A.O.T. 2 (Attack on Titan 2) (PlayStation 4) Review

By Drew Hurley 15.03.2018

Review for A.O.T. 2 (Attack on Titan 2) on PlayStation 4

Game adaptations based on anime series look promising this year; there's the Yakuza-style Fist of the North Star, the major new hit, My Hero Academia: One's Justice is landing on PS4, not to mention One Piece is getting not only a VR experience but also a huge open-world title. Alongside these, a sequel to last year's impressive Attack on Titan: Wings of Freedom is here. Koei Tecmo's first Attack on Titan game was well received here at Cubed3, but can A.O.T. 2 live up to the original?

There are two main modes available upon starting up A.O.T. 2, the main "Story Mode" and another entitled, aptly, "Another Mode," which is used for the multiplayer and some simple quick stages. Upon firing into the story, everything feels rather familiar. The game starts exactly as the first one did, taking a character through the first stages of training, taking out cardboard standees of Titans and learning how to use the signature scout gear, then moving onto the attack on Trost. It's the same areas, the same missions, the same game… just a little different. This time, the game doesn't put the player into the shoes of Eren Jaeger. Instead, there's a completely original character at the heart of this story, a customisable avatar created during the initial setup. This tailor-made scout gives a new perspective on the events of the story, making friends with each and every character from the series.

Screenshot for A.O.T. 2 (Attack on Titan 2) on PlayStation 4

As the game develops, the stages continue to feel more and more familiar, but eventually, the game begins to develop its own identity. There may be plenty of reused assets but after getting over this, A.O.T. 2 feels like a genuine sequel. The custom character has a tale all its own to tell and its time spent with each other member of the cast is filled with nice little interactions and FMVs that fans of the series will particularly enjoy. These are unlocked via using the other characters in battles and in "Town Life" sections where the player can interact with each of the many members of the cast, making simple dialogue choices to try and increase the bond with each of them. When these bonds reach certain levels, stats bonuses are unlocked and special attacks made available.

These bonds are all tracked in the main character's journal. This journal also becomes something of a plot point as it begins to hint that perhaps there are some secrets to the protagonist's allegiances. While also in "Town Life" mode, the player can take on Scout Missions for some bonus XP, building up extra bonds with characters and get some materials for building and upgrading equipment. As the game continues, more and more activities are unlocked within the town. The Titan Investigation Lab opens up the ability to capture Titans in the wild to bring back for Hange to play with. Gathering mats in the field opens up new weapons and equipment. This crafting system is straight out of the first game, too, and is honestly not much fun. Destroying certain body parts or creating mining nodes gives bonus items, but there's no structured way to farm specific items.

Screenshot for A.O.T. 2 (Attack on Titan 2) on PlayStation 4

Another place where this is similar is at its heart. The core combat and traversal mechanics remain the same and this is nothing but a good thing as these were some of the very best aspects of the original. Just moving around was a real joy, thanks to the high-octane method of travel of the Omni-Dimensional Mobility Gear (ODMG). In much the same way that the best Spider-Man titles have captured the feeling of web-swinging, Attack on Titan: Wings of Freedom gave an absolutely exhilarating experience of zipping through the air around the colossal enemies, and then zipping in and lopping off parts of Titans.

There are some new additions to the combat, though. There's a new dodge/parry system called the "Hook Drive" where double-jumping right at the point of a Titan attack whips out a speedy counter move. It can be slicing the fingers from the encroaching hand, slicing out an eye, or cutting the right tendons, before following up for the ever-vulnerable nape of the neck. There's also a way to identify weak points and line up quick one-hit KOs from cover. The new "Surprise Attack" lets the corps members spy an enemy from afar with a little telescope, aim at a specific body part and speed forward, slaughtering the Titan before they even realise they are being attacked. One of the best parts of the combat now, though, is the Buddy System. Up to four characters can be recruited in each stage and used with the L1 button and d-pad direction to co-ordinate attacks. Building the bonds with these characters unlock some super powerful attacks.

Screenshot for A.O.T. 2 (Attack on Titan 2) on PlayStation 4

These other characters are playable in the "Another Mode." This is the hub for the multiplayer and there are over 30 playable characters to unlock, including all of the obvious fan favourites like Eren, Mikasa, Armin and Levi but also the extended cast, like Connie, Annie, Sasha, and more. Surprisingly, this expansive cast even includes third-rate characters that don't grace the series for more than a few episodes - or in some cases just a single episode. Characters like Kitz Woermann (the guy who tries to kill Eren after his first transformation), Dot Pyxis (the bald, moustachioed, Southern defence major) and even Dhalis Zachery (leader of each of the three military corps).

These characters can all be played through in the Another Mode multiplayer, both in co-op and competitive multiplayer. Teaming up to take on scouting missions or facing off in teams of four against groups of scouts from all over the world in a race to see who can take out the most Titans. The other team can't be attacked directly, but scouts can deploy stun weapons or take a page from Mario Kart and ink up the opposing team's screens with paint bombs. The multiplayer is surprisingly fun. It's something often tacked on to games these days, even when it feels unnecessary or not fitting with the game itself but here it's a heck of an asset to the game. Even better, Koei Tecmo has promised more is on the way. It hasn't said what yet, but seems to be hinting at a playable Titan mode and perhaps competitive multiplayer where one team play as scouts and the other as various types of Titans.

Screenshot for A.O.T. 2 (Attack on Titan 2) on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

The first few hours with A.O.T. 2 feel like a huge disappointment, a cheap-cash in re-tread that doesn't reach further into the original story and feels almost identical to the first but as the story develops and more and more elements are unlocked, this really shows off its strengths. The gameplay is explosive and dynamic, the ODMG is an absolute joy, and there's enough content to keep playing for a very long time. A.O.T. 2 is a must-buy for anime fans and one of the best spin-off musou titles out there.

Also known as

Attack on Titan 2

Developer

Koei Tecmo

Publisher

Koei Tecmo

Genre

Action

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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