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I know what you’re thinking. Avatar? Seriously? But take a look at this image. Those are quite the similarities…
Anyway, bizarre little influences aside, Titanfall 2’s campaign is excellent, and yes, you really should play it. One week ahead of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare’s launch, the series’ original creators have threatened to steal its thunder with a fantastic sci-fi story of their own, offering a glimpse at where COD could have been had Vince Zampella and co. remained at Infinity Ward.
Titanfall 2’s campaign straps players into the boots of rifleman Jack Cooper, a wannabe Pilot who is prematurely transferred control of his dead captain’s Titan, and who must stop the IMC from gaining control of a planet-destroying super weapon. You know the type. Pilots, meanwhile, are the elite of the elite, the military men and women capable of combining double-jumps with headshots and wall-runs, and the soldier every grunt wants to be. Oh, and as luck would have it, exactly the type of soldier Jack Cooper turns out to be.
Okay, so the story doesn’t exactly break any new ground – you can predict the beats almost every step of the way – but Titanfall 2’s clever design, relentless action and impeccable mechanics make for one of the most compelling shooter campaigns in recent years. As was the case with the original, the combination of Call of Duty-like fast-paced gunplay with Mirror’s Edge’s fluidity and flexibility is what makes it so successful. But it translates brilliantly well into a single-player campaign, as Respawn leads players along a rollercoaster of death-defying leaps and breathtaking set pieces. And unlike their expendable nature in the MP, the developer does an excellent job of making you care for your Titan here, too. Think Half-Life 2’s Dog, but with a voice.
One other thing: I won’t explain why as I don’t want to ruin the surprise, but there’s a particular level around 2-3 hours in that introduces a totally unexpected mechanic, and that quickly leads to some terrific puzzle platforming. Titanfall 2’s level design is terrific in general, mixing tight wall-running lanes with vast Titan-friendly battlegrounds, but during this particular sequence it is nothing less than superb.
At less than 5 hours on Regular difficulty, though, the campaign is short, and while it likely won’t be remembered as well as Modern Warfare, it is far from the tacked on ‘throwaway’ campaign many may have feared it to be. And depending on how Infinite Warfare handles things next week, Titanfall 2
has every possibility of taking the crown as this autumn’s single-player campaign king. I had a lot of fun with Battlefield 1’s campaign, but I enjoyed this even more.
So what of the multiplayer? Well, Titanfall 2’s servers have yet to go live, so I sadly haven’t been able to head online with the final game just yet. But while the release window remains unfortunate (I still can’t believe it’s slapped directly in the middle of the two week break between Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty), I
couldn’t be more excited to get strapped back into Respawn’s universe.