Attack on Titan might not be as popular but it is still pretty relevant today. The first season of Attack on Titan garnered critical acclaim and helped the series reach new heights. It was already one of the top selling manga in Japan but the anime helped it gain popularity in the Western market. It wasn’t until a couple years ago that Koei Tecmo announced a video game based on this popular anime and manga series. This was supposed to be a hack and slash game where the player had the freedom to use the omni-directional mobility gear to slay Titans, however it turned out to be fairly repetitive with a terrible story that mostly retreaded the same plot from season 1 of the anime.
In the world of Attack on Titan, the characters have to use an omni-directional mobility gear that attaches to their back and lets them basically swing and air dash around various points of interest, just like Spider-Man can web swing from buildings. They use this gear to attack the weak part of a Titan, which is usually its nape. The first game had nailed the gameplay of the omni-directional mobility gear so it was interesting to see how the developers would have improved it with the sequel.
Attack on Titan 2 appears to have learned with many of the shortcomings from the first game. The biggest improvement this time is perhaps the fact that there is now actually a fairly competitive story mode unlike its predecessor. This story mode also doesn’t make the same mistake by recounting the events from the anime, and instead it features a completely new character chosen by the player who takes part in the story along with the main cast like Erren and Mikasa. This is basically an alternative look at the events featured in Attack on Titan and I won’t lie when I say that it works out a lot better now.
The story of the game has been laid out in such a way that even if you have never played the first game, or seen the anime, you should be able to understand the world and the background for the cast. It is not exactly in-depth but it explains a lot around how humanity lived under the shadows of Titans and the infamous incident featuring the giant Titan that made them retreat to the inner walls of the city. If you have seen the anime, then you will easily recognize most of the plot twists coming from a mile away – still the new story mode doesn’t really make the campaign monotonous since you are basically looking at all the events from a new perspective.
Gameplay wise, Attack on Titan 2 has also changed drastically while offering more options in combat. It feels a lot more fluid now and the controls are tighter. The attacks feel like they connect more and you can really feel the pressure as you swing around Titans trying to target their weak spot. One aspect of the first game that made it suffer was the repetitive enemy models for the Titans and this is something that the sequel has somewhat managed to rectify by offering more variety for the Titans. There is a bigger focus on squad management and if you have a good team to combat Titans, it is easy to get a high rank on missions. You won’t just need your skills for swinging around the Titans and slashing their weak points, you will also need to handle your squad and can issue them commands during on the battlefield. Each team member will come with their own unique abilities so knowing their skills is essential to tackling some of the tougher challenges.
The social aspect of the game is also revamped now. You have a friendship level with the cast and depending on how you behave with them outside battles by taking the ‘Daily Life’ events, your friend rank will increase leading to them learning new skills. There is the new ability to capture Titans which ties in with the rank for your research base. It leads to learning secrets that can help deal more damage to Titans so it is a pretty useful addition to the game. When it comes to capturing a Titan, you will have to rely on a number of factors including damaging their weak parts to making sure that they have no chance for escape.
Overall, I was honestly pleasantly surprised to see how the developers have taken the negative feedback regarding the first game to improve on its weakness and the result is an actual fairly competent game. This might not win any awards but it is a solid hack and slash game that lets you swing around like Spider-man and slay giant Titans. The game can easily take you more than 15 hours if you just go through the main story mode, which is a pretty respectable number for a single player campaign.
Attack On Titan 2 Review (PS4)
Game Reviewed on: PS4
Game description: Attack on Titan 2, known in Europe as A.O.T. 2, is an action hack and slash video game based on Hajime Isayama's manga series of the same name released for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation Vita, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows
Attack on Titan 2 is a pleasant surprise as a sequel. It is remarkable to see how the developers have managed to learn from their mistakes and turned the complete game around after a mediocre start.