It wasn't long ago that I was lamenting the Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin, in Japan) mobile game, Attack on Titan: Assault. My love for the series simply cannot overlook a shoddy, money-grabbing free to play experience, no matter how much I love the characters and world.
More than anything, I want quality titles to come from my anime games. I'm not asking for every niche anime franchise to be given the budget of God of War, but I would like them to be better than they currently are, frankly.
Luckily there is one developer that rarely disappoints. When it comes to making licensed anime games, they might not produce the best games I've ever played, but they consistently produce quality, enjoyable games. Thank God for you, Omega Force, and thank you for AoT 2: Final Battle.
Omega Force are the Musou, or Warriors, team, famous for creating countless Dynasty Warriors games and spin-offs, and they have brought loads of franchises into the Warriors fold. But Attack on Titan isn't a franchise like the rest.
While a series like One Piece can populate an arena with hundreds of copy-pasted Marine soldiers for the protagonist to fight against, Attack on Titan features far fewer enemies, which are far more difficult to defeat. Were you comboing and carrying titans with slashes of your weapons in this game, it wouldn't exactly fit in with the world and mythos.
Subjects of Ymir
So instead of taking on waves of titans relentlessly, you'll be moving through stages far more methodically. You will only be able to move at a decent speed using your Omni-Directional Gear (basically a Spider Man web-slinging kit, for those who aren't versed in AoT lore) if you have tall buildings or titans to latch onto, and while singular titans don't pose too much a threat, things can heat up very quickly.
This game has a drastically different pace to other Warriors titles, to the point that it's really incomparable. AoT is not a traditional Musou game in any way, and moves away from the formula more than any of the other spin-offs and iterations.
You'll be locking onto singular titans, attempting to get a clear shot of the nape of their neck (their weak point) and slashing away at it. You can also target limbs to slow down titans, or even send in team mates for quick slashes.
It means combat is far more considered and patient than other Warriors games, though that mechanical complexity doesn't always hold up. Getting into position to cut the nape is awkward, and the game feels a bit unresponsive when you're trying to zip towards the nape. Pressing a button precisely for added damage doesn't seem to work as intended, either. It's just not entirely smooth, though it certainly works.
If you've played AoT before, you'll recognise the story mode. The game takes you and your custom avatar through the Attack on Titan story, from being a mere cadet to a fully fledged member of the Scout regiment, waging war on the titan menace.
The story is plenty of fun and can keep you distracted for hours, but the new content in Final Battle is contained within the Character Episode mode. In this mode you get to play through the story of Attack on Titan from later in the series, from the perspective of one of the many characters.
These story snippets feel unique even in the wider series, giving you a nice view of the world through the eyes of lesser-seen characters. Definitely one of the highlights of this particular package, especially when Season 3's Anti-Personnel Squad get involved.
There's also a new Territory Recovery mode, which sees you alternating between doing battle with titans, and preparing your army for the next battle by managing resources, items, and materials.
I like the new modes and found them to be a great distraction, but ultimately they are still following the same pattern. You find titans, fight titans, and then move on to the next location. I mentioned fighting titans is finicky but functional, and that always remains true.
Fighting titans isn't necessarily satisfying in itself unless it's a boss, and clearing through hundreds to play through the modes in this game is a tall order. You'll quickly rack up larger kill-counts than any of the franchises' canon characters.
As a final note, the game runs well on Nintendo Switch, and unlike other Warriors games which are better with more NPCs, that is not necessary here, and you can get an equivalent experience with this portable version. Though, in some titan fights, I saw the framerate drop. It was never enough to frustrate my experience, but it was definitely noticeable.