The sequel to Titanfall will dispense with the first game’s multiplayer-only approach and include a full single-player campaign when it launches in the next year or so.
Jesse Stern, a lead writer at Respawn Entertainment, revealed the plans in an interview with Forbes contributor Don Groves. The game, which might not actually be called Titanfall 2, could launch late this year or early next year, Stern said. And unlike the original Titanfall, which was an Xbox One and PC exclusive, the sequel will come to other platforms such as PlayStation 4.
Titanfall, a fast-paced first-person shooter with parkour mechanics and giant robots, technically included a campaign mode, but it was really just a layer atop the existing multiplayer environment. Bits of scripted dialog would bubble up during head-to-head matches, and brief expository scenes between each round helped get players up to speed, but there were no scripted scenes or set pieces to punctuate the story.
In the Forbes interview, Stern explained that the newly formed Respawn didn’t have enough resources to build a true single-player mode into original game. (Respawn has also cited limited funds as a reason the studio signed its exclusivity deal with Microsoft.)
Stern lamented the first game’s storytelling as a shortcoming, saying it “did not have the mechanism to tell everyone ‘here’s who you are, here’s where you are and who’s around you.’” With the sequel, Respawn hopes to do better at telling what Stern called “the story of the American Revolution and American Civil War in space.”
In addition to the in-game story, Respawn is also working with Lionsgate on a television adaptation, Forbes reported; though it’s unclear when this might arrive or how it might be distributed.
Why this matters: Titanfall was one of Microsoft’s most-hyped exclusives in the early days of the Xbox One, but these days the notion of a simple online-only shooter is seeming stale next to massive multiplayer worlds like Destiny and The Division. Plenty of questions remain about what shape Titanfall 2 might take, but at least it’ll be more than an endless string of team deathmatches.