Attack on Titan 2, set during the events of the popular manga and anime sees players going through the stories of the source material with their own created character in the main story. There is also “Another Mode” which allows you to play as characters from the series. While the base game follows season one and two, the Final Battle expansion allows you to go through some season three content, offering new modes and missions.
The game is split into two main parts, the missions and the hub area. Basically all of the missions revolve around killing titans, you’ll have it be masked as having to do other objectives like protect another character or escort a VIP. Because of the nature of the story it makes sense that killing titans is the only real objective in the game since they’re the only big threat in the world. The hub area where you spend your time outside of missions is where you can craft and upgrade gear, and interact with the characters, there’s also opportunities to increase your friendship level with characters which is critical to character progression. The story doesn’t exactly offer anything new except it is viewed through the eyes of your custom character.
If you’ve already read the manga and/or watched the anime then you won’t really find much except a condensed retelling of the source story. You also have scout missions which are just basically missions away from the main storyline. Another Mode lets you take control of characters from the main series, Character Episode Mode is part of the Final Battle expansion and is essentially a continuation of story into season 3 except you play as characters from the series. Territory Recovery Mode is also included with the Final Battle expansion and is like an overhaul of scout missions, allowing you to manage a base and progress through a map, going on expeditions, clearing regions of titans.
The combat is surprisingly very good considering you only have the titans to deal with. Use of the signature ODM (Omnidirectional Movement) Gear is your key to defeating the towering foes, allowing you to swing from the environment. When you eventually get close to a titan you hook onto a weak point and try to get the right angle and enough speed to deal damage. Correctly timed strikes deal even more damage, meaning you’ll have to try and get consistent at dealing with titans quickly. Depending on where you hit will also have different effects, for example: hitting a titan’s leg can cut it off and reduce its mobility but won’t do maximum damage like hitting its neck would. Sneak attacks can be performed by using your scope and targeting a titan long enough to get a prompt. Landing a sneak attack deals massive damage, killing most titans in one hit. Evading a titan’s attack and performing one of your own called a Hook Drive is also a way to deal massive damage.
It’s a very satisfying combat system that rewards precision while mixing the kind of mobility you’d find in Spider-Man. Occasionally you’ll have to fight bosses and abnormal titans which mix up the gameplay a little bit. Abnormal titans will always have some sort of strange behaviour that separates them from other titans such as being super aggressive or only targeting civilians, while bosses will have a stamina bar you have to drain down before you can start dealing damage.
Extra depth is added to the combat through a couple of other minor things. Keeping topped up on gas for your ODM Gear and fresh blades so you can keep swinging around and dealing maximum damage to titans. When you eventually run out you’ll have to find base locations and set up a supply base, so you can replenish your gear. Consumables like healing items or flash grenades will also be replenished at supply bases. You’ve also go automatic and manual battery bases which will shoot titans. Obviously, manual battery bases will require you to use them yourself. Saving other regiment members will sometimes grant you a base for free without having to use flares like you normally would. Sometimes other characters will join your squad, either from the start of a mission or if you recruit them on the field. Each character will have their own unique ability they can use when you command them to, giving them more of a presence than just simply being there and offering you more options, which is nice.
Time in the hub isn’t exactly anything special to be honest. You can go to the stores and buy resources and gear or upgrade your existing gear. Going to your private quarters allows you to change your character’s appearance which is nice if you ever want a change to your look. The friendship system is what will keep you running around the hub most of the time. Sometimes you’ll get conversations that happen anyway as well as friendship level increases if characters accompany you on missions, but any optional stuff will have to be sought out in the hub.
Even though you’ll get choices in the interactions with each character it is only an illusion of choice really. Taking any options that don’t increase the friendships is just putting yourself at a disadvantage since you get skills and stat boosts from increasing your friendships. So, if a character is gloating and I personally wanted to say something that didn’t boost their ego, for my character’s benefit I’d have to give praise to increase my friendship. It’s a little annoying that there’s no real choice but really it just feels more like an extra stepping stone to better stats than just changing gear.
A copy of the game was provided for this review by the developer/publisher