Titanfall 2 is a game I still play to this day. Fast-paced adrenaline-shot matches that support a variety of playstyles help clear my mind if I’m dealing with writer’s block, art block, or just want to indulge myself a bit.
So, when I heard Titanfall was coming out with a Battle Royale mode, you know I was excited. The only Battle Royale game I played was fortnite, so I haven’t had an opportunity to get burned out on the game mode. Sure, it’s a bit of a cash cow, but that hardly means that it needs to be terrible (yes, even if it’s published by EA). I actually had a post on Facebook several months ago calling the Titanfall BR game.
A budding game designer myself, I had a pretty good handle on how it might work. Battle Royale games can be judged on how well they execute on the thriller aspect, which is in turn based on how well the game accelerates across time. Don’t worry if you don’t know what a of that means or you don’t have an exact grasp of it, it will be apparent when I explain how Titanfall can have it. Titanfall 2’s multiplayer is based on acceleration. Players acquire kills or achieve other conditions to raise their Titan meter, they gain a consumable boost at some point on their meter that makes them even more effective in combat, all until they gain their Titan. Once their Titan drops, it builds a meter of its own; until you reach a core, the use of which accelerates your effectiveness in combat in some manner.
Nothing terribly profound, right? I’m just describing Titanfall 2’s multiplayer. Wrong (kinda). The point is I’m describing a game in which the starting conditions of combat are very different from those present at the end of the game. People who are better able to navigate the increased effectiveness of (and therefore greater danger posed by) other players tend to shoot to the top of the leaderboard. Sound like we’re talking about Battle Royale yet? TF2 has other things going forward in this aspect; say you’re on a map, you’re in BR mode, and someone’s Titan drops. Every player in the area will see it; many of those players will then go on to attack it. Some of those players will get killed by other players, some of those players will be killed by the Titan ( building its core), and some players will do sufficient damage or get enough kills to drop a Titan of their own. Chaos, but it’s just the kind of desirable chaos in a Titanfall game and a Battle Royale mode just the same.
There are several interesting mechanics you can introduce here; maybe killing other players steals any Titan meter progress they have built up. Maybe the corpse’s kit needs to be hacked for a couple of seconds for this to occur (and I don’t need to tell you how that might increase the tension of the game). TF2’s single player campaign already established how picking up and deploying one-time use ordinances would work, right at home in a Battle Royale game. The same could be done picking up your tactical kit. Maybe you can unlock scopes and attachments for individual firearms as you progress, and can automatically apply them to a limited number of firearms you collect.
There are even several game modes you could implement here. You have a smaller player lobby in which everyone initially drops with the Titan. Players have the choice of ejecting at any time, so the loss of a Titan doesn’t necessarily end their participation in the game. They just need to change their strategy in order to survive alongside Titans, and change it again once more players eject from Titans instead of dying with them. For squad based Battle Royale, one player of each squad could drop with their own Titan ( elected before joining the lobby). It would also introduce the means for solo players to be competent ( but still at a disadvantage) in squad lobbies.
Finally, you could include TF2’s original multiplayers as an add-on, subscription, DLC, whatever have you (and introduce it to an even wider player base than the original’s sandwiched release).
You get the idea, there’s so much material to play with, and most of the assets have already been generated. Just one problem; the Titanfall Battle Royale game will apparently include no Titans.
EA instead elects to rest the entire game on TF2’s (admittedly fun) player movement system. Who cares? I’ll admit, about half of the games I play on TF2 are on the “Pilots only” game mode. That’s mostly practice for increasing pilot skills, though. It’s not the main drive of the game, the titular marker of the series. Who else could screw this up, but EA? Who else could spike such a wonderful and innovative IP into the ground with such a contempt for their audience and consumer base, but EA?
I wait with bated breath, for the death of that disgusting, industry wrecking conglomerate, and the Renaissance that will surely explode onto the market once IP like Titanfall are wrested from their cold, lifeless hands.