Pizza Titan Ultra delivers on the absurdity that is its promise. You play as a 10-story tall mech running through 8 distinct maps and 32 missions, punching holes through the sides of buildings to deliver pizza. Each delivery gives you more time on the always running out clock, and more money to your total. The maps are littered with items to collect, including floating future money, time pickups to help keep the clock at bay, walk-in clients and hidden special ingredients.
Behind the absurd premise, and much to my surprise there is an actual coherent story in Pizza Titan Ultra. The developer, Breakfall, knows what this game is and thankfully Pizza Titan Ultra doesn’t take itself seriously whatsoever. The story is all about stopping a sentient AI rat robot from going back in time and putting your pizzeria out of business. Each mission and delivery builds upon this premise with each character you meet asking you, whether purposefully or not, to thwart the AI and his robot army. You work alongside a colourful cast each with distinct personalities, quirks and humor. While most of the main cast are given enough time to shine – like Billy or Tanya – a few like Ace do fall to the wayside and get less development.
That being said, nearly all of the mission specific characters are memorable in one way or another. One character you deliver for, a professional gamer with an enjoyably exaggerated personality, asks you to stomp on enemies drilling under the ground because it is disrupting his gameplay. While some references and jokes feel a bit lazy, each cutscene is enjoyably absurd, littered with pop culture references. Throughout the game, you help different discount versions of your favourite characters like Captain Planet, Cloud, Chun Li and Princess Leia combined in one, and more, all delivering enjoyable quips. On top of that, all character art is great, with everyone shown exuding personality.
The game’s main goal, aside from the ludicrous story, is to get as much money as you can, and in every mission you’re given ample opportunity to do so. Walk-ins present you with a brief mini game where you have to place ingredients in the right spots and heat up the pizza to the perfect temperature. The better you do, the more money you get. And with the hidden ingredients, you also get hefty sums of money for every piece collected, with an additional bonus for collecting them all. All of the money that you gain can then be spent on different cosmetics and progressing through the game by purchasing the right to make deliveries in new areas.
The cosmetics in Pizza Titan Ultra are largely for show, allowing you to pimp out your mech with the most absurd designs you could want, including a scarf. None of these have an effect on the gameplay aside from a little added style. But directly connected to the amount you spend are the abilities you can unlock. The game starts you off with the simple but useful sprint ability that is great for when you have a delivery on the opposite side of the map. By spending more you are able to unlock a huge laser beam that will destroy anything in its path, a shield that is fantastic for the hectic levels later on where you are just trying to do your civic duty and deliver your pizzas, and then lastly, a vacuum that sucks in all money and time pickups in a small radius.
Each ability has its uses in the many different mission types, but often I have found the laser too necessary and rather game breaking. See, with the laser, you can destroy the larger enemies instantly, which is much more effective and safer than mashing the X button while they shred your health away. The ability also locks you into place, completely negating the powers of some of the later levels’ enemies that use a tractor beam to drag you to them. On top of this, it also grants you invincibility for the duration of the animation. As a result I found myself equipping it more out of necessity rather than because I wanted to.
Pizza Titan Ultra also suffers from sluggish controls, often leading to you running around in circles trying desperately to grab that time pickup so you can continue on your quest to satisfy the pizza loving citizens. Your mech has an undeniable weight behind it, and while this works in regards to the destruction mechanic, it leads to slower turning. And while that line of thinking tracks, it being a 10-story tall metal robot, in practice, it’s not the most enjoyable experience.
The map design is also a bit of a mixed bag. With 8 different zones, you are treated to varied locals including beachfront resorts, busy city landscapes and a crater filled with cheese. Each map offers three story missions and one free play where you stay alive and deliver as much pizza as you can before the time runs out. On the majority of the maps, the changes are well done and intelligently introduce new enemies and map traversal mechanics so they never outstay their welcome. But unfortunately the isometric view can cause some issues on maps that include verticality, with your vision easily getting blocked by mountains or bridges.
The missions themselves however are rather varied and enjoyable. Each is introduced through a short cutscene with a large cast of different citizens asking you for their favourite pizza and various requests; these are thinly veiled excuses to allow you to enjoy the main gameplay loop of delivering pizzas as quick as you can and earning the most money possible. These requests come in different flavors too: razing the city, collecting the money littered throughout the city, killing enemies, collecting ingredients and destroying as little of the city as possible.
Starting you off with just one objective per outing, Pizza Titan Ultra eventually builds up to giving you multiple tasks in a mission. Each delivery offers a fun mix between the main objectives and pizza delivering, forcing you to juggle between the two in order to gain enough time to actually beat the mission. Thankfully you are generally able to complete each mission within a couple of minutes, so they never outlast their enjoyability.
While the entire experience has a lot going for it, Breakfall doesn’t execute a perfect delivery. A fair portion of your time will be spent waiting for levels to load, with these lasting upwards of 20 seconds for a mission that you may very well beat in less than two minutes. This is made worse due to the fact that you are so frequently going in and out of missions with such quick succession. The game also suffers from some framerate stutters, especially towards the later portions as enemies and building demolition increases.
Despite the issues, Breakfall knows what Pizza Titan Ultra is, and for that it’s a better game. At roughly 5 hours to completion, it never gets old, supplying enough variety to keep you entertained. Priced at £9.99/$11.99, it is worth your time if you’re looking to spend an evening with a unique experience.