Attack on Titan 2 is a third-person action game which places you in the shoes of a young solider fighting gigantic human-like creatures. The premise of the title is simple, but the lore behind it is complex and mysterious. Over a hundred years before the beginning of the story, giant creatures called "Titans" suddenly appeared and nearly exterminated humanity. Despite the fact that these monsters were sustained by light, they still went around devouring people without any remorse.

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Background and story

The story begins when the walls protecting humans from these ferocious giants are destroyed. A gargantuan Titan, who towers over the others, creates an opening that results in a tremendous loss of life. What's left of humanity scurries to the center, but since then Titan attacks are commonplace. The military employs young soldiers, who use specialized omnidirectional gear, to kill these monsters by quickly maneuvering around them and striking them with their blades.

The fight against the Titans not only forms the story, but also influences gameplay.

The fight against the Titans not only forms the story, but also influences gameplay because the goal is to pull off death-defying stunts and kill as many Titans as you can. This is accomplished in a number of ways. Before you take on one of these behemoths, you have to reach them. This involves boosting in the air and throwing zip-lines against various structures to propel yourself further.

Gameplay mechanics

Once you reach a Titan, you then have to select the body part you want to focus on and slice it off. You can immobilize a target by chopping off their legs, or rescue a fellow solider by cutting off the arm trapping them. This involves precise button presses because you only get one shot. Usually Titans also try to attack you at all times, so constantly circling them is necessary. Standing still will surely result in death.

Once you reach a Titan, you then have to select the body part and slice it off.

Jumping around and slicing Titans is not only taxing on the soldiers, but also requires a lot of resources. As the monsters become stronger and stronger, players must not only upgrade their weapons, but also continually replenish their fuel and blades. This can be accomplished at bases which have to be constructed. For example, an area might be overrun by Titans; eliminating them clears it of all dangers and then the player can choose to build a base there.

Performance and visuals

Attack on Titan 2 looks stunning on Xbox One X because it features realistic environments, but with anime characters. The contrast is striking and gives the game a distinctive appearance. Not only that, but it also features high-resolution visuals which look crisp running at 60 FPS. In many ways, the game looks exactly like the popular anime series.

Attack on Titan 2 looks stunning on Xbox One X at 60 FPS.

In a fast-paced game like Attack on Titan 2, a high frame rate is necessary so that the combat feels quick and visceral. The developer has nailed this feeling by giving the title a strong technical foundation. Nowadays, many third-person action titles opt for a 30 FPS cap on consoles which results in a sluggish experience. Luckily, that's not the case here.

Another aspect of the visuals that stands out is the environmental destruction. Every encounter with a Titan is memorable because they end up destroying everything in their path. Buildings crumble and objects are scattered everywhere. Even though the chaos is basic because the structures are mostly empty shells, it's still impressive to witness nonetheless.

Attack on Titan 2 for Xbox One review conclusion

Overall, Attack on Titan 2 is a good game with one major flaw: it doesn't make you feel like the hero. It's understandable why the developer wanted to focus on characters found in the anime due to their popularity, but in many ways it detracts from the experience. When you're playing an action game like Attack on Titan 2, you want it to be about your heroics as you're the one who's taking out the Titans by severing their necks. It doesn't seem like anyone is helping you. This creates a dichotomy between the story and the gameplay.

The game begins by asking you to create your own character. After laboriously perfecting your look, you're pushed to the sidelines when it comes to the plot. Fans of the anime will love this aspect because they might really like the characters found in the show, however, even then many will take issue. This is a game, it's not meant to be a story about someone else. In our opinion, games are meant to put you in the center of everything. Unfortunately, Attack on Titan 2 forgets this basic principle of game design. There is a reason why gamers choose to play instead of simply watching television for the same type of enjoyment.

Despite that, the responsive and easy-to-learn gameplay makes up for this. At the end of the day, the goal here is to kill Titans and there is another mode which focuses on exactly that. While the campaign is rather short, the addictive nature of pulling off stylish moves to sever body parts keeps you coming back for more.

Pros:

  • Gorgeous visuals.
  • Easy to learn.
  • Great setting and theme.
  • Excellent Xbox One X support.

Cons:

  • Disheveled story.
  • Lack of focus on player.
  • Forced character interactions.
  • Awkward camera angles indoors.

3.5 out of 5

Attack on Titan 2 is expected to be available on Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation Vita, and PlayStation 4. The game should launch on Xbox One on March 20, starting at $59.99.

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