Game Night, Video Games

Titanfall 2: Apex Before the Legends (Game Night!)

I’m not apologizing for that title.

Of all the game genres to choose from, FPS games are near the bottom of my preference list. There are very few games that really stand out to me in this genre. Most of them play exactly the same, which creates a sense of dull repetition in all of them, even if they’re brand new. There are a few that I like, don’t get me wrong. But they are few and far between.

Titanfall 2 is one of those games. I picked it up a while ago for dirt cheap simply to have something to play. My expectations were far from high. Luckily for me, Titanfall 2 was eager to surprise!

Even if the online scene was long dead by the time I arrived…

Story: A Man and His Robot

This is the most average video game plot I think I’ve ever seen. It isn’t absolute garbage. It’s not some masterpiece. But it isn’t bad.

You play as Jack Cooper, a Titan pilot in training. When a mission goes horribly wrong, Cooper finds himself alone, with his only ally being his mentor’s Titan BT-7274. Together, they must fight their way through enemy lines, reunite with their allies and complete the mission.

This story is riddled with problems. None of the side characters or villains are interesting or memorable in any way and none of them develop in any meaningful ways. The setting is boring and forgettable. Honestly, this plot shouldn’t work.

Luckily, the main characters are so good that I hardly care.

Cooper is an effortlessly likable protagonist (helped in no small part by Matt Mercer’s fantastic performance). He’s charming, relatable, and oddly relatable. Watching him come into his own and become a worthy Pilot is interesting and engaging. Plus, he plays off of BT beautifully!

BT is also a great character, especially for a robot. His no-nonsense and humorless personality plays off of Cooper’s sassy, sarcastic quips masterfully. Watching him grow closer to Cooper and develop a genuine connection with him is satisfying and heart-warming!

Which makes the ending surprisingly heart-breaking. I wasn’t expecting an FPS to make me tear up, but here we are.

Like I said: this isn’t the best or worst story ever told. Frankly, if not for the memorable main characters, this plot would be boring and forgettable. But I love Cooper and BT so much that I can’t bring myself to hate it!

Even if I can’t bring myself to love it.

Gameplay: An Acrobat and His Killing Machine

This is where Titanfall 2 made an identity for itself. Or at least it did, until every other FPS peeked over its shoulder and stole its answers. But it was unique for a while, okay?!

At its core, this game is your typical FPS. You run around, pick up guns, and shoot the enemy. Fulfill certain objectives and you’ll win the match. So on and so forth. Simple, right?

Well, this game has two mechanics that help it stand out. In tandem, the two escalate this from just another shooter to an intense, high-energy blast of a time!

The first mechanic is the one that Call of Duty happily stole: the parkour. While not in the Titan, your playable character can run along walls and bounce off them with incredible speed. This opens up a ton of different strategic possibilities, which makes each match far more interesting than the typical ‘run around until you either kill or get killed’.

The second is the namesake: the Titan itself. After a certain amount of time, you can call in your specialized killing machine, hop inside, and cause some serious damage! The Titan is an absolute beast, with high-power weapons, super moves that make them even more unstoppable, and more HP than a full magazine of ammo could handle. Using these things are incredibly satisfying, especially when you go on a massive killing spree!

At this point, I’d talk about the multiplayer. I’d discuss the netcode, the toxicity of the playerbase, and whether or not it stands up to multiple hours of play. Unfortunately, as I mentioned earlier: this game is completely fucking dead. I can’t talk about the multiplayer!

Unless you guys want to set up a lobby. But something makes me sincerely doubt that.

Conclusion

As it stands now, there is no reason to play this game. The multiplayer scene is completely dead, leaving the campaign alone to hold it up. If you want to play an FPS game with actual people, this is one is a complete waste.

Which is a damn shame! This is one of the nicest playing FPS games I’ve ever experienced! It’s easily my favorite game in the genre, even if I’m the only one who had played it more than a month after it came out. It may be dead, yes. But it is a dead game I will always remember.

At least we have Apex: Legends! For now, at least…

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