If you asked me to say what I thought an Attack on Titan game should be like, my immediate response would fall along the lines of "brutal, ultra-violent, and overwhelmingly depressing." Because that's the overall tone of the show. However, having played through some of the new Season 3 content in Koei Tecmo's Attack on Titan 2: Final Battle, I've been forced to revise that.
The update to Attack on Titan 2 follows the second half of the anime's third season with missions that show content from the various episodes, as well as a few moments that happen off-screen in the anime. So there's a definite draw for fans of the anime to pick up the game. However, it also lets players enjoy the absolute insanity of strapping tethers to titans and trying to murder them. Which is the kind of gameplay content I didn't think I needed, but based on how much fun I had demoing the expansion earlier this month, clearly I was wrong. There's something stupidly fun about using the Attack on Titan ODM gear, and it plays almost nothing like the PS4 exclusive Marvel's Spider-Man, though you might expect some crossover based on how similar the movement styles could be.
Granted, Spider-Man's webs don't shoot from his hips, nor do they tether to man-eating Titans, so obviously, they're totally different.
The new content is super spoilery, which is why it won't launch until after Attack on Titan's third season wraps.
Along with the new content that follows along with the events of the anime's third season, AOT2: Final Battle has some frankly ridiculous weapons. You get the "anti-personnel ODM" gear and the "Thunder Spear" which all get revealed in the new season of the anime. They're fun and, in the case of the Thunder Spear, a little over-powered.
The anti-personnel ODM gear is similar to the usual Titan-killing ODM gear that series fans are familiar with, just replace the blades with guns. However, the trick to using the anti-personnel gear is knowing when to let go of a fired tether so that you can shoot with both guns. And because Koei Tecmo wanted to really capture the feel of using guns, the anti-personnel gear changes the game's controls a bit. Instead of attacking with one of the gamepad buttons, players will use the right trigger instead, just like they would in a first or third-person shooter.
The Thunder Spear, in Aack on Titan 2: Final Battle at least, works as an upgrade to the usual swords. Once players equip their showdown gear, they can utilize the Thunder Spears to basically throw missiles at titans. It's rather over-powered when used against ordinary titans, but for the new titans introduced in Season 3, they work as intended. So use the Thunder Spear, and love it, because you'll end up needing it.
The anti-personnel ODM gear also gets an upgrade, because just giving us the thunder spear wasn't enough for KT. The upgraded anti-personnel guns are basically portable machine guns. And they're exactly as OP as the Thunder Spear against regular enemies. For exactly the same reason.
But, you know, broken things are super fun to play with, and this game leans into that a lot.
Attack on Titan 2: Final Battle also adds the Territory Recovery Mode which allows you to play through a "What If" secnario of Attack on Titan which branches from the main story of the anime. You get to pick one of the existing characters to play as and you can recuit any characters from the anime to your squad then go out and recover some of the lost territory. It's a bit like an RTS mode for the game, where you slowly build up your army and conquer the game map. Because it exists apart from the main story of the game and anime, Territory Recovery Mode allows you to do a lot of things you normally couldn't in the world of Attack on Titan.
You can create your own squad emblem, you can keep characters you like alive and let others die if you want to, you can research new weapons and add some hilariously sci-fi guns to the game. It's, quite possibly, the happiest that Attack on Titan ever could be. And you get to play it.
You can find out more information on the Final Battle update here. Attack on Titan 2 is available now on Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and Steam. The Attack on Titan 2: Final Battle update will release on July 5, 2019.
If you want to check out more of the game, well, here's some gameplay of me flailing around and trying to kill things with the anti-personnel ODM gear, Thunder Spear, and regular old ODM swords.