Action Game, Gaming Review, Hack and Slash Game, PlayStation Game

Attack on Titan 2 – PlayStation 4 Review

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A sensationally action-packed thrill ride that you’ll want to ride over and over again.
  • System: PlayStation 4, Steam, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
  • Publisher: Koei Tecmo
  • Developer: Omega Force
  • Release Date: March 20, 2018

Attack on Titan 2 - Battle Trailer

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0MSiVLta6M&w=560&h=315]

Who it Caters to

It’s quite safe to say that Shingeki no Kyoujin, better known as Attack on Titan in the west, has managed to captivate the world with its compelling narrative, emotionally riveting plot twists and explosive action that has you jumping out of your seat. When the original Attack on Titan title dropped back in 2016, many fans of the series couldn’t wait to get their hands on it to experience all the hack-and-slash action in real time. Sadly, many who did manage to experience the original game weren’t all too impressed with how everything turned out, stating that the gameplay felt too stiff and much of the action felt stale over time. Fast forward to 2018 and we have the explosive sequel to the first and boy, does it exceed expectations in a good way. Anybody familiar with the Koei Tecmo/Omega Force duo will know that when it comes to the hack-and-slash genre, these folks don’t fool around and will find ways to make up for their losses to reignite the flame in fan’s hearts. Attack on Titan 2 certainly pulls off everything in a good way with regards to its gameplay mechanics and overall flow of the story, but still has some areas of improvement which we’ll touch base on later on in the article.

What to Expect

With the first Attack on Titan leaving players a little disappointed in regards to the overall flow and pace of the game, we think that new and veteran players will get a total kick out of the sequel due to the vast improvements the Koei Tecmo/Omega Force team have made. Everything that you love about Attack on Titan is very much a part of the sequel from its illustrious storytelling elements to the incredibly heart-racing Titan battles that will have you sweating after all is said and done. It’s no easy ride either as every battle increasingly gets more difficult as the story progresses, encouraging you to constantly switch up your strategy and approach to dealing with large abnormal Titans. It’s not just about jumping from one point to the next as you now need to place a lot more attention on building enough bases in order to keep your resources plentiful, but more importantly, building relationships with other crew members to ensure you level up along the way.
It’s all about having a systematic approach to every encounter you come across, thinking through every scenario to prevent any catastrophe and to make sure that all needs are met before it’s too late. The Titans in this game are unrelenting in their behavior and will react in various ways that even you won’t be expecting, which adds another element of surprise while playing. One moment you think you’re about to land the final blow then suddenly another Titan comes rushing in to grab you out of midair, eager to end your misery. It’s a constant back and forth with a heavy emphasis on developing a strong team, becoming a reputable leader for everyone around you, and ensuring that you constantly upgrade your weapons to keep up with the onslaught of Titans that come your way.
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Story

Much of the story follows the anime in great detail up until the more recent parts of Season 2, allowing players to relive the extraordinary narrative that the series is known for. You get to see things from a new perspective as the main protagonist is your custom character, who creates a journal of the events that take place throughout the story, and all the relationships that you build up until the end. It’s a fresh new take on the series which is great because it puts you in the driver’s seat, providing you with a more immersive experience and long term enjoyment. The flow still remains and grants players an up-to-date overview of the events that take place within the series, which is actually great for players unfamiliar with what’s happening as it can act somewhat like watching the anime, but you control the pace of how it all unfolds. With that being said, let’s jump into the gameplay and look at just what makes Attack on Titan 2 an amazing follow up to its predecessor.

Gameplay

The moment you jump into the game, you’re greeted with an awesome opening video that just demonstrates the amount of work Koei Tecmo/Omega Force put in to ensure this game outshines its previous iteration. You’re then greeted with an introduction to some familiar characters in the game which then lead you into creating your own character. The character customization features are quite robust, allowing you to really go all out to create a unique character for the journey, though we wish there were more female options to choose from. For the most part, it felt like a lot of the faces, hairstyles and eye formations were predominantly male driven, but it still allowed us to create an adorable looking lady to venture around the world with.
Once your character is all suited and booted, the story really starts to kick off, with you taking part in various missions to see just how capable you are in actual battle. The training mode aspect of the game is quite interesting as it really teaches you how to master the new maneuverability functions in the game, while not overwhelming you with a river of text explaining everything. Players new to the game will find the controls to be a bit weird at first, but once you get the hang of how things work, everything starts to feel second nature in actual battle. There’s a plethora of things to cover for Attack on Titan 2 since you’ll be discovering new features along the way, but we’ll try to maintain a laser-focus on the more important aspects to ensure you get the point.

