Titanfall is a multiplayer-only online shooter that also features a story campaign that tells a linear narrative. Those two things shouldn’t work together, multiplayer shooters and linear narratives: One is unpredictable, the other is entirely predictable. One has a random cast of dozens, the other has a defined cast of a few. One is chaos, the other is organized. One is highly interactive, the other is not.
Titanfall tries to marry these ideas, and the results are mixed. The presentation of plot points before, after, and during a match is so rushed that the story quickly becomes nonsensical, but the general structure that story takes on in order to fit into a multiplayer-only game is very clever and probably could have worked with some better writing. Until now, stories in multiplayer-only shooters have only been bad, and while Titanfall doesn’t buck that trend, it does offer some hope for the future.