The developers of Titanfall 2 have come up with a brilliant way to keep players occupied while the game installs.
After the initial tutorial ends, Titanfall 2 presents players with The Gauntlet. As your mentor leans against the wall with an installation percentage hovering over his head, you're able to run The Gauntlet again and again and again.
Here's why it's brilliant: Titanfall 2 is a first-person shooter about speed, grace and accuracy. You can double jump, wall run and slide about as you shoot enemies to bit. It's more than you can. You totally should.
The Gauntlet is an assault course made up of corridors, frozen in place enemies and a couple of large rooms. Your mentor challenges you to set a decent time - under two minutes at first. So you whizz around, probably failing to kill any enemies on your first attempt. There's not much grace here.
That's that then, right? Let's get stuck into this single-player campaign we've all heard so much about. Hang on, the game's still installing, and there's a window that tells me how well I did, what time I set, and how many enemies I killed. This is important because each missed enemy adds time to your run. And wait. What's that? A... leaderboard?
Oh go on then, one more try. Now, let's have a think. What's the quickest point to the first corridor? Can I use a grenade there to kill a few enemies at once? What's the best weapon to use to shoot the cardboard cutout baddies? Is there any way I can just wall run the entire thing?
You set a better time. Then a better time. Then a better time. Until, oh lovely, a trophy for beating Anderson's record. He won't like that.
The design genius here is that The Gauntlet is on a loop. The end of The Gauntlet leads to its start. It's completely seamless. Of course, you can quick restart when you mess up. But you can, effectively, keep running The Gauntlet in a loop forever.
Last night I ran The Gauntlet for two hours straight. It's kind of like the Mirror's Edge I always wanted. I didn't even bother with the campaign. That can wait. I've got to beat my personal best and get to the top of the leaderboard.
And this morning I'm searching YouTube for other players' runs. I'm watching in awe at skill I'll never have. I want to learn from the best in the hope I can improve. Already there are some stunning times out there.
So, The Gauntlet is pretty much the best 'waiting to install thing to do in a video game ever'. Well done, Respawn. Titanfall 2 just got off to a wicked start.