With Battlefield 1 having recently been released and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare just a couple of weeks away, Titanfall 2 has some stiff competition in the world of AAA first person shooters this year. Whereas the previous Titanfall launched virtually unchallenged, Titanfall 2 is going to have a tough time securing a spot on gamers’ shelves this fall.Despite being the underdog of the three-way FPS race, Titanfall 2 does have a lot going for it. New features, a revamped multiplayer, and the inclusion of an honest-to-goodness single player campaign make Titanfall 2 superior to its multiplayer-only predecessor. Now that it is on the PlayStation 4, the Titanfall series has room to grow exponentially and has a better shot at becoming one of this generation’s powerhouse franchises. If you’re an FPS fan, this is one game you’ll regret overlooking.Below are five reasons why you should be excited for Titanfall 2.A single player storyIt’s best to start off with the one thing everyone wanted from the first Titanfall — an actual single player story. Respawn had plans to include a campaign mode in Titanfall but lacked the time and resources. Thanks to an overwhelming amount of fan requests, Titanfall 2 boasts a story that will be every bit as engaging as the multiplayer mode.The story itself focuses on a soldier named Jack Cooper who allies with his squad mate’s Titan (BT-7274) in order to fight aliens, robots, and human enemies on a hostile world. Though the story is linear, levels are open-ended enough that players can accomplish goals any way they wish. Like any good FPS game, players have to take out foes by using an obscene amount of fire power. However, certain sections allow for a more stealthy approach. On top of run-and-gun action, there will also be a good number of platforming puzzles to solve.Based on early reviews, the game’s story is one of the best this year — something I don’t think any of us quite expected. The series also has an interesting lore so it will be satisfying to finally see it fleshed out in this game.No one is excludedUnlike the first Titanfall which was only released on the Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC, Titanfall 2 will be launching for the PlayStation 4.This is good news for several reasons. The main one being that PlayStation-only users won’t be left out of the party this time around. There is also the fact that the PlayStation 4 boasts the largest console user base, meaning that Titanfall 2 now has the potential to become even bigger. This in turn will lead to more games in the franchise — certainly a win for everyone involved.The only sad part here is that players will be segregated to their own ecosystems and won’t be able to play against one another via crossplay. I realize this isn’t something that is exactly common, but now that the door is open to such a feature, it would have been nice to see in Titanfall 2.Free contentRespawn is going against the grain by giving away all post-launch content for free. In an age where gamers expect to pay more for even the most insignificant additional content, giving users free DLC is borderline insanity. This fact alone should earn Respawn a lot of credit among gamers and pay off with boosted game sales.Vince Zampella said that he and the team want players to be “happy with their $60 game.” Because of this mindset, all of the game’s maps and modes will be available to download at no additional charge. Releasing DLC for free will cost Respawn money, but as I mentioned above, if the game ends up selling more copies because people know all of its DLC will be free, the losses will be mitigated.Releasing free DLC is certainly a gamble, but one that should pay off (quite literally) if Respawn engenders enough goodwill from the gaming community.Revamped multiplayerTitanfall had a solid multiplayer the first time around and Respawn is looking to take what worked and streamline it for the sequel. While multiplayer may not be the only playable mode in Titanfall 2, it is still receiving all of the attention it needs in order to compete with the likes of Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.Some of the chaos of the first game has been toned down in order to make things friendlier for newcomers. After all, you want people to have a grasp of what’s happening around them in multiplayer in order to make things fair. One way the game is doing this is by making it so your position isn’t revealed to players whenever you shoot at NPC foes. The last thing you want is for another player to shoot you in the back while you’re busy defending yourself from AI opponents.There is now a heavier emphasis on customization. Everything from your player character to Titan can be customized in a variety of ways. More options open up as you level up, but even at lower levels you are given a lot of things to work with. Customization isn’t just cosmetic either, and there will be loads of options to help tailor the game to fit your specific play style.Overall, the multiplayer mode has more content than before. This is important considering how many players stopped playing Titanfall shortly after it launched. With extra modes, more diverse maps, and greater customization options, players should be playing Titanfall 2 for quite some time.New gameplay mechanicsIt wouldn’t be fun if Titanfall 2 was exactly like the first game. Thankfully, Respawn has added a few new mechanics meant to not only differentiate it from its predecessor, but make the game more enjoyable overall.New mechanics include a throwable pulse blade that shows the location of nearby foes, a holographic pilot that copies a player’s actions, the ability to slide, and a grappling hook that helps players traverse the world more efficiently. There is also the inclusion of classes for Titans, each with its own set of abilities.Wall running makes a comeback but it has been slowed down somewhat so that it is easier to chain together with zip-lining. The pace may not be as fast as before, but this helps players get a better feel for their surroundings. And, as previously mentioned, it lessens some of the craziness of playing online. That last part could be seen as a negative, but knowing what you’re doing — especially in multiplayer — is always a good thing.What excites you the most about Titanfall 2? Let us know in the comments below.
