titanfall_2_artwork_leak.0
E3 2016

Titanfall 2’s Single Player Campaign – What We’d Like to See

Titanfall’s traversal, weapons, and universe are ripe for exploration through a proper story, not just multiplayer matches. Though we didn’t get it with the first game, EA and Respawn Entertainment confirmed that the upcoming Titanfall 2 will have a real single player campaign. The developers at Respawn, quite a few of whom are formerly of Call of Duty‘s Infinity Ward, have a history of excellent campaign design, making this very good news indeed.

With the official reveal less than two weeks away, it’s time to talk about what we actually want to see in the single-player campaign. Put your speculation goggles on everyone, and stand by for Titanfall.

DEFINITELY DO: KEEP WHAT WORKED IN TITANFALL 1

The first Titanfall was rightfully lauded for its fun traversal mechanics. The pick-up-and-be-awesome controls also extended to the Titans, making both sides of gameplay easy to switch between. Judging by the cool, Portal-esque training mode of the first game, the movement set could definitely be used to make a first person shooter campaign with a difference.

Obviously, the campaign would have to make liberal use of climbing in and out of Titans, but the other weapons and their customizability were also a highlight of Titanfall. Respawn’s history with Call of Duty will certainly make use of this variety. Even if the Titanfall 2 single player campaign only uses the existing Titanfall weapon set, Respawn have plenty to work with – but what shooter sequel hasn’t added a few new weapons as well?

DEFINITELY DO: MAKE IT A THRILL RIDE

Despite its bare-bones “campaign”, the first Titanfall wasn’t lacking in worldbuilding, with quite a lot of story and lore going on in the background. Understanding that Respawn have an entire universe (the planets of the Frontier, the politics of the IMC…not to mention the inner workings of Hammond Robotics, creators of the Titans), the campaign needs to plot an action-packed story that can show it off. The last thing anyone wants is more “campaign multi-player” with bots. Rather, the levels of the Titanfall 2‘s single player need to be designed for a Single. Player.

From that perspective, we couldn’t be happier that the developers at Respawn had such great success doing so with Modern Warfare 1 and 2, though we do hope that they will bring something new, so that it isn’t just a Call of Duty campaign in space.

DEFINITELY DON’T: JUST BE CALL OF DUTY IN SPACE

If you haven’t played it, understand that Titanfall isn’t just a Call of Duty game in space. With its parkour traversal, Source-powered sci-fi design, and, of course, the Titans, Titanfall is very distinct in look and feel from the Call of Duty games – despite being made by ex-Infinity Ward developers. However, this is the first time since Modern Warfare 2 that this team has offered us a single player campaign.

Though MW2 was clearly a highlight, too many of its contemporaries fell into boring gameplay traps while trying to emulate Call of Duty‘s success. Mission types like “follow this man” and “have everything exploding around you” have been done to death since 2009, and the shooter genre has moved on in the last seven years.

Respawn Entertainment needs to look at everything that makes Titanfall distinct from their past works and incorporate it fully into the story mode. Doing so would also help them stand out, since the re-formed Infinity Ward’s Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare also releases at the end of this year and actually is Call of Duty in space.

DEFINITELY DON’T: TRY TO TELL AN EPIC, OR A SERIOUS CHARACTER DRAMA

Despite the excitement we all share for another single player story, no one is going to play the Titanfall 2 campaign because they expect it to rival Gone with the Wind. Sure, it always stinks when a hokey line of dialogue pulls you out of the experience, but the point is that players don’t need Shakespeare in their shooters.

Games can easily botch their single player stories because they try for gravitas and fall flat (see the Killzone series). If Respawn are keen to craft an exciting, set-piece driven campaign, the focus should be on the fantastic game mechanics and amazing places to use them in – not on trying to make a deep connection to the characters.

All we need are some heroes to root for, villains to scowl at, and side-characters that don’t make us want to throw our controllers at the screen. Which brings us to the next point …

MAYBE: SHOW PERSPECTIVES FROM AROUND THE UNIVERSE

The campaign multiplayer of Titanfall rotated through matches where players were on opposite sides of the Frontier conflict: the IMC and the Militia. These multiple perspectives offer the opportunity for the sequel’s single player to cover many different areas of the conflict, like in the old Infinity Ward Call of Duty games.

Imagine being able to play both sides of the opening battle in Firefly (one of the inspirations for the Titanfall world); you might be heroically fighting as the Militia one moment, then the next moment switch to the IMC as they crush the Militia’s resistance. When something exciting or devastating happens, rather than just hearing about it through the first Titanfall‘s corner-video-screen, you could switch to the perspective of the person who is in the action!

MAYBE: BRING SOME NON-LINEARITY TO THE SHOOTER GENRE

This last one is somewhat related to the point about the campaign being Call of Duty in space: as much as Respawn can draw on their CoD work, there is plenty that can be left behind. Having a greater scope for player choice will help a Titanfall 2 campaign to compete in a market where even DOOM – yes, the DOOM– has weapon upgrades and abilities.

The addition of Titans already means that Titanfall 2‘s single player will have at least two ways of solving a combat scenario – Titan or on foot. But why not take the relationship between the player and their Titan further with a customised blueprint? Every time the player calls down a Titan, they can tweak it to suit the situation.

And as long as we’re wishing: wouldn’t it be great to make use of the wide variety of planets seen in multiplayer and have a Star-Fox-like branching path through the campaign? Being able to choose which location to go to next could create a lot of replay value and help solve the problem of the Modern Warfare campaigns’ short lengths.

FINALLY (THERE’S NO WAY THIS ISN’T HAPPENING): NEW TITANS

I mean, come on. Of course there will be new Titans. What do you think this is?

So, do you have anything you would like to see in Titanfall 2‘s campaign? Anything you really hope it doesn’t have? Comment below and keep reading OnlySP for more Titanfall 2 news.

The opinions in this editorial are the author’s and do not represent OnlySP as an organization.

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