Titanfall 2 – Can Respawn’s second deliver on the promise of the first? Oh yes…

Bombastic, ridiculously fast paced, but surprisingly full of heart, the Titanfall 2 single player campaign will grab you – but it’s the multiplayer that’ll keep you hooked.

One of the biggest shocks, and indeed, greatest achievements of this game is that over the 6-7 hour campaign it manages to make you care about a futuristic, giant mech soldier-suit you can get inside. With the pedigree of a development team made up of ex-Infinity Ward members (and thus making the team behind Titanfall partly the team behind Modern Warfare), it’s only right that they should return to reclaim their throne as king of the first-person shooter campaign.

It’s a far cry from the first game, in which the single-player mode was little more than an extended tutorial to push you into the online multiplayer arenas. While that’s still the overall objective here, you get the feeling that there’s been a lot more care put in this time.

The catchily named Vanguard-class Titan BT-7274 (BT to us) is arguably the star of the show, though the player takes control primarily of Jack Cooper, a would-be grunt in the Militia (The Good Guys) thrust into becoming a fully fledged Pilot early.

Cooper’s unexpected promotion comes as the result of BT’s original owner – Captain Lastimosa, who just happens to be his mentor – being killed in action right at the start. But that bad luck for Cpt Lastimosa is good luck for you, with the opening act thus serving as a very brief tutorial as to what it means to be a Pilot, and what it takes to keep a Titan running. Which is… well, it’s batteries, basically. That and not getting shot to bits.

LEARNING TO LOVE WALL-RUNNING

As you progress, weapon pickups unlock new Titan loadouts, meaning that by the end of the game, you’re fully trained to hit the multiplayer – a clever move by ReSpawn, and one that means you already know which Titans you favour. For us, that meant staying well clear of Scorch (the fire-type Titan) in favour of the awesome Ronin, a Titan class that has a sword which makes it lethal up close, but weak against gunfire.

It’s an early indication of a supremely well-balanced game. While piloting a Titan is tremendous fun, the most exciting moments are often on foot as a Pilot. There’s been a clear shift over the last few years (perhaps since Titanfall first hit shelves) towards making shooters focus on movement, but Titanfall 2 nails it, perhaps more so than any other game.

The stringing together of moves is exhilarating: you sprint into a jump that hits a wall; you wall-run along (which gets you to top speed) and bounce off on to another wall, and you keep going; shooting along the way, before landing into a brutal melee on the last enemy.

There are few games that match on-screen movement to what you’re doing with your fingers this well, and it’s all done at a breakneck speed, with a smooth 60 frames per second, looking gorgeous.

After a while it becomes natural, with your Pilot becoming a blur of colour, noise, and killing. It’s exquisite. That’s not to say that the campaign is entirely non-stop pretty explosions. It mostly is, in fairness, but there are a few moments of slower reflection, and indeed there’s an entire level that does first-person platforming so well it’s reminiscent of the Portal games.

Really? Well alright, perhaps not quite that clever, but it’s still commendable that a game so dedicated to action even attempts such a move.

PLAY ON HARD, PLAY FOR FUN

titanfall-2-funIf there’s a major complaint, it’s that it’s a little too easy on the regular difficulty setting. While there’s a tutorial mission (which harks back to Modern Warfare in its replayability) that tests your skills and suggests a difficulty, we’d recommend starting on hard if you’re remotely experienced with games of this ilk. Furthermore, although the Titan-on-Titan boss battles are exciting, some are over very quickly and far too easily, while later ones err towards being frustrating.

On top of that, the story is merely passable. It treads the well-worn road of good guys rebelling against the government military bad dudes, but it’s never overly clear why people are bad, just that they are, and that you need to kill them.

Still, there’s a sense of humour to it that you might not expect and that’s well done, with the chats between Cooper and BT being particular highlights. You can even influence conversation by selecting dialogue options with a simple up or down on the D-Pad. Alright so it doesn’t change the story, but it does make you feel more involved.

CHANGES THAT WORK, CHANGES THAT DON’T

titanfall-2-changesSpeaking of being involved, Respawn has taken on the feedback of the player base from the beta tests, and delivered a tight yet deep multiplayer experience. The mixture of Titans, weapons, modes, and skills means there is something here for all types of player.

With the likes of Call of Duty you might feel punished if you’re not dedicating days of your life to improving your skills, but here you can get involved on any level, at any time. The biggest change from the first game is that mounting a Titan as a Pilot doesn’t mean you’ll instantly kill it: it’s now a two-step process.

First you must climb up to remove a battery (and you can drop them to give your teammates health pickups), before clambering on to them again to drop in a grenade that’ll finish the job. It’s about the only thing we don’t love, even if we understand the reasoning.

