I’m working my way through Titanfall 2 and will have a review next week. For now, we need to have a very important discussion about the game’s user interface. One small touch makes it truly shine.
A very nice thing about Titanfall 2's UI is that it is clean. Some folks might look at the image above and wonder if it is too basic but it retains just enough color to be communicative while also staying unobtrusive. The only time the screen gets busy is to inform you of when your super powerful Core abilities are online. But the best thing about the UI is actually the crosshair. Holy fuck, this thing is wonderful. Pay close attention.
Look at that thing dance around! The crosshair floats freely during movement and key actions like reloading. It only locks on the center of the screen when firing. Otherwise, it lightly tracks towards enemies. It communicates a high tech feeling. This feels like a function of your helmet’s built in interface. There’s a sense of diegesis, that this is also happening with the game’s world. This is what your character sees.
There’s a gameplay function here as well. The crosshair is traveling towards targets and communicating important information about threats by drifting towards their position. For all intents and purposes, it simulates the movement of your eyes. Remember back in the day when Perfect Dark had your gun move to track nearby enemies? This is the same thing.
The crosshair frees up for looser movements in your Titan as well. It tends to be sturdy and more reliable but breaks away from time to time. The swaying helps it feel like you’re in a big mech but there’s something else I really enjoy about it. In a very strange way, it stresses the relationship between the protagonist and his Titan. Both are capable of being loose and unbound.
Admittedly, I am reading a lot into this. Titanfall 2 has a lot more going for it than a bobbing crosshair. Damned if this doesn’t catch my eye constantly when I am playing though! It feels fun and natural and alive. The entire game is buoyed these wonderful little touches. I’m loving the explosions, wall running, and punchy gunplay. But the little things are making a surprisingly big impression.
Shine on, you wonderful crosshairs!