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Attack on Titan 2 Hands-on Impressions

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by January 22, 2018 Anime

Attack on Titan 2 Hands-on Impressions

I loved the first Attack on Titan game almost entirely because it made doing aerial acrobatics in 3D maneuverability gear was just as fun as it looks in the anime, the same mechanic that kept me buying really bad Spiderman games just so I could web-sling around New York. With that in mind, I was definitely looking forward getting a sneak peek at Koei Tecmo’s sequel and I wasn’t disappointed. The new title offers the same adrenaline rush flying between trees and buildings while filling in the bare areas of the original, offering more fanservice for dedicated anime and manga fans and some cool multiplayer features.



Story mode has been switched up by changing who you play. Rather than cycling through the main cast during their story beats, Attack on Titan has you play as a customizable character referred to as “Our Man” (although they can be male or female), who has been just off screen during each of the important scenes in the series, sitting within earshot of a young Eren’s trio on the boat escaping the fall of Shiganshina and within earshot of his resolution to rid the world of titans, then later standing several rows behind him as a fellow recruit to the 104th. This gives you a view of the plot without committing you to the perspective of any of the characters.


This gives story mode the feeling of an awkward self-insert fanfiction, especially with you quickly becoming one of the squads aces that no one ever spoke of, but the dynamic has its own charms and the trade-offs are more than worth it. The character customization has a lot of options and a really good feel for the Isayama’s character aesthetics, although you can definitely make your character stand out in the worst way if you’re motivated. Additionally, they’ve introduced a friendship system that allows you to earn points with different members of the 104th.



The story mode goes through the same early beats, so be prepared to cover the old territory, including the Titan training, if you’ve played the first title in the series. Most of the new content in the early stages come in the form of some extra training for the games new features and during downtime where you can wander around wherever your base is and start building your friendship meter with the other members of the squad. I was told the story mode now goes up to the end of season 2 and features its own ending.


The most significant difference in the sequel is the titans themselves. While the first Attack on Titan did a tremendous job of allowing you to live your dream of being a titan slaying machine, providing a ridiculously fun 3D movement gear mechanic that let you jump from Titan to Titan and wrack up kills, it didn’t do very much to instill the same fear of the Titans in you that the characters experience. They were just too easy, providing almost zero reason not to go right for the kill from the outset. If you were skilled and paid close attention then there was very little stopping you from reaching their knape.



Now, that’s changed. Even the smallest titans won’t go down quietly, swatting or grabbing you out of the air, swinging the limb your grapnels are attached to send you flying, or suddenly leaping directly at you. It’s extremely difficult to take them out from the outset and the game has become truer to the anime in that respect, as limbs represent much safer targets. The natural way to take them down is to sever their leg to limit mobility, repeat the process on one of their arms, and finally approach their knape from the disabled side. At first, it’s very difficult to bring them down, but once you know what you’re doing it’s much more satisfying.


Other additions included a group vs mode we were able to try out, which essentially comes out to rival squads competing over who can win the most accolades slaying titans. Your groups are released in the same city where there a variety of titans, including abnormals and some priority targets. You can try to coordinate, split up, or play it the way it’s meant to be played and go straight for the enemy squad. You’re equipped with a few tools you can use to sabotage your opponents including smoke grenades that blind them. There’s also kill stealing, so high priority titans will often have two or three players flying circles around it, picking away at its limbs and trying to be the first to grab the killing blow and all the points.



The Nintendo Switch version they had set up for multiplayer had a notably shorter draw distance than the PS4 and the Titans had a tendency to sometimes fold in on themselves while reaching for flying humans in dramatic ways, like their torso swinging down through their legs and back up behind them when a human ran between its feet, which was probably the most significant issue I found with the game on either platform. Going for the knape when a Titan’s head is clipping through a nearby building adds another dimension to the difficulty, however.


Overall my impression of the new title was very positive. It seems like Koei Tecmo was listening to the fans when adding new features and adjusting Attack on Titan 2 (or at least they definitely made many changes I wanted) by making the experience of fighting titans feel more authentic and looking for way to engage players outside of flying through the air. I was most surprised by how much I enjoyed the multiplayer as well. Although I’m not exactly looking forward to repeating the first half of the story, it will be interesting to see where the new character’s story and the friendship system goes.


REVIEW ROUND-UP

+ Character customization

+ Great multiplayer

+ Titans are scary

Have to play the same early story

Very limited draw distance (Switch)

Titans folding into their own models (Switch)

Peter Fobian is Features and Reviews Editor for Crunchyroll, author of Monthly Mangaka Spotlight, writer for Anime Academy, and contributor at Anime Feminist. You can follow him on Twitter @PeterFobian.


Source: Anime News
Attack on Titan 2 Hands-on Impressions

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