NEW MODES, OLD FAVOURITES

Attrition mode returns, and is as brilliant as ever. The fact that you’ve got AI-controlled grunts on the field works in so many ways: firstly it means you can gain points even if you’re not able to kill real people online, but secondly it means the AI can flush out snipers.

Sadly, the cloaking ability does mean some of the wide-open maps can become frustrating, but a good team will know how to get around the back and take them out, and Titans have a lot of explosive weaponry, and the game is called Titanfall 2, so, y’know, use them.

Bounty Hunt is a new mode that gives you cash for kills that you need to bank, but we think it’ll get left by the wayside in favour of Attrition and more standard modes such as Amped Hardpoint (capture the point), Capture the Flag, and Pilots vs. Pilots.

Overall, the maps are slightly tighter to allow for more than just open warfare, but there’s nothing bad to note, really. One way or another, the improvements to the Shotgun (now a genuinely viable weapon in this fast-paced experience) and the newly added grapple hook means there’s so many ways to play. On top of that, “Networks” is a new feature that lets like-minded people group up, create a Happy Hour (double XP!) and have fun together.

VERDICT

titanfall-2-verdictAnd that leads us back to that heart again. Titanfall set out its stall in 2014 as an impressive online shooter missing some key components. Titanfall 2 not only brings everything we felt was missing, but delivers in key areas to improve existing mechanics.

Ultimately it feels like a title made by a team that has remembered why we play games at all: fun, escapism, and occasionally, just to blow stuff up and see beautiful explosions. And there’s plenty of all those things on offer here.

Good

  • Incredible player movement
  • Single player feels just right
  • Loads of online modes

Bad

  • Storyline lacks depth
  • Some maps favour snipers
  • A bit easy on 'regular' mode
9

Amazing

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56 Comments

  1. Can you please advice does this phone actually makes out going calls and incoming calls

    Reply
    • This is a tablet and doesn’t have calling capabilities. All that your SIM card will get you is a data connection.

      Reply
      • Ur not thinking if you have a some then ull b able to send a calls and stuff so don’t hate the player hate the game

        Reply
      • Ur not thinking if you have a some then ull b able to send a calls and stuff so don’t hate the player hate the game

        Reply
      • You’re not thinking or using your brain. If you have the sim in the device then you’ll obviously get calls and be able to send them out. I’m sure you ahvent even used the thing I’m and experienced user I’ve got whatapp bbm Skype and I call and receive calls. So please if you want to hate go hate elsewhere.

        Reply
        • Oops,u r very wrong.some devices use sim cards for data means only.some tablets do make n receive calls n some don’t. heban.huh…wife…I don’t want to say much

          Reply
      • Brent, I have just received on and it does have calling capabilities. I am however sending it back because I need a tablet with GPS which this one does not have.

        Reply
    • Yes. I own one as a spare. Data and voice sims work. Main phone Note 4

      Reply
  2. After comparing your comments on the Smart Tab 3G’s UI with the stock Android found on e.g. the Nexus 7, it seems that the issues you have with the drop-down menu and the homescreen button location is a fault with Android – Not specifically Vodacom’s customisation of this device, right? Please clarify.

    Reply
    • It may very well be a fault with Android but if it is then it’s one that we have not seen anywhere else in a single tablet or smartphone since Android 2.3.5 was a thing. Either way, it’s Vodacom’s device. Since everyone else has managed to make their versions of Android avoid this issue…

      Reply
      • does this device work in other countries, Ghana to be precise

        Reply
        • Hi, doesn’t exactely where to ask, will the Vodafone Smart 3 G phone/tab operate fully in Western Australia – Perth on prepaid card from Australia, and also in New Zealand, prepaid card from N.Z., thanks Philip

          Reply
  3. Why is the tablet beıng relesed the 21st of november and not sooner ? I saw one on dısplay Sunday but why is it not for slae yet ? ! It doesnt make sense !!!

    Reply
  4. can you download game for kids on this tablet??

    Reply
    • You can, but just keep an eye on the supported devices for games. Some will very likely be too resource-needy to run on Vodacom’s hardware.

      Reply
  5. Are there software availble to download to enable me to print from my tablet

    Reply
  6. This tab is great, can make phone calls as well as supports whatsapp calling. I got mine on a special 39 rand per month with 500mb per month.

    My only concern is if it will survive my 5 year old’s rough handling for two years. Four months in, at least two falls a day and still going quite strong.

    But it is no top tier tab, but then it still beats playing snake on a Nokia 3110!

    Reply
  7. Can I make calls from vodacom smart tab 3G or uusing it to receive phone calls

    Reply
  8. Can I make calls on a vodacom smart tab 3G? If yes,how?

