May 25, 2019 at 2:41 AM #721
The Retro GoatMember
Attack on Titan 2
Rating: 3.5 – Good
Needs more to really be a sequel, but it’s still fun.
Attack on Titan 2 is a Dynasty Warriors style beat ‘em up with a bit of Spider Man gameplay, and is a sequel/re-release (more on that in a moment) to the first Attack on Titan. The main draws of this game that have been added is the ability to create your own character to play a role in the plot, and the ability to spend time with your favorite characters and, if need be, save them from their canonical fates.
Story – 6/10
Attack on Titan 2 primarily covers seasons 1 and 2 of the anime. Save for your create-a-character being there, nothing in particular is changed between this game and the show itself. I was really interested in playing as an OC stand-in and potentially seeing the various "What If?" ways the game could have gone when it comes to saving everyone who canonically dies. Unfortunately, that never came to fruition. For starters, you can only save anybody after you’ve already beaten the game. They then appear at the home base for you to interact with and see their events. I was really disappointed in that, since a video game spin off is a perfect opportunity to branch off from the canonical story and give fans a chance to see their favorite characters in new situations. Guessing what would happen if this character or that lived and fought in subsequent battles is not a rare topic in a franchise with a high body count like Attack on Titan. Considering the first game covered season 1 and the first half of season 2 of the anime, all this game adds for story is the latter six episodes of season 2, which adds up to four or so extra battles. That means this game is essentially just a retread of the first game, and as soon as you start getting into new territory, the game ends. As for your player character, you’re basically just there. You’re talented and respected, but you don’t change the plot at all and you have limited personality. You basically just exist, and the feature was really only added to hook those who want to be a part of the Attack on Titan story. There is increased focus on more minor characters which is nice, but overall if you’ve already seen the show or read the manga, don’t expect anything new. It felt like a slog because of the lack of variety in storytelling, and the most enjoyable aspect of the story was the character events you got once your friendship with them increased. The potential for more is there, like the aforementioned What If? mode that Koei has used in past games, but it wasn’t used to the fullest extent in this game. Still, I do enjoy Attack on Titan’s storyline, and getting to play through it with my created character is fun. It just had a lot more potential than ended up getting used, so there’s definite room for improvement.
Gameplay – 8/10
Attack on Titan 2, as previously mentioned, is basically a cross between Spider Man and Dynasty Warriors. Certain mild vexations, such as camera issues when you’re surrounded, is to be expected. For the most part, there’s little gameplay change between this game and the first one, so you already know exactly what you’re getting if you played the original. If not, you basically just swing around trees or houses, slashing at Titans until they die. Mindless fun up until you get the Titans that take several minutes to finally die. The ability to add the various characters with different effects is fun, and I did find myself teaming up with specific characters for their abilities to help with stages as the situation called for. Though you can only have one predetermined party member, you’ll almost always be able to recruit more characters on whatever stage you’re playing. In addition, this game lets you play as virtually every character in the game. Attack on Titan 1 only had around nine characters, so seeing 2 have over thirty is cool. It doesn’t do much save for have different stat distributions and occasionally the ability to transform into a Titan, but it’s a nice touch. It’s all really fun and well made, the only knocks against it are the tediousness of repeating the stages and missions from the last game without any particular changes. This game really could have used more stages to make it less repetitious to do a second time. The create-a-character is rather bare bones too, with only ten or so different options for customizable things such as shirts or hair styles. Other things such as grinding for better equipment can wear down the player’s enjoyment, but it’s nothing seriously detrimental to the game. As a side note, Attack on Titan 2 has had several patches for various online multiplayer modes, and those patches have been free. This game does have DLC (and at $3.50 USD per individual costume per character, it’s expensive) but it is nice that new gameplay modes have been added for free.
Graphics – 8/10
Attack on Titan 2 is very pretty. That much can not be denied. It has a look that’s kind of like if the manga was cell shaded, but also remaining faithful to the anime. Each character looks as they should, though the player character does stick out as being slightly lower quality. It’s to be expected, but still a nitpick worth mentioning. Make no mistake about it though, you’re still going to see plenty of clipping and little things of that nature, but by and large this looks like a step up above other 3D anime style PS4 games. Though that camera angle will still annoy you if you have the audacity to be looking up at a Titan while near a tree or something. It’s not a constant annoyance, but it did happen several times over the course of my playthrough and was worth noting.
Nothing in the sounds category really stood out in a positive or negative fashion. It is worth noting that this game doesn’t have a dub, but the Japanese voices are quality so it’s no big deal. The music isn’t bad by any means, but none of it has that special ability to hook you and make you replay your favorite track over and over again. It’s all of acceptable quality, but that’s it. Not a whole lot more to say about it other than "It’s fine." The acting and BGM are both fine, and that’s pretty much it.
Replay Value – Low
This is a fun game, but after you complete it I can’t think of a reason to go back to it. The story isn’t that engaging, and even 100%-ing the game is extraordinarily tiresome due to needing to beat everything on the hardest difficulty and just grinding for materials to make the last few pieces of equipment. It’s probably a better idea to just wait for the inevitable Attack on Titan 3 game to come out, and play through that. Replaying this just sounds pointless and boring. One time is fun, but I can’t really think of a reason to play through it more than once.
Buy or Borrow?
If you’re a fan of the Attack on Titan franchise and never played the first game, this would probably be up your alley. The mix of Dynasty Warriors and Spider Man is always enjoyable, and the addition of the player as a character, though minor, is a fun touch. However, if you played the first game and either didn’t like it or wouldn’t play it again, this isn’t for you. It retreads too much of the first game without offering a whole lot new to make it worth it for returning players. The new home base bonding moments with the characters is enjoyable, but the game itself is virtually identical to the first game, to the point where it honestly could’ve been a patch. This would really only be worth it for players of the first game if they wanted to replay Attack on Titan 1 with a bit or variety, or are really into the idea of spending time with the characters. Having played through the first game, it felt really tedious doing everything all over again, and the lack of new story content did not help. The entirety of the new main story content could’ve been added as $5 DLC to the first game and no one would have batted an eye. Definitely borrow first if you’re unsure about whether there’s enough new content to peak your interest.
Overall, Attack on Titan 2 is a good game. It feels a little bare bones to be called a sequel, and I definitely think people who did not play the first Attack on Titan game would enjoy it more, but it was still fun. Being able to interact with characters is enjoyable, and the combat is a bit more refined, but it by and large is just the first game with your personal OC added in to make it different. I liked it, but it really could have used a bit more refinement to make it stand out from its predecessor. But it’s still a quality title, and worth picking up if you think you might be interested or you just want to replay the first game with some additional content.
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