Titanfall 2 is a first-person shooter video game, developed by Respawn Entertainment and published by Electronic Arts. A sequel to 2014’s Titanfall, the game was released worldwide on October 28, 2016, for Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. In Titanfall 2, players control Titans, mecha-style exoskeletons and their pilots, who are agile and equipped with a variety of skills ranging from wall-running to cloaking. Set in a science fiction universe, the single-player campaign follows the story of Jack Cooper, a rifleman from the Frontier Militia, who bonds with his mentor’s Titan BT-7274 after his mentor is killed in action. Together, they embark on a quest to stop the Interstellar Manufacturing Corporation (IMC) from launching a superweapon that is threatening to destroy the Militia planet Harmony.
The game’s two-year development cycle began in mid-2014. The decision to add a single-player campaign to the game came about because the team wanted to expand the game’s player base. They came up with different ideas and prototypes, and integrated them to form a single coherent campaign. Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet and buddy cop films, as well as the video game Half-Life inspired the game’s campaign and narrative. The team also overhauled the progression system and made subtle changes to the multiplayer to make the gameplay more fair. Valve’s Source engine powers the game. Stephen Barton returned to compose the game’s music.
Upon release, the game received critical acclaim. The single-player campaign was praised for its design and execution, and the multiplayer modes for building on the foundation of the original game. Despite the positive reception, Titanfall 2 underperformed commercially, with most attributing its underwhelming performance to going on sale in a crowded release window, placed between the release of Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. It was nominated for multiple year-end accolades, including Game of the Year and Best Shooter awards, by several gaming publications. Respawn continued to support the game after its release, providing several updates and downloadable content.
Similar to its predecessor, Titanfall 2 is a first-person shooter where players can control both a pilot and their Titans—mecha-style robots that stand roughly seven to ten meters tall. The pilot has a large variety of equipment that enhance their abilities during combat. All pilots have a jump kit which assists with parkour, double-jumping, and wall-running. Pilots have more specific abilities unique to each ‘class’ which augments their offensive and defensive ability, such as a grappling hook for enhanced mobility, or a holographic visual cloaking device. Pilots use their jump kits to run on walls, movements which can be chained together to travel between locations quickly. The game introduces several new gameplay mechanics. These include: a movement system that allows players to slide on the ground, the pulse blade (which is a throwing knife that reveals the location of any nearby enemy), the holo-pilot, (a holographic pilot that mimics players’ action to confuse enemies), and a grappling hook, which can be used to slingshot players to a building or reel in an enemy it attaches to. The Pilots have a large arsenal of gadgets and weapons, such as shotguns, submachine guns, pistols, and grenades to fight their enemies. At close range, players can execute their opponents from behind in a short animation with a melee attack. Melee attacks are always instantly fatal should they connect.
Titans are significantly less mobile than the pilots, but they have stronger firearms and superior protection. Replacing the three classes featured in the first Titanfall, six Titans were introduced at launch—Ion, Scorch, Northstar, Ronin, Tone, and Legion, with Monarch being introduced in the May 2017 Monarch’s Reign DLC. Ion uses a directed-energy arsenal and makes use of a shield that can catch then reflect enemy projectile attacks. Scorch engages in combat using area-denial incendiary weaponry and indirect-fire thermite mortar. Northstar excels in long-range precision attacks with a charged railgun, and sets movement-restricting traps, and is the only Titan with the ability to leave the ground and hover. Ronin specializes in hit-and-run combat, using a ‘Leadwall’ shotgun and a sword. Tone focuses on mid-range combat with its target locking weapons. Legion uses a rotary cannon designed for sustained fire at both mid- and close-range. Finally, Monarch—added post-release via downloadable content (DLC)—is a Vanguard-class chassis that can steal power from other Titans to power up its own defensive shield. The Titans have their own move sets which are different from those of the pilots—for instance, they can dodge quickly to evade attacks.