A man hopping onto a seat nested within the chest of a gigantic robot, and that same man being thrown by his neurologically-linked companion to an otherwise impossible-to-reach location — these are a couple of animation sequences that sum up Titanfall 2. This is a game about the interdependence of man and machine. It’s a straightforward video game in the sense that its mechanics lord over everything else. Titanfall’s characters and their reasons for battling their enemies are an afterthought at best. The priority lies in the rhythm of combat rather than its rationale or repercussions. As with countless video games before it, Titanfall 2 capitalizes on the soothing aspects of violence.

Titanfall 2’s single-player campaign follows Jack Cooper, a member of The Militia, which is at war with the domineering Interstellar Manufacturing Corporation (IMC). Cooper is in training to become a pilot — a super soldier — in charge of a Titan, one of the game’s mechs or bipedal robot-fighting units. Cooper’s reverence for the pilots, which is articulated in the campaign’s opening cut-scene, is the clearest emotion expressed in the game. What the developers want players to care about is the game’s technology.

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The game has been well optimized to cut across different platforms. While you would expect it to play well on PC, the real surprise is how nicely it handles on the Xbox One. Titanfall 2’s environments, from its waterfalls to its industrial settings, won’t set one’s imagination on fire, but they provide a fine backdrop for watching soldiers zip around the Titans.

Even if you go into Titanfall 2 looking for nothing other than sensory-stirring action and pitch-perfect controls, you won’t be disappointed.