The single-player campaign in Titanfall 2 is fantastic, but let’s not forget its core function: multiplayer

The excellence of Respawn’s single-player campaign was quite a surprise, so it’s no wonder some people have forgotten about its multiplayer. It turns out that this is a pretty significant oversight. Multiplayer for this series isn’t just a nice add-on: it was the entirety of the first game and the reason we’re even here with a follow-up to jump into.

Titanfall 2’s multiplayer might now only be half the offering, but that doesn’t stop it being bigger, better and more nimble than anything on offer in the original game. Although the overall ideas are basically the same, Respawn has taken that foundation and slathered on additional features that ensure it’s a much deeper experience.

It’s in the pilots that Titanfall really separates itself from other FPS games. As before, they can double-jump, run along walls and slide down floors, making for slick, fast movement that’s occasionally even beautiful. But the difference with Titanfall 2 is that the abilities and strengths of both the pilots and Titans have significantly broadened. Suddenly, you’ve got even more gameplay variety in addition to many more levels of multiplayer progression.

Pilots now have a host of different abilities depending on the class you choose, meaning you’ve got more tactical options to consider, and sometimes problems to solve, too. The grappling hook, for example, is a fantastic addition. It makes movement more fluid by allowing you to attach to buildings and even the Titans. But then you’ve got the cloaking ability, which regularly feels like a cheap shot, especially as it often leads to some irritating sniper camping.

But there’s more to play with. Gain some on-foot aggression by using the pulse blade, or go with a more defensive tactic with the A-Wall shield. Heck, you could even opt for a teleport or speed-boosting Stim shots. Whatever you choose, it’s clear Titanfall 2’s multiplayer has longer appeal than its predecessor, keeping you coming back to discover what new options you’ve unlocked and what new tactics to employ.

The same has been done on the Titan side, with a new line of chassis options to devour. These make the game more accessible but also allow you to feel more connected to your behemoth companions. The campaign teaches you that the Scorch is a close-quarters brute, the Ion is slow yet deadly and the Northstar is a perfect choice for a sniper or recon. So you’ll know exactly what you’re up against when you spot one storming towards you.

What you won’t know, however, is what they’ve chosen to kit out their pilot or Titan with from the huge range of customisation options. The vast array of potential weapons and perks may seem daunting, but it’s really just an indication of how much more personal, more refined and more nuanced the multiplayer now is.

Of course, new Titan and pilot classes are great, but useless unless you’ve got mods and maps to use them in. This isn’t a problem. The levels are expertly designed, with each taking advantage of the interplay between man and mech, and making sure the needs of both are balanced. Each window is a flanking spot, every corridor ripe for a perfect wall-run and each wide-open space is dotted with cover for when the Titans come screaming down from the sky.

In terms of modes, the new Bounty Hunter matches are the clear winner as they encourage more tactical play. I’m also particularly fond of the new Hardpoint variation: Amped Hardpoint. It makes guarding your hardpoints a sensible and strategic move because it nabs your team extra credits. The result is a tenser and tighter match that’s incredibly addictive.

It’s great that Respawn didn’t forget about multiplayer when creating an impressive campaign. What’s here is bigger than ever, but also has enough depth and progression to make sure players stick around for a while.

This article originally appeared in Xbox: The Official Magazine. For more great Xbox coverage, you can subscribe here.