    Reply
  9. Hope you van help me. My vodacom smart tab 3G doesn’t seem to play my songs and pic’s that’s on my memorycard. Although it play my musicvideos. Please help thanx

    Reply
  10. This phone has many problems.first you have no privacy when making calls and incoming calls..Secondly My files in SD card Jus’s got deleted because I had Used an USB to play my music..I think this phone or tab sucks

    Reply
    • This phone has many problems.first you have no privacy when making calls and incoming calls..Secondly My files in SD card Jus’s got deleted because I had Used an USB to play my music

      Reply
  11. Can anyone just help me how to recover my lost files on NY SD card

    Reply
  12. my tab has stopped working
    the only thing it does is wright powered by android when I set it on , I need your help

    Reply
    • That sounds like an update gone wrong or someone tried to root the device and failed. It’ll have to go to Vodacom and they’ll have to reinstall Android, most likely. It’s also possibly a hardware issue, which they’d also have to sort out.

      Reply
  13. Can u download candy crush on this tab?does it only come in black?

    Reply
    • Yes and yes.

      Reply
  14. Am using Smart tab 3g, Pls help, every time when I take video, tried to open, keep saying no thumbnails, what is this and to get rid of it cause I can’ view my picture and videos

    Reply
    • Got lots of pics but shows no thumbnail

      Reply
  15. I downloaded the screen grabber app on my tab but I can’t use it…please help!

    Reply
  16. The value of this device says it all. One cannot expect much from it. Despite all that, you are connected.

    Reply
  17. Hi! does this device has a gps? —only option in settings is ” location in use”…is that different wording for GPS? .would like to load speedometer apps….

    Reply
  18. When the fone says window limit reached, you must close some windows, when you are on internet, how do you close some windows ?

    Reply
  19. How do you reboot this tab when you can’t even get thru your pin

    Reply
  20. Must I take it to vodacom outlet

    Reply
    • Probably your best option.

      Reply
  21. please help, cnt seem to find the call button.

    Reply
  22. The camera does not show captured photos it writes ‘no thumbnails’. What should I do?

    Reply
  23. would like know what happend to the delivery of my tab which i qaulified for did not received it yet could you please reply

    Reply
  24. How do I fix this no thumbnail problem caused I can’t view my photo s in the gallery

    Reply
  25. What to do when pattern is forgotten? ?

    Reply
    • FIRST SWITCH OFF YOUR PHONE AND WHEN SWITCHING IT ON HOLD THE POWER BUTTON AND UP VOLUME KEY SIMULTENEOUSLY.THEN FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS TO REBOOT

      Reply
  26. I cannot find certain music from my memory card. Pics too

    Reply
  27. I’m not able to receive incoming calla n my Vodafone smart tab 3G after I backup&reset it in factory reset. How can I fix it to be normal please help, even my drop down right notification bar its not available what is the matter plsssssss help

    Reply
  28. HI I HAVE LOST MY VODAFONE SMART Tab 3G.I WANT TO TRACK IT BUT ITS GOOGLE LOCATION IS OFF ANY IDEA ON HOW I CAN FIND IT?

    Reply
  29. I received a smart tab 3G a few days ago but have encountered a problem which Vodacom Customer Care appear to be stumped as well. I am trying to setup my present email on the tab. after all the info is successfully loaded, instead of synchronizing, it says that the authentication method is not supported by the server. what can this fault be? ? Please help asap..

    Reply
  30. How do you make your own album? Like certain pics in your own folder

    Reply
  31. How can l get the smart phone tablet battery in Lagos Nigeria. Do u have a store outlets here ?

    Reply
  32. This phone has many problems.first you have no privacy when making calls and incoming calls..Secondly My files in SD card Jus’s got deleted because I had Used an USB to play my music

    Reply
  33. I have always been able to play games on my vodacom 3g smart tab, including candy crush, diamond digger, farm heros saga and had whatsapp. Now suddenly it either opens the game to the main screen then just goes out or it just stops and goes out of the games in the middle of playing. I deceided to do a factory reset. It did not help and now i am also unable to download whatsapp again. Please help. All i can do on this thing now is browse and facebook

    Reply
  34. I have a voda smart tablet 2 3 g and it says memory card missing. What are all the issues about the memory card as I really need it I have a 4 memory card. I’m still new to the tablet

    Reply
  35. i have vodafone smart tab 3g when enter unsuported sim card it say emergency and it not come the place of inter code how i will unlock

    Reply
  36. How long does this device take to charge after purchase ?

    Reply
  37. Is there a way of making the wallpaper stay still… Cause when I put a wallpaper it shifts whae I swip .

    Can someone reply

    Reply

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