Titanfall's campaign is a misery inducing failure | PCGamesN

Titanfall's campaign is a misery inducing failure

The campaign mode is a big, metal punch in the face to Titanfall players.

I like Titanfall. I like how fast moving it is. I like dancing on the sides of buildings, and punching robots so hard they go nuclear.

But the game’s campaign is a miserable experience. I think it’s a dramatic misstep for a game that gets almost everything else right. 

Cockpit view from a Titan firing down the slope of a hill on an alien planet while little human figures and a few Titans battle in the valley below.

For those playing catchup, Titanfall’s campaign is a collection of multiplayer matches that are strung together. While you play, messages, like Bioshock’s voice logs, play, trying to give you a sense that you’re part of a wider military engagement. There is a lot of shouting, serious sounding men saying things like “GET OUTTA THERE” and some guff that tries to explain why there are dinosaurs roaming the future. 

I can understand the logic of what Respawn were attempting. Call of Duty’s campaigns feel like a very expensive footnote to where the meat of that game really is: multiplayer. Ploughing so much development effort into a strictly linear series of explosions, death defying escapes, and dogs. 

Better then to put the story-telling into where everyone will be playing: the multiplayer.

But it doesn’t work.

For the first part: I literally couldn’t give less of a toss about what these people are yelling in my ear. It reads/sounds like fan-fiction: exactly what you’d expect to come up with if you were asked to string together a load of words to read out over a series of multiplayer matches. Saying “it’s not exactly Shakespeare” is too big a compliment. Better: “it’s not exactly Uwe Boll.” 

But that’s the least of its problems.

From the ground, a small soldier takes aim at a Titan with a rocket launcher while it fires at other targets.

The real issue: you have to play it. 

The campaign in Titanfall is a wall that must be lept over to unlock the various Titans. In the matchmaking mode, if you want to play as the different Titan classes, each must be unlocked by playing through the campaign, once for each side. 

Which sounds okay, right? But there are further restrictions which make the campaign feel like a chore. You have to complete the IMC side first. Then the militia. And players are free to dive back into the campaign at a later date. 

So: your first experience of the campaign is to be placed on the side with all the other fresh-faced newbies. They are the IMC side. On the other side is the Militia - they have a bit more experience and understand the map layouts, having already completed the IMC side. 

The Militia always win.

Most of the time, it’s not even close. I’ve put a fair few hours into Titanfall now, and the IMC, how you have to play first, are a complete joke. They are headless chickens, running around, wowed by the map and the guns and the robots and they die relentlessly. They are level 1-10. They are slowly unlocking the various perks and burn cards that come from play, alongside new weapons and abilities. 

An array of three cards, each with a piece of art and a brief saying that explains the power up and its fictional origins.

The Militia on the other hand know what they’re doing. They have already completed at least one campaign. They have burn cards to spare, and abilities and weapons the IMC can only dream of. 

It gets worse. On most matches I’ve played, there’s at least one player who is using the campaign as a way to farm more XP. They sit, having already reached Generation 2 or 3 or even higher, with their full set of unlocks and super-powers, mindlessly killing everything that moves. They have the skills, map awareness, and toys, to make games a walkover.

I loved playing Titanfall during the beta. I loved how matches felt close, how it felt like anyone could win, and even if we didn’t, we could always nip a moral victory by escaping in the dropship.

In the campaign, that just isn’t happening. 

What a shame.

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Lili avatarTim Edwards avatar[5punk]Anery avatarBeemann avatarScytheMonkey avatarEmpyre avatar
[5punk]Anery Avatar
4 Years ago

I understand how frustrating it can be but the last part about the IMC v Militia is incorrect. I started on the Militia side and could then re-run as the IMC, the whole Militia campaign was a string of defeats.

Beemann Avatar
4 Years ago

Honestly I only found this to be the case on Hardpoint, and I've been through the campaign more than twice at this point (friends needed Ogres)

People in those matches haven't quite grasped the whole "when to not used Titans" thing in campaign, so towards the latter half you often have people trying to deathmatch and wandering around looking for more people to deathmatch while the other team has massed up and triple-capped

I do think it's awful that you have to play the campaign twice though. Same missions, mostly the same lines, and the Strider just feels like a free kill right now

On the flip side, Atlas seems like it could just be the go-to titan, so Campaign may prove to be unnecessary overall

Lili Avatar
4 Years ago

I'm sorry - this article needs a proof reader/editor in the worst way. Its errors were incredibly distracting from the material!

Tim Edwards Avatar
4 Years ago

Ugh, you're right. Wrote in a bit of a grump. Sorry!

ScytheMonkey Avatar
4 Years ago

Not a particularly interesting experience, sure. Misery inducing failure? Seems a bit strong for something that takes all of an hour tops to get out of the way. I agree with the rest of the post though, titans should not have been locked behind it, and the use of voice overs to tell the story was completely ineffective.

Empyre Avatar
4 Years ago

Its just the same as classic multiplayer is it not, with just a few moments for script thrown in at the start?