How to Stay Cybersecure for the HolidaysYou Know Your Smartphone is Spying on You, But It’s Worse Than You Think Quick, someone call G.O.B! Hackers might be able to remotely hijack his Segway if he doesn’t apply the latest security update.That’s assuming he upgraded from the older model he’d been riding on Arrested Development to the slick Segway MiniPro. See, a security researcher discovered some serious flaws in the scooter’s firmware. Thomas Killbride is an embedded device security consultant with IOActive. He’s also a fan (and owner) of the two-wheeled people mover.As soon as he got his hands on it, Killbride did what any security pro would. He started probing the Segway and its companion mobile app for vulnerabilities. The connected scooter’s companion app already allowed owners to drive them around like an RC car. That got Killbride’s wheels turning.Shortcomings in the Bluetooth implementation granted Killbride the elevated access he needed. Since the MiniPro didn’t verify the authenticity of firmware uploads, he was able to inject modified firmware and remotely mess with a MiniPro. Killbride learned he could remotely hack into anyone’s MiniPro and take over the controls.It’s definitely fun to watch it happen in IOActive’s demo video. Out on the streets, however, a hacker who wanted to could cause an unsuspecting rider to swerve into traffic or throw on the breaks and send him or her flying face-first into the pavement.The good news here is that IOActive informed Ninebot, the Chinese company that now owns Segway, and they’ve released updated firmware that tightens up the MiniPro’s security. Among the changes: it actually verifies that firmware updates come from Ninebot now (and not just whoever figured out how to upload one to the scooter). It also killed a potentially very creepy social location sharing feature.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on target
The world is crazy about Thanos right now, well half of the world. The other half is very fussy with him, me included. You know what you did THADDY! But that didn’t deter ThinkGeek from putting their noodles together with Marvel to create this one of a kind Infinity Gauntlet scarf. This is another stellar entry in the Gear Up Collection they’re formed with the famous comic company.I’ve actually been using this scarf to tuck into my jacket on chilly nights. The light gauzy material is perfect for breezy spring/summer evenings. It’s soft and surprisingly comfy. And it’s got all the Infinity Stones waiting for you, no soul sacrifices required or endless searching across the galaxies.It won’t, however, protect you from super soldiers trying to rain on your parade of universal domination. We tested it on our roof just to make sure of that. But Film Jackets’ Captain America Stealth piece couldn’t stop the all-around badass-ness of the scarf. It still managed to glimmer in the sunlight even under all the strength and might of Steve Rogers (played by Victoria Song). That’s right each little gauntlet has shimmery foil thread woven through, just to give it that extra pop of villainry.The scarf is pretty long (70″ x 44″), which is great because it gives you a million options of how to tie it up and style it. It’s thin enough to bunch together in a coat or hoodie without it looking bulky. And just like Thanos, you can do it all yourself, no lackeys required to get wrapped up in it. The scarf is currently $19.99 and perfect for any pal entrenched in Avengers frenzy. It’ll keep you cozy for the next 12 months while we wait for the ol’ number 4. So just promise not to snuff out existence if you nab one. But honestly, you’ll look too good to care.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on target Geek Pick: Shure MV88+ Is An Excellent, On the Go Microphone KitGeek Pick: Amazon Smart Plug Puts Alexa in Your Walls