Switch and multiplayer impressions
Although most of my time with Attack on Titan 2 was spent on the PlayStation 4 version, I also got to try out multiplayer on the Nintendo Switch. The first game’s cooperative Expeditions mode naturally returns. This time, the co-op missions are called Scout missions. Although the structure and quantity of Scout missions hasn’t changed in this sequel, being able to play as your own custom character, as well as 30 canonical characters, should certainly add some staying power.
Attack on Titan 2 also features a new competitive game-type called Annihilation Mode. After joining a game, players will walk around a multiplayer lobby (depicted as the inside of a tent) as they wait for others to arrive. In the Switch build I played, the only thing we could do is walk around and perform a handful of emotes. Everyone had to wait until a two-minute timer had expired for the match to start. Hopefully the finished game will simply allow the host to launch the game when everyone is ready.
Annihilation Mode pits two teams of four players against each other. Each team’s goal is simply to kill the most Titans before the match timer expires. Titans keep respawning in groups, so you’ll always have something to fight. Think of it as a horde mode, except you’re competing for kills. The competitive element might be unappealing to co-op fans, but I could see Annihilation appealing more to the co-op crowd than standard player-versus-player games.
As for the Nintendo Switch experience, we played in docked mode with controllers inserted into the Joy-Con grip. The Switch version doesn’t look nearly as sharp as the PlayStation 4 game, with much simpler geometry and lower resolution textures in evidence. I’d place the performance as just slightly better than that of the first Vita game (the second game is only coming to Vita in Japan). Still, Attack on Titan 2 has strong artistic design, so Switch owners won’t be disappointed with its looks.
The Joy-Cons aren’t exactly the most comfortable controllers out there, particularly when dealing with a game with genuinely complex controls like Attack on Titan 2. But I only played the Switch version for a couple of multiplayer games. Players who spend more time with the game and haven’t picked up a Pro Controller yet should still do fine.
Having played the preview version of Attack on Titan 2 on both PlayStation 4 and Switch, it’s looking like a fairly safe sequel. It introduces the next big chapter of the story, custom characters, competitive multiplayer, and Story co-op – and that’s about it. The gameplay and visuals could easily be mistaken for the first game, but that game’s story was just as engaging as its gameplay, so fans are likely to enjoy the new installment as well. We’ll find out on March 20, when Attack on Titan 2 arrives on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Switch, and Steam.
Disclosure: Travel to the Attack on Titan 2 preview event was provided by Koei Tecmo.