Titanfall 2 is at the core of the experience. Skilled players, with the right loadouts (aka using the grapple hook) can jump, swing and wallrun their way across maps in seconds, which is quite exhilarating. The actual shooting is also tight and highly enjoyable with a good variety of weapons that aren’t excessive in number, each type feeling different and can be levelled up with perks and attachments and be granted skins from the levelling or completion of challenges, such as achieving a certain amount of headshots.

The other part of the experience are the titans, which are basically huge mechs with different abilities, such as one of my favourites, Ronin, who has a gigantic sword. These mechs are much slower to play, but not frustratingly so and provide a fun counterpoint to the zippy infantry play. These titans also have customizable loadouts and weapon skins. In matches, titans are obtained on a cool down, but by completing objectives or killing enemy players, the wait time is decreased.

The pace of the game is also very fast, perhaps one of the fastest multiplayer shooters available on consoles. The movement system, combined with low time to kill, keep things moving very fast.

In terms of maps and modes, there is a good variety and decent amount, with all the maps having a good blend of tight urban-like and interior interiors integrated with more open lanes for titan combat. While these maps are well designed, there currently aren’t piles of them, however the game will be receiving free maps and modes, so there is a good amount of potential longevity. One criticism I have with the maps is that since the standard player count is 6v6, they can feel a little barren. But on the flipside, that eliminates frustrations over being killed every few seconds. Some players might not like this, at least at first, but the breathing room is appreciated. There are also a good variety of modes, however, at least in my region, only two are really played. The first, Attrition is your standard team death match. The second is Bounty Hunt, which pits two teams against each other trying to rack up as much cash as possible through killing various types of AI infantry to rack up cash and to bank it at the end of each wave. Whichever team banks the most cash wins and killing enemy players means denying them half of their currently unbanked currency for each death, so there is good motivation to be on the hunt for AI and the lookout for other players.

There is also two major quality of life improvements over other shooters that I appreciate here. One is that you don’t have to wait until you’ve finished the match to use newly unlocked skins or attachments. Each class can be fully customised in the middle of a match, which is great for trying out different things but also going back to what you previously liked if that thing isn’t working for you. The other thing, which was added in a very recent patch was an FoV slider that allows you to increase from the default 70 degrees all the way up to 110 degrees, which in my experience is extremely uncommon on consoles. This is good for people who have various different needs and preferences and makes the console versions much more playable at various viewing distances, whether on a television at recommended viewing distances or sitting close to a monitor and will be especially appreciated by those who get motion sick from low FoV games.

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