Attack on Titan 2 – Nintendo Switch Review
With the success of Attack on Titan, many fans craved a game that made them feel like they were part of the show and Koei Tecmo gave them just that with the original game release. With Attack on Titan 2, fans get to go a bit deeper into the series but this time from the perspective of your created character covering season 1 and 2. AOT2 is generous with the amount of options you get and is similar to the likes of hunters game. After that, your character follows the story beat-by-beat including assisting Eren, Mikasa, Armin and others during important story bits.
Not really much to say about the story itself as you’re just going through season one and two through your characters perspective. If you played the original then this may be an issue. One thing I would have liked is for Koei Tecmo to use the source material, but create new environments to roam. It would have been cool if they played around a bit more with the settings as it could have definitely given more to players who played the original.
If you’ve seen the Attack on Titan anime, or read the manga, you would already know that the characters train to become cadets to use ODMS (Omni-Directinal Mobility Gear). They use these tools to traverse and defeat Titans. If you don’t know much about Attack on Titan, just think of these like web shooters from Spider-Man with the swinging mechanics. The ODMS are exhilarating and make the traversal the best thing about Attack on Titan. It’s easily the most enjoyable and hardest thing to master. When you get better at controlling the ODMS, things flow much easier and start to look like they require finesse from a spectators perspective.
The majority of the combat is done with X button, but battling Titans requires you to take out body parts of these gigantic beast. With the push of the ZR button and the right analog stick to target body parts, you swiftly start taking down Titans. Some require little effort, while others take a little while if you’re not precisely targeting limbs. Titans regenerate limbs so you have to make sure you take them down hitting their most effective weak spot which is called the Nape, and that is the back of the neck. With that being said you can sort of snipe titans using the right trigger. When using this technique you are launched to where you aimed and required to correctly time your attack for better damage. If you miss you will deflect off the titan body and a message pops up saying if you either hit the button to slow or fast.
Over the course of time, AOT2 may get repetitive, so the downtime in Attack on Titan 2 features a relationship system which you slowly dive into. You get to talk with your fellow cadets and learn a bit more about them. This is done by giving you choices on what to say during conversation. If a character likes you, their relationship bar fills up. When the bar fills up, it gains a level and also unlocks a skill which can then be used on your character. Some skills can either be new moves or stat boosts that can aid you during combat.
This system, while not as deep, works on many levels because it splits the gameplay sections up a bit and provides a calmer experience inside towns. Chatting up with your teammates is not the only thing you can do in towns. You also have the ability to buy new weapons and gear. You can upgrade you weapons using the materials collected from your battles. You have the options to reinforce your weapons by giving up three other weapons to build up one base weapon. If you like collecting things, this will keep you playing for quite a while.
Attack on Titan 2 does a good job at conveying the same sense of speed and exhilarating battles with its mechanics, but technically falls short to keep them together. During my play-throughs I’ve noticed a ton of slowdowns when engaging multiple Titans who are close by, not only Titans caused the problem. Your teams and other members of the Cadet forces will also cause the slowdown and sometimes it becomes a slideshow. It’s something that may be patched later but it does greatly effect some battles throughout the game.
While the version for review is on the Nintendo Switch, visually, Attack on Titans 2 does look good when it’s fast moving. You do notice a lot of pop-in, which can break the immersion of the game. Pop-In and a lot of unpleasant textures are prevalent both docked or undocked. I do give it some benefit of the doubt because the play areas do get large and playing something like this on the go wouldn’t be possible without the capabilities of the Nintendo Switch.
AOT 2 also features an online mode where you and four friends can take on scout missions. These missions involve taking down Titans together, or you can play PVP, where you duke it out in 4V4 trying to see who can kill the most titans. On the Nintendo Switch, I didn’t notice any laggy gameplay during some matches playing Japanese players since the game released much earlier there. One thing I did notice is trying to connect to games did take a little while, but once they were up and running, I had no problems. The online mode in Attack on Titan 2 also includes calling for assistance during story mode. Anyone currently looking for a quest can join in. However, calling for assistance can only be done during the town segments.
Besides online mode, AOT2 features another mode called “Another Mode.” Literally just that. In this mode you can play with almost the whole cast of characters from the cadet corps. Each character feels different from one other and if you watched the show, you will instantly notice small things like Mikasa being so fast able to reach much longer with her ODMS. You can level up those characters doing offline missions and collect rarer materials, which also carry over to your story mode if you choose your character in this mode.
Overall, on the Nintendo Switch, Attack on Titan 2 packs value with the amount of content in game. Fans of the series will love all the fan service in Attack on Titan 2 and newcomers can enjoy the battle mechanics and overall package. While Attack on Titan 2 does feature a lot of technical problems, it is still very playable and hopefully it can be patched or scaled down a bit for the Nintendo Switch version to run even better.
*Review Copy was provided by Koei Tecmo, Attack on Titan 2 is Also Available on Playstation 4, Xbox One, and PC.