It’s been just over a year since KOEI TECMO and developers Omega Force sent us beyond the safety of the walls to dismember any and all Titans attempting to breach our settlement in Attack on Titan 2. On the whole it delivered plenty of glorious slicing and dicing, however the gameplay felt very samey to the previous game and a lot of the lore had been re-used. Fortunately, the main role in Attack on Titan 2’s story is actually your created character and there’s a huge amount of content in the base game covering the first two series of the Attack on Titan anime, ensuring an experience that’s primed for newcomers, at the very least.
Now though, a rather large DLC addition has arrived to elevate Attack on Titan 2 to new heights with fresh features, new modes and story continuation. The problem is, it costs a whopping £39.99. But is the Attack on Titan 2: Final Battle DLC upgrade worth the hefty price tag for veterans of the series, or is it as pointless as trying to slice open the Armored Titan?
In truth, it’d have to be pretty spectacular for Attack on Titan 2 owners to warrant splashing out and paying almost the price of a full game for the upgrade. And quite frankly, all signs point to the Final Battle DLC being over-priced. That doesn’t mean those who missed out on the game originally shouldn’t get involved though, with the game plus the DLC bundled together coming in at a far more reasonable cost. So, let’s delve in and see if any of the new content will entice you in for a purchase.
The first of the new additions is Character Episode Mode, which focuses on bringing even more of the exploits from the Attack on Titan anime to the game. This sees a selection of missions set during the events of season three, covering encounters with Kenny Ackerman, the Beast Titan and the disproportionately humongous Rod Reiss in Titan form. There’s a real mixture of storytelling techniques here, ranging from full-blown cutscenes to the more basic use of stills. The cutscenes are superb and really capture the harsh reality of these harrowing situations, thus helping to portray the emotion of the goings on alongside the high quality Japanese voiceovers. Don’t worry though, English subs are available.
Variety is the mode’s strongest asset as the objectives can find you cutting Titans to pieces, taking on humans from the Anti-Personnel Control Squad, and firing cannons at the biggest foes. Unlike the main Story Mode, Character Episode Mode doesn’t allow you to play as your created character; instead you’ll take over the likes of Levi, Eren, Hange and Mikasa – key characters of the anime. Tackling all of the missions will take a good few hours, especially if you go through the extra ventures that take the narrative off on a tangent. Aside from telling the stories, the mode works as a great tool for introducing the new features that aim to freshen up the gameplay.
Occasionally, stabbing Titans in the neck is a little tiresome, which is where the guns come into play. With regular bullets, blazing fire and shocking types etc., you can now go into battle wielding these ranged weapons. Anchoring onto a Titan isn’t even compulsory as long as the aim is locked on, enabling you the opportunity to swing around and blast away – akin to some kind of Spider-Man/Deadpool hybrid. Whilst it adds an extra dimension, it’s not quite as satisfying as slicing off each limb methodically. Introducing firearms as an alternative to the blades is a move that many will be unsure about, however they’re optional so their inclusion across the new modes and Another Mode can only be a good thing.
There’s also a special gauge that builds up and when it’s activated, you go into a super duper Showdown state. Depending on whether the blades or firearms are equipped, you may then unleash mighty Thunder Spears or the bullet spraying Gatling Gun. Both are over-powered and suitably epic for decimating Titans of all shapes and sizes, especially the abnormal ones that can be a bit of a pain to eliminate otherwise.
And finally, there’s the Territory Recovery Mode, which is a mode of two halves; there’s the preparation behind the wall at the base and there are the expeditions outside of it. The former lets you choose any character, including your custom one, to be the commander to lead the troops, name this new-found division and give it an emblem – of which choices are limited. Through progress outside the walls, more options open up in the base to train any recruits, upgrade various sections of the camp to ensure adventures are more fruitful, and improve your equipment.
The second part of Territory Recovery Mode sees you travel from node to node on the map, with a limited amount of turns, each of which provides a battle to get stuck into. There’s always a main objective and a handful of optional sub-objectives to complete, with chemistry built up between your squad of characters throughout. The overall aim is to simply kill loads of Titans and bring home the materials without being killed, which loses its charm pretty swiftly. Anyone who’s played the other modes will find the novelty wears thin on the battlefield, but the depth of the preparation area helps a tad.
So there we have it. Two new modes, the opportunity for some shooting action, some awesome special weapons and a handful of characters to unlock from season three of the anime. It’s fair to say that the Character Episode Mode is the real highlight of Final Battle with the story extension to keep us up to date and some fresh ideas to boot. However, the Attack on Titan: Final Battle DLC possesses nowhere near enough content for the price of asking though, but what’s here is good overall and enhances the main game.
And that’s why those who missed out originally should certainly consider purchasing the full game and Final Battle DLC bundle which offers much better value for money. As an upgrade for existing owners though, it’s a hell of a lot of cash, so I’d wait for a sale.