Games of the Generation
As we approach the launch of the PS5 and Xbox Series X, TechRadar is looking back at the games that made this generation great. This week’s entry? Titanfall 2.
Some games are too good for this world. Sometimes, a game comes along that ticks every single box you could hope for, that excels in its genre, that offers replayability, excitement, invention and bombast, and it just passes you all by.
In a world where we flock to see anti-Apple merch flogged in Fortnite, and happily endure gazillion gigabyte updates in Call of Duty: Warzone, we don’t deserve Titanfall 2.
Titanfall 2 is the Wendys to fast-food’s McDonalds, your local coffee shop to the Starbucks juggernaut – you know they’re better, but you can’t convince the hordes to go anywhere else. But that’s OK – you can have your million battle royale clones, I only need one Titanfall 2.
Here’s a checklist of everything that makes Titanfall 2 good:
- You get to fight inside and outside of a load of giant mechs
- You get to fight inside and outside of a load of giant mechs in multiplayer
- You can wall run
- You can grapple hook to a building, then wall run, then jump inside your giant mech
- Your giant mech falls out of the sky when summoned
- You get a genuinely excellent single player campaign to play through
- Did I mention you get giant mechs?
Respawn Entertainment’s original Titanfall was a blast, but was held back by initial Xbox One console exclusivity and the opinion at the time (long since overcome by the free-to-play masses) that you were only getting half a game if you didn’t get a single player story mode. Titanfall 1 was multiplayer only.
So when Titanfall 2 turns up with it’s still-in-tact and also vastly-improved mech-on-mech, pilot-vs-pilot multiplayer action in tow, AND a single player campaign that not only had bullet smacking combat, mad time-turning puzzles and giant robot boss fights, it should have been a recipe for a mega hit to wipe the slate clean of Battlefields and Call of Dutys and their ilk?
Right? Wrong. It was put up against Battlefield 1 (technically accomplished, but creatively staid) and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (almost entirely forgettable). And everyone bought those games instead.
The quality of Titanfall 2’s action has kept it alive however with a small, dedicated hardcore community of players. Its mixture of vehicular mech combat and acrobatic FPS play remains unique and unchallenged. And, thanks to EA’s recent release of its games on the ever-popular Steam platform, it’s enjoying a new lease of life in PC gamer circles. Somewhat criminally, it’s perennially on sale too, boosting the numbers every now and again.
Titanfall 2’s DNA lives on in Apex Legends, Respawn’s take on the battle royale genre, a game which most likely kept the lights on at Respawn, given the so-so sales response to its phenomenal Titanfall games. And Apex Legends is thankfully very good, with more nuance and polish than the majority of its battle royale peers.
But Apex Legends success was likely the final nail in the coffin of the Titanfall franchise, with no word of a sequel four years after its release.
We don’t deserve Titanfall 2, so we certainly don’t deserve a Titanfall 3. So let’s cherish those servers while they’re still here, eh?