With a distinct lack of Spider-Man games on Nintendo Switch (we can’t help but look longingly at Insomniac’s stellar PS4 exclusive from last year and quietly weep), it fell to the most unlikely of sources to bring city-swinging and verticality to the console: Attack on Titan 2. The original base game has a few issues (check out our full review for a more detailed breakdown), but when you’re zooming around a semi-medieval city slashing at naked giants with a pair of swords, you rarely even thought about them. It’s Monster Hunter in the sky, and it can be brilliant fun at times.
Over a year later, and developer Omega Force has given its semi-open world hack ‘n’ slash adventure a full-on update. Attack on Titan 2: Final Battle introduces scenarios and characters based on the show’s third season, two additional battle modes and brand new weapons for taking down those monolithic nudists. For Attack on Titan aficionados, it’s more faithfully-recreated content from the anime’s continuing storyline. For everyone else, it’s a more complete package with plenty of additional story moments and some fresh modes for extended replay value.
Available as a full game release (including the base version and the DLC) or as a paid upgrade via the eShop, Final Battle distinguishes itself from the base game in the way it approaches the story side of things. While the first two seasons were slightly reworked to make space for your own created character, the third season is instead broken into a series of chapters that follow the point of view of established characters in the canon. Unfortunately, that means you can’t play through any of them as your created character. On the up-side, there’s a good six-to-eight hours worth of new content to be found here, and completing main and side missions will net you additional credits and materials. And while you can’t spend them in Character Episode mode itself, they can be transferred over to other modes.
Working alongside the creators of the anime, both parts of season three have been included, providing an insight into the ongoing conflict between the titans and the remainder of humanity. With three different factions to play through (the Scout Regiment, the 104th Cadets and the nefarious Warriors), and the chance to summon the Armin Titan, Final Battle certainly isn’t holding back. As a nice touch, once you’ve progressed far enough to have unlocked Armin’s giant form, you’ll then be able to summon him in some of Final Battle’s other new modes. While it’s still frustrating to have a schism between season three and the rest of the story, it’s great to see a synergy of unlocks that link the rest of the game together.
Of all of the new content additions Final Battle introduces, Territory Recovery mode is by far the most enjoyable. Stripping away all the often constricting story elements, this mode is all about building your own regiment slowly reclaiming sections of land from the titans. It’s a more open-ended and freeform affair, with over 40 characters to find and recruit (who you can then assign into different team combinations). Territory Recovery has more of a Dynasty Warriors twist to it (Omega Force is the main developer, after all) as you and your squad head out to drive back the titan menace via rolling mini-missions, enabling you to just enjoy hacking body parts off titans. You can also spend resources earned in Character Episode mode here as well.
Mechanically, your ODM launchers still work the same (using a set of gas-fuelled wires that attach to nearby structures and fling your upwards and forwards), although the introduction of ranged weapons really changes how you approach battles. Being able to pepper the body parts of a lumbering titan with a firearm really changes the dynamic of each confrontation, especially when you need to create distance but still cause damage. Thunder Spears, a classic weapon from the manga and anime, also finally make their debut, providing a more effective way to take down armoured titans. Close-ranged melee attacks are still the main means of inflicting grief, but the opening out of the game’s combat is one of Final Battle’s most effective changes. Firearms are also available in the main Story mode (bar a few key battles), so this considerable update affects practically every part of the wider game.
One change that doesn’t sit well is Koei Tecmo’s approach to pricing this DLC update. On the one hand, you’re getting a sizeable chunk of new story content, two new modes and the game-altering introduction of firearms, but while it's decent value for brand new players (£54.99 in the UK), existing owners are going to have to fork out a significant sum (£39.99) to upgrade your existing copy of Attack on Titan 2 to include all the Final Battle-related extras. It’s an utterly perplexing pricing scheme that actually puts current owners of the game (the demographic most likely to actually appreciate this update) at a disadvantage - especially so when the bundle effectively values Final Battle at over twice the price of the full game.
Attack on Titan 2: Final Battle is a real oddity. There’s a lot of new content introduced as part of the expansion - much of it adding real depth and replay value to an already sizeable package - but changing the approach to how you experience season three (specifically without the character you created and used through the two previous ones) does create a schism between Final Battle and the rest of Attack on Titan 2. The introduction of ranged weaponry really opens up your titan-battling options, and Territory Recovery is a welcome new Dynasty Warriors-style mode that embraces the game’s best mechanics. However, the pricing model is far too high and only serves to penalise players who already own the base game.