Shane’s Game of The Year 2016

goty2016 game of the year 2016Shortly after its release, I reviewed Titanfall 2. I was blown away with what I had played after a week. Since then, I have invested more than three days of gameplay and I am far wiser when it comes to the game’s mechanics, and my love for both the game and developer has only grown. Titanfall 2 is my game of the year and I am here to tell you why this fantastic game deserves far more love and attention from fans of FPS games.

Back in 2014, RESPAWN Entertainment released a breath of fresh air in to what had become a stale, stagnant genre dominated by the yearly release of Call of Duty.  Call of Duty, for those of you who are not aware, was created by the same developers as Titanfall, with some similarities that were to be expected. Titanfall was a hugely important release, and at the time we didn’t really know it. When the original Infinity Ward departed  from beneath the thumb of Activision, they launched a huge lawsuit. This was just after the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. They then went on to form what we now know as RESPAWN Entertainment. A very fitting name, might I add.

The team in REPSAWN had shown that they had mastered the FPS genre. Their background include:

  • Medal of Honor: Allied Assault
  • Call of Duty
  • Call of Duty 2
  • Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

each of which were huge successes and are arguably the best in their respective franchises.

Titanfall released on Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC in 2014. RESPAWN had hoped the game would also see the light of day in the PlayStation market, but a deal struck between EA, and Microsoft put a stop to that. But it’s not necessarily a bad thing, since the game would probably have never been made without Microsoft’s help. After a few months, the game pretty much died out. It does, however, still have a regular pool of players on  both Xbox, and PC.

On October 28th 2016 we finally got our hands on one of the most anticipated games of the year. The tech test we tried out a couple of months prior to the game’s release didn’t go down too well amongst the Titanfall community due the stark differences between both games. However, RESPAWN listened to their fans (are you reading this, Activision?) and implemented almost all of the suggested changes to the mechanics.

titanfall 2 single

Titanfall 1 released without a single player campaign, much to the disappointment of many Xbox One and PC players. Respawn have gone on record in the past stating their initial desires to implement a campaign in Titanfall 1. The game was originally designed with a single player campaign in mind. Footage of this can be found in The Final Hours of Titanfall. RESPAWN had to decide between the campaign and a multiplayer only game.

In Titanfall 2 we assume the roll of rifleman Jack Cooper who is sent to the frontline in the continuing war between the evil IMC and The Militia. We are assigned the role of piloting a vanguard-class Titan, BT-7274 after its original pilot is killed in action.  BT-7274 is a charming machine incapable of sensing sarcasm. His personality is reminiscent of Guardians of The Galaxy’s Drax played by Dave Bautista.
Immediately we are thrown into a balls-to-the-wall, adrenaline-fueled campaign with platformer puzzle elements which bring a refreshing take on FPS single player campaigns.

Along the way BT collects new titan load-outs which can be switched on the fly. His ability to take on new load-outs, each with its own unique abilities is rather Mega Man-esque in a way. You learn to utilise each of the abilities to maximise your chances of defeating the game’s bosses.

Without spoiling the campaign for you, I can honestly say it is the most refreshing thing I’ve played in years. The levels are linear, yet open to exploration. The art, and scenery is stunning with plenty of opportunities to utilise and practice your parkour skills. Players are encouraged to play as a parkour master as opposed to a boots-on-the-ground grunt in order to maximise your chances of survival as you traverse the beautiful (and often deadly) environments.

You will laugh, you will cry – probably. You will stare at your screen in awe, you will fall in love, and you will revel in the adrenaline pumping universe Respawn Entertainment have created.

The multiplayer mode now feels like a beefed up version of the multiplayer from the original game. There have been many improvements implemented since the tech test which have gone down very well with the fans. Titanfall 2 offers an unparalleled experience and only reinforces a point I made previously. RESPAWN are the masters of the FPS genre.

Titanfall 2

 

They have stuck to their guns (get it?) and scrapped the season pass B.S. which has become the norm in modern day gaming. Though they’re not the first to do this, they certainly help instill hope in us gamers that one day season passes will no longer be the norm. Giving the fans map packs for free while allowing them to support the developers with optional cosmetic purchases is the way forward. Player bases will no longer be  fragmented  which can only ensure a longer shelf life.

Titanfall 2 is hands down the best FPS I have played in a very long time. The campaign offers a fresh new experience like no other game in the genre.  The campaign was built around the game’s mechanics and that is the difference maker.  There’s a reason Call of Duty went the futuristic, boost jump with wall running route.  But they just haven’t been able to perfect it like the guys in RESPAWN have.

Titanfall 2 is widely regarded a victim to the biggest crime in gaming since Sean Murray lied about No Mans Sky. EA released it between Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. However, one positive thing has certainly come out of the silly release date. People who play Call of Duty exclusively now realise what they have been missing out on – a game which puts huge importance on fun, and a developer who cares about, listens to, and interacts with their fans regularly.

I have said it before, and I’ll say it again. Titanfall 2 is the underdog of 2016.

Honourable Mention:


I just want to briefly mention my most played video game since Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 – Tom Clancy’s The Division. I have invested approximately 24 days in to this game. Had this game released polished and if it was not a buggy mess on release, it would be my game of the year choice. If Massive/Ubi released the game in its current 1.5 state, it would be hands down my favourite game in the past two years. Oh well. Maybe next year when we most likely get year 2 content.

The Division

Leave a Reply