Now that I have your attention. . .
I have been playing Titanfall 2 for the last few hours before I was astonished by a complete change of pace, a change of pace that isn’t exactly exhibited in many games today.
And that change of pace is, Effect and Cause.
A clever little mission that is the massive standout of this game, and I thought that it warranted my fullest, undivided attention. So here we are, writing, or in the case of you – the reader – reading my piece about this magnificent mission that I think we can all agree that is a massive standout.
Both in storytelling, and gameplay wise. It is clever, entirely clever.
The mission allows you – Shortly after some… Pseudo-platforming – to manipulate space and time continuum, in such a way that it makes you feel both empowered and like your actions matter in both present and past.
There’s nothing more satisfying than to listen in to the radio chatter and hearing your enemies frantically looking for you and wondering what the hell is happening, however, they stand absolutely no chance of getting to you, they’re dealing with the unknown. And that unknown is you.
But that’s not what makes this mission so great – To me – after a bit of exploring, I found these audio logs that were interesting at first, some speaking about certain things of the past and the things that happened as you arrived.
They were merely interesting until I hit the jackpot, a 5-minute recording from General Marder, that shows more than just a little bit of information, but more so it is a crucial part of the information that is entirely amazing.
I found myself. . . Agreeing with the course of action that Marder had thought of. Something that doesn’t happen so often in video games these days.
A grey side to a conflict, and an entirely logical purpose behind their actions.
I will quote the entire speech by Marder, below.
I would like to spend some time today to talk about the value of human life. There is… no value to human life.
Now that I have your attention…
To be more precise; human life, to a certain limit, is expendable.
We are self perpetuating, yet self destructive.
Adaptable, yet flawed.
And always, always, resource intensive. We are endless consumers of resources.
But most relevant to our research here is one undeniable fact: that human life is abundant. Overpopulation of any colonized world is a given. Through the lens of cold objectivity, it is irresponsible to say that all individuals on such worlds are actually indispensable. Millions of humans die across the colonized worlds every day by any number of causes. Human life is… expendable.
Now our problem is twofold; On the one hand, we are faced with a hostile frontier populace opposed to our commercial pursuits for the greater good. And on the other hand, there is a never ending cry for natural resources demanded of us by the greater populations of the core systems.
We must have order on the frontier if we are the achieve true progress, but the Militia, in its provincial myopic lack of vision refuses to accept this.
Thus, we are at war.
Now the bitter truth; Reinforcements from the core systems will not arrive for several more years. The militia gains strength day by day, taking back one planet after another. Our choices are limited, drastic action must be taken.
Again, I remind you all of one simple truth: That human life is abundant. And, as distasteful as it may sound, human life is, in truth, expendable. And so that brings us to this planet typhon, where we have discovered a gift; a machine that will do more than change the tide.
Call it fate,
Call it evolution,
Call it what you will.
The truth is we have discovered our resolution, and in it lies a weapon with a powerful ability to fold space and time. We don’t know who built it, but we do know that is it quite old. And most importantly we have learned enough to bring it to life.
As we use this fold weapon, we will manipulate space time targeting anything we desire, sundering entire planets. Our restoration efforts in the mountains are nearly complete, but one task remains. We must complete a small scale test here first. To tune the power source, or the “Ark”, as our colleagues tend to call it.
Once we have accomplished this, we will transfer the power source, the Ark, to the full scale site and destroy one populated Militia planet and then another, until they capitulate. We will open an Einstein-Rosen bridge sending through thousands of concentrated gravitational waves. This will rip apart and sunder every molecule, every atom, and every living thing we target. Resulting in… total loss of life.
But lest we lose sight of the bigger picture, remember those losses are ultimately replaceable by the inexorable march of human reproduction. By decisively neutralizing the militia forces, we will in fact safeguard the existence of the human race, extending its reach and power towards a prosperous and bright future.
You can also listen to it, as I hyperlinked it before.
But take a moment to take all of this in, what does this mean, is he mad? Or is he entirely right in all he says? That’s entirely objective.
For someone fighting for the Militia, that means that it is personal, your home, and everything you fight for, threatened in an instant.
For the IMC? You are nothing but a terrorist, you’re destabilising the system with your revolts and pointless struggle if only you’d. . . Submit. They wouldn’t have to resort to such depths in their actions. Strong, immoral, maybe. But entirely, and completely, reasonable.
Think about it, the core worlds depend on The Frontier’s handiwork and resources, what happens when the Militia continue taking worlds that the IMC needs to help their core worlds. You destabilise Earth and the rest.
And as someone who sees both sides, I can’t help but agree with everything Marder is saying. It’s a strong handed decision that someone needs to take, the Militia needs to secede.
But, as I said, this is subjective, everyone will see this conflict differently, and that’s the beauty of it. Once you create a world and conflict with real intentions and issues, the lines become non-existent.
And I believe that’s the real gem of Titanfall 2. Real purpose.
And from now on, I will wait eagerly for everything Titanfall related. And hope for more like this.
Now, let’s mention something else I wanted to talk about, in this short, but sweet post I have prepared for you all.
The dialogue options, and how clever it is to truly make you the character of this story while still retaining the personality of Rifleman, J. Cooper. And I can’t help but think that every FPS should innovate in this if we hope for the FPS genre to become a true and tried storytelling format that allows immersion and enjoyment of the story.
Halo 4 comes to mind in this regard, a true masterpiece of storytelling, that indeed sacrificed some of its immersion for some people to accommodate storytelling.
Imagine if we had these options in future Halo titles, and just like Titanfall 2, allow the time to run out between choices, allows you time to either respond or remain quiet. And that is very clever in what could be a great Halo title with storytelling such as Titanfall 2.
There’s nothing to lose and everything to gain in this regard. And if Halo should borrow anything from Titanfall 2, it should be exactly this. And only this.
However, I believe that’s all I should talk about this for now. If you wish to see more thorough thoughts from me in regards to the story of Titanfall 2 once I finish the game, please express your interest in it.
I am still, however, undergoing my journey through Destiny, but collecting enough notes, needless to say, my reception and thoughts of the story aren’t the best, though, I do have several good thoughts about it, and I am in the middle of reading through Grimoire to both benefit my understanding. . . And benefit you in how much the game is missing lore wise.
I am also, of course playing through BiA as well, I have plenty of thoughts about it and praise that I can’t wait to dump on you all.
But that’ll be all for today, and as always, live a good life, play Halo, and be safe.