This title was reviewed on PlayStation 4, but is also available on Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch.
Attack on Titan is one of the most successful manga, and eventually anime, of the last five years; this success has spread worldwide, with simulcasts and merch being available all over the world. Quite why they decided to snip the name to A.O.T for the videogame release, I do not know, but here we are playing A.O.T 2: Final Battle.
A.O.T 2: Final Battle is the latest version of the current gen A.O.T games, with the addition of the most recent DLC which brings everything up to date with the anime (Season 3). The campaign mode follows the general plot of Attack on Titan in general, but there’s plenty of bells and whistles outside of this to keep you entertained.
Being a game based on an anime/manga, A.O.T 2: Final Battle has a bold, cel shaded look which is satisfyingly similar to the source material. Having the luxury of spanning a lot of chapters and story arcs, there’s more variety than the original A.O.T game in the environments. There’s no denying that it can get samey (how many old-school European cities and villages can the titans wreck?!) but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.
Animation and effects, such as the dust being blasted as you hook across the streets) are really cool. It all runs silky smooth at 60fps, but you can see where compromises have been made to some of the texture detail in order to keep it so slick.
With 30 manga volumes and three anime series, A.O.T 2: Final Battle has a lot to give!
The story begins with three teenagers and childhood friends, Eren Jaeger, Armin Arlert, and Mikasa Ackerman, living somewhat in peace within a walled city. It’s these walls that keep the lumbering ‘titans’ from devouring what is left of humanity. After the defences are unexpectedly breached and witnessing the massacre of friends and family, the trio of youngsters sign up to join the military and vow to fight back against the huge creatures (and the status quo of humanity cowering away). The main story builds on these relationships and widens into political intrigue, classic monster action, and the horrors of war.
A.O.T 2: Final Battle manages to tell the story very well – your main player character is an ‘unknown soldier’ from the same village and regiment as the main cast. It’s a neat way to be able to have some personalisation and stay canon without being awkward.
Similar to the w-Force’s other titles, A.O.T 2: Final Battle spreads itself across different types of gameplay experience. Where this game differentiates itself from the more pedestrian battlers is the omni-directional mobility gear that you and your fellow soldiers utilise. These are effectively gas-powered hooks which anchor to surfaces (including enemies), allowing the user to almost dance through the air. The ‘feel’ of speed in the game is exhilarating and combined with air dashing and classic ‘Naruto runs’, movement is very smooth. Combat isn’t quite as natural, suffering from some wonky lock on mechanics and camera issues, but it feels epic when you land a gas-propelled decapitation! The Titans are frightening and can only be killed with a blow to the back of the neck; this shift of power to the enemy builds tension when you start to get heavily outnumbered (if caught, you are at risk of instant death).
Much like Dynasty Warriors, there’s a base capturing and conquest mechanic to the battle stages. As you drive back your large foes, side missions crop up to add a bit of stress – do you rescue a friend in need, awarding a base upgrade if you do? Or stay and defend an area being overrun?
The main campaign follows the plot of the anime, but with added RPG elements. You gather upgrade materials and currency during missions, and in the quiet sections you can build relationships with the main characters and do other small quests. It gives an extra layer to the proceedings and gets you more involved with the world, but this happens somewhat too often and can become boring. With so much story to cram in, be prepared for many cutscenes as well!
Extra modes become unlockable early on, with survival and arcade mode style quick battles. You can choose to play your favourites from the anime in these bonus scenarios, which is a nice touch if you are a fan.
It’s clear that a lot of effort has been put into the audio. The same Japanese voice actors have been used as the anime, and the score has the same orchestral and choral, almost religious vibes to the light rock.
I’ve personally been disappointed with the sound in other anime-to-game titles (looking at you Naruto: Rise of a Ninja), but the execution here is the best example yet.
Whilst I don’t consider myself a snob, I am always a little concerned going into video game adaptations of things I’ve watched or read. This is one of the reasons I skipped the original A.O.T, but jumping straight into A.O.T 2: Final Battle has been very positive. It can get samey and you can tell it’s a w-Force game, sure, but it follows the story so respectfully and the satisfaction of nailing high-speed takedowns is awesome. It’s a well-rounded package, even if you pick up the ‘Final Battle’ free base version.