Koei Tecmo’s second installment in the Attack on Titan franchise looks like it has taken everything from the original and improved it. Many games struggle to set themselves apart from their first game and wind up becoming stale. After our first hands-on with Attack on Titan 2, this game looks to have done quite the opposite.
Titans Inside the Walls
It’s been two years since the first Attack on Titan game came out, and you can see improvements in the upcoming release immediately. If playing the first game was akin to bringing the manga to life, then the sequel is living in the anime. Everything from the environments to the characters and their special effects is abundantly vibrant. Buildings crumble realistically, Omni-wires snap more realistically, and slicing the napes of Titans covers your character and screen with blood.
Speaking of Titans, they are back and tougher than ever. Once they notice you, they become more aggressive than normal. They have new variations in their attacks since the last game. Jumping and diving through the air while swinging their hands around to defend themselves is more common than not. Titans also like to group up more than ever. When attacking groups, I would often avoid one only to end up landing in another Titan’s hand or mouth.
More the Merrier
The multiplayer demo allowed me to choose my favorite character from a roster that’s over three times as long as the original. Main characters like Eren Jaeger, Mikasa Ackermann, and Levi were available as expected. This time, though, there are characters we usually see on the sidelines like instructor Keith Sadies, or the ruler of the three regiments, Dhalis Zachary, available for selection.
The campaign for Attack on Titan 2 will focus mainly on the second season of the anime, but it will still feature story content from the first season as well. As you progress through the campaign, you will have the ability to deepen your relationships with allies. This will bestow them with special character skills like improved gas or blades efficiency. There are also special missions that explore deeper into character backgrounds once relationship levels are raised to a certain level.
Attack on Titan 2 Switches It Up
The upcoming game will release on the Nintendo Switch for the first time and this where I spent most of the demo time. The previous game featured a cooperative multiplayer. In addition to that, Attack on Titan 2 has upped the ante by adding an eight-player competitive multiplayer mode. We only had access to the annihilation mode where players compete for the highest score within the time limit. Players gain points by slaying Titans, building bases, and protecting bases from Titans.
Shared progression between multiplayer and single player ensure all time played benefits the player. While teams are competing they also gain access to unique items when slaying specially marked Titans. Items gained in this way are usually limited to multiplayer and will either give buffs to your team or debuffs to the opposing team like obscuring their screen.
The Finishing Strike
Those wondering what console to get the game for shouldn’t worry about the Switch being less powerful than the other consoles. The PS4 version at the event was by far the better-looking version but, both played out exactly the same when it came to performance. The Switch version looks near identical to the first game on PS4, even with the additional content in the second game.
The small preview of Attack on Titan 2 reminded me why I enjoyed playing the first game. Koei Tecmo appears to have once again managed to capture the chaotic essence of Attack on Titan. Once again, the game looks to be faithful its source material, extremely well crafted, and fun to play.