‘Titanfall 2’ Will Have Single-Player, Writer Admits First Game’s Story Didn’t Work


Titanfall‘s multi-platform sequel will feature a story-driven campaign, according to lead writer Jesse Stern.

Stern previously wrote for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and its sequel Modern Warfare 2, as well as television series NCIS. He will be crafting a world in which “science meets magic” but remains “grounded, dirty, human, and real.”

So we are doing our best to deliver a vision of grand global colonial warfare retelling the story of the American Revolution and the American Civil War in space. We imagined the next generation of immigrants moving out to the new frontier of an inhabitable planet.

The original Titanfall was a multiplayer-only game that tried to convey the game’s story through in-match radio transmissions. Stern admits the first game’s narrative efforts fell short: “One of the shortcomings of the first game was we just did not have the mechanism to tell everyone ‘here’s who you are, here’s where you are and who’s around you.’ We knew all the answers, we just could not deliver it.”

Stern wants to take an approach to the narrative that is more “practical” than “traditional sci-fi,” trying to come up with a convincing portrayal of machines “designed for excavation and construction, demolition and working the land” being turned into “instruments of war.” He may have missed the Alien and Red Faction franchises.

Regardless of originality, those disappointed in the original Titanfall’s lack of a single-player component are sure to find the news heartening. More and more, modern shooters have eschewed storytelling in favor of pure multiplayer experiences. Recently, prolific video game designer and Gears of War creator Cliff Blezinski told PC Gamer that BossKey’s upcoming first-person shooter LawBreakers wouldn’t bother with a campaign. He claimed single-player elements of games “cost 75% of the budget,” were “burned through in a weekend,” and then abandoned for multiplayer.

Stern and the many gamers who have criticized the likes of Titanfall, Rainbow Six: Siege, and Star Wars Battlefront for launching at the same price point as other games while lacking a single-player campaign apparently disagree, and Titanfall 2‘s campaign is just the beginning. Stern is also working with Respawn Entertainment and Lionsgate TV to spin Titanfall off into a TV series, something Respawn CEO Vince Zampanella is very interested in himself.

Zampanella would like to see both scripted and animated series based on the franchise in the future, but it would be “very expensive” to “find a way to tell a story in the worlds we want to be in and produce in the TV model.”

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