Review: Attack on Titan 2 – A Titanic Amount of Fun

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Pros:
+Extremely beautiful graphics
+Framerates are consistent at all times
+Follows the anime, but also offers a new insight into pre-existing events
+Character creation while simple is top notch
+An amazing and highly enjoyable soundtrack that never seems to get old.

Cons:
-Difficulty changes can be, at times, a bit overwhelming
-Seeing the inside walls of Wall Maria does get a bit old after quite a bit of time


Just when you’d think that Attack on Titan had begun to grow irrelevant, there’s always someone, somewhere, that wants to remind you just how great the series can actually be by any means necessary. This time around, it just happens to be Koei Tecmo and Omega Force, the minds behind the Warriors franchises, and even the minds behind spin-off franchises Hyrule Warriors and Fire Emblem Warriors.

But when you look at the world of Attack on Titan, it’s vastly different from what we know in the other franchises. It’s one where humanity’s fate is grim, gigantic monstrosities rule the lands, and the only fighting chance humanity has is an army of elite trained soldiers using special equipment that allows them to have a fighting chance.

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My last visit with Attack on Titan was a redeeming factor for the franchise after a poorly developed Nintendo 3DS game that could have used a bit of fine tuning to deliver the experience I had been hoping for. Luckily, Omega Force has continued to not disappoint giving us entirely new experiences versus ones we’ve already had. This time around things are a bit different as you’re no longer taking on the role of Eren Jaeger and friends. Instead, you’re playing a new recruit, one of the newest members of the Garrison who is working their way up through the rains.

This time around, things have been slightly altered from the previous title. Combat is more fluid, framerates are higher, your squad mates are more responsive, and upgrading gear is much easier than before. Even combat feels more refined, allowing for each attack, each swing, and even quick maneuver feel natural and operate like a well-greased machine.

The premise of the story and the missions are much the same as a new recruit, but your angle to this story is a bit different this time. This time around, you aren’t going to take on the roles of franchise favorites Armin, Eren or even Levi. As your own custom character, with a custom appearance, chosen gender, name, and all, you’ll see the story unfold in a different light. Now, you’re the man or woman on the outside looking in. You are no longer an elite soldier with special powers or the ability to stand out among your peers.

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While you certainly are the head of your own squad, you still have to pull your own weight, work your way up, and even craft the needed gear in order to take down your fearsome foes. Luckily for us, combat is actually rather simple. Players will continually use the Square (PS4), X (XBO), or Y (Switch) in order to dash about the map using your omni-directional mobility gear in order to stay just out of reach of a titan seeking to consume your character.

In order to take an enemy out, players will use a similar mechanic by locking onto a titan’s weak point, tapping triangle (PS4), Y (XBO), or X (Switch) in order to dash towards that weak point. Upon approaching the titan at the perfect angle and hitting one of the associated attack buttons at the proper time, you’ll deal a critical attack on that part, sometimes actually dismembering that Titan’s limbs and send it reeling in pain.

Often times earning crafting materials in order to upgrade your gear, crafting new gear, and often to improving your chances of survival. Missions do variate between different goals, but all end up being rather concomitant scenarios. Some are simple escorts where you will take your target from point a to point b while fending off attacking titans. Other missions are simple defense missions where players are tasked with protecting a single zone before the mission completes and others are a simple rescue mission where you will help those who are in the path of danger.

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While missions sound as straightforward as they are, missions don’t simply play out like they sound. Instead, you will spend a bit of time placing supply towers, turrets, and various other towers that serve as support, which allows you to have a fighting chance against the numerous titans that will populate every map. But not all of these titans are normal. Some will pop up as abnormals, able to shield themselves from basic damage, forcing players to attack the glowing green areas where they can widdle down these protective barriers.

These also come with extra health, more damage, and seem to enrage quite a bit more than standard titans. While this sounds easy to overcome, titans this time around aren’t your stereotypical AI controlled enemies. This time they are smarter, they are faster, and they are stronger than before. They do not hold back by any means and will tear down walls, buildings, and fortifications in order to eliminate of those who seek to take them out.

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Outside of missions, there are a few things to appreciate outside of combat. Relationships with your squad and fellow members of the military is a big deal. Each one offers unique perks, unique conversations, and capabilities while fighting against the Titan threat. Toss this in with the fact you get to choose what your character says, and everything seems to fall into place. Your character actually feels as if it’s you behind it all, you speak the words and guiding your squad into victory. It makes it all feel natural, an organic experience within the Attack on Titan universe.

While roaming around the local districts using omni-directional gear is a blast, sometimes just taking in the local sights, drinking a few drinks, and eating some warm food is never a bad idea by any means. The only bad idea? Kicking a Titan while it’s down and not making sure it’s down for good. Even after a good bit of it, there’s still a lot to explore, even in the campaign itself or simply going online in order to enjoy several of the games online modes, such as Annihilation Mode. In Annihilation mode, two teams of four are pitted against one another. Their ultimate goal is to earn the highest score within the allotted time.

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Working together in this mode is key as teams are given higher scores by working together and attacking the same Titan. This ultimately leads to something called a “Chain Bonus”. This bonus leads to double points from a Titan, allowing your team to quickly accumulate more points than the other team. Items in this mode do have their own varied uses. Paint grenades can make it difficult for the opposing team as it blurs their vision. Stun grenades can inhibit their vision and combat capabilities temporarily.

Sadly, communication isn’t the best here. If you’re looking to talk with your team, you’re stuck with using gestures and preset lines from both the anime and manga during the lobby screen between matches. During this time players can also customize the icons that hover above their characters head, giving their team a distinct idea of who they are while they dart about the battlefield.

 

Attack on Titan 2 – PC, PlayStation 4, Switch, and Xbox One
Developer: 
Omega Force
Publisher: Koei Tecmo
Release Date: 5/18/2018
Cost: $59.99

Outside of the competitive mode, the game does have cooperative play including Story Mode and Scout Missions, which lets you enjoy Attack on Titan 2 with your friends. There’s even a mode called Predator Mode, which allows you and four other friends to take on the role with one thing in mind: Eat as many humans as possible. However, do note, you will face off against the Scout Regiment’s members such as Eren Jaeger, Levi, and many more during your time as a Titan.

 

The best part of it all? Even with 20-25 hours in, I still have a lot to do, there’s still a lot of side-exploration to complete and luckily for us all? It’s all well worth it, even if we see inside the walls of Wall Maria more than we’d care to admit or even imagine since we’re doing it all in the name of fun. If you haven’t already, it’s highly suggested you give the Attack on Titan series a chance and once it releases, we highly recommend you snag a copy of Attack on Titan 2, create your character, and get to showing the Titan threat who is boss.


Our review is based on a retail version that was provided to us by the publisher of the game.  For information about our ethics policy please click here.


Final Score: 8 out of 10


About the Writer:

dustin_batgr_prof

Dustin is our native console game reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the borders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPGs, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook.

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