Ti­tan­fall 2

De­vel­oper Res­pawn En­ter­tain­ment Pub­lisher EA For­mat PC, PS4, Xbox One Re­lease Oc­to­ber 28

EDGE - - DISPATCHES PERSPECTIVE -

Ti­tan­fall al­ways de­served bet­ter. It launched on Xbox One amid wide­spread an­tipa­thy to Mi­crosoft’s mud­dled vi­sion for its new con­sole, and on PC when play­ers still re­sented the very ex­is­tence of EA’s Ori­gin plat­form. But it was also a lit­tle ahead of its time. Nowa­days play­ers are more ac­cus­tomed to games that are mul­ti­player-only and al­ways on­line, while FPS play­ers are more wel­com­ing of a fu­tur­is­tic set­ting, and con­sole au­di­ences have learned how to man­age cooldowns and use skills in­stead of sim­ply shoot­ing the bad guys in the face.

Ti­tan­fall 2, then, stands a much bet­ter chance of suc­cess. The Xbox One of 2016 is in com­par­a­tively ruder health. PC play­ers have grudg­ingly ac­cepted Ori­gin. And with the Mi­crosoft ex­clu­siv­ity deal only cov­er­ing the first game, the se­quel has ac­cess to the largest con­sole au­di­ence on the mar­ket. Tellingly, our E3 demo is played us­ing a DualShock 4.

One of the louder crit­i­cisms of the first game has been ad­dressed, too: Ti­tan­fall 2 will have a full sin­gle­player cam­paign. While it’s a de­ci­sion that comes from the right place, it poses sev­eral awk­ward ques­tions to Res­pawn. In its Call Of Duty days, this group made cam­paigns that fun­nelled the player along what was es­sen­tially a se­ries of de­cep­tively open, bom­bas­ti­cally ex­plo­sive cor­ri­dors. Now it must broaden its level de­signs to ac­com­mo­date a robot the size of a town­house, with­out leav­ing the on-foot su­per-sol­dier trail­ing in its wake. Its ap­proach to pac­ing will have to change: in mul­ti­player the mech is the pac­ing de­vice, but play­ers will ex­pect more than that from a story cam­paign. Per­haps the big­gest risk of all is hinted at in the trailer: that Res­pawn will set out to ex­plore the bond be­tween a man and his robot, and end up mak­ing The Last

Guardian with a mecha fetish. Thank­fully the mul­ti­player puts Res­pawn on safer ground, and it’s as in­tox­i­cat­ing as ever. There are now six Ti­tans, up from the orig­i­nal’s three; each now has a fixed set of abil­i­ties, with Res­pawn ad­mit­ting that the first game’s cus­tomis­able load­outs hin­dered more than they helped, since you of­ten didn’t know what was go­ing to hit you un­til it was too late. When on foot, ex­pect a host of new guns and tweaks to re­turn­ing ones, while a grap­pling hook ex­pands your move­ment toolset in in­trigu­ing new ways. Ti­tan­fall 2 cer­tainly has ev­ery­thing it needs to reach the heights its pre­de­ces­sor couldn’t, but it’s been handed an awk­ward stum­bling block by its pub­lisher. Launch­ing it a week af­ter Bat­tle­field 1, and seven days be­fore Call Of Duty: In­fi­nite

War­fare, is at once com­mend­ably con­fi­dent and just ask­ing for trou­ble.

Thank­fully the mul­ti­player puts Res­pawn on safer ground, and it’s as in­tox­i­cat­ing as ever

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