Titanfall 2s Campaign Gives the Franchise a Fresh Start

first_imgBack when the first Titanfall was announced I was intrigued simply because it had mechs in it. I’ve been a fan of robots and mechs my entire life so a game like Titanfall should’ve been right up my alley. The only problem was that it had no story. I’m a person who mostly plays games for the narrative so I wasn’t going to buy a multiplayer-only title just because it had awesome looking robots in it.Titanfall 2 has just been released and it (thankfully) contains a full-fledged single player campaign. As you’d expect, this aspect immediately made me interested in the game. I finished up the story last night and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. While it isn’t one of the greatest gaming tales I’ve experienced, it was thoroughly enjoyable — especially the second half.The main thing on my mind as I watched the end credits roll by was how it felt like I had finished playing the first game in a new series. Titanfall 2 is obviously not the first game in the franchise but it sure felt like it. At the risk of annoying fans of the original Titanfall, I’m going to say that Titanfall 2 is what we should have gotten the first time around.The story centers on a rifleman named Jack Cooper who is forced to become a Titan pilot (a profession he greatly admires). He teams up with a Titan called BT-7274 to complete the mission BT’s former pilot was assigned to before being killed. It doesn’t take long before the unlikely pair begin to form a bond with one another — a bond that grows as the game progresses.One thing I appreciated about the relationship between Cooper and BT is that it wasn’t based on the tired old “human tries to get robot to understand emotions” trope. Both characters had goals they needed to accomplish for the greater good and their understanding of each other has born from that. While there were instances where BT showed ignorance about some human customs, he wasn’t the typical dumb robot we’ve seen in other media. BT and Cooper are always presented as intellectual equals.The campaign is relatively short. I managed to finish it in a little under six hours. This could be seen as a negative, but the brevity of the plot was to the game’s benefit. Many titles these days toss in a lot of needless content as a means to artificially inflate the playtime and give the title a false sense of being a “full” experience. Since Titanfall 2 has a robust multiplayer mode, the single player was free to focus on telling a tight story that didn’t need to have a million collectibles and side quests. Much like Gears of War 4, I liked that Titanfall 2’s story respected my time.On top of the run-and-gun action that most people look for in this series, there is also a heavy emphasis on platforming that I found engaging. Platforming in first person hasn’t exactly been perfected yet, but Titanfall 2 does a great job of giving players platforming sections that are fun and challenging. The challenge comes from deft level design, not because of clunky controls or camera angles. While platforming in first person still has a ways to go, Titanfall 2 does it nicely.The game doesn’t disappoint when it comes to giving players a great deal of intense action. While I liked the portions where I played as Cooper, I absolutely loved playing as BT, especially when I got to engage in Titan vs Titan battles. For whatever reason, most AAA games lack traditional boss battles these days, so it was thrilling to get to fight so many compelling bosses. Each boss had their own quirks you have to figure out and overcome. Some of these encounters were tough and I died more than I care to admit, but I had a blast even while I was getting destroyed. There is no greater joy to be found in this game than when you take out a tough Titan opponent.It may have dragged in the beginning, but Titanfall 2’s campaign gives the series a new lease on life. Most players dropped Titanfall shortly after it was launched because there wasn’t much to hang on to. Though not a classic by any means, Titanfall 2’s story and characters should resonate with audiences who will in turn become loyal to the series and become excited for future installments.Titanfall 2 lays down a solid foundation for a blockbuster franchise and I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next.last_img

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