Building Relationships

One of the most integral aspects of Attack on Titan 2 is building relationships with your fellow comrades as you progress through the story. Each character you encounter is jotted down in your journal where everything is stored regarding that character’s personality, temperaments and more. As you build better relationships with your team, the morale of everyone can go up, which can lead to members of the team taking a liking to you and wanting to work alongside you down the road. It also creates somewhat of a unique side-story as each character will open themselves up to you, granting points for each successful conversation you pull off throughout progression. These points gradually increase and open up other parts of your journal which act as little side-notes of each character, and those side-notes reward you with things such as an increase in your leadership skills, dexterity, among many other things.
This really helps you out in battles throughout the game as the AI in the game has vastly improved, with Titans now reacting to your patterns and will change their behavior based on those patterns. So let’s say you have a habit of always attacking the legs of a Large Titan, that Titan will then protect itself by jumping out of harm's way or changing up its movement so that you’re unable to lock on effectively. So by developing stronger relationships, it’ll go a very long way since you’ll build a better reputation and have the skills needed to successfully tackle a full army of Titans who threaten your existence.

Building Bases

Another pivotal aspect about Attack on Titan 2 aside from its improved gameplay mechanics is building bases during missions. Not only do these bases allow you to replenish your resources such as your gas and blades, but later in the game, you’ll be able to build Mining Bases which grant you with materials that you sometimes don’t receive for completing missions. You have various bases to build such as Automatic Artillery Bases which essentially assist in shooting Titans down and creating diversions, along with Manual Bases which you can control and fire when the time is right. Be mindful of this feature as it certainly plays a crucial role not only during the main story missions, but also the Scout missions which help you to obtain very rare materials that you typically can’t find. As you level up in the game so too do the Bases and their rewards, so be mindful of this as you progress.

Battle Mechanics

We’d love to cover every single aspect of Attack on Titan 2 but there’s simply so much to explore that we encourage you to discover other perks on your own. For now, we’ll take a look at the more important points of the battle mechanics that you’ll encounter in the game and once mastered, can take you a long way. So of course, you have your ODM (Omni-Directional-Mobility) which allows you to traverse around the map and take down any Titans that get in the way. Optimizing the usage of the ODM can really help to score massive points in battle, which will allow you to successfully take down Titans quickly and efficiently. With there being so many Titans constantly overwhelming you it’s vital to use the ODM quickly, so that after taking down one Titan, you can swiftly move to the next to remove the threat. The Hook Drive is a special action that allows you to avoid incoming Titan attacks and follow up with a devastating attack that can end the battle in seconds, with cool looking cinematics to add that satisfying feel.
Also new to the table are Sneak Attacks which allow you to position yourself in the blind spot of a Titan, and deliver a heavy hitting blow that can really help down the road. The cool buddy system grants you the ability to call upon your teammates to help out in dire situations, for example if you’re low on first aid or if you have no more blades and need assistance to remove a Titan threat. Capturing Titans in the game also grants you rewards such an increase in Regiment Funds, the game’s currency, along with EXP to help improve R&D on Titan Research. There are plenty more mechanics to discover so we highly encourage you to dive deeper and see just where they take you. Just be careful because as we said earlier, every Titan will behave differently so you’ll need to always be prepared for whatever comes your way.
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Honey's Gameplay Consensus:

It’s quite evident that we had an absolute blast with Attack on Titan 2 and there’s so much left to explore even after completing the 20 hour main story. It may take longer for others as the game can be quite demanding at times, especially during missions where you have to rescue other members while also taking into consideration the main mission at hand. It will require some quick thinking and proper analyzing to ensure all the requirements are met, but once you get the hang of it all, every aspect of the game will blow you away. With all that being said, however, there are still concerns that we want to address and they pertain to the camera controls and lock-on system. There were plenty of moments when the camera would shift directions sporadically which made locking onto Titans quite cumbersome.
One moment you’re face-to-face with the Titan then suddenly the camera decides to take on its own role and do other weird things. The lock-on system at times was very wonky and didn’t allow us to efficiently lock onto the areas we wanted to target, which made Large Abnormal Titan battles and Bizzare Titan battles a little vexatious. Sometimes your ODM wires will get stuck in walls preventing you from moving properly, or invisible trees will prevent you from locking on because they just appear out of the blue. These are not game breaking in any way, but we would’ve certainly liked to have a more seamless lock-on experience so that crucial battles weren’t so taxing. In the end, Attack on Titan 2 certainly exceeded our expectations with its robust story, wonderful array of features, and cool character customization but still needs some work in the lock-on controls area. Those looking to take their skills online can do so via Another Mode, where you can choose either your created character or one of the notable cast members into battle to tackle the deadly Titans with others either offline or online! All of your progress from the story mode can be utilized online too!

Honey's Pros:

  • The entire story plays out in your way, but still retains the authenticity of the series.
  • Battles are incredibly riveting and really have you immersed in every situation.
  • Building character relationships is fun and rewarding, giving new players an introduction to characters in a fun way.
  • Online features allow for you to take your created character into battle with other players!

Honey's Cons:

  • Camera functionality needs some fine tuning along with the lock-on system.

Honey's Final Verdict:

With a season 3 officially announced for the series, we’re hoping that Koei Tecmo/Omega Force will create a sequel to Attack on Titan 2 with a lot more cutting edge features than this one. For now while we wait, please take the time to enjoy Attack on Titan 2 to your heart's content, and let us know your thoughts about the game down below! We’d love to hear about your experiences and how you overcame all those pesky Titans on the battlefield. As always, for all things sweet, with news straight from Japan, be sure to keep it locked here on Honey’s Anime.
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