Attack on Titan: The Last Wings of Mankind -Chain- is an update of last year's similarly titled Attack on Titan: The Last Wings of Mankind. And while it has only one major new feature, it is one that changes the entire game for the better.
Good — Harder Than It Looks
When it comes down to it, The Last Wings of Mankind -Chain- is largely identical to the original version. The single player involves you playing through the main plot of the series as Eren, Mikasa and Armin. You play through areas where you swing effortlessly through the city and then struggle on the open plains where there is nothing to latch on to but the Titans themselves.
The battle gameplay is also unchanged. When a Titan is in range, you can attach to it and swing around it as you are drawn closer, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. Each strike you make on a Titan activates a timing minigame where you must press the attack button at the moment when your small shrinking ring overlaps a much larger, static one. If you time it correctly, it is a perfect cut — and if done on the back of the Titan's neck, it's a one-hit kill. If you fail the timing mini-game, you just cut normally and will likely need another cut or two to cut through.
To make it a bit harder each time you attack, your shrinking ring will be moving at a different speed and the static ring a different size. Moreover, as each Titan type moves differently and has its own unique attacks, you have to learn the hard way when the best time is to make an attack. So while it's relatively simple in terms of the mechanics, it requires a good amount of skill to master — especially once you move out of the tiny story mode and into the "world mode."
Good — The Online Multiplayer
World Mode is the name for the vast majority of content in The Last Wings of Mankind -Chain-. You create your own character (or use one of the main cast you have unlocked in the story mode) to play through the dozens of missions this mode has to offer. Of course, your character is tremendously weaker initially in comparison to the characters you just left behind in the single player. Thus you must kill Titans and collect items to level up. Also, World Mode stages are generally harder than those in the single player. And while you can recruit and use computer-controlled partner characters, The Last Wings of Mankind -Chain-'s grandest new feature is the ability to play with up to three other people online.
Not only does this open up all kinds of new tactics for the party, but it also adds a whole new meta-game where each party member is rushing to kill more Titans than everyone else. And as each mission rarely lasts more than a minute, World Mode is a great way to spend a few moments when you don't have much time to game.
Also, new to The Last Wings of Mankind -Chain- is a set of new, extremely difficult missions designed to test even the best equipped max-level characters.
Good — DLC Included
The Last Wings of Mankind -Chain- includes not only the original game content along with the new online levels and features but also the DLC for the first release as well. This means in addition to the Eren, Mikasa and Armin levels, you'll also have a set of levels where you play as Levi and another where you step into the shoes of the potato-loving Sasha. These stages tend to be a step up in difficulty as well, making for a good challenge for those who found the rest of story mode too easy.
Bad — The Same Old Problems Remain
But while online co-op and a few bonus levels do make the game better, the developers did not fix the original version's problems. You still play in the same stages over and over again. Dealing with the camera is still a battle and it loves to get trapped against walls or inside objects. Moreover, the collision detection is still horrible and you'll find yourself getting stuck on the game's geometry — be it a building's corner or a prostrate Titan's foot. Things only become more glitchy in co-op as everyone gets in everyone else's way.
Attack on Titan: The Last Wings of Mankind -Chain- is a decent upgrade of the original. It adds not only extra levels and the previous version's DLC but also fixes that game's most glaring oversight by adding in online play. All that said, this really is a game just for fans of Attack on Titan. If you have no investment in the story or world, there is little to get out of this game. But if you are a fan, this game makes for an enjoyable way to spend a few dozen hours while awaiting the next season of the anime.
Attack on Titan: The Last Wings of Mankind -Chain- was released in Japan for the Nintendo 3DS on December 4, 2014. There has been no official announcement of a Western release.