Attack on Titan 2 (AKA AOT 2 in Europe, the version we played) makes the obvious follow-up choice — where the first game adapted the first season of the anime phenomenon, this one adapts the second. Though it does so a little bit differently, and is packed with the story from the first season too to make a pretty TITANIC package.
It does this by re-contextualising how it explores the events of these first two seasons. The information comes from a detailed diary kept by a member of the survey corps: you, the player. That’s right, it takes the approach of adding you, as a custom character, into the events of the story. A different mode still lets you play as your favourite characters, so Levi fans shouldn’t fret! But we played around with the custom characters this time around.
Some may love adding their own character into the story, others may hate it — but from what we’ve seen it’s added in a smart way that doesn’t feel incongruous. After all, a series in which a whole regiment play a vital role leaves ample room for adding your own touch, which may be one of the reasons survey corps cosplay is so popular.
The customisation options are pretty solid. We created a hulking dude with a skinny body and thick legs that was almost twice the height of the other characters. With fashionable, bright yellow pigtails, and nervous pupil-less eyes, “Beren Baeger” became a vital member of the survey corps squad. It would have been nice to see some wackier hair colours, but besides that it’s quite robust. Yes, I do ship Beren x Eren.
Attack on Titan 2 is a dream to play on Switch, even in handheld mode.
Our hands-on with the first couple of hours of the game was all entirely on a Nintendo Switch. And boy oh boy were we impressed with how well it ran on the machine. It’s a dream to play on Switch, even in handheld mode. Zooming around on our ODM Gear (omni-directional manoeuvring gear) like Spider-Man on crack was incredibly slick, even when holding it directly in our hands.
It was a joy to control, and it’s clear that Koei Tecmo and Omega Force have prioritised making sure the movement is up to scratch on the system. The anime styled visuals even look superb on the Switch’s gorgeous screen, too. We’ll admit to being apprehensive about how it would run, but colour us very pleasantly overjoyed. The benefit of the portability really gives it the edge, and it’s a toss-up as to which console we’d rather play the game on.
The core mechanics of the game remain the same as in the first one, though everything feels just a bit slicker. You propel yourself around the environments on your ODM Gear at high speeds, cutting down titans limb by limb — ultimately aiming to cut off their heads at the neck. Whether that’s jumping in with direct attacks (as you’ll often be doing), or evading titan attacks then hitting back with powerful counterattacks.
Meanwhile, you need to manage your resources, namely your blade sharpness and fuel, restocking at base camps that you can even create yourself at key locations. With smaller titans out the way, you’ll often need to take on stronger ones that require a careful approach, hitting their weak points before really going at that nape.
As with having your character interact with the rest of the cast, being part of a squad is more important than ever.
As with having your character interact with the rest of the cast, being part of a squad is more important than ever. Helping out others on the battlefield and stopping to chat with them can pull them into one of your four squad slots, accessed with the left set of buttons. Hold the left trigger and tap on your friend to send them off to attack whatever you have targeted, after which they have a short cooldown.
It’s incredibly handy, and really allows you to cut down enemies easily with your teammates in hand, though juggling the right trigger for lock on and holding left for assists could get a bit complicated. Levelling up friendships during downtime even allows you to learn more about the rest of the main corps members, as well as unlock buffs and abilities for when they join you in battle.
Another new ability allows you to “sneak attack” titans by targeting them from some distance using a telescope. You’ll then fling yourself across the distance at super high speed, and deal devastating damage if you can strike at the right time. But if they spot you first, they might unleash a devastating, more powerful attack in return.
Attack on Titan 2 feels smoother and a touch more varied than the first game
Our time with the beginning of the game took us through training and the initial battle with the survey corps have with the titans in the anime, so we weren’t treading too much new ground with content — though we’re told it will go through up to the end of the second season of the anime. But what we did play was super polished, and it felt smoother and a touch more varied than the first game (which we did also love). It’s also great to see it running so well on Switch.
Not only does this one look set to satisfy series fans, but could provide a chunky package for newcomers to the Attack on Titan universe to sink their massive, grotesque titan jaws into.