I was granted the gracious opportunity to review Attack on Titan 2: Final Battle. The experience was pleasant, and I make this review as someone who’s never seen the anime. I’d like to think this gives me less bias to the game. Because I can judge better how well the world and characters were established for me. Without any further ado, let’s get into this review.
Right off the bat, I’m going to share a little gripe I have with anime video games. A lot of them waste potential on a very standard formula for an anime game often. A formula I call the Naruto Storm style of gameplay. Not to say the Naruto Storm games are bad, just that they did it first.
I’ve seen the same formula be adapted by the My Hero Academia video game and most recently, One Punch Man. These are both video games that are based on Anime I’ve fondly watched. The restrictive arena combat is wasting so much potential for the settings that they are using.
Attack On Titan 2: Final Battle is on the better spectrum of anime video games. Alongside games like One Piece World Seeker and several Naruto/Dragon Ball titles. Attack on Titan 2 specializes in using the setting to a good chunk of its potential.
The DLC Final Battle added an episodic series of events rivaling the release time of the anime. Meaning the content is in fact fresh. Instead of watching, you’ll be playing through it though. Obviously it’s not as beefy as the anime would be in runtime. It’s definitely an experience close to it though, seeing through the events. You’ll be playing as characters from the show. Including fan favorites like Levi Ackerman and Eren Jaeger as well.
Attack on Titan 2: Final Battle shines in its story mode a lot. The game plays as an action-RPG which takes you through the events of the anime itself. You do so from a new perspective as your own character. A soldier who’s journal is used to set a narrative to the events that transpire.
Usually I don’t like how anime games have handled custom characters. Jump Force and Dragon Ball Xenoverse both had blank, mute and personality lacking protagonists. While Attack On Titan 2 falls a little short on the expression, you do have a character. One that can be professional, friendly, stoic or even self-serving.
Furthermore, you can build and establish relationships with characters from the anime. These friendship ranks are determined by how much time you spend and how you talk to them. Besides the sentimental value, they also add perks to your utility.
The story as I said earlier goes through the main seasons of the anime. Final Battle extends that to season 3, which is very freshly released in anime terms as well. This is similar to how Naruto Storm 4 had a few events be shown before the anime even aired the episodes.
This means even people that follow the anime can get a fresh experience from the game. It’s not like Dragon Ball where most of the games used to be ages behind the show.
As someone who hasn’t seen the anime, Attack on Titan 2 Final Battle did build up the world very well for me. We perceive the story through a journal left behind the main protagonist. This includes when the Titans first emerged. How the walls protect the remainder of the human population. Even the regiments in the military between scouts, police and defenders etc.
The characters from the show are featured in the game as well. You don’t really play as them in the main game until Final Battle came out. The aforementioned being an episodic series of missions going through season 3. Episodes that are experienced from different perspectives such as Armin’s or Levi’s.
The gameplay is pretty straightforward. You use your ODM to maneuver around the landscape. It works similarly to the web-swinging action we’ve experienced in Spider-Man games. The core gameplay combines that movement with one-hit combat. You usually deal singular debilitating blows to your foes. Rather than combos and movesets.
The blows are dealt by anchoring to body parts of Titans. You then zoom in for a slash against their critical points. The damage you do depends on the momentum you built up before the collision. Teamwork and squad leading is another mechanic of the game. It involves issuing commands to your teammates and combining attacks. Such as ordering a squad member to slash a Titan’s ankles while you go for the neck slash.
Final Battle didn’t add much to the gameplay besides a couple of new modes. One of them was territories. Territories is for players that want to ignore the anime storyline. This mode is simply advancing your control over land outside the walls. Making defenses, forging strongholds and pushing the Titans back. It’s a mix of strategy and hack/slash action.
The other game mode brought you to dueling other humans. Indicating the heading that the Attack On Titan manga has been taking recently. Focusing a bit less on just the Titans as this grand threat.
The game also allows you to customize what you look like and what you use. There are different types of weapons/gas tanks you can use. You also aren’t restricted to one set of characters as a squad. The squad is more dependent on who you interact with.
The graphics are cell shaded and look good. Considering the art style is very close to the anime helps even more. It’s to Attack On Titan what FighterZ is to Dragon Ball. There haven’t been any graphical issues so far.
If I had any complaints about the game, I suppose one is the animations sometimes. The important things like ODM gear movement and attacking Titans look great. It’s the more minor things that bother me. Such as some walking animations, how stiff the characters can appear at times. It’s also a bit annoying when a character’s mouth keeps moving out of sync with their dialogue. Still there is good voice acting.
Some of the mechanics can feel tedious. Even though they do make sense from a lore standpoint. Such as restocking blades, carrying extras or even making resupply bases in the field.
Other than those minor complaints, Attack on Titan 2 Final Battle is definitely a solid experience. An Anime game done right, unlike most others.