Attack on Titan 2 (A.O.T. 2 in Europe) is a game following the second season of the Anime of the same name, it’s weird, wonderful and one thing you can be sure of is getting pursued by giant naked titans that want to eat you for lunch.
AOT2 isn’t for the narrow minded, these Titans are gigantic and capable of knocking down a building with a swift kick, but they’re also strangely naked and I’m still to figure out why they’ve got hairy chest’s but not pubescent enough to grow genitals, either way they’re vicious characters and have restricted the civilians to a small area surrounded by defensive walls, as the game starts you witness events of the past as a large armoured titan breaks through the wall sending refugees fleeing for safety as other titans start to eat their way through the stragglers.
Aside Eren Jaeger you escape as you see friends and families fall to the attack and the scene fades to black as Eren vows to destroy the titan that killed his family. Years later, you take control of your character you’ll have chance to give them a name and customise their looks as they enroll into the scout regiment led by Kieth Sadies.
These early sections of the game are realistic in the sence that you’re not a super hero, you will need to practice and others around you will be better (even if you feel like you ‘re doing the majority of the hard work). As the game continues you’ll slowly start to take the fight back to the titans, forging relationships with your graduates and building up stronger weapons and ODM gear (omnidirectional movement gear) which helps to traverse the land with speed as well as homing in for powerful attacks against the titans.
Developed by Omega Force, the team behind the Dynast Warriors franchise are no stranger to quality games and they’ve worked closely with Hajime Hisayama (author of the Attack on Titan anime) to create an authentic and original story.
Gameplay centralised on quick movement mixed with controlled attacks, the ODM gear allows you to propel yourself across vast distances and lock onto titans weak points such as their knees, elbows or the back of their necks. Initially you can cripple a titan by taking out it’s knee’s, and attacking the arms will prevent them from grabbing hold of you or breaking free from your tether, then you’ll be able to comfortably finish them off with a swift attack to the back of the neck. The ODM movement is a little awkward to get to grips with, but with a little practice you’ll be linking attacks to fluently take down multiple titans. I found the learning curve just steep enough to present a challenge but never found myself unable to progress meaning Omega Force’s endeavour to make the game more challenging has worked to some extent, but it’s not going to push more seasoned gamers unless you ramp up the difficulty level.
Between the attacking scenes, you’ll occasionally have to rush to a location to assist one of your friends, but the majority of the non-action gameplay is in the much more relaxed Town-Life segments, presented closer to a friendship simulator as you walk around talking to your comrades building friendships and modifying your gear, your choices when talking to others will help build a stronger relationship and they’re likely to start calling you by your first name or giving you a nick-name, it’s a nice touch which fleshed out the town side of the game but there’s nothing to really affect gameplay further down the line.
As mentioned above controls initially feel a little awkward, although my first thought flying between buildings was still back to 2007’s Spiderman 3, while you don’t have quite as much control as Peter Parker there’s a innate feeling of satisfaction as you cover hundreds of meters fluently before taking down a few titans without touching the ground once, it’s fast frantic and much more controlled than Omega Force’s Dynasty Warriors but it will take some getting used to.
Thankfully there’s plenty of reasons to practice, on top of the story which will take about 10 hours to get through you’ll be able to retry missions in the search of S ranks. There’s also co-op play with up to 3 friends and online multiplayer in inhalation mode which pits two teams of four against each other in a bid to take down as many titans (and build up the most points) to win. Online and co-op play all ran smoothly and while it’s funny to see your team mates fly into a wall, you’ll want to work together as a team to really make a difference, single player A.I isn’t bad, but flicking between the D-pad to try and command AI team-mates will be overlooked most of the time, so having friends beside you will prove far more effective.
Graphically Attack on Titan 2 looks very good, there’s a distinct Dynasty Warriors vibe, but you wont find anywhere near that number of players on screen and due to the giant titans trying to eat everybody everywhere feels pretty deserted. the anime styling fits perfectly and fans of the anime will feel at home straight away. However that’s not to say everything is perfect, AOT2 could certainly look better, it’s no AAA eye-candy and there’s a few too many re-used textures, especially across buildings, but it fits well with the source material and will keep fans perfectly happy.
Audio has a good mix of sound effects and voice acting which once again feels incredibly authentic, you’re own character has a fairly limited vocabulary (as is common after a character creation system) but there’s still a decent amount of voice acting especially through the cut-scenes which once again sit perfectly beside the original anime.
AOT2 isn’t going to please everybody, there’s a degree of repetition to battles as you take out a knee-cap and elbow or two before striking the neck of a titan, the same techniques are used again and again meaning once mastered it starts to feel a little too familiar, the less than helpful AI doesn’t do much to keep these action sequences fresh, but thankfully the ODM movement (and often its unpredctable nature) does keep things feeling fast and fun if not always fresh.
The Attack on Titans anime has a fair number of fans and for those especially, the game (A.O.T2) will prove in invaluable purchase. Even those who haven’t seen the anime will find a unique game with just enough to warrant the purchase if your forgiving of the repetition and don’t mind the ‘Town Life’ sections of the game.
Will I be playing A.O.T 2 in a few months? I doubt it, but that’s not to say I haven’t thoroughly enjoyed the majority of the time I’ve spent playing this last week.