Titanfall 2 – The Campaign Goes Far Beyond Expectations
I’ve been extremely excited about the Titanfall 2 campaign with every bit of detail that’s been announced leading up to the release of the game. The connection between pilot and titan, the boss battles, and the addition of unique platform elements have all enticed me. Being a huge fan of the original Titanfall, I had high hopes for Titanfall 2, especially its campaign, and it more than met my expectations – It exceeded them.
Spoiler Warning! Please be aware that I talk about parts of the game that are considered a spoiler. Spoiler Warning!
Players are introduced as Rifleman Jack Cooper who ends up becoming the pilot of Titan BT-7274 after they are the only survivors of an IMC attack. This occurs almost immediately into the campaign, and from here on players are tasked with completing the mission that the original pilot was assigned.
However, before getting back into the mission, players are first tasked with searching for power cells to recharge BT as he took a hit during the first attack. At this time players are able to get a feel for the gameplay surrounding the pilot as there are many wall-running elements throughout the campaign that fans of the original will feel right at home with.
As players locate the power cells for BT and then press further into the campaign to complete the assignment, they encounter a good mix of gameplay that switches between both pilot and titan control. Most of the pilot gameplay deals with platforming segments that players must navigate with the wall-running ability. There are plenty of grunts to punch and shoot along the way too. It’s also fun to run around and then slide and shoot enemies to create some really fast-paced action.
It’s also fun to control BT for the first time and begin shooting up small foe, and then of course take on enemy titans which ends up being very exciting. It’s time for the big guns to fight!
I have to say that I feel the campaign started out a little slow for my liking. I might have been a little too hyped for it, which caused me to see the beginning of the campaign as an average shooter with some basic platforming elements. Not that it wasn’t fun, but it honestly took me a minute to really get into the campaign.
It wasn’t until the storyline took a turn in a direction that I didn’t see coming that I really began to get into the game, and it’s a direction that not only makes the story much more intriguing, but one that also vastly impacted the gameplay on a more thrilling level as well. That’s when everything changed for me, and my excitement for the Titanfall 2 campaign skyrocketed.
It’s not that the opening sections where boring or bad by any means that I didn’t quite get into the campaign. It was more because it felt just as I expected it to, which ends up causing it to not be as exciting in a way. However, the story ark – pun intended – changed everything and led to me playing one of the most fun and exciting first-person shooters of the year.
The IMC created a Fold weapon that is powered by an Ark energy source that has the capability of destroying entire worlds. When first discovering this weapon during a test fire, players encounter one of the greatest scenes in the game where time is completely stopped, yet Cooper can approach the Ark energy source to gain intelligence on it to deliver back to the Militia. Of course, to make the scene more stimulating, it’s paused during an action sequence where explosions are halted with titans firing at each other. It really is a fantastic scene to see.
But what makes this storyline even more intriguing is that the player, Cooper, has the ability during this one chapter to bend time and switch between two timelines. Now this becomes a perfect mechanic for platforming gameplay as players encounter multiple sections where they must wall-run and then switch the timeline as they jump to land on another wall that’s only in the other timeline. Not only is it great for level navigation, but it’s also fun for fighting sequences as well as players can switch the timeline to get behind enemies before switching back to kill them.
This entire level took the game from being average, but good, to something that became so much better.
That’s not everything though. From that point on I became very captivated by every aspect in the game. Suddenly every pilot segment was much more exciting, especially as I grew more familiar with the controls and became that much quicker with taking out enemies. Every wall-running section became a blast to play, every new weapon picked up throughout each level was fun to try, and facing new enemy titans for boss battles was superb. That one change to the story and gameplay ignited an entirely new experience for me.
I knew I would fall in love with the platforming in the Titanfall 2 campaign as the wall-running and quick mobility of the pilot is perfect for that type of gameplay. I’m really happy that it was implemented well and that new elements were created around that style of gameplay to make it even more exciting.
Titan gameplay also ends up being a great deal of entertaining fun with every enemy titan encounter and boss battle. There are green power cells littered throughout each titan segment that allows players to charge their titan if they take too much damage. There’s enough power cells to keep players strong, but it doesn’t make some of the boss battles easy by any means.
During multiple titan boss battles I had to make sure to find a good balance of hiding behind objects before making my attack runs so I didn’t take too much damage. This is almost required to play this way on the hardest difficulty. Still, even when trying to dodge and hide behind objects, I came across many occasions where my health became very low which required me to quickly rush toward a power cell to recharge.
I also love that each level allowed the player to obtain a new weapon loadout for BT so that the player had a new way to destroy enemy titans, and enemy bosses, during each stage. Using the charged core attacks on each loadout is amazingly fun too, especially when using the ability that allows BT to float in the air and unload numerous rockets that rain down from above. Plus, there are achievements for destroying enemy titans with each loadout’s charged core attack. It’s so much fun!
At this point, before I began playing the final mission, I was already in love with the game’s campaign. It was a wonderful journey with nice moments between Cooper and BT, especially when BT asks Cooper to trust him with throwing Cooper across a large gap to reach another area. How can you not trust such an awesome mech companion with that throw?
BT has three protocols that it must follow, which includes linking to the pilot, upholding the mission, and protecting the pilot. It’s actually kind of funny when BT ‘does the math’ and figures out the percentage outcome with an act that’s dangerous for the pilot, but not dangerous enough to where they must do it so they uphold the mission task. I appreciate those moments in the Titanfall 2 campaign. Going through each mission with BT’s guidance ends up being a good experience as he’s a great friend to have in battle.
The engagement between BT and Cooper is done well enough, and players throughout the campaign are given a multiple-choice way of communicating with BT through simple commands. These communications don’t change anything based on if players respond one way or another, it’s just there to make the communication between you (Cooper) and BT feel a bit more personal.
The Titanfall 2 campaign is great all the way up to the final mission, but once players reach that point is when they completely fall in love with the game and end up calling the campaign a perfect experience that’s far better than what they could have imagined.
The final mission in Titanfall 2 is the perfect mission for every fan of the original game. During this mission players hear the famous line of standby for Titanfall, but it’s also the mission where players are forced to make a quick escape with Cooper using his wall-running abilities while shooting at multiple enemies with the use of his smart pistol. Yup, the annoying gun from the original Titanfall multiplayer makes it appearance in the final mission, and it becomes a welcomed and brilliant addition to the Titanfall 2 campaign in that moment. I really, really love it!
Playing through the entire game shows that Respawn Entertainment put a lot of care into making sure they created a unique and fun campaign. They hit the spot perfectly by making a campaign that’s true to Titanfall, while making it incredibly entertaining to play with lots of engaging moments both with the pilot and titan. Plus, the storyline works so well with the game as it created many spectacular situations that everyone can enjoy.
By the way, the music is also a perfect match for the campaign. It’s so good that I want to beg for a vinyl edition of it. Please! I’ve already listened to it multiple times on Spotify while writing this article.
Players are going to spend most of their time in the Titanfall 2 multiplayer and there is going to be a lot of excitement with every match. However, the campaign is something special that everyone needs to play, especially those who love the original Titanfall. Thank you, Respawn Entertainment, for crafting together such an action-packed and adventure-filled journey that went far beyond my expectations.