Once again, falling in line with famous Anime series, comes a Video Game adaptation. We’ve spoke of the differences in adapting cinematic presentations into video games in the past, whether it be live action or animated, and whether or not they are developed well, or rushed to market. Popular franchises are usually pressed into the latter of those categories, however it’s refreshing to see that Attack On Titan 2, does not fall in line with that theoretical stance. While Anime adaptations, will fall in line of a cheap RPG trope, we find ourselves here with a solid hack and slash experience, that does not lift it’s material directly from the Manga, or series. Rather, it borrows elements, and characters, and places it into a tight combat system, with great presentation that will have fans gobsmacked that they are playing a solid adaptation, of their favourite franchise. Now, considering AOT2 is a sequel to the original AOT Title, it definitely lifts a mechanics, and terrain elements from the first, but the polish placed on this sequel definitely stands-out here. You can definitely tell that there was time, and effort placed into making a solid sequel here. It falls once again into that trope of marketing an adaptation, but wanting to give players, and lovers of this franchise a totally solid experience all-round. It can be a tough feat to accomplish when 80% of the development team, are not part of the original studio producing the Manga/Anime series, and only been consulted by lead writer’s to come up with original material, borrowing dot points from the source. And that is honestly where the game’s weakness does kick in a little.
Attack on Titan 2, starts off as title of the game implies, around the second season the Anime, and just after the events of the first game. While the second series of the Anime, is absolutely incredible to watch, the game starts off a little too slow, but gradually picks up near the end of the title. After crafting your character at the beginning of the game, which the narrator simply refers to as “our man”, your story begins at the 104th Cadet Corps, where you have signed on to join the Military and start your training. While relying on much of what you may know of the first title’s gameplay, you will be ran through a tutorial by the game on how you will take on each titan through out your adventure, learning the ropes with new mechanics, and weaponry. While based on the second season, as noted it’s mainly the storylines cliff notes that are interjected into each plot-point here, while giving the title’s own original spin, with it’s plot. So it’s not totally lifting the second season’s writing and placing it directly into the game, it would honestly be rather pointless at that stage.
AOT2, gives gamer’s a unique look into the world of “Titan”, and a hopeful selling point to those who are being introduced to the series through the Video Game adaptation. While the beginning of the game may come off a little overwhelming at times, with it’s excessive use of violence, but it’s juxtaposition with slow pacing can come off quite harboring at times, but these are all nuances that fans have come to know and love about Attack on Titan. There are moments, of struggle and despair, coated with violence and rage, sprinkled within combat zones that make this title an incredible ride to play. While you will notice that combat areas will differentiate in size, depending on the Titan’s you will encounter, this all comes into play with preparation, developing combat skills, and knowing what moves to use next will play a key role in defeating your oversized opponents. It’s all about timing.
The different contrasts in terrains will effect each skillset you use, so be sure to customise and prepare well for battle. You will come across snowy weather, abandoned towns, lush and gorgeous forests, and green hilltops that will test your abilities to move around once you encounter enemies. While saying this, battle is so smooth in AOT2, compared to it’s predecessor. Fluid movements find itself at home here, with something I could only compare to Insomniac’s Spider-Man title. Striking Titan’s ligaments, or slinging straight to the soft spot, fills the player with empowerment and deep satisfaction here. Bring able to take down each individual titan with dramatic force and awesome speed makes for such an emotional investment here. Whether it would be angrily mashing buttons to get yourself ready for the next move-set, or carefully timing your strike, it all comes down to that one distinct moment. However, it’s a shoot-to-kill type of environment here, as Titans will become much more powerful and dangerous if you wait for too long. Once again, it’s all about timing.
I love this game’s Soundtrack. Composed by Ayako Toyoda, Yugen Umemura, and Junya Ishiguro, all known for their work from many Japanese RPG titles from various studios, you will find their work with AOT2, comparably outclasses what they have accomplished in the past. From the moment the title’s splash screen appears, and those deep ambient tones meld through to the incredible chorus, it’s sets the pace for the game. Much of the game’s soundtrack contains a steady rock theme, mixed with medieval tones that mix with the game’s setting quite well. However, battle encounters, setting changes, plot points, and terrain changes the music to set up major encounters here, making each experience unique. You will never hear the same music repeated countless times throughout your adventure. It’s refreshing to see this in a JRPG, as most games rely solely on one poignant theme to trot along to.
Once again, no dub work though. It’s the once crutch I have with JPRG’s developed and localised. I do understand, this would only delay a game’s development tenfold as such, and could possibly associate time and cost as a factor here in getting the game on shelves as soon as possible. However, as a dub guy myself, I do associate each character on screen with their voice work. But it’s nothing that takes away the amazing experience I had playing AOT2. It takes a lot for me to play a title right through without dub work included, it’s mainly a concentration factor more than anything, as I personally have a deeper connection with characters that are of spoken nature on screen, rather than reading subtitles. But this was definitely an exception here, and was deeply entranced with my 20+ hours with this title.
Attack On Titan 2 was a fantastic experience. Something that I was taken back by, and was not expecting. It all comes down to the adaption trope with Anime titles. Some are good, some are bad, and some are made to perfection. I can honestly say, AOT2 is the latter on this part. Adapting games from a source material that was not yours originally to begin with, can be a rickety bridge to cross, but when done right, can be one of the best tributes to a beloved franchise adored by many around the world. With the huge success the Anime and Manga franchise has garnered, AOT2 falls perfectly into place within this universe. As a fan of the Anime, I can definitely say that I am completely satisfied with this game, and assure fans alike that the title will deliver you an unexpected experience that will gratify you for hours on end.
Attack on Titan 2, known in PAL regions as A.O.T. 2, is an action hack and slash video game based on Hajime Isayama’s manga series of the same name released for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows.