Attack on Titan 2 Review – Fight for Freedom
Attack on Titan 2 seeks to capture the fast-paced action and tense scenarios of the series. Does the game manage to hold up to its legacy, or are you better off watching the anime? Check out this review and find out.
Attack on Titan 2 Review
Attack on Titan 2 runs through the first and second season of the anime series. However, instead of playing characters from the series, you make your own character and join the 104th Cadets. For anyone unfamiliar with the show, giant humanoid creatures are attempting to wipe out the remaining humans on the planet. Humanity created a number of massive walls to stop the Titans from breaking in, and it worked…for a while. These walls are the only thing preventing the normal humans from being eaten, stomped, or smashed from the overbearing Titans. Eventually though, all good things come to an end.
Before you even make your character, the first wall is attacked by a massive Titan and breached. During the ensuing chaos, your parents are crushed, and you escape to a boat. It is here where you first run into the characters Eren, Mikasa, and Armin. These three, along with many others, will eventually become your allies in the Cadet Corps. The game follows your path from rookie Cadet to elite Titan slaying Scout. Depending on what difficulty you play on you will get anywhere from 15-20 hours out of the main story, but there is plenty of other content to play through as well.
Before you even get into the actual game, a pop up appears suggesting you start the game on easy. If you haven’t played the series before then, this is a good idea. The game isn’t overly hard, but the movement system is unique and takes some getting used too. I explained it as similar to Spider-Man’s web-slinging in the first game’s review, but it acts more like a slingshot here. Using your ODM gear, you shoot out two hooks that will propel you forward and higher so you can get above Titans and traverse areas easily. Without any previous experience in this, it can be overwhelming. It only takes two or three missions to get used to it, and after five or six, you will be flying with your ODM gear.
To bring a Titan down you will have to combine your ODM movement and your blades. Titans are vulnerable in a few spots, but the only way to kill one is to attack the nape of the neck. You can make this easier on yourself by taking out the legs or arms and disabling them. One on one isn’t an issue. There are times though when you will have three or four Titans in a small area that you need to take out. They have goofy movement and random attack patterns. You being a little human means it doesn’t take much for you to die. One grab, one bite, or one stomp could lead to a game over before you know it.
Outside of combat, you have other worries on missions as well. Blades and gas are not infinite, and you will burn through them quickly if you continually take out Titans. To refill them, you will have to build resupply bases or other types of bases. These are quick, instant, towers that can be dropped at specific points on the map. All of them will give you a blade and a gas can, but they can also do other things as well. Supply bases will refill more than just your gas and blades, such as flash bombs or health potions. You can also drop artillery bases, mining bases and even trap bases that blow up when a Titan strikes it. Completing side missions will give you extra base points, allowing you to build even more bases on the map.
On top of supplies and Titans, you have to watch out for allies flares also. These are side missions in the game, and they come from your teammates on the map. If you don’t aid them, they die – simple as that. Helping them will build up your relationship with them and the higher your relationship, the more skills they will teach you. The friendship meter is new to Attack on Titan 2, but it isn’t an uncommon thing in games. Helping allies in missions, chatting with friends, and giving gifts will increase the meter more and more. This isn’t something you should not skip, because you will miss out on critical skills if you do. Without these skills, taking down the Titans in the later levels can be a real chore.
The other way to power yourself up is through training. To train, you must spend Wings of Freedom which you acquire by beating missions and running scouting missions. The more you spend during training, the more likely you are to succeed in training. The Wings of Freedom are also spent to upgrade bases to high levels. The Wings can also provide you with other bonuses such as increased experience or stronger equipment for a mission. Thankfully these Wings of Freedom are very easy to get, just by doing various missions you will acquire them.
Killing the Titans isn’t the only way to stop them. You can also capture them and bring them back to base for research. It is a bigger hassle to capture them, because you have to disable them before capturing. However, the rewards for bringing the Titans back alive are beneficial. You get paid, which is used to get more gifts and upgrade equipment, and you unlock new items for missions. Molotovs, for instance, can be acquired by leveling up your research level a couple of times and these can do severe damage to Titans. There is an in-game list of Titans you can capture for any of you completionists out there.
Attack on Titan 2 has co-op for the story, but it is a bit wonky. One player has to host by sending a distress call. Then another player then has to go to the other mode and then answer the distress call. Then the host has to accept that person into their game, and you can finally play together. However when the mission ends, the other player is sent back, and you have to do it over again. To top it off, the player who joins does not gain the story progress in their game. If you join a co-op game, you can pick a character from the series or bring your character, whichever you prefer.
If you played the first game, then you can expect to play through the same levels in the second game. While the story does go further, most of the missions are reused from the first game. While on the PlayStation 4 Pro, we did not run into any frame drops or crashes.
Attack on Titan 2 is an improvement on the original game, while taking the best parts from the previous release. If you like fast paced action games, then check this one out.