With the announcement of the Titanfall 2 Ultimate Edition I realized something. Something very important. Though I took the time to lament its release timing, I did not put enough effort into shilling the great game that is Titanfall 2! I feel very comfortable stating that Titanfall 2 is one of my favorite games to be released in 2016, and by far my favorite shooter of that year. I mainly enjoyed the single player campaign with some light dabbling in multiplayer, but the most recent free DLC, Frontier Defense quickly shuffled this game back into my rotation.
The campaign is one of my favorite and most satisfying FPS campaign experiences. The combination of movement mechanics, tight shooting controls, and a host of sub weapons and level centric gameplay mechanics weave together deliver a syringe of adrenaline on par with the game’s intro cinematic.
Running, scaling, jumping, shooting, cloaking, and executing enemies all weave together in a beautiful little symphony of hype as the player cuts through enemies like an extremely tricked out hot knife through butter laced with thermite.
I can’t really talk about Titanfall 2 without mentioning well, Titanfall. Jack Cooper is a force on the battlefield by himself, but when teamed up with his partner, BT things just get unfair. Piloting gives a strong contrast to darting around the battlefield by encasing the player in a giant robot that can upgrade itself to do what all the other robots can, but better. Mobility slows down a bit when piloting, but is replaced by multiple abilities on cooldown and dashes. As well as the satisfaction of just stepping on that one guy who was annoying you from behind that turret.
As the player gains more Titan loadouts throughout the game they can style switch between them, bouncing between abilities like a one man army, or some disgusting Devil May Cry 3 combo video where you just know that guy has to have extra thumbs or something. Throughout the campaign you’ll run into boss battles with other tricked out Titans, and most of them have fun, interesting battles associated with them.
Respawn Entertainment understands that Titans are awesome, so to ease the separation anxiety associated with leaving BT they distract you with a variety of fun gameplay mechanics. These range from getting a gun to turn on automated attack robots and move terrain around, to bouncing back and forth at will between the present and the past to navigate through a range of hostiles and obstructions. Each of these gameplay tweaks hang around for just the right amount of time. You get time to learn the concept and master it, and then move on to the next one before novelty is lost.
Moving on from single player, multiplayer is an absolute blast, even though I’m personally not a huge PVP guy, so my experience is limited. All of the mobility and mechanics from single player are still present, and it is absolute chaos. There are two experiences that will not get old. One is when a series of jumps, grapples, and general map knowledge let you take someone completely unaware from some silly angle. The other is the feeling of initiating Titanfall and dropping your Titan down on someone else’s like an angry kid slamming his action figure down on the playground.
Titanfall 2 has a fairly standard progression system where the player unlocks weapons, abilities, and Titans through leveling up, but it also lets players skip to those shiny parts they have their eyes on. Each unlockable has an alternative currency cost to unlock instead of the level requirement. This currency is gained by playing the game, and that’s it. No one can pay real money for that level 36 Tactical Kit, but if you save up for it in game you can get it way ahead of time.
There are pay to unlock skins for weapons and Titans, but aside from a few of them giving team wide XP bonuses they do not impact gameplay. Yeah, team wide. Know that guy on your team who obviously dumped some money (I call it “supporting the game”) into skins and stuff? Well, he’s your friend, cause you’re getting bonuses just by running into him.
Frontier Defense is the newest free DLC to hit Titanfall 2, and it is a textbook example of a good horde mode in a multiplayer game. A team of 4 players cooperatively must defend a reactor from 5 waves of enemies. The first wave is Pilot only, with mostly cannon fodder grunts, Reapers (mini automated Titans), and maybe a Titan for good measure. Upon completion of the first wave players pick and call their Titan and from then on out everything heats up. As the waves progress more and more Titans get thrown into the mix and chaos ensues.
So, the Titanfall 2 Ultimate Edition is out, like, now for $39.99 digitally on PS4, Xbox One, and Origin. This version contains all of the content from the Deluxe Edition, and unlocks all Pilot Tactical Kits (grappling hook, cloaking, decoy, etc) which the last of unlocks conventionally at level 36 or at 180 points invested per kit. It also unlocks every Titan, the last of which unlocks at level 20 (or 200 unlock points). Lastly the Ultimate Edition gives players 10 double experience tokens, 500 in game points to pick and choose whatever catches their eye in the store, and a main weapon skin that gives a 10% chance to get experience tokens upon match completion.
The Titanfall 2 Ultimate Edition is a good deal, but it also means that we should be seeing a price drop for the base game sometime soon. This means that if you don’t mind waiting a bit to unlock all that shiny gear, the Ultimate Edition is still helping you unlock the base game at a reduced price.
In closing, if you enjoy shooters on any level, whether it be campaigns, PVP, or co-op, you owe it to yourself to give this game a shot.