Attack on Titan 2: Final Battle may be an expansion of last year’s action-packed release, but there’s almost enough new content to make it a full-fledged sequel in its own right. Not only does it add new story content and characters from season 3 of the anime series, but it also overhauls the combat system in dramatic ways along with a new mode of play. I had a chance to join the ranks of the Survey Corps and take a PS4 build of the game for a spin ahead of launch.
In order to accommodate all the new content from season 3, Story Mode has been given a full makeover. Players will be able to watch the plot of all three seasons unfold from three different perspectives each represented by their own thread on a timeline. For players who prefer to tell their own stories, there’s the new Territory Mode.
Territory mode is more of a freeplay experience that exists outside of cannon. All characters from previous seasons dead or alive, good or bad can be collected and unlocked for use. The characters all work to take back territories taken over by titans. All the territories are represented by a Super Mario World-style overworld map.
As players expand their reach, they’ll meet new characters they can recruit for their team. Over time, different characters may bond, which can unlock special cutscenes. The mode is ripe with opportunities for unique interactions between characters who have never interacted or who may be on opposing sides in the storyline.
The new mode also gives players a chance to create their own base camp. Personnel can be given assignments that can help make things run more efficiently. Players can even go as far as to customize their own regiments, leaders, and emblems. The base camp is also where players will do their crafting. It reminded me a lot of the base-building features from the Metal Gear series.
Final Battle’s biggest overhauls appear to reside in the game’s combat. For starters, the way that critical hits work have completely changed. As players fly through the air in an attempt to slice the maniacal titans in just the right spot on their neck, they’ll now be given visual directions to line them up for the perfect strike.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, a Control Assistance feature has been added too. The biggest complaint the dev team got from casual fans of the series was that the combat was too challenging. This new feature lets targeting and attacking happen with one button, no timing needed. The one major drawback to Control Assistance is that it only targets the nearest body part of the nearest titan.
Still, all of that is just the tip of the iceberg compared to the addition of long-range weaponry and human-on-human combat. Players will now be able to choose between the traditional blade combat of Attack on Titan or opt for a gun to take out enemies from a distance. Making sure that ammo is on-hand will be key in combat. Each gun will also have secondary types of ammo available like shock or explosive rounds. Guns do have a slight disadvantage when players are tethered to something since they can only use one hand to shoot instead of both. And don’t worry, Titans have figured out how to deal with long-range shooters: they’ll throw rocks and other items or just make a bum-rush for you if you’re close enough.
Along with a ton of unlockable weapons that range from the standard blade to some very cool guns that I don’t want to spoil, players will get a special overdrive-style attack. Players using guns will have their weapons temporarily turned into Gatling guns.
On the other side of the coin, players who stick blades will get a chance to use the mega-powerful Thunder Spears. These spears explode on impact and can take out smaller titan with a single blow. Thunder Spears are extremely limited use and are usually unlocked by completing side missions during a level. If players can time their spear throws right, they might even deal more damage and get a special attack animation.
As mentioned before, this is also the first time that players will get a chance to fight humans as opposed to Titans. Fighting against human-looking AI is a much faster-paced experience and usually involves dodging a lot of bullets while trying to take out as many enemies as possible. Being at the right angle at the right time might also reward players with a chance to do an execution kill that spears an enemy and brings them to you for a final blow.
As you can see, Attack on Titan 2: Final Battle is adding a huge dose of new content for players and giving the gameplay such a dramatic makeover that its own mother might not even recognize it. Players will get their chance to sink their teeth into Final Battle like they were a titan and the game was Erin’s mom later this year. Attack on Titan 2: Final Battle is set to launch on July 5 for Xbox One, PS4, PC and Nintendo Switch.
Blake Morse posted a new article, Attack on Titan 2: Final Battle hands-on impressions
I didn't download the demo from the PSN store, I might now tho, looks crazy.