Titanfall 2

titanfall2

Considering Respawn’s origins, it is hardly surprising that the Titanfall 2 campaign is a varied affair – levels start out by being merely distinct in theme and layout, then new mechanics are introduced and removed for a few levels before the climactic finale. It is the good kind of variation that serves to keep an action game interesting without lowering the pace, the kind of variation that does not betray the core gameplay. I’m thinking of Call of Duty: Ghosts and even to some extent Bulletstorm when playing this, although Titanfall has more to the core game than either of them and aspires to be more serious and less gimmicky with the gameplay variations. It does not necessarily work – while Titanfall throws some decent attempts at parkour, world-switching and gadgeteering in there it is not Mirror’s Edge or any game that have gone into more depth of these mechanics. Bulletstorm had a radio-controlled dinosaur with a laser, and I feel like if Titanfall did not pretend to have gameplay variation that was deeper than it really is, it could have had a tone more in line with the premise of big robots and acrobatic pilots.

That is not to say that I heavily disliked the Narrative – while predictable and having a gallery of European stereotypes as villains, the generic brown-haired army dude in the lead role takes a commendably small part and most of the player’s attention is on the titan and its “unintentionally funny societally impaired” – schtick. Not the most original of concepts to do, but it is pulled off well.

Titanfall 2 is – much like my favorite parts of the Call of Duty series – not a singleplayer campaign that wastes your time with things similar to what you have already played, or things that you will not appreciate. It is a smooth experience that dabbles in variation enough to keep things interesting, but not so much that it loses track of its core gameplay. I sometimes wish it had been bolder, but it is a very fun and well-crafted game.

… I’ve been meaning to write something about Destiny: Rise of Iron for a while now, but again it is hard to say something about a game I’ve sunk so much time into. The story is standard Destiny fare and not very interesting – I think it is hard to give the single-player campaign gravitas when the multiplayer endgame throws challenges at you that are on a cosmically different scale, and I think it is a mistake for them to keep trying. The raid Wrath of the Machine may just be the strongest content in all of Destiny though – unlike Crota’s End that prioritized individuals and King’s Fall that had very strict rules for how to play it, Wrath of the Machine somehow manages to focus on teamwork and mobility while still allowing every player to contribute in whatever way they feel like. All classes and subclasses have some use, all weapons have their advantages and all quirky exotic pieces can be made to shine with a little imagination. Also, it is current-gen exclusive so it looks much nicer than the previous raids. It is no small feat to have pulled all this off, and I applaud Bungie for it.

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Posted on Nov 29/16 by Saint and filed under Reflections | No Comments »