When Attack on Titan: Wings of Freedom arrived towards the end of 2016, it represented a bold new step for the franchise. There had been a previous game released on the Nintendo 3DS called “Humanity In Chains”, but the quality just wasn’t there, and Wings of Freedom therefore acted as the franchise’s arrival on the bigger stage. The task of ensuring it would be a success was given to Omega Force, who were primarily known for their work on the Warriors franchise. And they managed to stay true to the source material, doing justice to the rather intricate gameplay that would be required due to the famed Omni-Directional Mobility Gear, while also making sure that the story played out in the appropriate fashion. It meant the series had its footing in the realm of video games and the next step in that journey is now here, with Attack on Titan 2.
For this iteration, one of the key changes comes in how the story is told. Whereas Wings of Freedom changed perspectives as the story developed, with multiple playable characters being made available, Attack on Titan 2 plays out through the perspective of a created character. You were there during the traumatic events the surrounded the Colossal Titan breaching the wall and you also joined the 104st Cadets alongside Eren Yeager, Armin Arlet and Mikasa Ackerman.
It gives the story a rather different feel and it means you’ll get a different take on events that happen as the narrative progresses. Some characters, as a result, have much smaller roles, but a lot of the set pieces that you’d expect are present.
Playing into this, there’s now the option to build-up relationships with the game’s rather extensive cast. By acting as something of a nobody you’re able to learn more about characters by interacting with them in short sequences that develop as the story does. It encourages you to learn more about the characters, as only by responding in the correct way, will you further your relationship with them quicker.
How this translated into the gameplay also makes things much smoother. Unlike before, where you’d constantly be changing between characters, each with unique abilities, now you can get comfortable with your character, growing them however you wish. It means there are less surprises and once you’ve re-acquainted yourself with Omega Force’s implementation of the Omni-Directional Mobility Gear, you’ll be flying around the map, taking down Titans like you’ve been doing it for years.
To their credit, it does feel as though Omega Force has managed to tighten things up, but the experience hasn’t really been driven forward that much, at least from the perspective of gameplay. You can now utilise different types of towers to try and turn the tide of combat and there are some special moves that can be employed, but that’s about it when it comes to innovation. It feels as though Attack On Titan 2 was much more about cementing the franchise, as opposed to pushing it further. And in that regard, I’d say it achieves what it set out to do.
It’s the same when it comes to non-story content too. There’s a new mode, which allows you to play as other characters, but outside of that, it’s a case of doing scout missions to try and again acquire more experience and items for developing your character and getting better equipment.
Outside of that, it’s worth saying that the voice acting, as you’d expect based on how the first game faired in this area, is completely on point and many of the scenes that happen, especially towards the later part of the game, are particularly intense due to a combination of strong visuals, aggressive voice acting and rather poignant music.
Attack on Titan 2 attempts to build upon the achievements of the first game and in some regards, it does succeed. However, much of it feels pretty average as there isn’t much in the way of innovation. Instead, it’s a slightly different take on proceedings, with a few little bells and whistles thrown in to try and mix things up a little. It’s still a solid experience though, and the implementation of the Omni-Directional Mobility Gear is still rather impressive.Attack On Titan 2 was reviewed using a PS4 digital copy provided by Tecmo Koei. You can find additional information about Gaming Union's ethics policy here.
|OMD Gear implementation is still impressive|
|Strong voice acting helps to heighten the experience|
|Very little in the way of innovation compared to the first game|