When it comes to multiplayer Titanfall 2 has earned its credentials - there's no doubting that mix of fast jet packing humans and giant stompy robots works. But the single player? That’s a different story. We’ve no idea how a campaign of mechs and pilots fighting on aliens planets will work in a single player story. However, there’s plenty of reasons why you should get excited. So let’s see why.
Respawn is largely made up of core team members from Infinity Ward who left after things turned sour with Activision. It means these are the guys that gave us COD4’s atomic bomb death of Sergeant Jackson, the ‘better than some entire games’ level of All Ghillied Up, and one of the best endings ever. Quality-wise that’s a good thing but it also means we could expect a few surprises seeing how Modern Warfare changed the shooter genre overnight. One odd tease we saw showed Jack shouting out BT’s name in the middle of a frozen battlefield with explosions stopped in time, and thrown bodies and bullets hanging in the air. No idea where that’s going but don’t be surprised if Respawn has a few surprises up its single player sleeve.
There’s no shortage of shooty gun action in Titanfall's 2’s single player but what really makes it stand out are the pilot’s acrobatic moves. Cooper can use his jump suit to jet and ping all over the environment, so rather than hunkering down and taking shots from behind cover this is all about constant movement. As your enemy runs around trying to take you out you can ping over buildings or jet-slide out of sight to re-engage from another location. Plus you have a short-timed stealth ability to really confuse people and launch some painful looking third person takedowns. Fighting inside BT slows you down a bit but then you are in a giant rocket-spewing robot with a laser. So swings and roundabouts.
The game starts with rifleman Jack Cooper linking up with BT-7274, a titan whose previous pilot had died. Much of the character comes from these two as they bond: Jack is the man with the responsibility of being a hero thrust upon him while BT is the robot learning to love. Just kidding, he mainly tramples people and waves a gun around that’s not much smaller than a car. He does need some work on those interpersonal skills though. When asked about the probability of failure for throwing Jack across a ravine he answers: “There is a 32% chance of an incomplete traversal, resulting in catastrophic trauma, massive internal bleeding and multiple compound fracture. Dismemberment may also occur”.
Stay with me here but be honest: you’ve played enough shooty men games to last you a lifetime yeah? The idea of doing something a bit different with the template’s got to be good. So while producer Drew McCoy is promising “big set piece moments to drop your jaws at” there’s also a lot of traversal stuff. And it looks amazing. The first game introduced you to a pilot’s jet propelled ability to hug wall and hop over buildings; this takes that and puts it inside a scripted single player shell. That means long, acrobatic sections as you dash along cliffs and string together moves to reach impossible distant locations. All while fighting bad guys and being followed by a 20 ton robot.
Titanfall 2 takes place on planet Typhon where Jack and BT crash land after their ship is blown out of orbit. It’s a very sci-fi location with lots of exotic rocky outcrops, jungles and industrial looking factories suspended over clouds of toxic gas (because where else are you going to put them?) It’s gets really interesting with the wildlife, though. The game starts with Jack fighting off lizard-dog things trying to eat his foot and we’ve also seen a kinda dragony flying thing eat the lizard-dog thing so there’s a food chain here that you’ll need to find out where to slot in (top is probably best).