A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Attack on Titan 2 is an action game based on the anime TV series of the same name for the PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and Windows. Players assume the role of a young soldier who, along with a unit, battles giant man-eating titans that threaten towns and villages. As characters fly around battlefields with wired jet packs, they use swords to cut off titans' limbs, killing them with a slash at the back of the neck. Battles are highlighted by large splashes of blood when titans are hit; finishing blows often result in larger blood-splatter effects, staining the environment and the camera. Titans are sometimes shown eating human characters, and in one instance, biting off a character's limb. Throughout the game, Titans are shown nude, with exposed buttocks, though they lack discernible genitalia. "S--t" appears in the dialogue.
What's it about?
ATTACK ON TITAN 2 is the gripping sequel to the action game based on the worldwide hit anime series Attack on Titan. Players will experience the immense story of the anime alongside Eren and his companions, as they fight to save humanity from the threat of the deadly human-devouring titans. Along the way, you'll try your hand at operating the omnidirectional mobility gear, maneuvering and flying through the sky to counter the titans, and feel the thrill and satisfaction of battling giant opponents.
Is it any good?
Bad news for people who played the original 2016 game, because this is largely the same game, with the same technical issues and repetitive play that made that one underwhelming. Surprisingly, Attack on Titan 2 has many of the same story cutscenes from Attack on Titan -- along with technical issues like stuttering gameplay on consoles and even higher-end computers. Series devotees are most likely to love this game anyway, and will appreciate the detail and feel of the world: Sometimes you'll wonder if a cinematic playing out is the game or something lifted straight from the show's second season, not yet out in America. But, without exaggeration, after you create your own character, you're in for nearly 10 hours of re-experiencing the first game's story with missions, fights, and story scenes you've seen before if you played the previous game -- which itself was repetitive and only average. It's absurd, but this game truly lacks new content to be a proper sequel. Once you've gotten into the gameplay, you'll be worn out and fatigued by the dull journey of getting there.
What's new here is a more refined interface and more complexity to the game's controls in operating the omnidirectional mobility gear (a mix between a jet pack and Spider-Man's web-slinging). There's also a new friendship system, designed to give your downtime between missions a little more focus: You'll have conversations with other soldiers, and if you answer correctly enough times, your bond will unlock abilities they can share, like extra healing out in the field. Otherwise, you're in for a bumpy ride, because the controls are hard to learn. When you pull one trigger, almost all the buttons do something else. You're expected to swing around a battlefield, target specific parts of gargantuan enemies, lead your squad, and give orders (by holding another button that further re-maps all the buttons). It's just a lot, especially since sometimes your hits won't "count" if you're going too slow, weren't targeting anything specific, or were at the wrong angle. The friendship system is similarly clunky, even inconsistent at times. It's unfortunate a series so action-packed and swelling with interesting stories gets such a dull game. You'd be better off watching or reading what inspired it instead.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in games such as Attack on Titan 2. The violence here is exaggerated, but does its lack of realism lessen its impact, too?
What aspects of making friends and building relationships do you feel aren't represented here? Which of those do you think you're best at? Which would you like to improve at and why?
What parts of Japan's history do you think generally inspired the events of Attack on Titan? What can visiting a specific, focused fictional world teach us about our own real one?
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $59.88
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Koei Tecmo
- Release date: March 21, 2018
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Language, Partial Nudity, Violence
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.