Since Titanfall 2 released last year, I’ve spent a good amount of hours both tearing apart the IMC in the campaign, and more so through multiplayer. Being an avid Titanfall lover, it’s the one title I was looking forward to most in 2016. But the past few months, I’ve also found myself returning to the original. You see, as excited as I was, and don’t get me wrong, the sequel is still a stellar release in its own right. It just fails to capture the magic, for me.
Whilst we are bouncing around some excellent new maps in our shiny new range of titans, it wasn’t until returning to the original that I realised how much had just been stripped away. Be this down to fan feedback (this is opinion after all, and I fully appreciate we don’t all think the same), or just a change of direction from Respawn, here’s my own definitive list of what should have stayed and been built upon.
Earning kills earns XP. It’s an ancient art that is tried, tested and almost fail proof. The lesser enemies earn less XP, whilst the pilots and titans offer you a bag full. But this was all eradicated with a new ‘merit’ system. In some respect, this feels fresh and different. But levelling up soon becomes boring. There’s no challenge or excitement in it after going through the first generation. And the key word here is challenge….
By far the largest aspect of earning substantial XP, aside from kills, was awarded through completing challenges. This could range from anything such as a certain number of kills with a weapon, to the amount of distance you have travelled. It was rewarding, and certainly not one you’d get through in a week. There’s 990 of the little fiends to work your way through. You’d be rewarded with not only a nice stack of XP, but possibly a burn card or two. Remember those?
There’s possibly a marmite relationship between players and burn cards. I’ve read numerous comments over the last few months both signalling how players are happy they’re gone, but also those who miss them so. There was a massive range. And you could take three into battle. Burn cards ultimately gave you anything from extra XP for certain kills, to a spare titan you could drop in instantly. The catch? They were only active until you were killed. It was an extra added bonus to multiplayer. And if planned correctly, could become a very tactical element of your play. To the extent where you’d even plan what cards might work best on certain maps. There’s a trend here…
Ok, this one might be a bit (or a lot) picky. We’ve had two new maps since October in Titanfall 2. And they are both remasters from the original. Whilst we’ve seen two mode specific maps crated for Live Fire, it’d be great to have a few more brand new areas to tear each other apart in. This week has seen the promise of a new map, but also the return of Relic, with War Games to come. Titanfall was churning out new maps with DLC, and the fact it has remained free for the sequel only warrants a massive thank you to Respawn. But whilst it’s fantastic to return to Angel City and Colony, there’s surely scope for some fresh areas to explore. And no doubt they will come, which is why I am probably being picky here. But compared with the first game, it’s been very slow on the ground for even a whiff of a new map.
Being able to customise your titan loadout was a great addition to Titanfall. Yet it was dropped from the sequel. The argument is that there’s now strategy in the much more impressive line up of titans available in Titanfall 2, but to drop the option completely seems a bit bizarre. The only way you can swap your loadouts around is in the single player campaign, so it can be done in one respect. Now if only Respawn can bring BT to multiplayer….
Don’t get me wrong, Titanfall 2 is an amazing experience. The addition of the single player campaign is without a doubt the standout feature, along with new titans to get to grips with. But the changes above make it feel a world apart from its forefather. I’m 100% certain respawn have some amazing plans for DLC planned for many, many months to come for the Titanfall community. But if you get a chance, take a step back and revisit the original. There’s still around 1000 players at most times so waiting for a game is never long at all. The sequel is clearly an evolution, rather than a revolution. But sometimes you just want to keep a few extra elements that enable a clear resemblance to your roots. See you online, Pilot.
You can check out our review of Titanfall 2 here.
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